Negative space – art imitates life

Or is it the other way around - life imitating art? I spent January with my camera, learning about negative space. In the simplest terms, negative space is the area that surrounds the subject. It is sometimes called "white space", but it does not need to be white, or even, blank. When a photo has large areas of negative space, it often conveys a feeling of peacefulness or serenity, but it can also feel lonely. Since I am drawn to photos with lots of open space, it surprised me that I found this type of composition challenging - and just how much this challenge reflects my current life style. Finding negative space in "crowded" areas I spend my days in the crowded city - surrounded by buildings, noisy subways and sirens, and people - lots and lots of people. And while my weekends in the mountains are peaceful, there, too, it is challenging to find space that doesn't add to the busy-ness of my photo. Zooming in helps. As does looking up. And, a shallow depth of field, creates a blurry background. In my art journal, I am trying to do the same - leaving some negative space in my compositions. And, wow - I am failing - miserably. I am like a little kid with art supplies - no matter what I plan, my page winds up an explosion of color. Perplexed, I think to myself, "hmmm, I certainly hope this is not my style..." Negative Space - art and life This negative space thing, though, isn't that what my recent minimizing has been about.? Finding more free time, less, busy-ness, less stress - space to breathe - to just be. This, too, has been a challenge. I wonder to myself, is my art imitating my life? If I find more peace in my art, will my life follow, imitating art? So - without getting too philosophical - I am curious. If you were to think about your art - whether it is photography, crafts, writing, knitting... - do you feel that it reflects your current life - or that maybe, your art is a way to help guide your life?

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