Tag Archives: nature

The Hole Picture

Pigeonholing is essentially  term that describes an attempt to classify in a mutually exclusive way. Put another way, it is like trying to make something discreet as opposed to a continuum. In that way it becomes somewhat limiting.

This can be frustrating for creative types. For example, in the case of my writing, I never considered the relevance of genre while writing “Dawn at Last”. However, once the marketing of the book started, it seemed like something I needed to do – had to do for online purposes. When you think about it, every database is a process of pigeonholing. That’s true with every social media site as well as places like Amazon and Fine Art America.

It took a long to find the right hole for the book, and I’m actually very comfortable, or perhaps relieved, to be classified as an author who writes literary fiction. That’s because it not only fits my style, but it is also a style that is very broad in definition . . . after all, it’s all about the characters, unusual and somewhat unpredictable ones, and the plot is secondary, though still important.

Similarly, in art I put I put myself in the abstract hole right out of the gate. That seemed very straightforward at first, though lately I like to think of my style as “abstract-figurative”. That’s because most of my art includes the female form and some also includes other mysterious creatures such as birds.

The Invisible Nest

Whether in art or writing, there is something I try to convey about the selfless aspect of life. That seems to be such an amazing part of the natural way of things, yet for most it seems so hard to see or comprehend. I try to make it easier, but without preaching . . . more subtle. In the context the abstract term makes a lot of sense. After all, this selfless aspect of life is so full of mystery . . . invisible, non-physical, imaginary yet very real.

Perhaps that is the most frustrating dichotomy. Someone we have been taught that the term imaginary means “something not real”. One again there’s the discrete . . . zero/ one . . . yes/ no. Buddhism talks about a life force that moves through sentient beings. As such this force fits the description of imaginary or non-physical . . . but it is not separate from the physical, just selfless.

This is one reason why I seldom have faces in any of my art. It’s funny how in our culture this is offensive to some, kind of “dehumanizing”. I see it so differently though. For me it is an attempt to move beyond the individual and convey the importance of the selfless reality – something much bigger than ourselves.

That’s one reason. On a more pragmatic level I don’t like the fine detail that can go into the painting of faces. I’m actually in awe of that kind of art when I see it, and if I had a mind to I could easily go down that stream. I know because that’s what I did when learning to draw, and as wonderful as it is I found it too easy in a way . . . simply technique and detail.

That is by no means a knock on any of those skills or that style. In fact it is more of an admission that there are so many out there doing it that there is no real need for me to join that flock.

Accepting The Flaws

Again, being pragmatic, I have decided to try something with faces, yet still continue in my style. In doing so there has been this deeper understanding how even in a portrait, what makes it special is not the image but the underlying emotions. It’s there in every fine piece of art . . . the 4th dimension or is it the fifth?

So after all that, without further adieu, I’m putting my first face out for public display. This picture is called “Perfectly Flawed” and if you understand any of what I’ve written above, I think you will have a better appreciation of both the words above and the visual message as shown below:

Perfectly Flawed

 

Peter’s Square Route

It’s time today to write something Alice might appreciate in Wonderland. In other words, this won’t be my usual post, nor will it be short, nor very linear for that matter!

The other day I picked up yet another book on Leonardo, a biography of sorts, and I bought it unexpectedly on impulse . . . sort of. I say “sort of” as while it wasn’t a planned purchase, I came across it in a thrift shop on the same day one of my daughters was enjoying her European adventure near the town of Leonardo’s birth.

I’ve been a fan of his since I was a child, long before I understood how mischievous and cunning he was, including some possible double meanings in some of his art?

Anyone who has followed this blog for a long time will probably recognize my fascination with circles and curves – there is a tie-in with Leonardo in this regard too – I’ll come to that in a bit.

It really hit me in a big way, a nice way, almost ten years ago – there are no lines in nature – everything is curved. Such a simple and astounding truth when you think about it. It’s lines that are the illusion.

There is also a lot of history to this illusion, some of it tied to Freemasonry. Their primary symbol shows a compass and an angled L-square along with the letter “G”. Even today there is mention of the question of the “center point” within a circle, and the problem with measuring the circle completely remains unsolved.

I have no intent to mention all the spiritual aspects to the symbol of the circle in so many cultures, ones much closer to nature than today’s western civilization. However, this mysterious spirituality is something I do consider sacred, mainly through experience as well as a great deal of thought and meditation.

While I do take much of this seriously, today I’ll keep it on the lighter side . . . the humor of it all. For example, take that task of measuring the rim of that circle – the circumference. In order to do that, mathematicians try to find a numerical relationship between a line and the circle – the line being the diameter. However, it never works out. Computer models go around the clock using advanced math, taking Pi past a billion decimal points and the clock keeps ticking . . . you can’t measure a circle with a line!

