Most of the material for the twice-weekly letters comes from subscriber input, my own studio concerns, and a lifetime of painting. I like the idea of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Artists, a worldwide community of creative folks with a lot of the same concerns. While ours seems a simple business, there's just so much worth knowing. I'm finding a great deal of it has never been properly expressed before. I hope you'll stay around for the adventure.
If you're interested in looking at back issues of the letter, there is a letter archive where you will also find an icon for print-friendly letters.
One of the great values of this letter is the illustrated responses. We call these the "clickbacks." We generally try to keep them to about ten or so for each letter. They give readers alternate ideas and systems--information, inspiration, art research, experience, stories, or arguments. You can access these responses by clicking on the Current Clickback link after the main body of the twice-weekly letter or through the clickbacks archive. If you wish to correspond, just reply to one of my letters or drop me a note at email@example.com. All your letters, whether immediately published or not, are carefully archived for potential later use. We often edit for clarity and brevity--so you don't have to put up with an aimless forum where people just like to hear themselves think. Time and again artists write to remark on the value, quality and timeliness of these responses. For those who see fit to respond, readers appreciate if you include where you are located. Inclusion of your email address may invite others, including possible collectors, to write to you. However, if you tell us you do not wish a letter published, or you wish to write or be included anonymously, we will respect that too. Use an avatar if you wish. Readers really like to see examples of a writer's work and you are welcome to send it along.
You can also make live comments on the clickback pages. A “quatcha” is there to prevent machine spamming. We reserve the right to remove inappropriate material.
The most popular page on "The Painter's Keys" site is the Resource of Art Quotations. For researchers, or artists just looking for inspiration, this is the world's largest art quote collection--online or in a book. It's entirely the work of volunteer subscribers and new quotes are going in almost daily. All entries are searchable by author and subject. One word of caution--don't try to print it all out--you will run out of ink if you do.
Other valuable resources on our site are Art Studios Worldwide--rental locations suitable for artists or writers. There are castles, monasteries, retreats, and picturesque and economical B&B's--for the most part they have been discovered and used by myself or recommended by trusted colleagues and members of this community.
We also include an Art Show Calendar and a Workshop Calendar. These are inexpensive ways of attracting clients and keeping the art world informed of what you're doing.
Also, a page called Bob's Best is dedicated to DVDs, online tutorials and digital downloads by artists and educators that I personally recommend. People send us material every day and most of it is checked out. The ones featured on this page have been studied and determined by us to be the best currently offered.
Our Premium Listings offer mini Web pages that get very high rankings on search engines. We charge $100 per year for this service and we do all the set up and maintenance. A Premium Listing on the Painter's Keys site will make thousands of people aware of you and will definitely drive more visitors to your own website, if you have one. Sarah Garland is the one who looks after this. She's at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to drop her a note to find out about it.
In comparing ourselves with other art websites, we are far ahead of the pack in attracting the repeat attention of search engines. This is because there are so many artists' names, constantly new material, and so much non-commercial and valuable content on our site. Frequently there are over ten thousand unique visitors per day to The Painter's Keys website.
In the letters and responses, the only time we put a directive to someone's commercial site is when it's thought to be of direct value to other artists.
At no time will we give or sell your name or address to anyone for any purpose. If you forward the twice-weekly letter or any part of our site to a friend or fellow artist, they will not be automatically subscribed. They have to do that voluntarily at http://www.painterskeys.com/subscribe/.
Your individually personalized letter is sent out by Constant Contact, a trustworthy company we have chosen for safe and prompt delivery. When you sign up for the letter, Constant Contact will ask you to confirm that you actually want the letter. It's important to confirm your subscription, otherwise you won't get it. It's called an "opt in" system where all our subscribers need to be real people. This also protects you from unwanted spam.
If you don't receive your letter regularly, please let us know. Emails can sometimes "bounce back" for various reasons by Internet Service Providers (ISP's) and subscriptions get chopped. If you change your email address, please don't forget to let us know--click on UpdateProfile/EmailAddress at the bottom of the twice-weekly letter or drop me a note at email@example.com. Also, when you subscribe and fail to get the letter right away, you need to check the spam folder on your computer.
The Painter's Keys website is managed by a terrific team. Yuri Akuney is our webmaster. Sam Kaczur sets up and illustrates the Featured Comments on the Clickbacks and also posts on Facebook. My personal studio assistant Sarah Garland handles the Premium Links and the shipping of books. Shawn Jackson manages daily postings on the Resource of Art Quotations. Ellen Poole manages our fledgling aggregator called The Painter's Post. Judi Birnberg is our long-suffering copy editor.
About myself: I'm a full-time professional painter--always have been. Our Painter's Keys terminal is in my studio near Vancouver, B.C. Canada. When I travel I send my letters back to the studio from my laptop. I've written books on art and from time to time I give seminars and workshops. The letter and the website are subsidized by my painting. The twice-weekly letters are written by myself and are not contracted out to others. The whole thing is a joy. I'm deeply honoured to have so many friends with the same concerns. If you're interested, you can see examples of my current work by going to www.robertgenn.com.
That's about it. If you have any questions, suggestions, or further input, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you.