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The painter's keys: A seminar with Robert Genn Paperback – Sep 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Studio Beckett Publications; 1st edition (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155056479X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550564792
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Author

This book, a transcript of one of my seminars, sums up the essence of my ideas and systems. A painter all of my life, I have always been curious about the basis of creativity and motivation for what we artists do. I had become aware that there was a useful middle way, where an artist might hang on to his or her integrity, and with the addition of a few systems and applications, become highly successful. This without extraordinary ballyhoo, lucky breaks, or grants. I've also noticed that many successful artists, often the people I'm competing against, keep their own counsel and rather guard their secrets. I guess that, in the past, I too could be accused of this. In this book we talk about the systems that have worked for me, and the winning ways of many other professionals that I have come to know and admire. It's not a book that tells anyone how to draw or paint. I start with the proposition that the reader already knows how to do that, or at least has a good learning curve underway. What I do is to make suggestions of what may often be new ways of looking at the daily life and strategy of the creative person. I discuss a wide range of topics, some have said in a somewhat disorganized way, such as concerns of quality, motivation, work habits, the joy mode, value adding, insider secrets, professional attitudes and methodology, dealer relations, and problems particular to women artists. Members of the seminar keep pulling me back to their practical concerns, or trying to lead me off track. There are a few laughs and you can read between the lines. The result is that readers come away newly inspired to tackle their interests. Many, even those who thought they knew it all, tell me they have found a new and clearer passion and have gone on to even higher levels of personal satisfaction and success. From the letters that I get I know this book is having a profound effect on not a few in the creative field. Robert Genn

