Artistic expression 

Robert Genn demonstrates strength, pattern, character with brush and pen

WHAT: Artists? Reception

WHO: Robert and Sara Genn

WHERE: adele-campbell Fine Arts Gallery

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 1, 5-9 p.m.

It?s not often that you find an established artist whose talents overflow into multiple forms of expression. Painter, author, teacher, Robert Genn, truly has a gift for communication. An unexpected source of inspiration, his talents touch people world-wide.

Born in Victoria, Genn formally studied art at the University of British Columbia and the Art Centre School in Los Angeles. He has gone on to become one of Canada?s most recognizable artists, with his works sought by collectors around the globe. His paintings of West Coast settings are particularly well-known for their harmonic colour and patterns that capture the essence of the moment.

"One of my hobbies is going back to spots where Phillips painted, or Emily Carr, and trying to find the exact locations and eke something new out of it," says Genn of his West Coast landscapes and subjects.

But his work is by no means limited to British Columbia. Genn has captured the world on his canvass while travelling by land and sea. One of his favourite projects was sailing about 1,000 miles on the Mackenzie River with artist daughter, Sara ? who will also be showing at the adele-campbell gallery. The Genns built a painting station right into the bow of the boat so they could paint while moored or moving.

"I read Mackenzie?s journal about sailing on the river and I thought I?d like to repeat it and paint it," Genn says. "I read a line in a magazine, an old copy of The Beaver , where Jackson had stood on the beach at Fort Providence and looked down the river and said ?This place is unpaintable.? That line got my excitement. And we certainly found a lot of subjects ? although a hell of a lot of them are sky, pending storms and that sort of thing."

Several of those pieces are included in Robert and Sara Genn?s exhibition this Saturday at the adele-campbell gallery.

However, Genn has also come to the forefront for his talents, not only with a brush, but with a pen. The manner in which he shares his thoughts behind his art, and life in general, has garnered the loyalty of tens of thousands of readers. Genn has published several works. His autobiography, In Praise of Painting, is one of the most insightful looks into the trials and triumphs of a young Canadian artist.

But it?s his how-to book, Painters Keys, published four years ago, that prompted the majority of attention. The book is not a manual on how to paint, but on how to take control over your life and business as an artist. It offers attitudes and motivations which have continued to grow into a much bigger project.

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