Tag Archives: leaves

Fourth in a series of paintings.

Some Notes on My Art Style

This is yet another post about my art, but perhaps the last for awhile.

There’s a few things I’d like to clarify, based on some of the questions and comments I’ve had recently on various social media. Much of this ties in with what I’ve said many times, “A lot of my art is done with leaves. Also, I paint with light.”

The best way to show this is with a few pictures. The first one is a very simple example of how I begin several of my projects . . . with a scan of a leaf or leaves, as shown below, on the left. Next to it you can see how I drew over part of the veins of the leaf . . . selectively. I do this on screen, rough at first, but then with a lot of smoothing, as seen in the right picture. There are several other adjustments to follow, such as reshaping, not to mention color.

Two images of a leaf

A simple example of using leaves as a base for my art.

The Leaves Become My Canvas

The next example is much more involved. It begins with a group of fall leaves. I lay them out on my scanner with a little thought paid to composition – but not too much – so it is not quite random. Because of this, it may take two or three tries before I’m satisfied with how the leaves look on-screen. It’s mostly an intuitive process.

After that I may work with the entire scanned image, but more likely I’ll just use a small, cropped portion, and then enlarge it. In this case I’ve done a series of cropped sections. Put another way, now I have three very different scans. Each one becomes “my blank canvas that really isn’t blank.” – after studying this image for a minute or two, I’ll start sketching, based on whatever has caught my eye.

Now here are those three images I’ve been talking about. “A” refers to the main scan (1st one), while “B” is part of the middle region in”A”. In turn, “C” is the bottom left part of “B”.

three scans of a set of leaves.

One scan of leaves, but three different “blank canvases”!

 How the Picture at the Top of this Post Came to “B”

From there it really becomes an adventure. With no preconception of what I will find, I have full confidence that something exciting and intriguing will show up. It almost always does! So it often feels more like a discovery than a creation, as if the picture or story is waiting there to be drawn. Perhaps that’s a different way of interpreting one’s muses? I like to think so.

Take image “B” for example. I’m showing it here again, but this time with a mauve rectangular inset that shows what was to become a series of pictures, only one of which has been published.

 

picture of leaves

Image “B” within an inset that shows the base of a series of paintings.

Now here are the pictures that came of this inset – for most of these, there are dozens of renditions done to get to what you see here. These remain untitled as they are still considered works in progress:

first in a series of digital paintings

The first in this series, chronologically.

second image in a series of paintings

Second in the series.

Third in a series of digital paintings.

Third in the series.

Fourth in a series of paintings.

Fourth in the series.

Now here is the last in this series. This is a version of the published picture, called, “Troubled”. If you click on this image, you will be taken to the final version of “Troubled” on my site.

last in a series of digital paintings.

The last in this series, so far.

“Rita’s Vision” is There Too . . . “C”

Thank you bearing with me so far. Now I’m going to show you what came out of the smallest cropping – image “C” from above. I’m showing it again here, rotated to match the picture that became of it. That picture follows right after – it’s my newly released piece called “Rita’s Vision”. Once again, clicking the image takes you to my site:

repeat of image "C", rotated.

Image “C” from above, rotated 90 degrees.

a picture called "Rita's Vision".

That’s enough for now. I intended to discuss the issue of how long it takes to make my creations. Given how I do things, that’s not always an easy question, so it looks like I’ll be doing one more style-related post, but it will be much shorter than this one.

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October’s Calling

October was a little different, amazing by my standards. I spent the bulk of my time creating one picture. It took at least five weeks, especially with all the detailing that went into it. All my social media activity slipped big-time, especially this blog. I needed that break and for many reasons, including going through a creative transition. When I was about half done “Angels Calling”, it came to me that something special was going on . . . more on this further down.

As soon as it was finished, I launched “Angels Calling” on my site on FineArtAmerica. That was a few days ago and soon after my first customer got in touch with me. We exchanged a few pleasant emails, and she was so genuinely grateful that I created this piece.

