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The '37 Club'

August 20, 2013

Dear Artist,

Carol Borrett and Jane Appleby in the garden at Hollyhock. Hollyhock is a secluded, laid-back retreat on Cortes Island, BC where a world of seekers come for peace, understanding and learning.
Carol Borrett and Jane Appleby in the garden at Hollyhock. Hollyhock is a secluded, laid-back retreat on Cortes Island, BC where a world of seekers come for peace, understanding and learning.
As occasional workshop givers, my daughter Sara and I find there are a few artists we can't help. Some of these folks may be accomplished professionals with developed careers, but most are in some way simply "blocked."

There's a wide range of reasons for blockage. One of the most frequent is the buildup of bad habits in basic techniques learned in lesser workshops or from hit-and-miss self-teaching. Another source of blockage is what we call "Educosis," that is, too much theoretical knowledge with very little actual easel-time. These folks often hate what they do and abandon early. Still others have issues of self-esteem, self-loathing, imposter syndrome and guilt. The list goes on.

Trying to work around these blockages is difficult. If you praise the work of someone with self-esteem issues, for example, they're not liable to believe you, and dealing psychologically with these folks is more than humble workshop-givers can muster. That's why we go for practical ploys that might bypass the blockages.

One of our favourite devices is an old hourglass--for some reason ours times out at 37 minutes. Way out of some people's comfort zone, the instrument produces some surprisingly high-quality exercises. At our recent workshop at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, B.C., participant Jane Appleby found herself making a remarkable 10 paintings a day, each one often better than the previous. We called it "The Strange Case of Jane Appleby." She also demonstrated the ability to do a painting in 37 strokes, winning her full membership in the "37 Club." "When you work like this," says Jane, "You don't have the time to spoil things by messing around with your strokes." We've put two of Jane's pumpkins at the top of the current clickback.

Speed, it seems, short-circuits the right brain to the painter's hand. By not passing through the theoretical shoulds, coulds, and woulds of the left brain, the results are more likely to be "artistic."

For homework, we suggest our workshoppers, no matter what their personal styles, hang out with the "37 Club" every morning for a month and do a quickie 8" x 10" or 11" x 14". After all, some folks do yoga, or meditate, or they worship at the altar of Facebook. We can pretty well guarantee that the first few exercises will be disappointing, but many blockages will eventually fall away like blue jeans on a nudist beach. The big payoff is to be happier in your work. Artists of the world arise, you have nothing to lose but your jeans.

Best regards,

Robert

PS: "Leave your strokes alone." (Ted Smuskiewicz)

Esoterica: We recommend cutting up a pile of small primed panels. Once a day, take a panel off the deck, place it on your easel and squeeze out. Take a minute to "center yourself," and think ahead to what you want to do. Set your timer (a kitchen timer will do) to 37 minutes, breathe deeply and go for it. If you're not pleasantly surprised after a month, please consider chartered accountancy.





Increments of spontaneity
by Connie L. Solberg, Bergen, Norway


I have been painting all my life and have a studio in an old fish trading building in Bergen, Norway. Untitled<br>original painting by Connie L. Solberg Untitled
original painting
There are 16 other artists in the building. There is a great difference in how we approach our everyday tasks. The ones with the most "formal" backgrounds seem to have the lowest output. They theorize, talk about how hard "art" is (anyone can make a painting, but REAL ART just is above most mortals), and, in general, waste a lot of time looking at other artist's work; comparing and fretting.

I came to the conclusion years ago that if I didn't distance myself from this hoard of nay-sayers, I would be just as paralyzed as they were. I decided that good work just had to be done every day, and I had to just dive in soon after the small rituals I have the first half hour in the studio. After all, it's like, quality will most likely follow quantity and doing is going to bring progress, no matter how much academic ballast you have.

The most prolific painters of the past didn't fret or analyze every stroke. I find that some of my best work happens when I am in the zone, and let things flow in short increments of spontaneity.



