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painterskeys
02-06-2004, 02:17 PM
- Die happy -

Dear artist,

In 1960 Henry Miller wrote "Paint as You Like and Die Happy." Noel Young, his
publisher, gathered paintings from the far corners--watercolours, gouache,
sketches, drawings--most of them gifted or bartered to his many friends. The
book has a bit of a cult following and has gone through several editions.
Miller actually painted "on the side" for about fifty years. To him each
painting was an adventure. "It's the pleasure of picking up the brush and
seeing what happens," he said. Miller's joy of living and wide-ranging
curiosity comes through, and he was indeed painting when he died at age 88.
His paintings are now collected as much for his literary celebrity as for their
spontaneity and childlike innocence. The influence of Picasso, Elie Faure,
Matisse and others are noted--but so what--don't all of us lean on our masters?
He painted anything that came to mind or hand--portraits, landscapes,
mindscapes, dreamscapes, boatscapes. See a sample at:
http://www.painterskeys.com/credir.asp?click=optimize.asp

In the sixties Miller and I had a correspondence and a bit of a friendship. I
had written him in praise of "Bread." This was an essay on the worldwide
variations and qualities of bread. It was playful--it jerked your mind around
and shocked, but to my eyes it was totally thought out and crafted. His
creative imagery appealed to me terribly. When we met in Big Sur, he was
having a tough time. His Paris days were behind him. Now married to Janina
Lepska and raising two young children, they were living in a low-cost holiday
home among the trees. On the porch and on their kitchen table were some of his
watercolours. While Miller and his paintings were attached at the hip, he
didn't seem to take them seriously. "Slops," he called them.

Miller claimed that he was losing his edge as a writer and was now more than
ever getting a kick out of painting. In this medium he didn't have the same
expectations that he had for his writing. "I just love it," he said, "Maybe
it's because anything goes." Many literary figures have found escape in the
brush: Lawrence Durrell, Victor Hugo, William Thackeray, to name but a few. In
the "Die Happy" book Miller talks of the appeal of painting and analyzes
motivations in classic essays such as "To Paint Is to Love Again," "The Waters
Reglitterized," and "The Painting Lesson."

PS: "Henry kept his paintings separate from his writing. It's as though
stories came from the other side of his brain." (Noel Young)

Esoterica: Miller explained his technique to his friend Lawrence Durrell: He
called it "The New Instinctivism." You closed your eyes and wished images to
form under your brush. Memories were important but references were not. The
main effort was to will the image--to allow a dream to materialize. A line was
to go on a voyage of discovery. "In every man's heart there is anchored a
little schooner." (Henry Miller)

pampe
02-06-2004, 05:22 PM
Good to see you here at WC...is it Robert or a helper?


I read it in my e mail and like it a lot

Pam

painterskeys
02-06-2004, 06:19 PM
Good to see you here at WC...is it Robert or a helper?



I am very enthusiastic helper.

Cathy Morgan
02-06-2004, 09:18 PM
At first I was happy about Robert Genn or his staff participating. But now it looks as if it's just a copy of the regular twice-weekly Painters Keys letter from Robert Genn. (http://www.painterskeys.com) I subscribe to this and urge others to do so as well. The clickbacks to other people's responses are wonderful too.

Anyway - I wish that if you're going to participate, that you'd do it under a real name and respond to other people's messages too. This way, it seems a little creepy. But that's just my opinion. I don't want to discourage anyone from participating, and it's not up to me to say HOW you participate. I'm just expressing my personal feelings.

If it's a choice between no participation and doing it this way, I hope you'll just keep doing it as you are.

painterskeys
02-07-2004, 05:10 PM
At first I was happy about Robert Genn or his staff participating. But now it looks as if it's just a copy of the regular twice-weekly Painters Keys letter from Robert Genn. (http://www.painterskeys.com) I subscribe to this and urge others to do so as well. The clickbacks to other people's responses are wonderful too.

Anyway - I wish that if you're going to participate, that you'd do it under a real name and respond to other people's messages too. This way, it seems a little creepy. But that's just my opinion. I don't want to discourage anyone from participating, and it's not up to me to say HOW you participate. I'm just expressing my personal feelings.

If it's a choice between no participation and doing it this way, I hope you'll just keep doing it as you are.

Thanks Cathy your comments are appreciated.

My name is Andrew, and I work for Robert here in the studio. The posting on WetCanvas is meant to contribute to the forum without much advertisement of the painterskeys web site and Robert's letters. I will try to answer most postings as much as I can.

all the best,

Andrew Niculescu
Robert Genn Studio

Cathy Morgan
02-07-2004, 05:31 PM
Hi Andrew. I know you're invaluable to Robert Genn and Painter's Keys, and I'm delighted to see you participating here. I see now that it's tricky to share things from that website without seeming to be advertising. Sorry I got huffy about it. I'm glad you're here.

Unless Scott or one of the moderators has told you differently, I don't see any reason not to put a live link to the Painter's Keys site in your message signature. Painter's Keys is not a competing forum, but rather a kind of site completely different from Wet Canvas.

Also, why not just say that this is a complete quotation from the current Robert Genn letter? Then it will be clear to everyone.

One thing that confuses me is that I don't know if Wet Canvas replies to one of the letters quoted here, will get into the next Painter's Keys clickbacks. I don't think so - but it's ambiguous.

painterskeys
02-08-2004, 05:57 PM
One thing that confuses me is that I don't know if Wet Canvas replies to one of the letters quoted here, will get into the next Painter's Keys clickbacks. I don't think so - but it's ambiguous.

Hi Caty,

I don't think we would need to use the responses posted by WetCanvas members. In the odd case, the WC member will be contacted with a permission request to have his/her opinion published on the Painterskeys web site. I'm not really looking to get clickback content(we already get too much) just to share Robert's valuable letters.

andrew

salart
02-14-2004, 07:02 AM
I am so glad you posted the information about Henry Miller. As you can see I use that quote as my signature- I saw it painted on the wall in a friends studio 25 years ago and have kept it in mind always. I am embarrassed to admit, however, that I always thought it was Henry MOORE, not Miller, who was a scupltor, not a painter (never got that!). So I have corrected my signature and thank you. I have enjoyed learning more about him.