“A drawing a day keeps the cobwebs away.” Robert Genn (May 15, 1936 – May 27, 2014), artist, painter, educator, author, writer (self-portrait)
Genn ran the Painter’s Keys web site, a worldwide artists’ community, with his staff and volunteers. This sends out an erudite free twice-weekly newsletter, which is sent to 135,000 artists in over 100 countries, and claims the largest collection of art quotes online with over 5,382 authors quoted. His “Ten Commandments of Art Pricing” on his web site (reprinted on About.com) advise starting cheaply, raising prices slowly, keeping them the same for all purchasers and pricing by size.
In 2005, Genn campaigned against the Chinese website, arch-world.com, which was selling thousands of high-resolution images of around 2,800 artists’ work illegally, without permission. After failing to gain support from the Canadian government or the African embassy in Ottawa, Genn used his web site to enlist subscribers’ support to email objections to the arch-world, resulting within days in over 1,000 online complaints from artists, dealers and politicians to the company and governments. This stimulated a diplomatic protest letter to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Trading and Law Department from the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. Genn credits the campaign with the subsequent removal of images by 800 Canadian artists from arch-world, although many works were reinstated on arch-world soon after.
Genn announced in his Twice-Weekly Letter of 25 Oct. 2013 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died at his Surrey, British Columbia home at 10:20 am on 27 May 2014 according to his daughter Sara Genn in the Twice-Weekly Letter of 30 May 2014.