There are 2 comments for Increments of spontaneity by Connie L. Solberg

From: Phil Chadwick -- Aug 23, 2013

Exactly ... and very well said Connie! I think quality does follow quantity. Good for you.

From: Kathleen -- Aug 23, 2013

Delicious painting!


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Consistency in naive work
by Alan Soffer, Wallingford, PA, USA


People have rightfully suggested that there are skills involved in making art, yet this is the only #14 Rosemadder<br>encaustic painting by Alan Soffer #14 Rosemadder
encaustic painting
discipline where unskilled work can be passable. In fact, sometimes it can be outstanding. We have a whole group of people, like Grandma Moses, who have done some great work. We have children who sometimes put together a magnificent piece. What we rarely see is someone without skills who can put together a significant body of work. Consistency allows us to judge the work of an artist versus the accidental quality piece of an amateur, like your 9 year old daughter or cousin. Of course, when that child starts to hit the mark consistently, we know there is innate talent, which needs to be nurtured.



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Just now prepared to give it a try
by David Skrypnyk, Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada


I have been busy with industry and with the last 3 1/2 years my recently departed wife who struggled Clear Cut<br>oil painting by David Skrypnyk Clear Cut
oil painting
with cancer. Just thinking about art was out of the question. I made up for losses with a lambda technique or two via computer manipulation which provided fast stimulation. Somehow the world today is not recognizing so much this approach to art. So like photography it will take a hundred years for the recognition it needs now. Therefore, I believe, since the industrial stimulus of my life persists even more so now Anne has passed away, that I shall try the 37-stroke method.



There are 3 comments for Just now prepared to give it a try by David Skrypnyk

From: Anonymous -- Aug 23, 2013

Beautiful composition. Sorry for your loss.

From: Kathleen -- Aug 23, 2013

Ditto!

From: Edwardo setien -- Aug 25, 2013

very vibrant colors, I love the red cross in the middle
Unique and masterly done


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Switch tools for greater range
by Cheryl Moore, Toronto, ON, Canada


Here is another method that might be considered for the "37 Club." Use different tools. This Cat<br>ink painting by Cheryl Moore Cat
ink painting
5 minute painting/sketch was done using a feather and the dropper from the acrylic ink bottle. It's almost like drawing with your other hand. One tends to loosen up and expectations are suspended thus allowing for freer, more spontaneous results.



There is 1 comment for Switch tools for greater range by Cheryl Moore

From: Kendra Rose -- Aug 25, 2013

Lovely! Thank you for sharing your feathery strokes.


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Ten sketches to get unstuck
by Susan Holland, Bellevue, WA, USA


Part of art school was always a session of very fast drawings, with a model changing every few seconds Untitled<br>original painting by Susan Holland Untitled
original painting
or every few minutes. So that approach has always felt "right" for me, especially if I had not been into my paints for a period of time, and was feeling "rusty."

Last year I was stuck.. life happens.. and wanted to roll again with the painting. Since I was snagged on a portrait, I gave myself an exercise. --Ten 8 x 10 cheap canvases. Ten sketches from all sorts of sources--I grabbed them from TV, newsprint, sports stories, sculptures, whatever, and made cartoons of the expressions on each face, choosing particularly winsome or funny ones.

I realized I must always treat all ten canvases similarly at a given sitting. So all were grounded in one sitting, all were textured and under-painted at a single setting. I enjoyed freely playing with drips and impasto and strange colors and applications, but with each little canvas receiving a similar treatment. This way I had a line up (it seemed to me like a police lineup), and then I dug in. The real point is that the exercise yielded all the good stuff one needs to get unstuck! It worked! I am off and running.



There is 1 comment for Ten sketches to get unstuck by Susan Holland

From: Michael McDevitt -- Aug 22, 2013

I took a week long life drawing session directed by Ned Jacob at the Scottsdale Artist School 20 years ago. He had the models do 10 second, 30 second, and finally 60 second poses in the morning and then longer (15 minute) poses in the afternoons. Marvelous approach! I do the same now in the life drawing sessions I teach. It is intimidating to newbies, but freeing as they mature.