When you understand the futility of that it is really quite funny. After all, if you think you can measure the curves with a line, then the opposite should be true. Ever try measuring the diameter with a protractor? Of course not – just seems silly – and yet they try the opposite, and all in such earnest!

Now back to Leonardo, who some claim was a Freemason. Oddly, there is this symbolism that is prominent in one of his most famous pieces, “The Vitruvian Man”:

Vitruvian Man

 

So there is the circle and the square, but the absence of the letter “G”. I have my own theory on that matter and it concerns a possible “cover up”, which will remain private for now . . . I prefer not to expose all my private parts!

However, I do like to ponder his mischievous ways, and his many questions about religious teachings . . . so I wonder. Is it possible that there are two men depicted in this art? After all, there is a biblical connection. In the gospels there is a frequent reference to two brothers. One is called Simon, whom Jesus often refers to as Peter. The other is Peter, whom Jesus often refers to as Peter.

So there you have it . . . identical twins . . . and on that note, I’ll just stop there, for now, though you may want to “think twice” about the prominence of The School of Athens in the Vatican.

 

 

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

 

Group of Five

I have just submitted five pictures to a specialized art site for review. It would be great to get some comments here, especially as it concerns a consistency of style – I hope this selection conveys some of that.

Speechless Again - art

Speechless Again

Hidden Kisses - Art

Hidden Kisses

Elle-Beau Room - art

Elle-Beau Room

Season This Moment - art

Season This Moment

Fine Feathered Friends - art

Fine Feathered Friends

Nesting Dolls, but I’m not Rushin’

I suppose this is another “show & tell” post, so first a little telling.

One thing I enjoy about abstract art is that once in awhile you can create something that looks very different hung in various ways . . . viewer reactions vary with each one.

My latest piece is like that. I noticed this aspect when it was almost done and I’d like to show you here. The first picture is shown how it was created. The second is simply the same as the first but flipped around. The third shows the exact same picture but turned 90 degrees.

I began with a picture that was part of another picture of mine. In other words it was a small piece of a larger picture which was them enlarged. I often do this, and one original picture can eventually became several entirely different pieces. Think of it like those Russian nesting dolls, with smaller ones inside the larger ones. In this case the final picture is the fifth smallest doll.

When I take a portion of another picture in a way it becomes my beginning canvas, though it is not a blank one. Then I begin with a very simple idea, “What if I do this?” So I start and it really does become a creative journey, like sailing into uncharted waters. Once again there were more of those unexpected pleasant surprises. Now here are the pictures:

Abstract art by Lawrence Grodecki

Nesting Instinct – Shown as created.

Nesting Instinct flipped over.

Nesting Instinct – The original flipped over.

Abstract Art - Nesting Instinct

Nesting Instinct – Shown sideways.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention . . . once again the original involved an image of leaves.

New Abstract Art – Given Her Advice

As much as I enjoy the process of writing, sometimes a person needs to just step away for a bit. Lately I’ve become much more drawn to art, no pun intended.

I’m lucky that way. If I trust my intuition I can easily move from one form of expression to another. For example, for more than a few months I let my art rest while writing Dawn at Last. I also left it alone for many more months while trying to navigate through the promotional storm called book marketing.

Those waters have calmed for now and Dawn at Last feels like a pearl waiting to be discovered . . . still. That’s perfectly fine for now, especially given my new and renewed journey into art.

I’ve sailing on a new boat too! It’s the online cruiser called Fine Art America. In case you haven’t heard of it, the site is a great place for artists to showcase their work, and to sell it. While I had my own site for many years, Fine Art America has a structure that offers much more than I could do on my own.

I know a few artists on there and they are very happy with the service, and most importantly the quality. It’s very much like a mini-Amazon for artists, though I’d say it’s a lot more user-friendly. While there are tons of artists on there, the clutter is no where near what it is on Amazon. Perhaps that has something to do with artists having the option of having their own website within Fine Art America?

I hope you will visit me there sometime soon. It’s a fun break for the eyes – one of my dearest writer friends recently told me she “felt like a kid in a candy store!”

Anyways, here is my latest introduction – I have so many works in progress – so new introductions are coming fast these days. It seems I’ve now outpacing the snail for a change!

Enjoy, and please don’t hesitate to share what you like.

Abstract Art - Given Her Advice

Given Her Advice – My latest introduction on FineArtAmerica

Beyond Surviving

digital painting called The Hunted (Cropped)

The Hunted (Cropped) – another play in progress.

I watched a very articulate documentary tonight, Surviving Progress. It was largely cathartic as it touches on so many issues, thoughts and concerns that I’ve had for years now. It’s about the human condition and presented honestly in the context of nature. If you decide to watch it, be careful as it can be disturbing. It was a little that way for me, and I’ve been studying this subject matter for about nine years now. I don’t write much about it because it’s frankly too depressing in many ways.