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a great addition to a Robert's "art school" web-site and newsletter. I keep this book on the surface to read a bit every day. It is full of great advises and interesting discussions. Perhaps a reader should be aware that this book is a transcription of a seminar. This is a very positive, helpful and inspirational book, nicely printed too - well worth the money. I hope one day I will be able to attend a real seminar with Robert Genn!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a good little read, not necessary to read cover to cover , every artist, or artistt in waiting can get some thing from this ...enjoy
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good overview of Robert Genns workshop
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa303aa74) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f3e4d4) out of 5 stars Good, but no cigar. Oct. 3 2001
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best thing about this book is the abundance of sheer "go for it" good energy that Genn conveys to his audience of artists who are, themselves, at times sceptical, confused, unfocused, but mostly enthusiastic. This little book is a transcript of a two-day seminar, the first chapter of which is available to read on Genn's web site. There are indeed many useful tips and insights scattered throughout, some of which might just be the kick in the pants some readers will respond to. Genn seems to have had in mind a theme for each hour (eg. quality, motivation, etc.), but questions from the audience are often unfocused and quickly lead him astray from his topic. He begins the ninth hour by saying "I want to give you one idea that will pay for the whole seminar. It is such a golden idea that I would appreciate it if it didn't go any further than this room." (Well, he published it in a book, didn't he?) What ensues are some mildly interesting marketing tips, but hardly anything that will transform a career. I also found annoying the ever present veneer of '60's gesthalt psychology with which his comments were laden. The mix of beginning and experienced artists in the audience also made for a fair number of time-wasting questions that should have been diverted elsewhere -- for example, technical discussions of how to paint with acrylics (apparently what Genn mostly uses), how to shoot reference photos, and so forth. Most of the tips offered will be familiar to most artists, but if you're in a slump it can be helpful to hear it again.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f3e720) out of 5 stars How to be an effective artist Feb. 2 2000
By Jill Ehlert, Artist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Robert Genn's book "The Painter's Keys" presents attainable steps to becoming an effective artist.
Genn introduces two simple but deep-felt ideas in the first chapter of his book, "Wondering Child" and "Joy Mode". Both concepts are paramount to our well being and to the approach we take each day as we enter our workspace to begin painting. These two key points transformed my own way of thinking, my attitude and approach to each day.
The Painter's Keys has shown me how to have enthusiasm and the desire to do the painting. Genn believes, "this joy and enthusiasm will show in the painting if it is there, and will certainly show in the work if it is missing".
Two key points I found valuable in The Painter's Keys are concepts that assist the artist in building character and developing personal systems for the execution of painting.
In building character we are taught how to excel and be our personal best both as a person and as an artist. Genn writes that the trials we experience as artists are not brought on by a lack of ability but by a lack of character. For me this was one of those Ah-ha moments, this idea alone has allowed me to grow in leaps and bounds. Genn teaches us the systems to develop better work habits and break old patterns.
Robert Genn introduces us to the idea of "Recipes" in his book. This was another key point that revolutionized the way I approach painting. This simple yet functional system is tailor-made to each individual; the recipes are our plans, directions and techniques - simple or obvious. Genn borrows this quote from Sergi Eisenstein, "careful planning, and brilliant improvisation", that underscores his idea. "The recipes are the ideas you want to be working on, "you name the ideas - and you claim the ideas. When you come to an area in painting that you feel stuck in, you have the knowledge that you have thought about it before, you won't feel lost." To some this may sound too planned out, that is not the case, it allows one more freedom. This simple yet profound idea may save many a painting and frustration.
This slim volume is filled with nuggets of wisdom that comes from Genn's treasure trove of experiences from his 45+ years of painting. One need only to browse through "The Painter's Keys" index to see the variety of topics this book covers. Topics such as: how to choose an art school, art shows, juror's criteria, how to choose galleries and dealers, being noticed, commissions, depression, fear, framing, idea book, income tax, insurance, personal records, quality, procrastination, publicity, women artists, value, titles, shipping and time give an idea of the riches within.
What I liked about this book was the simple, practical Ah-ha concepts. They all ring true for me. The painter's keys that Genn shares with the reader are easy to apply to life and routine, given commitment and stick-to-it-ness. I have recommended this book to many people, given a few away and often quote Genn in conversation. It is a book for any creative person at any level of experience
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f3e960) out of 5 stars A Perfect Blend of Artistic and Common Sense Jan. 25 2006
By Romance Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually discovered this book via Amazon's "you bought this book, want to look at this one?" page, and after reading the reviews decided to try it. I am really really glad to say: "This is a great book." What this book is not, is an instruction book on how to paint. What this book is, is good, solid, practical advice on how to keep your head screwed on tight while you build an art career. Not preachy, not egotistical...my grandma used to say there are 2 kinds of smart; book smart, and street smart. Robert is both, and this book is a breath of fresh air in the "Art Career" genre.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f3eb04) out of 5 stars How to be an effective artist. Feb. 2 2000
By Jill Ehlert, Artist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Robert Genn's book "The Painter's Keys" presents attainable steps to becoming an effective artist.
Genn introduces two simple but deep-felt ideas in the first chapter of his book, "Wondering Child" and "Joy Mode". Both concepts are paramount to our well being and to the approach we take each day as we enter our workspace to begin painting. These two key points transformed my own way of thinking, my attitude and approach to each day.
The Painter's Keys has shown me how to have enthusiasm and the desire to do the painting. Genn believes, "this joy and enthusiasm will show in the painting if it is there, and will certainly show in the work if it is missing".
Two key points I found valuable in The Painter's Keys are concepts that assist the artist in building character and developing personal systems for the execution of painting.
In building character we are taught how to excel and be our personal best both as a person and as an artist. Genn writes that the trials we experience as artists are not brought on by a lack of ability but by a lack of character. For me this was one of those Ah-ha moments, this idea alone has allowed me to grow in leaps and bounds. Genn teaches us the systems to develop better work habits and break old patterns.
Robert Genn introduces us to the idea of "Recipes" in his book. This was another key point that revolutionized the way I approach painting. This simple yet functional system is tailor-made to each individual; the recipes are our plans, directions and techniques - simple or obvious. Genn borrows this quote from Sergi Eisenstein, "careful planning, and brilliant improvisation", that underscores his idea. "The recipes are the ideas you want to be working on, "you name the ideas - and you claim the ideas. When you come to an area in painting that you feel stuck in, you have the knowledge that you have thought about it before, you won't feel lost." To some this may sound too planned out, that is not the case, it allows one more freedom. This simple yet profound idea may save many a painting and frustration.
This slim volume is filled with nuggets of wisdom that comes from Genn's treasure trove of experiences from his 45+ years of painting. One need only to browse through "The Painter's Keys" index to see the variety of topics this book covers. Topics such as: how to choose an art school, art shows, juror's criteria, how to choose galleries and dealers, being noticed, commissions, depression, fear, framing, idea book, income tax, insurance, personal records, quality, procrastination, publicity, women artists, value, titles, shipping and time give an idea of the riches within.
What I liked about this book was the simple, practical Ah-ha concepts. They all ring true for me. The painter's keys that Genn shares with the reader are easy to apply to life and routine, given commitment and stick-to-it-ness. I have recommended this book to many people, given a few away and often quote Genn in conversation. It is a book for any creative person at any level of experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f3eed0) out of 5 stars A great read for the artist wanting to go pro! March 28 2014
By alexiart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So many wonderful and practical ideas for working artists. Robert Genn always has a wonderful way of explaining key principles and he is a marvelous writer as well as an accomplished artist! I love everything he does and love to follow his newsletter too! I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to be more professional with their art and take it to the next level of real world business!

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