Tag Archives: culture

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.

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Almost a cartoon, almost a deer.

Magic Instead of Perfection

I should have written that perfect blog post by now. That’s the one that tells you a bunch about that new item up top on my menu bar. It’s called “Original Art”. That’s bound to get done soon, but for now here’s something a little related to that section.

The other day I tweeted an image of one these original paintings and someone came back with a request for a song to match the art. At first I was stumped, but in no time I found a great match.

I love when that happens, partly because like most artists, most often we’re not comfortable in writing descriptions of our paintings. However, I do find it lot more enjoyable discussing such matters one-on-one and privately . . . no idea why.

Anyway, today I’m giving you a glimpse of five of those 20 original paintings, along with five matching musical gems from YouTube. For me there’s a little magic in each of these videos, and if my art portrays any of that then I’d be more than a little pleased. You can click any of the art titles and see the painting in a new window. That way you can move back and forth if you wish, between the art and the music.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do . . . all of it.

Skating In the Clouds

Dancevolution

Perfectly Flawed

Strumming Along

My Imaginary Fence

The Story Tellers

Some of my fondest memories are about simply telling stories. I can’t remember reading my kids a book at bedtime – that was a long time ago –  but there are several precious times where tales were told, and not just at bedtime.

There were campfire stories, for sure. However, the fondest tale happened on a day at the beach. hottest day of the year. My girls were around the ages of 10 and 12. There was just the three of us and it was the hottest day of the year. I was so worried about lasting in the scorching heat, not being able to keep up with the little ones. However, it was they who suggested finding some shade, and they led the way with their tiny folding chairs to a spot close by, under some poplar trees and very close to the water pump. As soon as they had the chairs open, they each took their plastic pail, filled it with ice cold water, parked that in front of their chairs, sat down and plunked those twenty toes and four heels into the water. You could hear the cool comfort immediately, as they looked at me sitting across from them and said, “Dad, tell us a story.” Such leaders, even back then.

So I just started the telling of it, an adventure of course, one from my youth in Dauphin, when I was about their age. You see, my friends and I found a buried treasure chest in the river, but we had no way of opening it. That’s how it started . . . the thrill of the discovery and then the frustration . . . and to this day it has never ended. I doubt that it ever will.

Other Telling Traditions – The Elder Ones

Several years later, while writing my novel, I did a little research on gypsies. There was this fascinating account about the Romanian gypsies, of their various story telling traditions. By memory, it was the men who told shorter, funnier tales. The women told more epic ones, full of drama, tragedy, adventure and so on. It was nothing to spend two hours in an evening in the telling and the listening, much like we now watch a movie I suppose.

I’ve done other research that talked of a similar tradition, and that was in the mid-east . . . ancient Iran or Iraq, or maybe both? I’m sure you can find all kinds of material online if you want to know more on the subject. Apparently they used the inside of their large tents to put these stories into pictures. This was thousands of years ago, and I believe the material was vellum, not canvas.

In our busy lives we so easily forget how short a time the printing press has been around, but story telling seems to be almost as old as language, with or without the written word. It must have been quite something, both the telling of it and the art of it, on a cold desert night, or during a sand storm.

I’m sure that over time the stories changed – never quite the same way twice – and legends emerged. No doubt having the pictures handy would help the evolutionary process; as images are interpreted differently, new twists come to mind, and the telling becomes as intriguing as the listening.

Modern Story Telling – A Sponsored Tradition

I sometimes wonder if there is a lot more to the true history of those ancient times, and whether it was recorded in those tents . . . among all that art. I wonder about that when I think back to that first attack on Iraq, that night bombing that we got to watch live on TV . . . part of “Operation Desert Storm”. I remember watching CNN that January in 1991, surprised to hear that the first targets were museums . . . how odd. A few weeks ago I heard a little clip about some terrorists damaging museums, somewhere in the same region. In the context of what happened back in 1991, it seemed so hypocritical to hear the TV person trying to describe this act as something barbaric.

Something else that seems so strange is that despite all our talk of freedom of speech – the importance of freedom of the press – the broadcast rights of that first bombing of Baghdad was given exclusively to CNN – modern day story telling? I’ll just leave it at that. Besides, I don’t do political blogging. I don’t do religion either, but I do wonder why there is no original art to go with all those ancient words . . . so very, very odd.

But enough of all that. Who needs more controversy right?

