Dearly Departing

Over the past few months I’ve begun to enter the next phase of my journey.  For more than a decade I’ve been living with my elderly mother.  For much of that time I did would I could to help her adapt to her progressive dementia.  In early July it was finally time for to move to a care home.

She is happier there.  With more people around and more to do, she keeps herself active and is almost always smiling.  After spending so much time with her I do not see her demented state like most do . . . I see someone who thinks differently.  While she cannot take care of herself like “normal” people, there are times where she is fully aware of life around her.  At those times she clearly taught by example . . . our ability to give and receive love . . . so precious and so often with a smile or a laugh or two.

So now I am much more independent, and remarkably the question that comes up most often these days is, “So now Lawrence, what do you want to do?”

I have no intention of fully addressing that issue here, except to say that without a doubt I want to more with my art.  Because of my intense care giving necessities I have let a lot of art activities slide, especially on the business side of things, and to a lesser degree creatively too.

One of my major summer activities has been trying to catch up in that regard, and I’m finally getting there.  Rather than type a bunch of words on the matter, please check out the menu items on the top of this page and you will get a good feel for what I think of as “a fresh start”.

Though I am far from a young man anymore, it really does feel like I’m just starting again, and in many ways I’m grateful for that.  In that spirit, today I am launching another new creation.  It’s called “Dearly Departing” and it is shown at the top of this post.  It depicts our ability to drift into a mysterious emotional place . . . somewhat child-like, yet rather sensual . . . happy and full of love . . . temporarily escaping from life’s hardships, departing at least for awhile.



Two New Creations

After being on hiatus for the past several months, it’s time to get back to blogging on a more regular basis.

Given that I’m in the midst of some major life changing circumstances, my creative endeavors and the related social media activities have been pretty much in dormancy. So for the next few months my posts will likely be brief and simply showcasing some new art or works in progress, such as the piece up top, as well as this is one, both still untitled.

Digital Art by Lawrence Grodecki



New Original Art

For months now I’ve been immersed in what seems to be an annual summer surge of creativity.

I will eventually offer these originals online, and that will be in open and limited editions.  For now, here is a sampling of some of my more recent works, done in this creative surge.

art by Lawrence Grodecki

Deeply Involved

Digital Art by Lawrence Grodecki

She Loves Me Knot

Contemporary Art by Lawrence Grodecki

That Inner Strength

New digital art by Lawrence Grodecki

“Artist at Work” by Lawrence Grodecki

The featured image at the top is called “Observing Tess”. I will continue to show my art more on social media, and that’s almost always on Twitter these days.

Finally, I am taking a break from blogging, largely because of some personal issues that I’m sure I’ll explain the next time I post a blog . . . have fun!



The Question Remains

The other day someone described my last blog post as being “mental masturbation”. At first this irked me, but just a bit. Soon I smiled, then realizing the aptness of its title, “A Touchy Subject“!

The post touches on what seems to be a paradox, which is that the universe, being infinite, must be shapeless in its entirety.

But then the other night, something else occurred to me . . . something about what seems to be the one truly universal symbol (the perfect circle). It is a symbol that can be interpreted as “an idea”, and therefore ideas exists in their own dimension, and universally. Countless imaginary circles can be gracefully layered on top of each other. Each one can be minute beyond measure. But then there is the enormity too, and there in lies the eternal paradox?

An imaginary circle can be infinitely large, so one may argue that it “encompasses” an infinite universe. Yet this completely contradicts the theory of shapeless universe . . . both claims appear to be logical.

And so perhaps the imaginary aspect of the universe perpetually tries to encircle the entire universe, even if it knows it is pursuing the impossible dream? Eternal persistence . . . and in the process, life happens here, there and everywhere? It would seem so.

Anyways, as for me, I now feel like I’ve gotten a better appreciation for the concept of infinite looping, but I prefer the term “eternal braid”. I like the latter term because it reminds me of my faith in eternal love, and yet I loathe the #pray that pops up with the day’s rotten news . . . it just seems wrong . . . kind of empty?

I’ve been very fortunate to experience so much magic and plenty of love in my life. I’ve also seen and been a part of so much that is just plain rotten. In the process of creating art, (regardless of what you may think of how it looks), I’ve found this solitude of both magic and love. While I’ve been well trained in various aspects of the scientific method, I can’t help but sense that the universe is well beyond any of that . . . the unquantifiable . . . and it seems to be more of an art form than anything else, and a loving one at that.

