The Art of "Not"

less is more lost edges watercolor Jun 10, 2020

Perhaps this isn’t the best way of saying it, but the idea is not to express everything — to leave something to the imagination. In this loose rendering of the model, I was able to leave the light on her face and shoulder(s) open to the rest of the white paper. I love this style of expression when I’m able to pull it off, because I feel like it invites the viewer in and respects their own choices for completing the picture. Swinging the needle far over, I think it speaks to the appeal of abstract art that allows the viewer total control of interpretation.

At any rate, I personally would like to develop the “not telling all” approach more. Alas, it’s easier said than done. It’s so easy to over-tell, to add in too many details that start to detract from the essential image. I guess it’s back to that old adage: Less is more. In a funny, ironic twist, I’m thinking that it takes a whole lot more practice to learn not to over-tell. So here’s to more “not.”