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Stompin' on the left brain
by Phil Chadwick, Southampton, ON, Canada


This morning I wanted to demonstrate to the participants of the Southampton Art Group that some success Hidden Gem<br>original painting by Phil Chadwick Hidden Gem
original painting
can be had by painting fast with confidence and not letting the analytical left side of your brain butt in and explain to you that you are doing everything wrong. "Robert Genn calls it the 37 Club," I told them. "Finish the painting in 37 minutes or 37 strokes." I chose the 37 minutes although I think it was more like 29 which is also a prime number. The brush and oils were flying. The left side of my brain is saying at the moment, "What were you thinking Phil? You didn't cover all of the canvas! Are you stupid or just lazy? Shape up and do it better next time...!" The right side of the brain, which is always right, is patiently waiting to tell the left side to keep its opinion to itself.



There is 1 comment for Stompin' on the left brain by Phil Chadwick

From: Anonymous -- Aug 23, 2013

Thanks for using this! Sometimes after 36 minutes a soul-sucking critic comes up and says the scene doesn't look anything like that. My right brain always smiles and says "you should have been here 35 minutes ago, it looked just like that". We get to do this again in Killarney in October :>) Life is good!


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Nuggets of knowledge
by Kathy Clarke, Salisbury, VT, USA


I started 15 minute paintings--oil on paper--about 2 weeks ago. It is a great trick to blast away all procrastinations. Who does not have 15 minutes? Probably comes down to 37 minutes because I set up a still life, mix paints, then set the timer. And when it rings, I will often continue a bit. My added assignment is to be mindful during the 15 minutes, rather than flying off the planet in excitement. I stay, feet on the ground, wiping brushes, mixing colors, observing value, etc. The stack of small paintings is piling up, as is vital experience and nuggets of knowledge.



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Beginning warm-ups in classes
by Jacqueline Crawley-Ewing, Etobicoke, ON, Canada


I have had the same issues with my students in both my abstract and my realism classes. Some days I No.2 The Prow<br>acrylic painting by Jacqueline Crawley-Ewing No.2 The Prow
acrylic painting
think I should take a psych course. One solution I came up with was insisting on small assignments at the beginning of the classes after I found I had students not knowing how to begin. Very simple assignments that become the starting point for gradual complexity. They are like gesture paintings - from my warm-up gesture start to drawing classes. I also have added multiples, encouraging them to move to another piece when they have no ideas for one. For the whole class, I often tell them that not every effort will produce a masterpiece and that is OK as they are learning and taking risks. Sadly the best learning experiences are through mistakes.



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Just do it
by Susan Robertson, Canada


I saw you painting at Painters' Lodge on Vancouver Island this past spring. What struck me most about All that glitters<br>original sculpture by Susan Robertson All that glitters
original sculpture
you (aside from your really lovely paintings) was that you sat on the dock, all day long and got down to the business of painting. Literally for hours, you sat, looked and painted. (I was impressed that you could do this and chat with people and generously share insights at the same time.) I get the feeling that you are very prolific and that you paint a lot. I think that is why you are so darn good. I know people get blocked, or lose their inspiration or feel discouraged. I feel that way myself as a very amateur illustrated journal keeper. But what strikes me about you and your painting is that you just get on with it. Too often, I think we are so busy searching for inspiration that we forget about the discipline and hard work of painting. Obviously there is sometimes a muse involved but I really think that the more miles you put under your brush, the more likely it is that the muse will show up. Like musicians, you have to work on your chops and keep practicing. The real magic comes when you don't have to be thinking about the mechanics all the time. Those mechanics become second nature and things start to flow.

