Feb 15, 2011

white space



Mostly, it's easy to find things that inspire me. Words and images, colors and smiles, beauty and meaning.
These days, it's easier than ever, with the whole world virtually right at my fingertips. But sometimes, it's too much. Sometimes, it all becomes the opposite of inspiration, it becomes overload. Too much information, too much visual stimulation, too much to absorb. It starts to feel like chaos.
There are days when I run around noticing everything, scattering myself here and there and everywhere, trying to take it all in, but in the end, it all becomes a blur. Of course, you cannot create in a vacuum, but neither can you create in turmoil.
One of the first things they teach you in design school is the value of white space. A place to let the eye, and the mind, rest. This emptiness serves to bring attention to what matters most. When you find the perfect balance between the focal point and the white space, that's when your piece is the most successful.
Some days, I feel like I need more white space in my life. And I am slowly learning the value of nothing. Of doing nothing, thinking nothing, creating nothing, even if it's only for short periods of time.
Because if I don't give myself the chance to do nothing, I lose something. If I keep filling up the vase with pretty flowers, eventually, some of the stems will be crushed. Some will break off. Either way, the flowers will wither.
But if I give myself space to breathe and room to grow, I can feel my mind and my heart and my art expand. That white space becomes the best kind of emptiness. The kind that lets me focus on exactly what is most important. This moment, this place, this love, this life.
And then when I draw that first line, or write that first sentence,
it is the echo of what's blossomed in my soul.

18 comments:

ELK said...

white .. space is such a need ... you captured it so well today kelly

Anna said...

Kelly, this is a wonderful post and I know that unsettling feeling of "chaos" that comes from too much. For me, the advantage of creating that "white space" in my life is the ability to see the stimulation (for me, Mother Nature) at hand through my own eyes - not influenced by how other folks see her.

Prairie Girl Studio said...

oh kelly ...
thank you thank you thank you
for speaking the words i feel so deeply.
the littlest thing can inspire me and my mind goes a million places ... then i take two steps and there is something else to inspire me and there i go again
and then before you know it, overstimulation ...
and shut down. ack
i get so consumed that i need to walk away ... what i really need is balance ... not to eat all the candy in the dish at once ... remember your words and look to the white space ... phew ...
i feel better already : )
thank you thank you thank you
much love ~
xo
prairiegirl

Beth said...

Kelly, oh my gosh you hit the nail right center on the head! I guess we all feel this and don't think it through to figure out what is wrong and what is needed. Thanks bunches for bringing the white space to the forefront. I have been jumping around like a rabbit lately trying to learn everything at once and instead...I have been so overstimulated that I can't move - I don't even make into my studio most of the time lately...eek! Back up and breathe in some white space is what I need. Pick a place to land and then do so as if with blinders on to all of the other wonderfullness that will still be there waiting when I am ready! Whew!!
Hugs,
Beth

Graciel said...

it has been chaos. today, as per your suggestion, it is all about white.

thank you. xxoo

Marcie said...

WOW! Can't say I ever thought of it as 'white space' that I so desperately crave..but white space is exactly what I so often need. Thank-you for this beautiful offering!

Lil Monkey Studio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

There is always so much noise in our lives it's good to remember that we do need quite so we can hear the whispers of our creative selves. So important to remember.

Michael Douglas Jones said...

Thank you, Kelly, for another fresh approach to this life. White space is one of the hardest design elements to master, yet one of the most important. We always want to fill it with just a little more. I have always had trouble with it, now I can see that white space goes beyond design; it is an important life element,as well. Now it seems odd that sometimes the only way I can find white space in my day is by using white noise.

Amy Oscar said...

This moment. This place. This love. Been contemplating white space myself lately - between one project and the next. Resting here in a kind of roaring silence while the wind rushes through, and I, keeping my head down, breathe.

Jillsy Girl said...

I'm totally with you on this!

skye said...

I love the image that when we try to fit in one more beautiful thing, we begin breaking the stems...And the composition of life is overdone...I will hold on to this. Thank you!

Jamie said...

You may have just inspired me to turn everything off tonight and just be.

Rima Berzin said...

How perfectly and poetically you have written about this busy life and the input all around us. My favorite color: white. Yes. The white walls of my home are almost bare to give us a peaceful space from the outside world. In meditation we often look for the quiet which is nothing. I love the connections you have made with "white", growth, negative space and the breath.

Thank you Kelly for this very beautiful post.

Mary Anne Morgan said...

You are so wise, Kelly. I love these thoughts and the image.:)

Lori said...

Such a beautiful post! I love thinking about the quiet white space of nothingness. The ending of your post is brilliance- You are such a lovely writer!

One Woman's Thoughts said...

I love to go to my white space. I come out more serene and optimistically energized.

Kim Klassen said...

the way you turn your thoughts into word... always amazes me Kelly.

'But if I give myself space to breathe and room to grow, I can feel my mind and my heart and my art expand. That white space becomes the best kind of emptiness. The kind that lets me focus on exactly what is most important. This moment, this place, this love, this life.'

man i love that....

xxo, Kim