In my art I do like to pay homage to the finer aspects of humanity, and this new painting follows that personal tradition. It is simply called, “The Story Tellers”. I hope it says something about each of us, at least once in awhile, and that your stories are good ones, and the telling of them precious, at times.

It’s time to go now . . . my mind keeps drifting back to those tiny toes in the little buckets . . . where was I now?

Painting - The Story Tellers

The Story Tellers – Fine Art Paper (Edition of 75 Prints)

Image size: 18″ h x 24″ w (46 x 61 cm). Price: $295 USD + $30 shipping.

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The Story Tellers – Canvas (Edition of 30 Prints)

Image size: 24″ h x 32″ w (61 x 81 cm). Price: $450 USD + $30 shipping.

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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!

Eight Picture about Pictures

Ever since I was a little kid I’ve loved going to the movies. Saturday afternoon matinees were always a treat in my little hometown. In those days we didn’t have to buy popcorn and drinks in the theater. Mr. Ratushniak (the owner) was kind enough to let us stock up on penny candy at the convenience store next door. If you were quick enough at making your choices, you would have time enough to browse through those “detective magazines” . . . it always seemed odd how the detectives had to help ladies who were wearing underwear. You always got a good feel for their dilemma, but you never got to see the detectives . . . good cover I suppose?

So I could never get enough of Sinbad, or Hercules, or The Three Stooges or so many others. As for Barbarella, the closest I could get was the gorgeous movie poster that hung outside the theater for what seemed like months, yet not long enough? I could never understand why that movie wasn’t matinee-worthy, and I was pretty smart for a 12 year-old.

In more recent years I’ve watched a fair number of art-related movies. I don’t even go looking for them, and yet there have been plenty. There have been some fascinating ones and some so-so ones. It’s kind of funny though. I often say that I can’t understand why people who love my art seem to want to know stuff about me . . . the emphasis should be on the art, and not me at all. I just don’t get it. Yet here I am watching these films, totally captivated about these artists’ stories, and paying almost no attention to the art.

Anyways, here’s a partial list of those films. I’m no critic, so I’m just going to list them along with a brief comment. I hope you find something of interest, and by the way, they’re certainly not all bio-pics. If you know of any not on this list, by all means add a recommendation in a comment, and foreign films are more than welcome.

So without further adieu, here’s a list of eight, in no particular order:

  • Klimt, starring John Malkovich
  • Frida, starring Selma Hayak . . . perhaps my favorite in the bunch
  • Renoir – a French film about the artist’s life in his later years, especially his relationship with his son, who went on to be a film director
  • The Thomas Crown Affair – the more recent one with Pierce Bronson
  • The Best Offer – an intriguing mystery about a high-end, reclusive art dealer
  • Tim’s Vermeer – an interesting documentary
  • Girl With The Pearl Earring – a close second in the favorites department starring Scarlett Johansson

That’s it for now. As a final note, I’m surprised that I’ve never come across any film about Leonardo, so if you know of a good one, please let me know . . . and that’s da Vinci, not DiCapprio!

A picture called Learning To Dance

You Look Like You’re Looking For $50!

I’ve spent the past 3 days revamping my web site on Fine Art America.

The galleries have been completely refreshed, much better now . . . you’ll see what I mean if you visit the site. Also, I’ve taken off the smaller print options and added a few larger ones. Each creation is now available in six different image sizes – there used to eight or nine. I’ve also fiddled with the pricing, but nothing major though. In the process, it finally occurred to me how to have a little fun with this holiday craziness, beginning with Cyber Monday.

As of today I’ve dropped my price by $50 on select pictures and sizes.

Here’s the fun part though . . . the savings will only last until Saturday, December 6th. By Sunday morning I will have taken off these savings, at least most of them –  I have no idea which ones will remain! Then for the following week  I’ll do something similar.

Currently this selection includes twelve of my creations as shown in the list below. These are all from my gallery called “Fan Favorites”. If you click on any of the picture titles, you will be taken to that picture on my site (in a new window).

I’ll be letting people know about this offer on Twitter and elsewhere throughout the week, and I do consider this to be one of the few ways to thank you all for tolerating my ramblings, and especially my quirky sense of humor.

Now here is the list, by title and then the size where you will find the $50 savings.