However, this film doesn’t come across that way . . . sobering yes, disturbing yes, yet still with a calming eloquence about it . . . the humanity of the those involved somehow shines through much of the horror. Oddly enough, there is prominent mention of the question, “Why?” and I mean that in the broadest sense. For years now I’ve viewed that as an almost dangerous question – a very mysterious one – and perhaps ultimately part of our collective Achilles heel?

Much More Than A Clock

Coincidentally, today also marks a day of the release of new scientific findings and warnings concerning climate change. This too struck a nerve, one that runs deeply in all my creative endeavors. The strike came by a statement made by a scientist on the news, “We’re running out of time.”

Such a simple statement perhaps it summarizes our entire predicament . . . our distancing from Nature and the absence of balance within it. I’m still amazed by how few people make the connection between time and gravity – they are inseparable – if we are “out of time” yet gravity continues, what does that say about us? Again, I no longer want to ask “Why?”

I’m sorry this is maybe a sad post to read. Still, it’s what’s on my mind. As a person who loves art, especially the process, I can’t help but wonder if it still has meaning anymore . . . have we passed a turning point that way too? More and more it just feels that way, though I wish it didn’t.

Ending On Another Timeless Moment

Finally, in the spirit of time, I’m going to post a little bit of writing. It’s from my first novel, one that will never be published. After I writing it I knew that these 121,000 words were not the right ones to launch upon the world, or even a few hundred readers! Still, it was a wonderful confidence booster and there was a lot of joy in the process.

Like Dawn at Last it has its tender moments. Since completion I’ve always felt like the only thing that really mattered were the words in the last two paragraphs. Somehow even these few words made all the rest worth writing, unpublished and all. They make me smile and I find peace in them. Since the book will never exist, here is my precious ending . . . perhaps you can use your imagination and fill in the rest . . . the past of it or the future? Or both?

Here’s how it ends, and once again it has something to do with love. Without it why survive?

They remained in their upward gaze, into this and every night’s darkness, and though their eyes did not meet, a common smile spread from her cheeks through his cheeks. It began to rain softly, only a few drops here and there. Still no words were spoken, though Lance wanted to share his thoughts with her. He was thinking of all he had been through, the beauty he found in the mysteries of the universe, of love and peace. The joy of knowing mixed with the agony of explaining, like finding love in a drop of water and trying to pull it out, just to hold it and say, “See.”

At that moment Suzanne turned her gaze toward his face. She saw a raindrop on the side of his cheek and naturally she cupped his hand in hers, leaned forward and kissed his cheek on that very spot, saying simply and softly, “Voici.”

 

Light Surfing and Chasing the Big Ideas

Picture called Wind Surfying

A picture I did many years ago called “Wind Surfying”.

There’s something that really grabbed me about the most recent review of Dawn at Last. Maybe it’s the part about writing from the heart? Maybe it’s the reflective quality? If you wish, you can read the entire review here on Ionia Martin’s Amazon review of Dawn at Last.

There are some big picture issues that I only lightly touch  in the book – this post is more about these issues than about Dawn at Last.  It’s about the kind of stuff Einstein and others liked to ponder. There is so much more to write about, but not necessarily in fiction.

Light, Camaraderie, Action!

The other night I watched a wonderful NOVA docudrama, How Albert Einstein Discovered e=mc2. It is not just about him. The story covers the lives of a handful of scientists and thinkers over the span of more than a century, so in a way it is one account of the history of the ideas behind the components of the equation: energy, matter and light.

The individual stories are portrayed in an overlapping way, almost blending into each other, though in many cases the characters are completely unknown to each other in the personal sense. Speaking of personal, The individual stories are alive with humanity, including their many sacrifices and their intimate relations . . . muses more than sounding boards?

I also learned of some remarkable women, at least two of whom I’d never heard of before – I’ll leave it for you to discover them by yourself. All in all it is a film full of pleasant surprises.

Tickled In the Light and Other Ideas!

My favorite part, the one that gives me an intellectual tickle of sorts, concerns a discussion between a young Albert Einstein and an unidentified lady friend, while on a stroll. He ponders what it would be like to travel alongside a wave of light . . . light surfing, so to speak! What happens at such a speed? In a way he wonders how one would think of time in such a travel. For example, in the film he asks the young lady whether one could see one’s mirror image in such a condition.

He states that light in our normal condition light reaches our face, then the mirror, and then back to our eyes so that we can see the reflection of the face in the mirror. However, while travelling at the speed of light he contends that the light from his face would never reach the mirror. He asks whether he is then invisible.

Mirror_Mirror

Zoom In and Zoomin’!

