close up of Angel's Calling

Treats and Treatments

I remember my first art lesson quite well. It was in the first grade, in a tiny school where one room combined the first three grades. The desks were wooden and each had a hole in it to hold little jars of ink. I figured that out for myself, by the ink blots on each desk, and I so much wanted some ink to play with. Sadly though, technological development had rendered the wells dry . . . damn ballpoints.

That first lesson was pretty simple. The teacher put up a large colored poster of a heart, so there was lots of red. It was a colored illustration that showed the inside of a heart, as if someone had sliced it open, like you would see in a textbook back in 1962. The lesson was pretty simple, “Here’s some paper, now draw a picture of the heart”.

Despite the lack of ink, me and my pencil had fun with it, and it was really easy . . . after all, the only thing one had to do was copy it. The fun part was seeing the cave inside this heart, and those slides that brought the blood in from several directions. It looked exactly like the snow forts we built in the winter, an igloo-type mini-mountain, but one with many hole-entrances around the dome. You had to enter through one of those holes and then slide down the winding tunnel . . . like a simple labyrinth. Once inside, there were a few hidden chambers, so it we could even play a little hide-and-seek. After building this masterpiece, the drawing of a heart was second nature.

Back To The Future, in a Roundabout Way

There were several more such art lessons over the next few years – I’m sure there was at least three or four. What I really remember well was the self-instruction around grade 5, in the visits to the library on hot summer afternoons. That’s where I met Dali and Da Vinci. Given the small size of the library there should be no surprise that they rested there, side by side.

Those dreamy curves of Dali drew me in big-time, and the colors as well. I don’t think I read more than a few words, probably no more than the titles of the pictures. There was no analysis, no need to figure anything out. It was simply a peaceful, solitary interlude from the heat . . . a break after baseball, and now that I think of it, more importantly, it was an escape from the horrible chore of pulling weeds out of the garden.

Now skip ahead 40 years or so and another art lesson took place. Instead of a teacher though, the call to draw a heart (or whatever) came from some software on a CD. I had no choice but to explore it and the teacher came in the form a manual – I wonder if I will ever read the remaining 75% of it? I still had no ink to get messy with, so I did the best I could on the screen. Eventually, with my ink-jet printer, I finally did find a way to get at least a little mucked up from time to time . . . damned cartridges!

It didn’t take long to have my dreamy Dali fun with all of it, and now when I look at where the art has taken me, in a word it’s all “good”.

That’s about it for now. I wrote this post as kind of an announcement of a major change to this blog. That is in the form of adding a number of my creations on here – see “Limited Edition Prints” in the top menu for more information. Better yet, click and enjoy the tour . . . and please don’t worry about too much analysis . . . best to just listen to the heart.

Finally, here’s a treat for you, something a dear online friend shared with me. It’s what happens when Dali combines motion with emotion, and it too simply feels “good”!

I Need To Cover My Ass

I have some bad news today.

Apparently someone in the government noticed one of pictures on Twitter. It’s the one I call, “Not My Best Side”.

I have been ordered to remove the picture from the internet unless I agree to cover the bare bum on the bottom. At first I thought this must be a joke. I mean where else can I cover a bare bum, but on the bottom?

So I asked why. They said they can appreciate how Dali wanted to paint a picture with a woman’s breasts on her back. However, they told me I am not Dali, nor Spanish, and in Canada – in this day and age – this is simply not permitted. I pleaded to be given the option to simply cover the breasts, but the official said the cloth in the picture would not do that sufficiently, but it appears that there is enough material to cover aforementioned buttocks.

Needless to say, I will be taking this up with the Secretary of the External Affairs. In the meantime, in the spirit of civil disobedience, I am continuing to show “Not My Best Side”, as shown below. Today, more than ever, I could use your support by way of your comments on the form at the bottom.

Art by Lawrence Grodecki

Not My Best Side

By the way, now that it’s well in to April, a belated Happy April Fool’s Day!

Art – No Longer Drumming

There is a saying in one of my favorite films. It is an incomplete sentence, yet when you understand it, it is more than complete:

“when the drum is no longer a drum, and drumming is no longer drumming”

For most of my art days I’ve had to defend how I do what I do – using the technology that I do – is it art? Thankfully, in more recent days the art has begun to speak for itself. Real art rises above the means of creating it . . . the drum is no longer a drum. It also rises above the artist . . . drumming is no longer drumming.

That’s the true joy of it, the “selfless part”. It is the best oasis along the journey, and it can be visited in so many ways, not just art. How so? By letting ago I suppose . . . those rare moments where all awareness of self disappears. But it seems to be more than that. Perhaps it is allowing something of the heart in, letting one’s self be a vessel for something beautiful.

In that zone there are no labels . . . no negativity. Things are seen & felt for what they are, not what they called or how that are categorized.

Whatever that is, it is truly amazing how it can persevere and be communicated to another viewer, like music for the listener. I know that’s happened with some of my fans, ones who have the art in their homes. They feel it, we both know it, and if I can, I try not to talk about it too much.

As in drumming, sometimes words may only get in the way.

I’m going to leave it at that for now. Ironically I had prepared a 1,000 word post to touch on the same topic but somehow missed the point. I promised a few people that my next post (this post) would touch on one my latest paintings. It’s called “Pencils No. 9 and 13b”.

Thankfully there really are only a few words necessary. It was a playful project, and its parent image includes a pair of legs . . . but that section kind of looked like pencil crayons. I chuckled, sharpened my on-screen pencil and played a little. It’s all play you know, the selfless aspect. So if you must see them as legs, then see them as legs. If you want to see them as pencils, then see them as pencils.

All I can say is that in creation there is never a dull moment! So here it is, and clicking the image will take you to it’s page on my art site.

