Since Tuesday November 8,

 I've been in a negative space

 along with a lot of people here in my Northern California bubble.  In fact, the following afternoon I taught my after school art class with 20 kids between the ages of 4 and 7 all about negative space (of course never mentioning the "T" word.) So what is negative space in the visual world? Not an easy concept to understand for kids and some adults, it's the space AROUND something. The space that is NOT that thing.

We started with the first letter of their first names.  Here is what they did:

1. Each child artist drew her letter with small white soap onto black paper.  That letter is the "Positive Space."

2. She identified the spaces around the letter. Those spaces are the "Negative Space."

3. Using oil pastels, each artist filled the negative spaces with color and pattern, whatever she wanted to do, as long as the negative space was completely filled. 

4. The final step was to quickly wash the soap off the art work revealing the letter, the positive space.


So what is so important about seeing the space between things? The negative space? 

Seeing the space between letters, the space between front teeth, the space between people is a skill we all need to practice.


Five years old is the perfect time to start...

because we're all connected. 

I felt so much better after spending my afternoon with 20 five and six year old artists who see the negative space as a possibility for color and pattern and complete joy.  I love these guys.  Thanks kids