This is the place where I begin my own zooming, and for me this is a ton of fun!

First, Einstein liked to think in pictures, which ties in nicely with this mirror scenario. Because of the situation he would not be able to see his mirror image, yet the encased mirror would have its own image, travelling in different light a few feet ahead of him. However, even if he could see it, he would only see the casing and a blank mirror . . . in one sense he has become selfless?

Second, Einstein firmly believed that the speed of light is the fastest speed in the universe. That poses the following dilemma. In his mirror scenario he must have the mirror in his hand and then extend his arm to put the mirror a few feet in front of his face. However, in order to do that his arm must move ahead of him – in fact for this motion to occur the arm must move faster than the speed of light, which according to him is impossible!

Now here’s where things get really interesting. In such a circumstance it seems that he would not be able to see anything at all. I wonder too whether his other four physical senses would be functional. Still, assume that he would be able to think – to use his mind’s eye. Hans Selye did a number of studies concerning sensory deprivation and it seems the mind becomes quite hallucinatory in such a condition. As such, in a way the ego disappears, one loses control of one’s self – again, selfless in a way?

Before Sunny Side Up!

Where am I going with all this? Consider that a selfless man is actively light surfing, time seems non-existent, so he is kind of completely in the moment. Yet his mind is working, playing all kinds of tricks on him. Ideas come. They arrive.

In order for ideas to come – to arrive – they must travel much like that arm holding the mirror must travel. In other words, ideas can move faster than the light.

This relates to something I touched briefly on in Dawn at Last . . . what guides the light? It also relates to that age-old question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg? In either case, first there is the idea!

I will be writing further on this topic of ideas, tying it in more with some of my other writings, but in essay form as well as in story telling. I’ll also be writing more about love . . . if you’ve read Dawn at Last you know I believe in love in a certain way . . . something timeless, yet faster than the speed of light. It’s very real, selfless and enduring . . . somehow the butterflies know this in their own marvelously fearless way!

Light_Surfing

75 times 365 gets closer to 24/7

I read a blog today that touched on the issue of security cameras, and in this case in the workplace. It reminded of a bit of information a year or so ago. Do you know that In major metro areas a person is on camera an average of 75 times a day – this was back in 2007!

There are also many studies all over the world talking about the current and future crisis of youth unemployment. A university education is certainly not a solution to this problem, nor is getting a trade. As I see it, the crisis is due largely to a lack of new industries, such as automotive, the telephone, and so many more that were launched in the last century. That kind of explosion can’t be sustained today, not by people nor by the planet.

The other issue is increased automation. Machines can lower production costs, increase efficiency, and create some jobs. However, the net effect may be less jobs overall.

I’ve had these discussions in the slow periods with a few of the workers at my 7-eleven down the street, especially with the young guy who’s been working there a few years now . . . the one with the honor’s degree in chemistry. We talk late at night while he’s whipping up tomorrow’s hoagies.

If you don’t believe me, it’s all on tape. We can actually watch each other live on the overhead monitor. One of these days I’ve got to remember to shine up the back of my head, maybe even use some of that glow-in-the-dark glitter glue?

Some guys will do anything for a halo effect!

On the serious side, it seems there are some simple solutions to all this mayhem. First, if I (we) no longer have any legal right to privacy, then dammit I (we) should have the right to at least look good on camera. After all, the president and so many others have their make-up crew nearby all the time, so wherever there is a camera there should be someone available to powder my nose, trim those nostrils, shine my head and so on. Voila, unemployment no longer exists.

I’ll leave it for you to add your own touch to these opportunities – feel free to add your own!

It seems appropriate to once again include that beautiful video, Diana Ross singing “Do You Know?” Aside from being gorgeous in both audio and video, it has this haunting cultural message to it. By the way, her image appears less than 75 times.

Finally, when you think about, almost everything in this Diana Ross video touches on the messages that are in Dawn at Last, right down to a little mahogany and especially the butterfly. You have to think about it though, and please do.

Stand Pat and go ask Alice

This post is going to be sweet and simple, hopefully in the style of this classy video interview with Alice Munro. I’m not sure if she speaks for every writer. She certainly speaks for me, especially when she talks about the joy of writing, the search for at least a glimpse of something universal, and of the importance of the reader’s experience.

Having said that, I’d just like to thank one reader in particular – Patricia Williams-Forgenie – for a kind book review. She’s such an optimistic person, she’s been through so much, and I admire her almost to the point of envy. She seems to be acutely aware of what a poison cynicism can be, something I battle constantly . . . it’s the opposite of inspiration. She’s all about inspiration.

Now it’s back to daydreams . . . in this one I’m wondering how an interview/ discussion would go between Patricia and Alice . . . why is it that this image of two little girls is the first thing to come to mind?