Friday, May 30, 2014

Robert Genn (May 15, 1936 - May 27, 2014)

Robert Genn died this week. He was a well known and loved Canadian artist. His twice weekly newsletter "Robert's Keys" was a reminder that there was a kinder gentler art world out there. His homely, unpretentious essays knit together a disparate group of artists from all over the world. Robert did not do "Art Speak". Somehow on Robert's pages we were not as is usual in the art world, 'cats in a bag'- but having intelligent discussions on everything from Spinoza to how to paint in the snow. Precious few of us were in any way art stars but he made all of us feel for one week that what we thought and what we did was important. When we felt he got it all wrong and hammered it home- he responded with humorous, never bitter replies. I had some personal correspondence with him- and I don't think I have ever known a kinder man.

An email I received from a reader, shortly before his death, was lamenting that she and her friends were feeling bereft of this imminent loss of community. He is irreplaceable.

Learn more about Robert here.
Some of his paintings

You will be missed.


BlueBirdie said...

Robert Genn's newsletters were wonderful, I used to subscribe and read them every week for inspiration. So sorry to hear that he has passed on, he was a true gem of a person and an artist. Thank you for posting about him here.

Sharon Knettell said...


I miss him. Those letters were a joy every week. The site is not the same without him. The person who wrote me really dislikes the FaceBook page.

Julie Ford Oliver said...

The amazing world of art on the internet enabled Bob to enter our lives with an international influence. No matter where one lived, a community of artists were available with their work and thoughts stimulated by discussions from him. Robert Genn will be sorely missed.
Regarding the question asked about the figure.
The quality of the nude shown is truly amazing. Only years of practice and excellent observation skills make it possible.

Sharon Knettell said...


Thanks! I just figured out, I think, that the nude you were referring to was my own!