Perhaps we think by immersing ourselves in a creative environment, that some of the artistry will rub off on us. We go to art weekends or seminars or retreats looking for insights. We think if we read enough books, we will understand the mysteries of technique. If we buy enough new paint colours, brushes or fancy notebooks, we will finally find the elusive tools to make our paintings better. To a certain extent these things are helpful. But nothing will get past the simplest of points. Be prolific. Paint a lot. And now I must follow my own advice and get painting.

Possibly?



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Sharon Rusch Shaver workshops Held in Paris, France.   <a href='http://clicks.robertgenn.com/workshops/workshop.php'>The Workshop Calendar</a> provides up-to-date selected workshops and seminars arranged in chronological order. Please take a look <a href='http://clicks.robertgenn.com/workshops/workshop.php'>here</a>.
Sharon Rusch Shaver workshops
Held in Paris, France.

The Workshop Calendar provides up-to-date selected workshops and seminars arranged in chronological order. Please take a look here.



World of Art Featured artist Bonnie Holmes, CA, USA



You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013.

#52 Moo<br>original painting<br>by Susie Cipolla by Susan Robertson #52 Moo
original painting
by Susie Cipolla
That includes Susie Cipolla of Whistler, BC, Canada who wrote, "Last year I did over 100 8x10's and 9x12's in 150 days and 16 minutes apiece. Many of them were pretty awful but there were some gems. The last 20 were a cut above the first 20. Here is number 52."


If you think a friend or fellow artist may find value in this material please feel free to forward it. This does not mean that they will automatically be subscribed to the Twice-Weekly Letter. They have to do it voluntarily and can find out about it by reading our Welcome Letter.



Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for The '37 Club' ...

From: Rick Rotante -- Aug 19, 2013

You have managed to confound me with this clickback. Are you saying that by your 37 minute "timer" Jane is making one stroke per minute? I am confused!

From: Mike Barr -- Aug 20, 2013

Rick - it's either a painting done in 37 strokes or 37 minutes, which ever comes first. I think the 37 minutes would be easier. ;-)

From: Dwight -- Aug 20, 2013

Once a student of mine said he could do a better painting than mine in 20 strokes and tried. I replied that I could do better than his with ten. This finally got silly enough to get to five strokes. We were painting fast and the real value of this became obvious. 37 is a good number. But when you've mastered that; try, let's say 20 minutes or strokes. Either one. But counting strokes makes you think more about each one than a time limit does.

From: John Ferrie -- Aug 20, 2013

Dear Robert,
Like we do with children these days, I think we over diagnose artists too. ADD, OCD, Educosis...LMNOP, the list goes on. There can be a host of reasons for this. Blocked because they are tired of the gallery system, sad to see another artists meteoric fame, met someone or just easily distracted by something bright and shiny. It is these pathetic excuses and many more, that give being an artist a bad name. It really all boils down to Laziness. Any artist I admire and is a success says the same thing "They work hard at it". So you can try and jump start their creativity with exercises in futility, painting pieces with 37 stokes, try Bungie jumping or any other form of thrill seeking. But the best thing to do is get into your paints. That also means, turn off the TV, put down the lap top, for the love of GOD stop posting profound statements on Phazebuk and WORK!!

From: stephan chmilnitzky -- Aug 20, 2013

As a person who occasionally kicks over the milk can I like to add a whole lot of nothing...in reference to this right brain, left brain belief. Scientist working on the mapping of the brain could only with certainty find where speech could be found. It seems most functions are random or can be wired where ever and nonspecific. They found that if a part becomes damaged a rewiring can take place and it does not exclude the side opposite to where the damage took place. As a member of the spiritual scientist we believe our mind exist outside the body. We have a creative mind and analytical mind which is connected to our spiritual self. When we are open and free from old beliefs, opinions and ways
we then can allow new creative ideas to flow. It is important to have a desire to know what's more one can do or not do (over work is often the case.) All art is a expression or blueprint of the artist. It conveys their mental and emotional state and attitude. On a subtle level we can read the imprint of the artist which may determine the potential to purchase the piece. I find it difficult to view works by artist who have a low self esteem and I am surprised if they have some notoriety. I need to keep reminding myself that it takes all kinds and maybe we are all perfect and dam if we are not!

