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Artwork by Elissa Nesheim

Making Room


Blog about the artwork of Elissa Nesheim

Making Room

Elissa Nesheim

When I took my first watercolor class at university, a topic we covered was white space. How leaving white space can encourage the viewers eye to move throughout your art, it can insinuate a space or make a line with its presence. My late professor, Richard Dubois, was a master at this white space and he instilled the necessity for this technique in our watercolor work. Throughout the years I was at Black Hills State University he and I talked about white space. Lately I've been thinking about it in many other terms, how it can apply to life as well watercolor painting and trying to incorporate it into my work more and more. 

 I was reminded of white space through an article I read by Danielle Laporte where she talks about making room for your future to show up. I loved it and really re-connected to that whole idea of letting the universe know you have space for the thing you are craving. This was back in the spring. Now as it turns cold and the mother turns toward the crone I am considering white space again even more. Perhaps because its already snowy in the place I grew up? Pictures are surfacing from the mid-west in my social media feed of snowy fields and icy pine trees. Making room for things to show up by creating some mental, physical and emotional white space is something I have been trying for lately. When these black seas showed up in a dream I was surprised a little. I hadn't worked in black in white for some time. I thought about defining a space with a circle using the white of the paper, a sort of frame within a frame for some time, but hadn't tried it yet. In the dream I was in the berth of a ship looking out a round window, like a porthole. The world outside was black and white, which was noted but not abnormal to me in the dream. This was weeks before we were going on a cruise to Mexico and I had some reservations about sleeping inside the belly of a steel fish. My solace was to remind myself I would have this window and wouldn't it be nice to look out and see the ocean for miles and miles? Perhaps this was the realization of my fears in my dream? Who knows... Cruising perhaps is not my jam per se, but maybe a smaller vessel with less extravagance would work. I did love the ocean view, as one cannot help but do just that- love. I have fallen in love with this new landscape/seascape here in California, it isn't difficult I suppose. 

 Over the Hills and Through | 2014 

Over the Hills and Through | 2014 

Do you know about the Painter's Keys? It is a great website full of wonderful tips and thoughts on art and being an artist. The best is the twice weekly newsletter delivered to your email inbox mostly written by the late Robert Genn. There is always insight, almost an artist's horoscope you could say. At the beginning of this month there was an email about reworking. How there is a story just under each and every painting that tells the tale of the artist's journey through that piece of art. Which paths were covered by new green trees or a black ocean and also where there is only white space.