Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Negative Spaces

From an artist's perspective, negative spaces are just as critical to draw as the object itself. What are negative spaces? Between the chair legs. Between the bent elbow and the waistline. Underneath the horse, the air around his legs. The shape of the sky around the tree and the sunlight between the leaves. As a non-artist, I asked, "How do you draw air?"

My artist friend, Jane, patiently explained that if you draw the shapes around something, between, you will draw the shape of the object. A different perspective. I see a house, a chair, a tree. She sees light and shadows and motion and shades and shapes and details unnoticed by me. She sees and draws the empty space that to me would seem a non-space. To her, it appears full of details.

To an artist, the folds of the shirt and the shadows on leaves are a contrast of negative space and shape, dark and light, color and tone. She takes an object and is able to interpret the details on to a paper or a canvas and give them dimension and life by accurately describing the negative spaces.

In this photo, look carefully at the shape of the spaces between the rungs, between the stair rails, between the stairs and the floor.

Don't look at the letters, look between them, around them

How we look at things, at life, makes a big difference in our perspective. This week, as families are gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday, remember to check your perspective and notice that even the negative spaces around us are critical to the whole picture. The sad, empty places of our lives give form to the full, happy spots.

Have you thought of any comparisons to life? Our choices not to do something are just as critical as what to do. The spaces in our lives that feel negative or empty, are what actually give definition and shape to the rest of the days. We are as dependent on our negative spaces as on our full, positive times. How we use our down-times, the spaces in our homes, how we choose to fill our minds, all are influenced by the positive and the negatives in our lives.
Look between the lines that mark the spaces in our lives, find the color and beauty in a fresh perspective.
If you can stop being mesmerized by the eyes, look at all the negative spaces defining the shapes in this drawing.

1 comment:

  1. Maureen, I've had fun catching up on some of your posts. You always make me think:) Today I think of negative spaces around our Thanksgiving table. One son across the country, one helping a friend today, the other two holidaying with their in-laws. This is a different kind of holiday for sure, but still good. I'm giving thanks for who/what those negative spaces represent and for God's tender mercies. It's a beautiful day:)