Category Archives: Inspiration

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:

Surreal art by Lawrence Grodecki

Reflections on Light

It’s been a good week. Lots of new art done and in progress, and some unusual ideas to boot, and those began by thinking once again about light.

I attribute that goodness to a wonderful three hours spent in a father-daughter conversation with both of my girls over the weekend . . . they inspire me more than they know, and in this case they really helped me get through a nasty bout of the blues, one I tried to hide yet I’m sure they sensed anyway.

Far from just doing some art, there has been some reminiscing, about many things over the years. That includes a vague recollection of the first time a teacher tried to explain imaginary points. He drew little circles on the blackboard. These represented the points – though they are imaginary, it was good to know that they are circles! Then he explained what a line is – the shortest distance between points that don’t really exist.

That part was super-easy to understand, but to this day I remember being more interested in those points. Then again, it seems I’ve always had a thing for details . . . and for playful curiosity, which brings me back to this matter of light.

A few nights ago I had one of those thinking dreams. It was about playing with my scanner. When I began my art immersion 11 years ago, scanning had much to do with that. It was lots of fun, especially break the rule of flatness and trying different things in 3D by leaving the lid up. Looking back, I’m guessing it was much like earlier artists experimenting with light boxes, though in my case I use the term experimenting very loosely.

I have a yearning to try something new now. It involves mirrors and a box at the very least. This will allow me to see what happens when I attempt to reflect the light from the scanner back on to itself. That’s the simple version of it.

While dreaming about this project I thought about the flow of light and how this would all play out, kind of putting my mind in the box for a change. However, in no time at all my thoughts went out of the box, drifting towards light in the more universal sense.

Then last night I had a different dream, again about light, but this time in the context of pictures. One of those weird questions came up, “Can an infinite universe see itself?”

Intuitively it would seem that a much higher form of intelligence must have such a capability, though I’m not at all sure of it. In no small part, my apprehension comes from a very abstract paradox, and that has to do with time. It’s also based on the premise that such a high intelligence would have to be able to have such a view in the moment – completely unobstructed by the constraints of time – the past and the future. In other words, this view would have to be a “still picture”.

What complicates matters is that everything is in motion. Therefore that in-the-moment look of the universe is always changing, so how can there be a “still picture”? Then it occurred to me that such a vision might very well be completely hallucinatory . . . a magic ride in the most supreme state . . . euphoria coexisting with sublime calmness . . . a higher intelligence indeed!

I love this kind of paradox. It gives me comfort, knowing that there is so much we can never figure out – much like love I suppose? And I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the universe loves the mystery too, and perhaps it likes to playfully send goofs like me on the occasional wild goose chase?

But one can only play the game in short spurts, at least this one. Thankfully I still prefer to do little part by putting bits of the big picture into my tiny ones, each one its own mysterious adventure!

Finally, now and then I’ve mentioned being witness to a little magic. The picture below is perhaps the only “physical” thing I can share with you in that regard . . . the rest are simply memories that get diluted in the attempt to describe them. I took this picture about eleven years ago, using a very basic digital camera. As part of my art-play, I wanted to use a picture of the woody siding from the townhouse I was renting at the time. It was to be used a background layer of sorts. The upper window in this picture was my bedroom. The picture is taken outside my front door, near the parking lot; There is no streetlight or light source anywhere near this entrance.

The picture was taken at night, as you can see. I had no sense of this light when I took the picture. It was only discovered a day or two later, when I uploaded the image into my computer. When I first saw it all I could think was “Wow”. Not longer after I began thinking that cameras do not capture light . . . instead, perhaps it is placed? And sometimes wonderfully so!

our Home (Victoria Woods)

 

 

Wonder Together - new art by Lawrence Grodecki - available on SaatchiArt

A Belly Full of It

Art blogging isn’t coming easily these days. It’s not a matter of writer’s block, if anything it’s the opposite. However, the things I ponder upon are far from what most people care to think about . . . esoteric things like pure mathematics, a conundrum in the measurement of equilateral triangles, and how that relates to circles . . . concepts like that.

You may find it odd, but for me these topics are ultimately inseparable from the issue of a whole other dimension to life. The invisible . . . the imaginary, yet so very real . . . capable of magic? In my experience – and not just with art –  I have to answer “Yes.” And I know I’m not alone.

Carl Jung described an artist as being one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic life of mankind. His views on the subconscious and how that can relate to art is eerily familiar. He makes it sound so bleak though. Perhaps that is because he seemed so serious about it all . . . his collective thoughts on the human psyche. While it does involve a lot of solitude, for me it has been an amazing journey, full of surprises, too many to describe. And at times it does feel timeless, another pet subject of mine . . . so much to think about . . . and maybe it’s due to my recent signing on with SaatchiArt.com. The folks there – the curators – strongly encourage providing lots of information upfront. That includes education, a list of exhibitions, an artist statement, as well as a thorough description of each creation on one’s portfolio.

