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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Power of Negative Space

Breakaway   watercolor   19 x 27
The hardest thing for so many artists, including myself, is the "negative space", that part of the painting that surrounds the thing that we are trying to capture. I have known for a long time that pictures filled with things are a turn-off to me personally. I believe that the power of the picture in total is divided between the things in the picture plane. Therefore, the fewer the things, the more power each possesses. We Americans are full of our homes, in our lives. We are simply losing, in my opinion, the ability to see the power in the negative space.....for me that negative space becomes "what is to be". The L-shaped composition of a sprawling figure on a horizontal picture plane becomes somewhat problematic since there remains a complete rectangle of "nothing".....what is to be. I must admit that I was intimidated by this space, but have become satisfied in the treatment of this space. This painting is of my son....he is a recent college graduate and is weighing all of his options for the future. That unfilled space represents, for me, all that is to come. Very satisfying.

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