Branching Out_May23_BW2b_color

Branching Out

Privately (known only to a few), I’ve been working on something different in terms of my art.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for several years . . . how to get people more involved in my art more than through the viewing of it. So today I’m doing just that, offering a free black and white download of one of my earlier pieces, appropriately called “Branching Out”.

The download is available to anyone who is currently enjoying the very popular activity of adult coloring. Did you know this kind of coloring book is topping many of Amazon’s best selling lists?

It’s a wonderful new trend and I’m glad to be able to offer a small contribution. The picture at the top of this post is a colored version of the black and white rendition. Both are included in the pdf file, available for free here:

Branching Out – A Coloring Page for Grownups

Soon I’ll be adding more – a full set of 10 images – but they will be for sale. I originally thought of doing that in hard copy, on art-quality card stock, but the shipping costs really get in the way. So to start with, the pdf route makes more sense, though I may offer both options down the road.

So enjoy the coloring, and even if you don’t take part in this activity, please pass the word on by sharing this page with your friends. Thank you for your continued or new support.

 

 

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Changes in the Making

I’ve been pretty inactive online in the past few weeks, at least in terms of posting stuff. That’s mostly because of a lot of research I’ve been doing, all art-related.

If you’ve been following my blog much, you’ve probably noticed how it has become more and more of a commercial site for my art. It’s really hit home recently how much better that my can be shown online – but that means designing a new site – that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.

By better, I don’t mean the pictures will show better, though that may be one aspect. The site will have a much more contemporary look. It will be easier to use, and more features, such as the ability to offer electronic creations, either free or not quite free.

If all goes well, it won’t take me long to be up and running . . . I’m shooting for Sunday to be live. I’ll still keep this blog going for at least a few months, though I’ll probably take out the e-commerce aspects. Eventually all my blogging will be part of the new and independent site (i.e. not on WordPress.com).

That’s about it for now, though I’m pretty excited about the way my new logo is coming along. A good logo is not an easy thing to design, and I’m still working on this one, though I’m hoping the essence remains intact . . . still need to make it simpler, but it should work out just fine . . . any comments?

new log for a new site

My new logo

Original art by Lawrence Grodecki

Enduring Tears

Not long ago NASA made their big announcement about Pluto. I was happy for all the people who worked so hard on the project, but “happy with a small h”.

You see, I don’t need NASA to “prove” there is life elsewhere in the universe. I’ve come to understand that long ago through a couple of simple truths. One is that the universe is undeniably infinite and the other is that Earth is alive. From there the realization comes easily . . . life exists everywhere around us – everywhere –  though so far away.

The Teacher and the Teaching

In the past ten years I’ve learned a lot and seen a lot, including this remarkable cloud that kind of parked itself between me and the sun. I stopped my bike ride to just gaze up and watch it. The cloud was in the shape of Africa, and it was a better rendition than I could possibly draw. After maybe 5 minutes of being still it slowly drifted away, but oddly intact – it’s shape didn’t change as the light of the sun came out over the top.

I mention Africa because many years ago I read about a pre-Christian sub-Saharan culture that had an intimate understanding that Earth is alive, that it had a birth, and that eventually it will die. That’s pretty profound when you think about, especially in the context of understanding this without all the bells and whistles. Nature can be a very precious teacher . . . so I wonder about what that relationship was, way back then, that led to such wonderful wisdom? It must have been very special.

Those Darn Words

Now here’s the stickler about those things we call words. I must have seen at least half a dozen news clips about the NASA news and each time the excitement was about “discovering another planet that supports life”. They could have said, “it may be another planet that’s alive”, but they didn’t. And it is very much a cultural thing.

Today it took a music artist from the states to remind of all this – Azealia Banks – her thing is hip hop. I watched her do a highly charged radio interview some of it really got to me. First there was her anger and frustration at the current and ongoing racial degradation. Then there was her genuine and tearful dismay at what she sees as a further loss of memory of all that was the Africa of long ago.

You may think all this is weird, coming from a white guy from a Polish background, living in Canada. Maybe so, can’t figure that out myself, but I’ve long ago given up on asking myself “why?” about pretty much everything. Finally, it’s not really weird at all if you strip away all those labels . . . they really do seem dangerous.

We have so much to do before celebrating Pluto too much, given how we can make the fruit here on Earth so very bitter. NASA can’t help in that endeavor.

Digital art by Lawrence Grodecki

Humming At Pie

This unfinished piece is one of my earliest on-screen creations. It’s about 10 years old now. I’m showing it here and now for a couple of reasons.

