Thursday, April 28, 2011

Word of the Day - Sprezzatura

"...a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it." 

More on this:

Isn't that a great word? How much time do we spend trying to conceal our labor? And how frustrating is it to realize that nobody cares about the individual battles won to bring a work forward. Try telling your sweetie about struggling with a particular shade of orange. Or how this slippy medium is slightly more slippy than that slippy medium. Yawn.

There's a certain amount of performance in what we do. Every work is like a practiced musical piece, executed in its final form for an audience we hope is ready to listen. And happy to hear it.

What do you think?

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  1. I have some videos by a famous living painter who has more than once referred to the simplicity of his/her work stating something like "and right here there are no more than 3 or 4 strokes..." when in fact careful scrutiny reveals 15 or more. Sure, it's just understandable even forgivable hyperbole, but we artists often focus on trying to capture the apparent effortlessness of our predecessors... forgetting that they, too, often worked overtime to make their brush strokes appear effortless.

    If brushes had an Undo button, we'd be replacing the button more often than the brushes.

  2. I guess that's why we practice. Gets the kinks out. Or something.

  3. I always get a kick out of artists when they say, Oh I had such FUN painting this piece. Painting is an intuitive act that may end up being a comedy or pure drama. I love painting but the word 'fun' does not usually apply when you are truly immersed in the process. I like your word for the day, sprezzatura. It gives one room to ponder.