From: Louise Ganus -- Aug 20, 2013

Can't wait to try the 37 min. exercise. Loved the 37 stroke version of Ms. Appleby. Thanks for all your letters. I always find something to think about in my personal journey.

From: Sandy Sandy -- Aug 20, 2013

I agree with you, John Ferrie! 100%!!

From: Hal Mezvinsky -- Aug 20, 2013

37 minutes is a rush, but sounds feasible. 37 strokes scares the bejesus outa me! I wish it had never been brought up. I'm going to have to try it now.

From: Tatjana -- Aug 20, 2013

Good one John! Kick in the behind works 9 times out of 10!

From: Carmen Beecher -- Aug 20, 2013

I tried the 37 minutes the last time you mentioned it. What a great exercise! 37 strokes is much harder. I failed miserably at that one.

You outdid yourself with today's letter. Brilliant yet hilarious.

From: Julie Wiegand -- Aug 20, 2013

Just read your " 37 club " letter and I'm in! 37 has been my lucky number since 1967 when I was 11 yrs old and the movie Cool Hand Luke came out ----37 was the number on Paul Newman's prison uniform ----need I say more?! ---since then this number continues to pop up in my life in intersting ways ---always good-----

I took a workshop from Kim English years ago in Taos ------using the speed tool quite affectively ----quickness removes layers-----and brings out the essence------The workshop was figurative and three minute studies brought amazing results -----

From: Edna V. Hildebrandt -- Aug 20, 2013

It is the first time that I come across The "37 Club". I have not attended many workshops nor any courses from a school of the arts. I understand some of the principles painters are talking about and the styles of the great masters, the color schemes, perspectives and color values. I think sometimes we have moments when we don't seem to achieve the desired effects we hope to so I stop at this time and put it aside, sometimes I start another one. Most of my ideas are a product of my imagination and from memories of my early life that inspire me. I do have other interests so I do them in between. I feel confident with myself and feel content with myself. I keep striving to improve.

From: Barbara Legacy -- Aug 20, 2013

The lesson in this letter is exceptional. I will start it today.

From: Celeste McCall -- Aug 20, 2013

Non-entertained artists are creative artists. Compulsion to make art, which all great artists seem to have, returns when the eye is no longer hypnotized by moving images of digitized screens. Thus, less blockages. Having a separate studio with items out and ready to paint also helps. So does putting away piles of resource material which can be the biggest time waster of all. The entertained eye often has lazy paintbrushes.

From: Nan -- Aug 20, 2013

The "itomato" app is like a kitchen timer and it has 3 buttons. I just set one for 37 minutes.

From: Penny Stanway -- Aug 20, 2013

Your letter chimed in with my experience several years ago. My artwork was hampered by 'shoulds' and 'oughts' until I started painting with an artist/teacher who enabled me to let them go.

I explain how I did it in my book, 'Free Your Inner Artist' (http://www.stobartdavies.com/PBSCCatalog.asp?ItmID=11469450 ) .

The result is that this summer I had my first solo art exhibition and the gallery said it was 'a huge success'!

From: Mary Jean Mailloux -- Aug 20, 2013

After you've done the exercise, does that mean that all paintings thereafter must be done in short order? Or does one extrapolate and adjust ones normal time to reflect a more spontaneous approach? When does one make the change? I find that my stuff is overworked, but the quick stuff never seems finished or what I really intended to do.

From: Richard Henley -- Aug 20, 2013

The Pomodoro is the ideal timer

From: Ig Carretto -- Aug 20, 2013

When you think of all the time-fillers we do--crosswords, horoscopes, or as you say Facebook and Tweeting, this exercise of yours makes sense. At least it gets the creative blood flowing and gives hope of increased quality for the future. Milan

From: Doug Mays -- Aug 21, 2013

Less is More........more or less.

