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Retired math teacher takes time to paint
Woman said she stimulates the 'other side of her brain'
Former math teacher Lilli Grenvicz has her own studio called the “Lilli Pad” in her home at the Georgia Club in Statham. She pursues her passion for painting and is able to tutor a handful of students as well to keep her brain stimulate, she said. - photo by Bonny Harper

Some might think a former math teacher and current math tutor wouldn’t have a creative streak, but Lilli Grenvicz would prove them wrong.

For almost a year, Grenvicz and her husband of 43 years have been living at the Georgia Club in Statham, where Grenvicz has set up her own art studio, fondly referred to as the “Lilli Pad.”

Grenvicz spent nearly 15 years teaching math in Tucker and has been a tutor for more than 25 years since, but she said she has been painting off and on for 30 years. She even has attended several painting workshops — two of which were in France for a week at a time.

“It’s a way for me to kind of get on the other side of my brain,” Grenvicz said.

Grenvicz spends about 3 or 4 hours a day in her Lilli Pad, painting in mainly water colors and oils. She doesn’t sell her work, she said, but she gives a lot of it away, from greeting cards to paintings to hang on the wall.

“I think people probably hang it up when they know I’m coming over,” Grenvicz joked.

After 40 years of living in Atlanta, Grenvicz — who grew up in Commerce and attended the University of Georgia as a math major — said she enjoys the slower, friendlier pace of the Georgia Club.

The people in her current community are nicer, she said. She and her husband have family in Winder, Jefferson and Winterville, so it’s convenient for them to be closer to those loved ones as well.

Grenvicz said art is much more forgiving and flexible than math, with its rules and absolutes which “leave no room for question or opinion.”

“The good thing about art is that there’s no right or wrong,” Grenvicz said. “There’s no big fear of trying, because it’s so subjective.”

Grenvicz gains her inspiration for her paintings from things she sees, especially in nature and the outdoors, she said.

Though they have no children, Grenvicz and her husband have 10-year-old Charlie, a golden retriever, who Grenvicz said is her “baby.” Grenvicz professed a great love for animals, which are featured in much of her work. Some of her favorite animals are dogs, rabbits and birds, she said, though the list of animals she likes is much longer.

“Let me tell you about the animals I don’t like,” Grenvicz said, and then she didn’t say anything.

Aside from painting, Grenvicz still tutors a handful of students, which she said meets her needs for interacting with children as well as keeps her brain stimulated.

But now that they’ve settled in at the Georgia Club, where life is “easier and slower, and fun too,” Grenvicz said she expects to more readily be able to fulfill her goals of improving her painting and enjoying a more relaxing lifestyle.