Clutch Hitting During the Month of October

Then it really hit me, that unsettled feeling that comes with finishing a major project like this one. I’ve noticed it before, but it seems each time I learn something new. When you finish a painting, especially one that feels like a breakthrough of sorts, there is the experience of a sense of loss. That happens even more when you recognize that something unique going, a change in both process and technique. You get to watch it take form . . . there’s no real hurry to finish the picture . . . you don’t want this journey to end, but you also know that it must.

Often, in those times, I’ll dive into something else right away. It feels very much like trying to replace something that’s vanished. It doesn’t take long to become immersed in another project, yet there is this lingering of the previous one. At the same time, I must put on my business hat, announce “Angels Calling” and promote it online. Then I inevitably start thinking of the painting as being more as a product. The process still lingers, but again, this “changing of the hats” seems to helps in putting a closure to the journey.

Perhaps it was then, when it was launched, that the journey becomes an arrival?

 Upon Arrival

In my next post I’m going to explain the changes I went through, style-wise, while bringing “Angels Calling” to form. This may seem self-indulgent, but it will be a worthwhile exercise for me, and hopefully there will be something you might learn as well? At the very least there will be lots of pictures to see!

Finally, I’m going to show you two renditions of “Angels Calling”. The first one is the earliest rendition, at least the first with a layer of leaves on top of the sketch. The second one is the final and published version . . . it’s #41. There was a lot going on in October, between #1 and #41.

Here they are . . . clicking on the final version will take you to “Angels Calling”on my art site.

digital painting

First Rendition of “Angels Calling” by Lawrence Grodecki

Final Version of "Angels Calling"

Final Version (#41) of “Angels Calling”…now on my FAA site…the picture links to my art site.

 

New Art Just Recently Released

This is just just a nice, friendly update to those of you who enjoy my art.

Here is one of my new pieces, just made available today on my site. This one’s called “Missing You”.

It’s on my recently released gallery . . . just use the link, and please feel free to share as you please . . . and thank you!

Missing You

 

abstract image of leaves

Just me and my Leaves

This has been the slowest week since the last one, and boy has it gone fast!

If you came here thinking today’s blog would be about you, think again – this one’s on me – or was that the last one? What can I say? I’m a writer. Hemingway said we’re all liars, but then can you really believe him?

The week in Review (or is it Next Week’s Preview?)

Actually I’ve got a lot done this week, but almost entirely in my head, and a little on index cards . . . why do they call them that anyway? I mean, does anyone in their right mind actually index them? Why not call them what they are . . . illusions of being organized . . . I’m smart though, I put little page numbers on them in the top right corner, and even circle them. I’ve got about 50 of these cards all over the place. I think about 12 of them have a single vertical line inside a moon, in the top corner . . . wonder what that’s all about!

Actually, I’m in the process of writing about five separate blogs, all very related to each other, and way too much for one blog. My intent was to have the first one written last night and posted today . . . this is not that one.

They are all related to three main subjects:

1. Building an author’s platform – It sure would have been easier if this were the 70’s . . . then I could just go out and buy the shoes, click my heels, and all would be well. Time after time I’m reading about the importance of just being oneself, and doing that basically all over the place. That’s fine, but it sure would help if that Wizard could whip me up a storm of “online oneness” – I’m sure he’s got the brains, not sure about the heart, and as for bravery, hmmm?

It takes a certain amount (a lot) of constraint to avoid flogging one’s own creative output, especially when it’s your main source of income and not something done on the side, but that’s an issue all on its own. As well, what I do keeps me occupied for probably 60 hours a week, maybe more, so it could never be a sideline.

2. The Book Environment – I’m using the term environment rather than industry. Actually, more and more, it feels like one of my projects is doing a case study on the whole mess – oops, environment – it is the best of times and worstest of days – catch my drift?

As you can imagine, this is a huge undertaking, especially for one person, and it is only one of many projects. It’s an important one though. It’s tempting to say that every indie author should try the same, but I’m not sure about that. To begin with, this is where I actually use my MBA skills, not just in marketing, but mostly in strategic planning, part of which includes doing an industry analysis.