From: Jane Appleby -- Aug 22, 2013

I agree with John about working hard at your vocation. There is no better antidote.
If you want to be serious about your work you have to know yourself and if labeling helps then so be it.

Working in 37 strokes, or other such methods of painting allows you to discover how you work by breaking your method down. At first this may get you more stuck untill you stick with it long enough to learn something from it - after all it makes you actually paint. Isn't that what we are suppose to be doing?

Sometimes we are our worst enemies in critiquing our own work and so leaving the painting 10% unfinished is better than 1% finished as Bob puts it and this method helps you do that. In my opinion fresh is best.

But to be fair, joining the 37 Club will not necessarily bring you stardom but it may help you know you and your brush better.

I have commented on how I worked through my pumkins in the last clickback if interested. I continue to be a believer in exersices recommended by the experts, and Bob certainly knows his stuff. Thanks for helping us "Stuckies".

From: Rick Rotante -- Aug 22, 2013

Okay I'll jump from the pan into the fire. One thing not being said here is that this approach is to help those who are blocked or work too long on stuff. But for goodness sake, Please don't think for one moment that this is the way to make paintings. This is an exercise everyone. Not a way to create art for exhibition, sale or the galleries. if it takes you 37 minutes to create it, it will take less than that for people to forget it and move on to the good stuff. I've seen the results posted here and personally if this passes for art, I've been working too hard, studied too long and spend a fortune on lessons --for nothing. I know I should soften my approach here, but please I don't believe Robert was saying this is the way to create great art. It's an exercise, just that. It will probably help when you return to your "normal" way of working

From: Russ Hogger -- Aug 22, 2013

Painting doesn't always have to be an Olympic event. How about seeing how many tubes of paint you squeeze out in 60 seconds, or how many canvases can you balance on your head while riding a bicycle. Then there's the grueling, how many pencils can you sharpen in an hour. There are many more events, I have only mentioned just a few here. Have fun.

From: Jacqueline -- Aug 23, 2013

Cheryl, love that cat! I am a dog person, but I appreciate catitude and the way you painted it!

From: Mary Jean Mailloux -- Aug 23, 2013

I must admit that I have sold nearly all of my fast sketchy type paintings. One of the first ones I did sold the day it went on exhibition. It was a painting of a golfer looking disappointed. I guess I should just trust to that. On my website there is a painting of apples in an orchard. It also sold immediately in my joint show. It was done probably in an hour. When I tried something more elaborate it didn't work. I concede. Every time I try to extrapolate it doesn't work to make something more sophisticated it doesn't work.

From: Frank Nicholas -- Aug 23, 2013

Years ago I saw a short film on selling artwork. It was a riot to watch, and somewhat believable. This was in the early 60s, and a bw production. A guy had a large sheet of plywood on the ground. He dragged out all of his painting supplies including cans and tubes. He began painting like a mad man, even pouring paint directly on the huge board. Using a broom he smeared the paint around and then brushed and squeezed paint out here and there. He worked furiously, but then stopped here and there to stroke his chin and think. Finally he seemed satisfied and admired his work. Next we see him take a small circular saw and cut the large sheet into small pieces, then stood them all along the base of a wall. Next we see the man looking out over a large field and skyward. A small plane comes into view, circles the field, and lands. The artist is excited as a man climbs from the plane and walks toward him. The men shake hands and we see them walking toward the display of paintings. He walks back and forth, pausing thoughtfully here and there. Finally he points at one painting and a discussion takes place. The customer takes a large bundle of money from his coat and counts out some and gives it to the artist. The customer is excited, picks up his painting and re-enters his plane. He flies away. The artist is very excited and jumps up and down, counting his money. He stuffs it into his pocket and walks toward his line of remaining paintings. He scoops all of the remaining paintings and carries them to a swamp, where he throws all of them into the weeds and slew. Once again the man pulls out his wad of cash and excitedly jumps up and down, then walks off camera. It was a delightful film without sound as I recall. It causes me to reflect on all the paintings we artists do that rarely sell, as well as the few that pay the bills.

