Negative Space in this years Royal Academy summer exhibition

I have visited the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition many times, and have to admit that for the most part I am rarely inspired, often leaving with a sense of confusion  and frustration!

watercolour of dancing birds…..Lots of negative space.

20-11-15 - 1 (151)

Traditionally during this large exhibition,  paintings have been hung close together in overcrowded galleries.   This year, the galleries had been hung far more sensitively,     allowing more space between the paintings, which in turn gives viewers the opportunity to actually see and enjoy the works on display.

20-11-15 - 1 (178)

I wasn’t planning to attend this year, until my friend, Jayanthi asked if I would like to meet her there.     The prospect of spending time with her was enough for me to change my mind.

Jayanthi, taking a photograph in one of the galleries. 

20-11-15 - 1 (187)

Allowing space around and between paintings gives the eye and mind time to rest and focus, rather than being bombarded with too much information.

Looking through galleries at the RA. 

20-11-15 - 1 (189)

The same principle is honoured in Japanese gardens and theatre…..we recognise it in beautifully composed music, literature and paintings.     A place within the whole, which allows the mind to rest – to take in with clarity what it is we are experiencing.

The calm and serenity of a Japanese garden. 


I hope everyone enjoys a lovely weekend, with some space and time for reflection…..

magical hummingbird soaring through space and time…..

20-11-15 - 1 (321)

A Bientôt





36 thoughts on “Negative Space in this years Royal Academy summer exhibition

  1. Tish Farrell

    Yes, the space between. Thank you for reminding of us of its importance, Janet. Simply reading your thoughts about it, gave me a sense of clearing out the over/undergrowth.

  2. Teagan Geneviene

    Janet I love your work far better than anything I could see in this exhibit. 🙂 You are absolutely right about the negative space (or for me as a technical editor, usually white space). It really is important. Thanks for the Zen garden photo. What a calming place it must be — even the picture helps. As always, thank you thank you for your magical hummingbirds. ❤ Mega hugs.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Teagan….yes, to sit in a Japanese garden is a truly sublime experience…..with the innate understanding of negative space, there is always a sense of tranquility….something we all need in today’s crazy world. I hope you enjoy a lovely weekend, filled with peace and magical hummers:)xx

      1. Teagan Geneviene

        The weekend seems to have vanished into a time warp. 😉 Friday I had (scheduled 2+ weeks ago) an interview that I just could not put any hope in; it’s public affairs, and I’m given to understand that is very youth oriented (and I already lost one of the earlier 3 because of age), and several other reasons. I almost cancelled the appointment, but I kept it. Well, my friend, your magical hummingbirds must have been here, because the interview went great! Maybe I will hear something good from them. It is in Las Vegas (not Arizona) but that’s still the desert, and I should still be able to afford to buy a home. The down side is it would be a huge pay cut… But you know how badly I need to get back to the desert. Monday hummingbird hugs. ❤ ⭐ 🙂

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        All fingers and toes are crossed and the hummers are working overtime! Don’t worry about a pay cut…the key is to be where you want to be. Oh for the beautiful desert. :)x

  3. Mary

    Gorgeous Dancing Birds Janet, always a pleasure to see your exquisite work. The Japanese Garden is a place that I could get lost in – love the shot. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much, Mary. I love Japanese gardens – definitely a place to seek out during these stressful times. We are so fortunate to be able to immerse ourselves into the creative process…. I hope you enjoy a creative and peaceful weekend…janet:)

  4. Timi Townsend

    Lovely post, Janet. I really enjoyed the photos of the RA–the arches between the galleries and the way you shot through them, especially nice. A gorgeous Japanese garden. And your beautiful paintings! I cannot get enough of them. I completely agree with your endorsement of negative space. It is a precept I follow in making music and in finding musical works that I enjoy. Have a great weekend! I’m going to be learning how to use my new binoculars so that I can go birding!

  5. Jayanthi

    I so enjoyed that day with you, Janet. I certainly understood much more about the value of negative spaces by viewing that exhibition. Have been to the National Art gallery in Dublin today and one of the paintings I liked was striking in its simplicity – the negatives spaces definitely made it very calming! It was a still life with just a fish and a couple of other items and I liked it a lot.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Jayanthi. I look forward to seeing photographs and hearing about your trip to beautiful Dublin. I must admit that the negative space has been very much on my mind this week:)

  6. Jet Eliot

    Wonderful post, Janet. I enjoyed the discussion on space and meditation very much, and the photos of the RA and J. Garden. But I especially breathed in the lovely movement and space of your two bird paintings. Extraordinary art you share, thank you.

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Hi Jet – just dropping in briefly to say that I have finished ‘Wicked Walkabout’ and thoroughly enjoyed – and love that another book is on the boiler:) Superb…thank you so much…Janet. 🙂 now back to my break……

  7. snowbird

    I’m so glad they have improved the layout. There’s nothing worse than overcrowding in a gallery! Are those fantastic dancing birds yours? they sure look like your work. Just stunning!xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Dina….yes the dancing birds are mine. I am getting ready to give a workshop next week for the Chiswick Pier Trust….focusing on birds on the Thames….should be fun. I could actually breath this year at the RA:) Wishing you a lovely week ahead…janet. xxx

      1. snowbird

        Jeez! I’d pay a fortune to have those dancing birds sitting on my wall, absolutely LOVE them. Lucky guys, attending your bird workshop!xxx

  8. kathryningrid

    You’ve captured the heart of negative space’s beauty perfectly, both in your meditation and in your always-exquisite art. And I second Dina’s elation over the dancing birds—never have I seen anyone so succinctly and gracefully succeed in expressing that precise moment of winged creatures rising from water. Sumi-style mastery that matches your zen reference in an ideal way. Neither too much information nor too little; just Right.

    What a peaceful and beautiful way to start my day!
    Much love, and may your weekend be filled with precisely the right amount of Negative Space!!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Kathryn…thank you so much for this lovely comment. I am reminded that less is often so much more – and need to practise what I preach more often:) I am thinking of you as you enjoy your Labour Day weekend. If you are at a BBQ – please eat some for me….janet:)xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.