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Birth Notice – by Robert Genn


 Birth Notice - by Robert Genn

Some recent items in my inbox: "I've been busy this past month and not doing much painting." "My work had to wait." "Sometimes I'll sneak in an hour or two." "These days I can't paint." "I have wrung myself dry."

Sometimes my inbox is so full of this sort of stuff I fear people will unite, rent buses and march around our circular driveway with placards reading, "Can't paint," "Won't paint," and "Don't paint."

It's been my experience that telling people what you're going to do can steal the thunder of doing it. It stands to reason that telling people what you're not doing is even more deadly.

As an antidote, how's about those birth notices you see in the classifieds: "Aidan James Wyatt, seven pounds eight ounces, 2.15 am, March 28, 2010, to Scott and Marion Wyatt of Plattsville." Just the facts. It's a notice of accomplishment with no mention of the problematical conception or the current jaundice. No invitation for criticism either. Little Aidan has merely been announced and welcomed into our world.

Consider something similar for the birthing of your art: "Morning, Wiggins' farm, 11" x 14", March 28, 2010, oil on canvas, by Bill Buckley, Plattsville." Just the facts. Accomplishment. Twitter with words to spare. Or post it on Facebook for the eyes of the non-busy. Illustratable, too, if you feel like it. Thousands of "daily painters" know all about this and publish online while the paint is still wet. For those of you who are less exhibitionistic, archive it on your computer, print it out for your own album or journal, or quietly send it off to a friend.
The buddy system is as good as any. When two close friends mutually announce their accomplishments, progress speeds up and negative placards get dropped. As kids, we leave our stuff lying about for parents and grandparents to find and register. An approving nod may be all that's needed. For folks who start early, accomplishment becomes natural. Late starters need to consciously build the habit of publishing at birth rather than agonizing the labour.

With the buddy system you can also confide personal baggage and perceived impedimenta, if any. These confidences are best made orally, in person. That's what friends are for. A good friend for free is greater than two psychiatrists paid.

Birth notices need to be in writing--evidence of effort and the demonstrated ability to complete. May you print lots of them. Send 'em to me if you want.
Best regards,


PS: "I don't know what's come over me lately. I can't seem to get going. What's wrong with me?" (Subscriber)


Robert Genn has given artazine.org permission to add his postings to our website.  To view more of his insight, please visit his website: http://www.painterspost.com

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