Robert Genn with Emily 
By Robert Genn

ROBERT GENN has, once again, captured a compelling topic through his impressive style of “painting with words.” Discovering Robert’s wonderful Twice-Weekly Letter in the Studio  in-box elevates our mood, energy and motivation to create!  Thank you Robert.

Here are a few  of today's favorite Robert Genn word combos: 

noble dependency
creative catatonia
more brilliant than Voltaire at the dinner party
serendipitous bumping
half-finished works conspire to attract your attention
creative exhibitionism 
and the piece de resistance:

Your work needs you as much as you need it.
Your work begs your expression!
Think of all the great work you have left to do!

A noble dependency
By Robert Genn
November 1, 2011

Dear Royce,

Recent studies of teenagers' use of cellphones and other electronic devices have revealed some interesting results. Apparently, if you deprive kids of social networking for a week or so, a high percentage become significantly depressed. They also lose efficiency, will, enthusiasm and sleep. Their marks go down and their lassitude goes up.

For many artists, something similar happens when "the work quotient" is taken from their lives. A couple of unproductive days can send some creative folks into the dumps. They may not even be aware of what's happening to them. "Fear of restart" and permanent creative catatonia can set in after long-term abstinence.

Fact is, good easel time is a noble dependency that makes you a happier, more generous person--better able to enjoy an enriched family and social life. Here are a few ways to promote these glad tidings:

Self control. While spontaneity is vital in the studio, monitoring easel time and work zones is also valuable. Work periods can be restarted with a gong or the change of a radio program. The "four o'clock reboot," where you begin something new in the late afternoon (normally a slower time of day), accumulates bonus points, tops up the psyche and makes you more brilliant than Voltaire at the dinner party.

Serendipitous bumping. When you put in significant time in the work area, work automatically emerges. Creative tools, studio clutter and half-finished works conspire to attract your attention. Ideas breed and things need to be done. Rather than making a decision to get on with something, merely bump into opportunities.

Creative exhibitionism. Just as the boy and girl get their thrills texting across a classroom, connecting your work with others is good for art and life. I'm not talking about dealer action or green feedback. The work itself, in progress or completed, in exchange or not, can be sent by jpeg to global friends in nanoseconds. A critique or approval may be forthcoming, but more often than not it's just the simple human joy of sharing. "Electronic interdependence," famously said Marshall McLuhan, "recreates the world in the image of a global village." While we may operate as independent workers, we are not islands unto ourselves. The Brotherhood and Sisterhood is alive and well and living in cyberspace.

Best regards,

PS: "It's a great time to be alive." (George Lucas)

Esoterica: Another way of thinking of art dependency is in co-dependency. Your work needs you as much as you need it. Your work begs your expression. You need to materialize it on a daily basis, from your enriched life--the better side of your nature. Without your personal focus and action, your magic cannot and never will exist. Think of all the great work you have left to do. Think of how necessary it is for people to see good work. 

"Work," said Kahlil Gibran, "is love made visible."

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