As artists we often fall in to the need to fill all the empty spaces. We have a need to claim our space. There are many different types of spaces: our physical space (our home and work place), our intimate space (our boundaries), verbal space (communication and listening), or our life space (career and social activities). Empty space often leaves us feeling uncomfortable. We feel the need to fill it.
A canvas would be quite boring if it were left blank, just as verbal space needs a combination of communication and listening. Our life space needs a balance of work, social activities and periods of calm. When one writes a gripping musical piece, it is the spaces between the notes that makes the music. Some of the best musician, I am told, play fewer notes than you actually hear. They play in such a way- and leave enough space- that your mind fills in more.
The best artists are aware that negative space on the canvas carries weight. It is not just the absence of content. The empty space or white space IS content.
It is important that we not fill every moment of our days putting paint to canvas. Some of the most valuable components of a work of art are the moments spent in quiet contemplation. Those are the moments that invite revelation – spaces. Those moments are just as important as the white space on the canvas.