Sunday, January 25, 2015

Negative Space

"Negative Space, in art, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image." (wikimedia)

Wikimedia also mentions that "The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition. The Japanese word 'ma' is sometimes used for this concept, for example in garden design."

I've never heard anyone use the Japanese word "ma" instead of "negative space" yet, but it must be some kind of a new, hip thing to say, along with "umami" and some other Japanese words that I can't think of right now. I would use the word "ma" in terms of passing of time, like a pause, mainly in a conversation or in a stand-up comedy, but not when explaining visual elements.
Here is something I painted recently in the Bywater.

Burgundy near Clouet, New Orleans
oil on canvas, 14"x18"

I have to thank Dominique for mentioning those magic words, "negative space" to me. That made me remember that I was Japanese after all, and I should know a thing or two about negative space. Then I went outside and found this location, that screamed NEGATIVE SPACE!!!

Thank you Dominique, for the reminder, AND adopting this painting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Here's something I have done recently, on black canvas using painting knives.

oil on canvas, 18"x24"

Usually I tend to put too much details on my paintings and I wanted to get away from that habit. Although I was frustrated from time to time since I'm not used to using painting knives, not having the command on paint application was actually enjoyable. Things happened spontaneously, both for good and bad. Also I was able to exercise some muscles on my right arm that I didn't know I had.