The Space Between


I love the way light dances around form. Though it is powerful to render and the process has yet to lose appeal, for the moment I find myself in a new pursuit. As I stand in the nothing, outside of everything I once understood to be truth, I find myself paying special attention to the absence of form.

I work to paint the light suspended in the air. Charcoal? No. Powdered graphite? Something cleaner. Paint applications? Too opaque. Ink washes? Getting closer…

Academically trained artists are taught to label empty space, ‘negative space’ as if the space offers nothing at all. I do agree unfilled space is the absence of form in any sense we can understand, but to label it ‘negative’ seems highly inappropriate. Today, I am not a fan of the term ‘negative’ and all its connotations. Who created the label and why did it stick? All artists would agree, it is not as if the presence of form offers value to a composition and the absence of it somehow takes away from the overall work. Contrary to being negative, it is the ‘empty’ space which sets form in context and builds up creative tension in the work. I vote the name is unsuitable, from now on I’ll call it, ‘the space between’.

The air compressor kicks on again... the light meets some silent and subtle resistance in the air, yet is seemly free from the laws of physics. Perhaps the forms were just blocking my view all along. A more efficient artist would leave the page blank here, but for some reason, I cannot. There is something in the air to be understood. Even if I cannot see it, I can feel it.  

I find myself fascinated with the space between in the fractal sense—its delicate yet tangible presence undeniable in all parts of the story. All the unseen forces at play, some keeping us apart, others pulling us together. The space between holds the most powerful forces—those of unity and division—and so many others I dare not claim to understand.  

Perhaps it is not for me to comprehend at all. So, for now, I look around at my mess, covered in graphite and ink. I laugh at myself to keep from crying and work to render the light as it filters through the air and all the space between.