White Space

“It has been said that it’s the space between the bars that holds the tiger. And it’s the silence between the notes that makes the music. It is out of the silence, or “the gap,” or that space between our thoughts, that everything is created including our own bliss.” -Wayne Dyer White space is the most underrated tool that any artist or creative has in their toolbox. While this term originates in design, white space is a human principle that has relevancy in nearly every area of our lives. In design, we call it negative space. In music, we call it a rest. In our spiritual lives, we call it solitude, stillness, or fasting. In our weeks, we call it Sabbath. In conversation, we call it listening. In the Psalms, it has a literal name: Selah. As the quote from Dyer (above) gets at, it is the very absence of the thing (noise, movement, visuals) that adds emphasis and invokes the imagination. Our brains automatically put emphasis and importance on design elements that are surrounded by white space because white space is a visual clue about where we should be looking. White space provides a buffer around the important elements […]
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Windows to Heaven

The first time I worshipped in an Orthodox Church, I was on sensory overload. I went for a class I was taking at Fuller Seminary and it was overwhelming. We chanted, we stood for around two hours, all the time, the overwhelming scent of incense was filling my lungs. Being an artist, I was immediately enamored with the beautiful icons. I went in expecting “smells and bells,” expecting to stand, expecting to see icons, but I didn’t expect to feel so supernaturally drawn to the icon of Christ at the front of the space. I was drawn to it, I studied it, I loved it. I felt stuck. In Windows to Heaven, a book on Orthodox iconography, Elizabeth Zelensky writes that in the Orthodox faith, the icon should be seen as a window that the reader looks through to see the nature of the divine. So, by looking at (or reading, more appropriately) an icon of Christ, we see not the wood and paint, but the actual divine nature of Christ. No wonder I was compelled. Zelensky goes on to write, “It is my prayer that now and then, someone will recognize the image of Christ in me and will […]
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