I like empty frames. I like them, positioned singularly or one inside another, on walls, serving as elements in an art piece or table display, propped up on surfaces or suspended by ribbon or wire. This has not always been the case. There was a time when I would have found such unfilled, uncertain spaces unacceptable and either discarded them or rushed to fill them. I’m not sure what attracted me first-the pure design of the frames or the clear, uncluttered space that surrounded them. I can only surmise what aesthetic change transpired.
Over the years, my empty frames have been filled with images and items they’ve owned and embraced for lengthy periods, or at other times, functioned as backdrops for potential possibilities. During these various stages of incarnation, I’ve viewed the vacant frames as serene landscapes, filled with space and light, or abandoned structures, seemingly left wanting in their unattended state. They, in their own way, became brethren to the bare stages, empty canvases, and blank pieces of paper, which also found residence in my creative life.
From time to time, I’ve experienced quizzical looks from family and friends, as they have observed my blank frames residing in their provisional states of being. Once when working on a family photo gallery, which incorporated numerous unoccupied frames, I remarked to a dear friend how odd it must be, developing a project as such, hanging frames before I knew what photos would be featured in them. He said he did not find it odd at all but saw it as evidence of my being “inherently hopeful.” I liked his observation and have referred to it at times when “inherent hope” seemed unattainable.
From my current perspective, much of my life and work seems to have taken the form of an empty frame, providing a boundary of intention that has been left bare or filled with elements to be assessed, altered or sometimes discarded. On occasion, it appears the frame itself has been replaced.
I suppose this online journal and my recent creative work is yet another empty frame I have introduced into my life. The initial framework is present, but many of the elements that may be encompassed are not yet fully revealed. Based on my previous experiences, I suspect that only time, effort, receptivity and relationships with others will form the pieces to be placed in the frame. In the meantime, I will do my best to remain inherently hopeful, as I watch the concealed possibilities emerge.