Pencils No. 9 and 13b - now on Fine Art America

Pencils No. 9 and 13b – now on Fine Art America

Have a wonderful day, and if you would like to see the Zen drummers that are the basis of that movie, you can watch them in concert as well, or perhaps I should say that you can watch them disappear? I can, and I hope you do.

Why Do I Paint?

Why do I paint? What an odd question to be confronted with, and even odder that this is the first time in 10 years that it has been asked.

This is the query I must answer as part of the application. It’s for one of the better, yet lesser known art sites. I’ve selected it as a venue for my limited edition pieces, partly because of the potential to reach a much larger audience than the one enjoyed by this blog.

It’s a selective site, not like Fine Art America, which is open to everyone. It would be a great place to make my art available because it is genuinely intent on building an online community for art lovers . . . it seems to have a following of people who like to collect art, and not just look at it.

That’s an important distinction. You see, while I’m grateful for having many encouraging fans who love my art, I know that very few will actually ever buy any of it. After all, for most people art is a luxury item and for so many, spending $500 or more on a limited edition print seems to be a big decision, perhaps out their reach. I fully understand and appreciate that.

Finding Love in All the Right Places

Back to that original question, I could answer it in a book, but of course I won’t. As with most of life’s questions, the challenge is to find the simplest answer. This one finally came to me last night, while trying to get to sleep.

I love the process of creating, and occasionally something selfless happens there, and it is magical, and it has something to do with love. In these moments it’s like being inside the picture, where occasionally there is the giving and receiving of a precious hug. It is warm, it’s real, it’s peaceful and it’s the only thing that makes much sense. On top of that, there is the striving – the dream – to somehow send that hug along in the finished piece.

I see that happening more all the time, based on some of the comments and discussions I’ve had with people who love my art, regardless of whether they buy it.

That keeps me going, and as I’ve said many times, as in life, art is essentially about love.

A Friendly Embrace

Finally, here is a preview of my latest completed piece. It touches on the issue of skin color. In a harmonious way, it is also a playful optical illusion. I almost called it “What Color Am I?” but instead the name is, “Color Is Your Friend”. I’m saving it for a later release.

New art by Lawrence Grodecki

Neutral Colors – Available soon in a limited edition.

 

Into The Light

Early in my art adventure, while learning how to do it on screen, I tried a lot of new things. At least they were new to me. Here’s a little story about one 10-year old journey.

One in particular involved scanning sheets of aluminum. First I’d use felt pens to draw on a sheet of foil – more like doodle – and then see how it looked on screen. The bright colors and shine from the foil effect pulled me right in. At the same time I’d learn by doing, such as stretching, twisting, warping my hand-drawn doodles. Here’s how one of those old projects came out eventually, to the point where it was something worth keeping . . . “Into The Light”:

Into The Light - Art by Lawrence Grodecki

Into The Light – 2005

Since this original I have over 70 renditions of this picture, but have never come close to finishing it. I still have all those renditions, and here is the most recent. However, you can’t really see the progress, as it really is in the tiny details. Here’s how the 72nd version looks, as of today:

Current version of a painting

Into The Light – Current Rendition

You probably don’t see much of a difference. However, as I mentioned, there are differences in the details. Here’s a close up comparison to give you a better idea . . . it’s of a small section near the top and center of the bigger picture:

Before and After of Into the Light

 

In this original close-up you can see what appears to be a reddish-brown image of a lady’s head. As often happens with my art, a small part of one picture begets another, so it is very much like a family, and so far this particular parent has at least three children . . . grandchildren remain a dream!

Again, show and tell is the better teacher, so here’s an example of what I did to that young lady’s head . . . this picture was born around 2011:

"Who Knows?" - daughter of "Into The Light"

“Who Knows?” – daughter of “Into The Light”

I named this picture “Who Knows?” based on the truth that I was seven renditions in before I realized that she doesn’t have a nose . . . I was really tempted to leave it at that!

Luckily I poked my nose into her nose, and I’m sure glad I did! With a little magical light surgery, her transformation is now complete. You can see her just below, in my newest release – “Some Once”.

Clicking the image will take you to the details about “Some Once” – now available in a limited edition.

Some Once - art by Lawrence Grodecki

Some Once – Limited Edition of 30 Canvas prints

Finally, as much as I would have loved to get more into some of the mystery about light, it’s simply too much for the post. Besides, I think it also has something to do with Love, so where would one begin and then end? I think you get the picture?

 

 

Fifty Floating Apples

Last summer I wrote a blog post about floating apples – Going Bananas Over Nuts and Apples. It’s a special topic for me, as is gravity and that kind of mystery.

That mystery is imagination itself, where ideas live, play? For me it is without a doubt the most real aspect of the universe, intact beyond anything physical, and fluid more than static. I think some of that is there when the apple floats – when the tree can no longer hold it, and yet just before gravity begins the descent. And I wonder, “Do butterflies “know” something of this, but in a very different, magical way?”

Please keep that in mind, as it may the best way I can describe some of the thinking behind this new painting. It’s called “Floating An Apple” and it was done somewhat with Magritte’s “Son of Man” in mind. Perhaps this is my tribute to his message in that picture, show here:

image of the Son of Man painting

The Son of Man by Rene Magritte

On the painting’s Wikipedia page [1], Magritte is quoting as saying this about his painting:

At least it hides the face partly well, so you have the apparent face, the apple, hiding the visible but hidden, the face of the person. It’s something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.[1]

Here is the painting, “Floating An Apple” by Lawrence Grodecki.  The link takes you to ArtFinder, where It is now available in a limited edition of 50 prints.

New art by Lawrence Grodecki

“Floating An Apple” – Limited Edition of 50 Prints on fine art paper.