Robert Genn painting at Lake of the Woods, in Ontario, Canada

Canadian painter Robert Genn, a landscape painter known for his distinctive style and his popular twice-weekly e-newsletter, was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, shocking and saddening his host of fans. He was recently interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the nine-minute radio interview is posted on Genn’s website.

A group of painters working on location in 2012 in the Bugaboo Mountains of British Columbia, with Robert Genn

In the piece, Genn expresses thanks for his “wonderful family” and demonstrates some acceptance of his condition. “I’ve been a painter all my life and have a sort of an open-minded attitude toward it, you might say a philosophical attitude,” he tells the CBC. “I had an unbelievable life and got away with a lot of stuff, you might say.”

“Picnic Point to Philip Glass Lake of the Woods,” by Robert Genn, acrylic, 30 x 34 in.

Genn also discusses the truckload of paintings he recently burned. “It’s the ultimate cleaning up of things you don’t want out in the world,” explains the artist. “I’d just rather have them gone, gone, gone.” Genn did pull a few paintings out of the stack right before they went into a bonfire. “A couple of them we brought back to the studio and I worked on them and they are … not bad,” he says with a laugh.

The 77-year-old artist told the CBC interviewer he expects to live three to six months.


  1. yes, it was a great idea — but the version of the invitation sent to me made me think that my painting had been selected for “the invitations”! It was not accompanied by any explanation at all, to let me know that ‘my’ invitation was one of many. I’ll know better next year — and anyway, the Denver plein air event is always a wonderful time and I’ll be back next summer!

  2. Corrections: This was the Denver Plein Air Arts Fest with paintings from the Golden Triangle area of Denver and not a Plein Air Artists Colorado (PAAC) show. While many PAAC artists did participate, the show was open to anyone, not just PAAC members. The confusion may have arisen because I posted my invitation on the PAAC Facebook page;-) which is where Steve saw the invitation & then contacted me. Information about the show can be found at: rather than the website listed above in the article.


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