A photography professor of mine always told me to respect the edge of the frame.
It wasn’t just to be mindful of where the physical limits of your image are, but to embrace the edge as a way to create dynamic movement within the image itself. Paragraphs work the same way in writing. Where one begins or ends a paragraph can create dynamic tension, can change the entire feel of the written word.
For years I’ve been trying to study the edges. I find that the most interesting work occurs there. How a resolution is made or forgotten. I’ve particularly focused my study on music. Edges are everywhere in music. How a transition is made, the conclusion of a solo piece, the end of the chorus, even down to a single lick played by a musician can have a fascinating resolve. Unfortunately, most artists never make the big finish and just let their music fade to black at the end, always disappointing.
Lately I’ve been looking at the edges of life. I have a 13 month old baby, and witnessing firsthand the initial strokes of presence and how clumsily graceful they can be. Babies are almost obsessed with finding the edges of their existence. They can’t wait to paint the corners, eager to leave the middle of the canvass for the masterwork that will become their life. But also having a child has forced me to look more deeply at the edges of my own life. I’ve been seeing the white space I’ve left unattended all these years, as well as the edges being left for the big moments or the end. My canvass is surprisingly void of vibrancy.
Most people would argue with that premise.
Most people don’t get to see my canvass.