As for “coming down to Earth”, what does all this mean? I wonder that myself, and that question has been around for a very long time now. It’s a disturbing question when you really think about it:

A Touchy Subject

Since my last post I’ve been thinking more about this issue of whether the universe can see itself in the moment . . . kind of like a snapshot. Ever since first entertaining the notion I’ve had this doubt about it, which has led to some rather nice drifting of the imagination. And as a bonus, if I think about it when I go to bed, inevitably I’ll soon drift into the most peaceful sleep.

One of my first thoughts about this “picture” was that an infinite universe – in its totality – has no shape. Perhaps another paradox? Perhaps not. After all, when we think of pictures we think of seeing with the eyes . . . one of our five “standard” methods of perceiving the world. But to “see” in the moment is to sense in a way that is different than the physical movement of light into the eye . . . is it not seeing beyond the light?

So what we see is not the present moment, but the very recent past. This doesn’t mean the universe can’t sense itself, it only means it must see itself in a different way . . . “all-knowing, with a different way of knowing”.

As usual, this is another one of those “Pandora’s Box” kind of posts, so I’m going to leave it at that. The only thing I’ll say is that now when I look at a photograph, and the photographer claims that it is capturing the moment, I can’t help but think that this is not quite true. What is in that picture is not a moment, but rather countless pieces of a very brief time . . . after all, no picture comes from “one blob of light”!

Finally, I hope this is my last post on this subject, at least for awhile. In case you are wondering, I do spend a lot more time on losing myself in art than on writing about these issues, or even thinking about them. Lately much of it isn’t what I’d call my best work, but still okay and always enjoyable to create.

This piece below seems to fit this post, and I consider it to be one of my recent best. I call it “Apple of My Eyes”.

New abstract art by Lawrence Grodecki

“Apple of My Eyes” by Lawrence Grodecki

PS – In terms of the movie clip up top, “Contact” is one of my favorite movies, especially this scene. But when it comes to timeless travels, I have to say, “Who needs the machine?”

New abstract art by Lawrence Grodecki

The Energizer

In my second last post, Reflections on Light, I made a few comments on the question, “Can an infinite universe see itself?”

The comments were brief, though abstract and intriguing, at least to anyone fascinated by the subject. I mentioned the issue of time – the past, present and future. While writing those words, something in the back of my mind was telling me there’s more to this . . . more of a “Hmm” moment than an “Aha!” one.

I have to admit though, there is certainly a “Wow” factor to imagining the entire universe “seeing itself” in the moment. For me it’s simply something fun thing to think/ meditate about. On the thinking side, I begin with the assumption that the universe can perceive every moment everywhere . . . that seems to go hand-in-hand with the belief that truth exists.

Anyway, there I was, dwelling on the aspect of a view of the universe in the moment . . . as a still picture. Since then it’s occurred to me that in this universal present moment, one can “go no further”, time wise and else wise. How very odd, and wonderful!

Added to that, I got to thinking about the physical universe and the claim that it is all in motion. Any perception of that motion happens in the past – knowing or sensing that something happens only occurs after it happens.

Put those last two paragraphs together and it seems like in a way there is only the past, but this “occurring past” also blends with the present . . . in other words, in the biggest picture there really is “no future”.

Let There Be Energy!

Recently I’ve been pleasantly surprised to come across a few art experts who happen to be quite taken with the relationship between art and physics, or perhaps it is metaphysics. One of them was talking about energy and how the term originated with Socrates, who used it to describe something about work, but in the context of creativity.

But back to that absence of future, and the present watching the past – the all-seeing eye as an audience – it does make one re-think Shakespeare’s famous line, “All the world’s a stage”. The big question remains about the degree of audience participation . . . at times it certainly does seem to be there, and even in some of those still pictures? I’ll definitely be taking another look at Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” again. I may also have to go back and re-discover what Einstein meant when he wrote about something “spooky” out there.

In the meantime, I’m tentatively calling this picture, “Who’s Your Partner?” The top picture has been resting for quite awhile – it’s called, “Dipping”!

Abstract art by Lawrence Grodecki

Who’s Your Partner?