Given that I’m what is termed “self-taught” and with no exhibitions under my belt, that part was quite easy to do. However, the rest is not so easy. Upon looking over my portfolio, what I see that is common in my art ties into the issues above. I can and do tie it together with one simple statement, though that is probably too abstract for most people’s tastes . . . it’s like holding that key to Pandora’s Box, and wanting to know more, and so it goes. That statement is, “There are no lines in nature.”

If there is anything special in any of my art, I truly believe it has something to do with that deceptively simple observation.

It’s funny how that ties in to something that happened over thirty years ago. I was getting my first degree (in psychology) and took a course in religion as one of my electives. I had just finished a paper on Inuit culture, especially the spiritual aspects. Somehow, within this paper I had drawn a pair of parallel lines . . . even used a ruler! While photocopying this paper I must have accidentally enlarged it. When I looked at these lines they were no longer “straight”; they had all kinds of bumps or waves – little curves – and that’s when it first occurred to me that perhaps parallel lines don’t really exist. Can that be true? If so, then some day I would have to prove it.

About fifteen years ago I began thinking about this once more, and a few years later the proof came, while examining circles and playing with Pi. I use the term “proof” loosely, as ultimately there are no numbers involved . . . only logic, pictures and perhaps a little imagination? More self-teaching? That’s such a fuzzy term!

Rather than writing about, I much prefer discussing my art, with those who sense something special about it, whether that is with a collector, a fan, or a curator. I’ve found those discussions so much more enriching than simply writing about my art, be it a blog post or the description of a painting. It really is a joy and a treat of sorts, the person-to-person dialogue.

As for all that math, I wonder where we’d all be now if we had evolved with seven fingers instead of 10! And would the art be the same? Would the elephant still be so picky about her belly in doing a self-portrait?

2016 – Another Odd Year?

My last blog post of 2015, and the first that involves the taking of notes! What’s next? An artist making New Year’s resolutions? Now that seems outlandish, even perverse?  The very notion of it reminds me of a small part of my novel, the part where a love-struck Ben struggles with how he will win over the woman of his dreams. He is so sure that destiny will bind them together – an uncontrollable fate – a certain unity. Then it hits him, the hypocrisy of all his planning, and the gnawing of the supreme irony of it all . . . trying to plan one’s destiny!

As I review these notes all I see are two lists, and partial ones at that. The first one concerns what I’m thankful for over the past year. The other gives you some of my predictions for 2016.

Thank You 2015!

Every moment with my daughters was a precious one. Many of you may think that’s a little exaggerated, but the truth is that since we are about 1,000 kilometers apart, the time we spend together is very little, and so if anything my gratitude is understated.

  • My art. I think the only important about art is the question it ultimately brings, “Is there something invisible about it . . . something much more special and endearing than any of us . . . something timeless and not our own?” Of course the answer is yes, and I will always be so thankful for “the Yes”.
  • My mother and sharing in her triumphs, as she finds ways to find joy and laughter in spite of her aged condition . . . the trials of dementia . . . she seems to live for each day these days. It’s a hard way to live, but this too is precious.
  • Emma. She’s my neighbor’s eight year old granddaughter. She’s also one of the smartest people I know, and so very funny . . . sharp, quick wit. She symbolizes all those who bring a laugh or smile into my life pretty much every day, even on days when that seems near impossible.
  • The sun, simply because it is shining a little brighter through the clouds and my window, as I’m writing these notes. It only gives, seems to ask for nothing in return, though I sometimes wonder about that . . . what it wants from us. Then I do some more art and stop wondering.
  • My many long distance friends . . . and my fans . . . all of you inspire me more than I can ever explain . . . thank you!
  • Love

I could probably keep writing about 2015 until this time next year, but now it’s time for something a little more lighthearted. So pardon me for a minute as I firmly insert my tongue in a cheek (one of my own), and begin:

LG’s Fearless Outlook for 2016

  • Sixto Rodriguez will finally get his music heard more in North America, and his 1970 album “Cold Fact” will become an “instant” success.
  • The UN will establish a new fund to end all poverty and it will be called the “World Trade Foundation”. I encourage you to give them your full support by sending lots of money. Send your check now and be sure to remember to make it out to “WTF”!
  • Apple will launch a new home study math program in West Thumb, WY. It will be named the ePi, despite protests from some crusty old math profs and Don Cherry. Grammar experts shudder at what’s ahead for them, calling the idea of a similar writing app “half-baked”.
  • Manitoba’s first transgender judge’s popularity will show mixed results in the polls.
  • Sarah Palin and Donald Trump will become running mates. However, the announcement will be marred by controversy . . . the pair are caught on camera doing a dine and dash from a Taco Bell in Fairbanks Alaska.
  • People magazine will take off where Playboy fell behind by announcing its new magazine, “Peep Hole”. Things really take off when Marilyn Monroe is named their Person of the Year for 2016.
  • Hillary will veto her first Bill just before the swearing. Closely related, Bill volunteers to give Madonna kissing lessons, but privately.
  • Disney announces its plans to do a movie specifically for future space travelers. It’s a science fiction film about a distant planet. The film is tentatively called, “Earth”.
  • The pope becomes uncomfortable when Jesus returns and immediately highly recommends some redecorating. When the suggestion is made to have Georgia O’Keeffe do something floral with Chapel, Francis smirks, telling Jesus that Georgia is dead.  Jesus just grins.
  • Paul McCartney announces plans to bring The Beatles back together; Ringo sues for being snubbed!
  • Jesus surprises everyone by playing Royal Albert Hall with Ringo Starr and then announces Bono as Pope. Bono goes on tour with Ringo in his back up. In the meantime Francis takes painting lessons.

