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View Full Version : Play the Game - Look what I found from the WetCanvas Article Archives!


DanaT
07-13-2003, 12:18 AM
Scrolling around the WetCanvas article archives, I found some real gems by author and artist, Robert Genn. Short one-pagers, they give a thought or a different approach to try when creatively challenged.

My favorite is Play the Game (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles/Genn/may122000.html). Genn says that playing a creative effort like a game accesses the sense of fun that are an integral part of games AND creativity You set yourself a challenge and then play the game.

Since its only a game, you can feel free to take some risks. One of the most fun games to try are the Friday/Saturday night painting/drawing events here at WetCanvas. The challenge is to pick a medium, a reference photo, and accomplish something in two hours. Its difficult for many to complete a finished work of art so the goals are a bit simpler. Trying a new medium, learning to simplify values, etc.

Genn also has a website (http://www.painterskeys.com/) with biweekly articles that people can subscribe to. It looks like a good creative resource.

andyvry
07-13-2003, 05:10 AM
Hiya Dana,

I've read a few of Genn's articles......find them quite interesting, thought provoking - definitely.

This article reminds us about the "FUN" element of painting, and this is what so often gets forgotten, by many. I say this cos I'm forever [it seems, just lately] coming across posts on WC which are [overly] concerned with "archivalness" and "permanence" issues that, at best, appear to be a preoccupation to do with wanting "one's artwork" to last for ever and ever......or at worst, an insurmountable barrier to experimenting, creativity etc. within their chosen medium[s]...[?????]

andy.

DanaT
07-14-2003, 12:03 PM
Yes, Andy, that's so true. In one thread everybody was giving a beginner advice on stretching his own canvas when he said he wasn't ready for that. I haven't stretched my own canvas yet and I've been painting for a year.

I think Genn's article can inspire the right kind of competitiveness for creativity. So often competitiveness is seen as a detriment to creativity but humans, being predators by nature, are naturally competitive. So the challenge I think is how to use this competitiveness to our advantage rather than our detriment.

The idea of competing against an conceptual opponent like mediocrity rather than an actual person is intriguing. After all, you can still create a bad work and triumph over mediocrity. :)

The important thing like you said is to put yourself out there and try new things.

Cathy Morgan
07-14-2003, 10:26 PM
I love the biweekly letters from Robert Genn, also the "clickbacks" on his website that include email responses from letter readers. The clickbacks often include art by the readers. There's always something really interesting.

Cathy Morgan
07-14-2003, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by andyvry
This article reminds us about the "FUN" element of painting, and this is what so often gets forgotten, by many. I say this cos I'm forever [it seems, just lately] coming across posts on WC which are [overly] concerned with "archivalness" and "permanence" issues that, at best, appear to be a preoccupation to do with wanting "one's artwork" to last for ever and ever....andy.

Robert Genn seems as dedicated to archival materials and methods as to his "pleasure principle." I don't see these two as contradictory. Playful, joyful work is apt to result in something worth keeping - so why not use archival materials? Then you can relax and enjoy the play without any nagging sense that you're going to end up with disappointed collectors who wish they hadn't bought your work.

DanaT
07-14-2003, 11:06 PM
I do have to check this weeks letters. Thanks Cathy for reminding me.

Re: archival materials I'm on both sides of the fence. I use the best material I can out of respect for my art and out of respect for myself because its usually easier to work with good materials. I have to admit I'm pretty selfish when creating. I don't think of collectors at all before or during my creations, only afterwards.

Right now I just have a problem with spending more time reading, fretting about and preparing my materials for archival quality than I do actually using them to create art. My intuition tells me very strongly that that's like putting the cart before the horse. I even don't think its right for me to spend more time talking about creativity than creating.

In oil, preparing materials can be labor intensive. For other mediums, its much less intensive. I think each artist decides where best to spend his time depending on his place in the creative journey.

andyvry
07-15-2003, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by Cathy Morgan


Robert Genn seems as dedicated to archival materials and methods as to his "pleasure principle." I don't see these two as contradictory.

Mmmm.........and neither do I. The point I was trying to make, was [is] - that the lasting qualities of materials has become something of a preoccupation, rather than it just being a 'routine' matter to be taken into consideration. I can't imagine anyone deliberately choosing lesser quality materials [supports..... when we are talking about "archival....."] over that which is best suited for the job in hand. I mean, when "inspiration" strikes, you don't want to be worrying over whether or not your materials are "archival".....surely?

Rodin didn't, going by one the most recent discoveries of his work, which is a bust made from cardboard, wire and newsprint.......Hailed as "a most exciting find"........ and presenting the keepers of this work, a headache as to how to preserve it. I doubt very much if Rodin gave the matter a moments thought.....

andy.

DanaT
07-15-2003, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by andyvry

Rodin didn't, going by one the most recent discoveries of his work, which is a bust made from cardboard, wire and newsprint.......Hailed as "a most exciting find"........ and presenting the keepers of this work, a headache as to how to preserve it. I doubt very much if Rodin gave the matter a moments thought.....


:D andy It's like Leonardo's Last Supper, if its good enough, people will find a way to preserve it.

But like you said, using the best materials is one of the best things you can do for your art.

andyvry
07-15-2003, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by DanaT


:D andy It's like Leonardo's Last Supper, if its good enough, people will find a way to preserve it.

But like you said, using the best materials is one of the best things you can do for your art.

Absolutely, absolutely...........:D I'm all for acting "responsibly" when it comes to choosing and using materials..........If my work fails in the "archival stakes" in years to come, it'll probably be put down to my "technique" .....but I won't be around to argue the toss. :p

andy........ :cool: ;) :D

melaleuca
07-17-2003, 02:14 AM
Originally posted by Cathy Morgan
I love the biweekly letters from Robert Genn, also the "clickbacks" on his website that include email responses from letter readers. The clickbacks often include art by the readers. There's always something really interesting.

Ditto :clap: I especially enjoy the clickbacks too.

It's been ages since I read any of his letters.
I don't subscribe. At one point, I would subscribe to any and all newsletters I thought interesting. Well, I never had enough time to read them. Press Delete. So I then unsubscribed from every newletter. Felt much better.

Thanks, Dana, for reminding me of this great resource. :)

belladonna
07-26-2003, 11:44 AM
Thanks Dana! What a good attitude this guy has. I enjoyed the site very much and stuck it in my bookmarks.

Pilan
07-29-2003, 12:37 AM
Oh, Robert Genn a wonderful artist and gentleman. When I started painting several years ago I sent him an email. I asked him about critiquing work and we shared several emails to and fro. I kept them, they are stored on my old computer. Also, I purchased his books the painters keys. It was very interesting and I think just the entertainment value is great. Also, before I realized the clickbacks or before he had them, probably I just did not know they were there. Anyway, I used to save all of his newsletters until I discovered he kept them on his website. They are wonderful. He does one fabulous newsletter. YOu can always count on something great.

He is sure a nice person......

Pilan

Originally posted by melaleuca


Ditto :clap: I especially enjoy the clickbacks too.

It's been ages since I read any of his letters.
I don't subscribe. At one point, I would subscribe to any and all newsletters I thought interesting. Well, I never had enough time to read them. Press Delete. So I then unsubscribed from every newletter. Felt much better.

Thanks, Dana, for reminding me of this great resource. :)