A Sunday Sketch

This past Sunday I did something I haven’t done in a long time; I took out a sketch pad and a gel pen and doodled for a few hours. It was refreshing, especially in the sense that I got to use my left hand for a change. Yes, I’m a southpaw, except for one major activity – the computer-design aspect of my art.

Here’s the sketch and what came of it:

Abstract figurative art by Lawrence Grodecki

The original is about 9 x 7 inches; while the images shown are 10 x 8 inches. One nice surprise is that in the scanning the texture of the paper really came through. I don’t have a high quality scanner, and the paper and pens are used are far from the best quality. The result is the bluish tinge that brings out that “watercolor paper” texture in the background. You can see that clearly at actual size.

One thing that I’d almost forgotten is how much faster it is to draw on paper, at least for me. The paper sketch took maybe three hours at the most . . . I call it doodling because when I do this kind of thing I’m trying not to think as I draw.

I wanted to start in the middle, and the first stroke of ink is the smallest curve almost in the middle of the picture. After that I just “worked around” that first curve. I have no idea what the second or the last curves were! At this stage of a project I’ve become pretty good at catching myself in time . . . the over-thinking . . . and that’s when I’ll stop for a short while. It doesn’t take long to know when to begin again.

By contrast, the on-screen rendition on the right took much longer to complete. The version I’m showing above actually took about 12 hours, more or less . . . probably more. This process also entails more thinking, but to be honest, one can easily get lost in the doing of it, much as in the paper sketch . . . the same but different! :-)

More of the “but different”

Finally, while I like the sketches, typically I can’t wait to add some color . . . and so the adventure continues.

I’m showing you the result in the final art, below. When it was done I stepped back, looking at differently than I do while engaged in the creation of it. That’s a nice phase of most of my art . . . almost like seeing it as an outsider would? ha ha

Anyways, that’s when I noticed the cloudy kind of aspect. That immediately reminded me of Joni Mitchell’s iconic art for the album “So Far”, partly because of a similarity in style, but also because of her rendition of “Both Sides Now”. Since taking up my art full-time, I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying the clouds. And as much as I love the song, I’m always puzzled by the notion of “both sides” . . . I can’t even begin to imagine how many sides there are to clouds . . . certainly too many to count, and more than two.

Still, in the end – in coming up with a title for this work of art, I’ve decided on, “More Sides Now”. I think I’ve said enough now . . . time to hear what you think . . . care to comment?

"More Sides Now" by Lawrence Grodecki

“More Sides Now” by Lawrence Grodecki


New digital art by Lawrence Grodecki

The Artist Released

If you’ve seen my last 2 blog posts then you will recognize this picture. It’s in its finished form now . . . I’ve done some fine-tuning of the figurative aspect, changed the dimensions slightly, and added some texture, not to mention the colors and other light concerns . . . so basically a day and a bit of tweaking!

I’m really pleased how it turned out . . . the curves, the blending of images . . . the layers . . . the playful depiction of this artist’s mind! While I’ve never seriously considered doing a self-portrait, now I see no need to do so . . . this is close enough for jazz!

It’s available in a multitude of sizes and finishes, as an open edition print . . . now you can check it out here, if you wish.


Artist at Work

I’m quite enjoying keeping my posts short lately. Maybe that’s because this project is turning out to be much bigger than I thought it’d be . . . I’m reviewing pretty much all my art in search of the truly abstract . . . in other words, no figurative elements.

In the process I’m stopping occasionally, drawn to a certain picture – often long-forgotten – and I’ll begin playing with it, though in a way it is my work as well. The presence of the end of a felt marker at the top center is what led me to this so-very-appropriate title, “Artist at Work”. No matter how you view this piece, flipped, sideways, and so on, you will always see the artist at work.

So here it is . . . “Artist at Work”:

Abstract figurative art by Lawrence Grodecki

Artist at Work

A piece of ice.

I figured, it was ice!

This first image is not what I consider a work of art, though it does seem intriguing. Perhaps that’s because it’s actually a piece of ice that I picked from my front yard? I scanned it immediately, and while this image has been mildly modified, this is essentially that chunk of ice.

