Considering the negative…space, that is

I have been trying to integrate what I saw in my travels this summer, and I’ve been pondering the question of negative space…
But before I share my noodlings with you, I need to reveal my sea fan experiment from last month. After printing the light fan shapes and the darker water, I added some coral shapes in the background. It amazes me how adding a brighter and darker color makes the water so much lighter and does add lots more depth. The coral shapes have three colors in order to hint at dimensionality. There is a great deal of activity in the work, and not many places for the eye to rest. I often need to live with a linocut for a while before I decide if it will make it to a frame, or get flipped and used as a test print.
Sea Fan linocut. It doesn’t get a name unless it warrants a frame!
So back to negative space — or in the design world, “white space.” There are lots of famous examples of the use of white space. This about the face/vase illusion for example. In all of these, the positive and negative spaces make your brain work to decide what it is seeing.

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