First, lately I’ve been asked more questions about my art in terms of meaning and such. Frankly it is much easier for me to talk about that in the bigger picture context rather than in any one piece. However, that can be a bit like opening Pandora’s Box, even though it really revolves around a simple truth, “There are no lines in nature.”

By the way, this painting up top is simply called “Hmmm”.

It is meant to be a playful statement – more like a question – and it is about nature. It’s also about science. The scientific method came about as a different way of observing nature. As it can all get quite complicated, it can also be easily forgotten that the essence of the activity is really that simple. Perhaps the thing that disturbs me the most is that it can easily be forgotten that it is only one way to observe nature. The only thing more disturbing is when someone claims that it is the ultimate or superior or “only true way” to make these observations.

On the more positive, playful side of things, “Hmmm” represents a lot of fun I had in wondering how nature observes us, doing all our science, as represented by the pie chart. Thanks for stopping by.

In The Loop

I’ve always liked the look of Mobius curves. However, I’ve never understood the math that tries to explain it . . . those infinite loops. They do remind me of what the poets, romantics and dreamers talk about . . . eternal love or endless love. Are those terms one and the same? The question becomes somewhat perplexing if you equate eternal with divine.

I’m a stickler with the definition of words, and that annoys the hell out of some people when I stop and ask about what this or that one means. I don’t do it to be a jerk or a smart-ass. I do it because if the discussion is worth having then maybe we need to slow down and look what is behind the words we throw out so quickly.

Language is very odd that way – in many ways – quite fascinating really. Any given word needs another word or series of words to have meaning . . . another form of infinite looping? It seems so.

Maybe that’s why I like visual art so much, no need for words to understand? I hope this painting comes across that way. It’s called, “In the Loop” and it is one of those that can be viewed in at least two orientations, and in this case, since it was created with both in mind, shown either way is fine by me.

Original art by Lawrence Grodecki

“In The Loop”

Mixed Media abstract figurative art by Lawrence Grodecki

In the Loop

The Painting That Named Itself

One of the nicest things about blogging is that you can learn little things about yourself as you go along.

I learned something yesterday, while writing Cast From The Past. It’s a post about a new painting and my sometime-struggles with the naming of such. Even as I was typing that post, a little voice was whispering, and I hope that voice knows that I was listening.

The message was very simple, “You struggle with the names because the painting is not finished.”

So through the rest of day and until about 2:00 in the morning I finished it, and as I sauntered off to bed the name came to me and I smiled . . . yes, it’s perfect, “Light Touches”.

I really like so much about yesterday’s rendition and I will be saving it, perhaps even make it available some day. However, it is this final version that I really love, though I won’t say why. Let’s just say the clue is in the title . . . think of the word touches as a verb, and that’s all I will say on the matter.

As Einstein used to say, sooner or a later a person has to think for themselves. I’m amazed at how this seems to make so many people nervous. Please don’t be one of them. Art can be a precious gift that way . . . an invitation to think for yourself, so please embrace it.

Now here is “Light Touches”.

New original art by Lawrence Grodecki

“Light Touches”

Cast From The Past

Several times I’ve mentioned how my paintings evolve. I can let them rest for years, seemingly stuck for completion.

That may imply a level of frustration, but it’s not meant that way at all. It’s much more like a self-test of patience, even confidence in a way. Before I let a picture rest for awhile I ask myself a few questions, though I have to think back hard, as it is largely intuitive as well. Essentially it comes down to whether to go on or not. When you know you may have spent 100 hours or more on painting, spread over several years, that’s not such an easy decision.

It’s true that an artist can develop a relationship with the art, with any given piece, so in a way it’s like saying goodbye for awhile, knowing (hoping?) that we will meet again . . . but when? Perhaps this too is part of the adventure of art? It seems that way.

Anyway, here is another painting that has back to town for a surprise visit! She is what I would call an enigma, as she never told me her name in the first place, and she still refuses to do so.

I’ve taken it upon myself to find her a name – let’s call it a title – and it’s not been so easy this time – so many options!

I try to be careful with naming my art, as I know a few words can affect how the viewer thinks about the painting. I also tend to get a little “punnish” in the process . . . painfully so?

Finally, I’ve added a few ideas, with no one particular favorite, and they are just under the picture, as shown here. Comments are welcome, but no suggestions please . . . this naming is something I must simply do myself . Simply . . . ha!

Abstract figurative art

My enigmatic friend without a name.

As for possible names, I’ll probably choose something entirely different in the end:

  1. Forgetting to Brush
  2. The Focus Group
  3. Primal Therapy
  4. Gasping For Hair
  5. Final Apprehensions
  6. Passed the Past

That’s the short list . . . I just hope it doesn’t take years to make up my mind!