Enjoy the view, and please do me a nice favor and share the news, either through this blog post, or on my art site, or both. I know how easy it is to forget to do that, so please don’t find me rude for asking . . . there are much better reasons for that foundation! ha ha

  1. Commonality – 20″ w x 16″ h    (50.8 cm w x 40.6 cm h)
  2. In the Right Place – 24″ w x 24″ h    (61 cm w x 61 cm h)
  3. Learning To Dance – 24″ w x 18″ h    (61 cm w x 45.7 cm h)
  4. Leaves in Elegance – 20″ w x 16″ h    (50.8 cm w x 40.6 cm h)
  5. Forever Dancing – 20″ w x 16″ h    (50.8 cm w x 40.6 cm h)
  6. Missing You – 16″ w x 20″ h    (40.6 cm w x 50.8 cm h)
  7. Promises – 16″ w x 20″ h    (40.6 cm w x 50.8 cm h)
  8. Shyness Revealed – 21 5/8″ w x 24″ h    (54.9 cm w x 61 cm h)
  9. Sunset on the Beach – 18″ w x 24″ h    (45.7 cm w x 61 cm h)
  10. The Other Way – 20″ w x 16″ h    (50.8 cm w x 40.6 cm h)
  11. Touched – 18″ w x 24″ h    (45.7 cm w x 61 cm h)
  12. Angels Calling – 36″ w x 25 3/4″ h    (91.4 cm w x 65.4 cm h)

Important note: For safe Christmas delivery the order deadline is midnight, Dec. 15th. Also, all orders have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

In the Right Place - art

WTF – Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s so much going on around the world that is so damn troubling. Like countless others, it seems that no matter what one does individually or collectively, these troubles persist. Yet we try.

I’m one of those who in the past few years has tried to avoid “the news”, as in “mostly the relentless accounts of the worse current events”. In fact for me almost everything about what we call “the news” is among the most troubling of our current events.

As hard as I try, one simply cannot avoid some stories, such as the ongoing Ferguson debacle. I usually don’t blog or comment about these terrible tragedies, but for some reason this one has gotten me down more than most . . . I’m reminded of an incident that happened about 12 years ago, in Birmingham, Alabama.

I was there for a few days on business, along with a few others. One evening a co-worker and I decided to go for a walk, check out the city a bit. We were close to downtown, walking distance from the convention center, and there was plenty enough to see and do. In other words, we came across a pool hall.

It seemed like a nice, safe area. It was clean, lots of lights, a beautiful evening, friendly people around, and so on. We felt extra safe when we noticed a few police officers. They stood out partly because they were on bikes, just strolling around. One especially stood out because he looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. They also had on these skin-tight uniforms – a tight shirt and shorts – at least on of the Village People would be so envious.

A few minutes after seeing these police we were safely inside this nice, clean pool hall. We got ourselves some whiskey & coke and soon the game became so relaxing. In other words I began to kick his ass . . . oh, how I missed my snooker! To make matters sweeter, the music came on. Nice tunes on the jukebox, courtesy of two very attractive young ladies in the corner, the only two others in the place, aside from the bartender. I glanced over. They really were stunning to be honest, especially with their smiles and giggles.

My friend and I continued with our game. Then Arnold entered the hall. I had my back to the ladies in the corner, which is where the policeman was headed. All of a sudden those giggles turned to loud screams. In a horrible flash I turned to see what was going on. The ladies had their arms up and backs arched away from Arnold – a defensive posture. It was necessary because the policeman had a long nightstick raised and extended in his right hand.

In this flash I saw this nightstick begin its downward assault. Almost miraculously, it stopped. No one was hurt. The young ladies left their drinks behind and made a quick exit, visibly shaken but at least not beaten. The officer had his back to us the whole time. I can’t remember if he glanced over in our direction behind he quickly left the place as well.

We asked the bartender what had just happened. She told us that apparently these young ladies did not have any I.D. on them, so it was unclear whether they could legally be in this licensed hall.

My reaction now remains as it was then, and it’s the same for Ferguson, “WTF!!!”

I forgot to mention that these were ladies of color and the officer was white . . . they also appeared to be close to the same age.

Anyway, I can’t stop any of this madness. About the only thing I can do is offer my little sign of peace. It’s not much. It’s just a savings of five bucks, and by that I mean I’m giving away my novel – today and tomorrow – November 26th and 27th.

While the book is about love, it does have its unsettling parts and aspects . . . did I mention fear? Still, overall it’s about the best of humanity . . . at times like these it seems we all need reminders of that means . . . a temporary escape from some of these troubles.

So here’s my Amazon link to “Dawn at Last”. While I know it doesn’t mean much at all, at least it’s a little something . . . a little gift.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. Finally, to my friends around the world, even those whom I have yet to meet, I’d be honored to have you accept my gift.