Negative Space

It’s hard to believe that “negative space” is favorable, given the term. But it is. In drawing classes, we drew the space around the object — the negative space. Sometimes that space around a subject forms an interesting shape. Sometimes it’s a much-needed visual relief. A pause for the eye. In drawing classes, the professor had us draw the space, rather than the object, hoping to unlock our minds and create a more accurate drawing. In the attached sketch, I drew the objects while walking through a gallery in Italy. Three rooms of Giorgio Morandi’s works — a still life of 5 objects – a vase, bottles, bowls, etc. I guess most people would be bored, but I was seduced by the monochromatic palette and beautifully painted objects. His study of light and tone and compositional balance. It was soothing. I think that’s the beauty of negative space, in its absence there is something quietly formed. It’s in contrast to the positive – the object we do see. My suggestion as avisual artist — look beyond the object.