I often refer to an image like this as my blank canvas, as it really is the starting point of a few of my creations, including this most recent one, as shown here:

abstract figurative art by Lawrence Grodecki

Even though it’s not quite complete, I would have liked to consider this as part of an entry in an upcoming abstract art competition. However, I’d say there are far too many figurative aspects, especially when you look at the details . . . you really do need a laptop-size monitor to really see that aspect.

I’m finding it difficult to find many of my creations that are purely abstract. Thankfully, for years now I describe my style as being abstract-figurative, and if you’ve seen a dozen or more of my pieces, I’m sure you would agree.

I have a few weeks to submit my entry. It’s a juried competition and given the past winners, it would be quite an honor to be among the top ten. I’m planning on posting 3 – 5 of my selections in a blog post before entering. I’ll also be adding a little “what’s your favorite?” kind of survey . . . one or two simple questions . . . that should be fun!

Finally, I’m adding this favorite music video. It goes so well with the process of this painting. :-)

new art by Lawrence Grodecki

New, Untitled Art

As promised, I said I’d post an update on the project I described in my most recent post – When Projects Kaleid. The feature image here is that update. While I do consider this to now be a finished piece, I’m still playing with different renditions. This could be one of those pictures where a handful of renditions are more than acceptable, yet notably different.

For now the piece remains untitled, and no, “Collie Eyed” is not under serious consideration!

PS – Here is an afternoon addition to this original post. I wanted to show what I mean by a “notably different” rendition . . . very acceptable, I think.



When Projects Kaleid!

With the software that I use, there is a way for me to convert an image into a kaleidoscope. It’s something I’ve largely ignored, except for some occasional “playing”. However, I’m using it more now as I create more coloring pages.

The feature image at the top of this post is one of my coloring page projects. Upon completing it this stage of it, I took a close look at the details, especially the dark patches around the perimeter. Just for fun I selected one of them and created a separate image from it.

You can see that image here, taken from one of the corners . . .

Current work in progress.

Current version – still in progress.

By enlarging it one inevitably runs into an issue of pixelation, which is why it has that grainy look to it. Sometimes it’s well enough to leave that alone, most times I do a lot to smooth out the roughness, remove the pixelation. In the process something quite different emerges, often much of it is totally unexpected! This can be very time-consuming but also very enjoyable, creatively.

You can see how I’m progressing in the picture below. This is still a work-in-progress, about 10-12 hours worth so far, but I do like how this is shaping up . . .

close up from a kaleidoscope by Lawrence Grodecki

Close-up from the corner of a kaleidoscope – pixelated.

By late tonight the drawing or etching or whatever you wish to call it will be complete. However, after that I’ll be doing a lot with the colors and lightening up some of the dark regions. This is a hard picture to leave alone, even though I don’t consider it one of my favorite pieces . . . at least not yet. One thing I do like doing at this stage is implanting images within images, and adding new imagery in the lighter curves – in this case mostly faint silhouettes.

Comments and sharing is always most welcome . . . any thoughts?

But I Was Good3_Proof2

But I Was Good

The picture at the top of this post is very fresh. It’s tentatively called, “But I was Good” and that’s simply because in viewing it upon completion I kept drifting to thoughts of Dante’s Inferno . . . but perhaps you need to view the picture closer to appreciate the humor . . . I strongly recommend the size of a laptop screen for viewing.

Enough on the painting, at least for now . . . it’s Friday afternoon, so I’m thinking it’s time for a few favorite music videos . . . something on the funky side? A dear fan recently complimented me that way, about some of my more recent pieces, “you’ve become more vibrant, funky!”

The truth is that I’ve always seen myself as funky! Not true . . . still don’t know what the word means . . . like that “hippie” word. One thing for sure though, as I put a lot of my art time in coloring page projects, my regular art is certainly affected. And I tend to bounce back and forth . . . an hour or 3 on a coloring page, back to a new abstract, back to the page design and so on.

Now it’s time for those videos. Once in awhile I’ll pick something that sort of goes nicely with some of my art. So the link just below each picture takes you to a music video. However, the last link isn’t musical at all, though it does redefine “moving pictures”!

Cheering Section_Final

A little more time…


Pale enough?

In The Loop2_Proof

The game that never gets old…


Always playing beneath the surface…

Now I must go study some art history, starting with hanging out at the mall!