Stephen Quiller's book "Watermedia Painting" includes a special exercise to help teach one to see more abstractly. He suggests painting 1/2 hr. each day for two weeks the shapes that surround common objects found in your home. For example chairs, teapots, plants, etc. It is a way to show how these spaces are important in defining the positive ones.
As I worked on teaching my eyes to see those odd shapes that surround an object I found myself correlating it to a page of life. Often times we believe that the not so good situations or the unexciting ones keep us from reaching our dreams. When we take time to look we come to see those quiet days, weeks and even years were formulating a lovely backdrop. They were necessary for what was truly meaningful. It is as if what we considered negative was busy creating something positive. Seems like it takes both to make a great painting and also a great life.
May all of you find those negative shapes forming positives in your art and in your lives. God Bless!
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)