Waving in the Mirror

In my last post, “Reflections on Light”, I mentioned that soon I’d be doing a sort of experiment with light boxes . . . trying different things with a raised mirror in a black box that I can fit over my scanner, and then try different scanning effects. I’m most intrigued by what happens when the light from the scanner goes up to the mirror and then reflects back to the scanner.

I didn’t think it would happen so soon, but I began my trial and error adventure yesterday. As luck or fate would have it, two days ago I found just the right beginner box! In what has become a monthly tradition, a couple of days ago I visited one of my favorite thrift shops. I do that when I drop my mother off for her haircut. While the shop is on the other side of the city, it’s only a few minutes from her hairdresser’s place. That gives me a solid, just-right half hour to browse. I often pick a little surprise, a treat, such as an art book or a movie. Yesterday I found a black wooden box, about 10 inches square (25 cm) on the open end, and just under 5 inches deep (12 cm). The bottom has a mirror in it, so when I rest the open end on my scanner . . . voila, my own little light box!

So $5 and a day later I began to play. I had to add a little duct tape to two ends to get a snug fit, enough to block out outside light during the scanning. Then I scanned a few objects, such as three twigs from my twig-loaded excuse of a yard. After trying a couple of other things, I felt a little disappointed . . . frankly the results have been mixed at best, but I’ve learned long ago what can become of an “ugly duckling” when it comes to this aspect of what I do. So basically right now I’m very optimistic!

Next I went back to my original curiosity, “What if I just scan the light from the scanner . . . the saved image would simply be of the scanning light, reflected back from the mirror.”

The results are intriguing. Here is that original scan, slightly cleaned up because of a few unavoidable specks of dust . . . by the way, I use a very basic 3-in-1 printer for my scanning . . . 300 dots per inch. It’s about as basic as one can get.

I’m much more used to extremely high quality scans, ones taken with a $500,000 Scitex system. That was back in my days of working with a wonderful graphic arts studio . . . my gardening catalog days. There’s no way Marvin and his crew would ever let me try this kind of stuff on that equipment . . . I have no idea whether the mirror will screw up the printer, but it’s not a big issue given the upside, creatively.

Anyways, here is a look at that image – the scanned light – it’s been enhanced to 500 dpi, though you only see it on here at 72 dpi.

Art project by Lawrence Grodecki

The first thing that struck me is the amount of color in there, in soft pastel shades. More on that in a bit . . . the other thing I’ve noticed is that the banding (vertical lines) are not exactly straight. I haven’t thought through the reason for this banding, but that can wait.

Instead, I just had to play with these colors, bring them out more, try a few effects. It started off well, though I had in mind that this would be only the start of a project that would months in the making. Most of my art takes anywhere from 30 to well over 100 hours, often spread over a period of 5 to 10 years. The difference is really in the amount of down-by-hand drawing and painting. In this project there is very little of that . . . these images below were created by using various reshaping and coloring tools . . . all really very basic, and time-intensive.

Now I”m going to show you a small series of intermediate renditions – for now I have 23 overall, but I’ve picked 6 for this post – here they are chronologically:

Art Project by Lawrence Grodecki

Art Project by Lawrence Grodecki

Art Project by Lawrence Grodecki

Art Project by Lawrence Grodecki

Art Project by Lawrence Grodecki

Art Project by Lawrence Grodecki

Now this next image is what I consider a finished work or art, and a prized one at that, at least for me. I don’t say that out of arrogance, but out of a real belief that if one doesn’t see one’s own work as special or even precious, than how can that person expect others to see it that way? For me it’s a nice motto to live by.

So here it is, untitled for now. It’s odd how it came out in such relevance to that other post, Reflections on Light. There is what appears to be a window, but also a frame, which is very much like the part of the photograph at the bottom of that previous post. And the story in this picture below is very much a visual display of my musings in that other post. Keep in mind, all I intended to do is see how light reflects from a mirror to a scanner . . . and then doing some art without intent:

Art Project by Lawrence Grodecki

Finally, it’s been a real pleasure doing a presentation-like post. Most of my art doesn’t lend itself to this kind of story-telling. As I mentioned before, most of my art is spread over several years and so many more hours, so documenting all of it like this is more than a little too much.

And I almost forgot, the feature image at the top, the bright abstract piece . . . that too is from this same first image of a scan of light.