As you can see, it will be one heck of a busy year! I wish you all the best of the timeless ones in these times . . . “times”? Hmm . . . now where’s my iPi?

 

 

 

A cropped version of art called "Hoping"

Hoping

It’s tempting to write something about Canada’s recent election, which I followed so closely, looking for a glimpse of a return to some form of human dignity. I won’t do that except to say that something quite remarkable happened. It has to do with the newly appointed Minister of Justice. She’s a lawyer, so no surprise there. To learn more you can read her story here.

In an election full of big promises and tons of symbolism, this shines through as much more than a symbol and I wish her well . . . yeah Canada? I hope so.

I’m tempted to write about my little dream, another one about black holes, and the notion that they are impenetrable because they are full of Love . . . intense beyond comprehension, a universal force and something to do with new creation . . . and so love conquers all after all? But conquer is not the right word, as in that place and situation there is simply no fighting allowed. That has always given me hope too.

So in the end I won’t write about anything other the release of a new painting which has turned out to be very, very well-received in all my social media circles. I had been leaning toward launching it as a limited edition print, but instead I’m adding to my selection of Open Edition Prints – see the main menu above.

 

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

Something Fishy About Noses

Occasionally an admirer will mention that I don’t put faces in my art. That’s almost always true, and I used to worry about that a little.

Some of those worries concerned the sensuality that fans often sense in my creations, perhaps always? When you think about it, several of us somehow get offended by that combination . . . all those heavenly curves but with no head, or a head with no facial details. There are several art teachers that would insist that what I’m doing is a no-no. I seem to have a nose for no-no’s!

I wonder whether some people see my art as disrespectful . . . the absence of the character that can be shown in a subject’s face, and so the art becomes purely erotic? Or purely sensual? This may sound a little like a bit of a hangover from some Victorian era, and I can fully empathize with that. After all, I’m quite a fan of the show “Downton Abbey”, largely because of the old-fashioned way in which the characters act. While the sexual aspect is certainly there, romance and personality is always upper-most . . . it’s more about the conscience mind than about our more primal urges and reactions.

I also wonder whether some people think that because of the lack of those faces, perhaps the artist doesn’t have the skills to draw with such detail? That’s a valid question, and again I think it relates to a lot of our traditions. I noticed this a few years ago, while breezing through a book of paintings by Rembrandt. The paintings demonstrate amazing anatomical correctness and proper portraiture, and oddly, almost always about the men. Of course the skills are there, but I’m not really struck by the characters.

The thing is, I simply have no urge to draw in this level of detail. If I did I would do so by hand on paper. When it comes to faces, for me that is much easier done on paper than on-screen, though I’m fully aware of how for some the opposite can be true and here’s an amazing example of that.

More importantly though, I strive the expression of the ideal in my art. By that I mean the expression of something beyond the individual. When you think about it, when you are really drawn to a portrait, especially the likeness of a stranger, it is that ideal which lures you, something beyond the individual . . . something powerful and emotional.

The truth is, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for those who draw in details, very realistically so, and especially when they also capture something beyond the details. In fact I have so much respect for them that I choose not to be among them. By that I mean that there are so many artists out there like that, there is simply no need for me to add to their ranks.

Snippets From The Past

When I learned to draw it was in a very traditional way . . . the basics are wonderfully simple really, and it’s amazing how quickly a person can learn. So there were fruit baskets, windows and curtains, nude models, and then there was this mounted bird. That’s when I learned not only to draw, but also that I could draw! My teacher gave me the ultimate compliment. When she saw my work, she was speechless for a moment, almost catching her breath. She gave me this warm smile and told me about a wildlife artist named Robert Bateman. When I discovered who he is by looking in another at book, I was truly flattered. However, even back then, over 30 years ago now, I remember thinking that there is simply no need for me to draw like that . . . he’s already doing it.

Perhaps it is also because of my first degree, one in psychology, where I learned about all the biases that can go along with facial impressions. While the expressions can be wonderful, our current cultural norms of beauty seem to have distorted much of that . . . thank you Madison Avenue. It’s sad really, but what can a person do? What can I do? I really don’t know . . . I just keep doing what I do!

Finally, the number one reason for me to leave out the faces is this . . . by doing so, I don’t need to worry about someone cutting out the good parts. Let’s just call it a Polish thing . . . if you watch this video you will “catch my drift”! ha ha