I have already identified the big problems, and opportunities, and collapse them in a sentence or two. That only took three months, not full-time of course. However, that isn’t enough – I need to flesh in more details – then focus more on “what’s next” in this crazy world of platform building, selling books and art and so on.

When I’m done, I’ll be posting my insights on here . . . you can be rest assured that it won’t be the same stuff you find elsewhere . . . and you will learn something valuable, whether you’re a writer or a reader, or both.

4. Technical issues – Should I switch from a hosted blog to self-hosted one? Should I shut down my art site for now, or roll it into a redesigned blog? Technically, I can’t fully integrate this blog into my website . . . that would be ideal. Then there are all the design enhancements that I need to make . . . this is the more mundane topic, so I’ll leave it for now.

Now For the Rest of The Story

I found this link in a discussion group on goodreads. Whether you’re a writer or someone who sometimes wonders about writers, you need wonder no more . . . instead, feel free to laugh your ass off . . . some of you may want to pee before following this link:

The Secret Life of Writers

PS – I found these secrets from another writer – you can find her here: Dianne Harman

Other People’s Stuff

A picture of a twig

This is another unfinished piece…it’s based on a variation of a leaf.

Normally I don’t comment on other people’s blogs, nor do I publish a list of favorites, who I follow and so on. That’s totally because I’m worried about leaving someone out by omission. Some days its tempting to single out those who can really strike a nerve, but I’d rather focus on the positives . . . so hopefully I won’t “make the wrong mistake” as Yogi Berra said.

I’m really just getting the hang of Pinterest. I spend most of my time related to that site looking for original pins, as opposed to simply repinning. However, there are a small number of pinners that I’m following, and some or all of them also have blogs. I’m not going to comment on the blogs here, just the Pinterest boards.

If you haven’t spent much time there – or if you think it’s somehow less than blogging – I think you might re-think that if you visit Julie Green’s page. It is fascinating to explore, an intellectual and visual treat . . . the kind where you stop watching the time, so be careful!

Here’s the link, and I hope you check it out for yourself: Julie Green on Pinterest

I’m learning how busy the world of Twitter is, though it has been all pleasant surprises, kind of “rapid-fire” so it’s hard to keep up. I still have much to learn over there, but aside from that, there are some people over there. One guy, @PhilTorcivia , is amazing because of his constant and pretty consistent stream of humorous one-liners. For example, “I told my girlfriend she’d drawn her eyebrows too high. She looked surprised.” I’m not surprised that he has over 64,000 followers.

For all the authors out there, I also came across some named Jane Friedman, but I can’t remember how I came upon her first – Twitter, blog, Pinterest or somewhere else. What I do know is that wherever I come across her, I learn something new and important when it comes to writing and publishing. If you’re looking for book reviews, that’s not what she does, but for tons of great information, resources, and opportunities, I suggest starting with her home page: Jane Friedman’s Home Page

There are many other kudos I’d like to send out, and will over time. There are some bloggers that have made an extra impression lately, including Jackie Jones, especially for her wonderfully honest and great photographs of the Caribbean on her blog. She keeps apologizing for this and that photography, but I’d never have noticed without her mentioning them – they’re imperfections make them all the more intriguing and endearing: Jackie Jones’ Caribbean Photos – the little stories add to the charm.

Finally, thank to Jill Paterson for your tips on writing that all-important blurb, as well for being a friend on Goodreads: Jill Paterson’s Blog

On the Lighter Side

Since my artistic medium is really light, I suppose if I introduce a new picture then it’s fair to say that “it’s on the lighter side”! So the picture I’ve thrown on here today turned out quite nice, but for me this is more of a doodle – I tend to call them that when they only take an hour or two, instead of 50 or a hundred or more – hope you like it.

leaves_27d

As all my art is done on a screen, it is all done in a process of light moved around on that screen – eventually that is translated into ink on paper or canvas.

When you think about it, all artists are involved in a form of communication in one way or another – a form that involves light. Caravaggio is perhaps know for “his use of light” . . . though it is difficult to say whether this is actually “his” light!

It seems he was a colorful character . . .

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/artists/michelangelo-merisi-da-caravaggio