I’m sitting my sunroom surrounded by things that I like and art that I’ve created. This room is probably more a reflection of me than any other room in the house. One thing that I learned so clearly this year is the important of space. It is really becoming a theme for me. I need space in which I feel comfortable, both physical space and inner space. This year I talked many times of white space. In the world of art and design white space is the negative space around the subject and within the subject itself. When you get the right balance of white space to the graphic or image, the impact of the image itself is heightened. As I look at the my own paintings, I see bold blocks of colour and stillness which offset the busyness of the composition. So it is in the design of this room, when it is tidy and things are put away there is enough space around the beautiful things to help them be better than they are, and the whole presents a much more unified image. At the very moment I then want to get up and tidy a few things away so that my experience in this sunroom is better. So that I become the complex busyness around which the white space exists. So that the room itself enhances me and my performance.
White space exists in our inner worlds as well. It may well be part of what sleep is about. We spend much of our days doing things, interacting with people, solving challenges, creating, communicating, and becoming. Do we create enough white space around our activities to really enjoy them? Is there time for personal reflection or activities that invite personal reflection such as gardening, cooking, and exercise? For me, the greatest troubles I have in my life occur when I am not allowing myself enough inner space for reflection and quiet. It’s interesting because these times also coincide with a cluttered physical space.
My grandmother, Mary – with whom you will probably become familiar if you continue to read my writing – used to say, “Just sit still and twiddle your thumbs”. She would make us sit on the sofa for what seemed a long time. Maybe she just wanted some peace and quiet herself, instead of grandkids running all over the house, or maybe she knew that reflection and inner space is a skill that we need to develop, and the younger the better.
Today as I start this new adventure, the creation of this web space, this virtual white space, I hope to share and find interesting insights into our personal worlds. I hope you come with me in a spirit of questioning and discovery.