From: Jane Appleby -- Aug 23, 2013

Anyone want to buy my pumpkin painting? I won a prize at the 37 Club Olympics without knowing it was a contest and now I have inquiries to sell it? Can an exercise be Art? - Why not? If it turns out to be a good painting (who says it can't have come from an exercise?) What a painting actually is... is sometimes determined by the passer-byer (buyer). :)
Good art is what moves people - the film has some truth to it. I have sold a few paintings this way - right off the easel. On Cypress Mountain for instance and the car did a U- Turn to get it. Making an art career out of this type of painting is a different story. What pays the bills is not what this is about. The level of professionalism of an artist varies and for now I do not mind being a professional "unstuck" painter - there are all types. May you continue to your beautiful work remembering it's as individual as the artist. I've been painting up a storm since and am happy for that.
Thank you all for these discussions too.

From: Donna -- Aug 23, 2013

37 minutes of pure uninterrupted focus
clear purpose

Profound

From: Doreen Shann -- Aug 23, 2013

I totally agree with you Rick.

From: Zoey -- Aug 24, 2013

Robert, thank you for the many wonderful, thoughtful letters you've written. This one, and the insightful, inspiring comments it's generated, is the absolute best and a forever keeper.

From: Elaine -- Aug 24, 2013

Hey Thanks so much for the 37min advice, just started yesterday and loved my first painting. The best advice for me right now!!! Cheers

From: Claudia Treagus -- Aug 26, 2013

My questions about the 37 club are:

* Does the 37 include a pre-sketch?
* What sort of palette does a 37-er work from?
* Is this a really small canvas or a really big brush- how to handle background?

I have a feeling that you are going to say that there are no rules, it's just a random parameter but I would still be interested as to how you begin.

From: Pam Reeves -- Aug 26, 2013

This exercise was invented for me!!! You did this for me and all my hangups and what ifs and in 5 days the difference is profound. I can not wait to get to the easel, am having so much fun with this and it is only 37 minutes and it is over and there is something wonderful about that and non threatening. I am creating a little routine, do it before we go out, using colours I only dream about and it is on many levels working so well I had to share this!!

From: www.paula-tohline-calhoun.artistwebsites.com -- Sep 01, 2013

I am so glad I read this article! It applies to all of the arts - not just painting, and as I am a photographer - or at least fancy myself one (someone should - might as well be me!), I still found a great deal of wisdom in it. With a few "tweaks" concerning the hour-glass, the technique can work even for such self-nay-sayers as myself. I do believe I will be giving your ideas a whirl over the next few weeks (perhaps 37?). What a dream come true to visit BC, but distance and finances have taught me to be content with the beauty and art-worthy scenes that are all around me here in the Smokey Mountains of western North Carolina. The only good thing I can say for my work is that the photos I thought good when I began have dropped quite low in my regard, and more recent work has been more pleasing to me. It is an attribute that I hope continues! Thanks again for the inspiring article!
Best wishes,
<a target=_blank href="http://paula-tohline-calhoun.artistwebsites.com/" title="Paula Tohline Calhoun website">Paula Tohline Calhoun</a>

From: Julie Smith -- Sep 10, 2013

Your 37 stroke idea reminds me of the Chinese and Japanese way of painting, to make as few strokes as possible to communicate your message in art. This is admirable and definitely requires less time. On the other hand, Van Gogh’s paintings of tiny brush strokes are so mesmerizing, I seen his “Bedroom at Arles” on loan to the Detroit museum and could hardly tear away myself from the painting. Van Gogh was good, his paintings were unusual and good, but really it was his personality that shines through, this is what made him great!




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Last modified: Oct, 21, 2014