Friday, July 21, 2006

The value of the bozzetto

Got a really good email from Robert Glen's Twice-Weekly Newsletter today. Good thoughts on the experimental nature of 'process':

"Bozzetto" is an Italian term for a sculptor's small-scale model, usually in wax or clay, made in preparation for a full-scale work in more permanent material. Like the French "maquette," a bozzetto is often exploratory. The word bozzetto, however, can also mean a sketch for a painting--even a sketch-for–its-own-sake that can march out into the world and have a life of its own.

Artists of all stripes need to know that the bozzetto is not just a sketch but a state of mind. With its low degree of commitment and expectation, it gives high value and ongoing reward as a creative tool. Lending itself to the magical ploys
of series and set, it frees the mind of great obligation and prepares the groundwork for visual freshness. Together with the golden rule of "chuck it," regularly practiced, bozzetto-making is a sure route to style and an individualist personality. It also goes a long way toward overcoming obsessive overworking and the perennial inability of some artists to wind up their work. Because of its casual nature, bozzetto-making simply and directly self-teaches the painterly virtues of audacity, paucity, experimentation and elan.

Audacity: Daring, bold and impudent, the audacious painter wades into action without knowing what she's getting into. "Just do it" is her motto, and ego-force is her operating mode.

Paucity: Paucity is the absence of, or mere implication of
subjects or areas within a work. It also includes cursory,
lost-and-found lines and the minimal number of strokes
necessary to do the job. Paucity is the ultimate economy of

Experimentation: The artist constantly asks "what could be?" and shucks off the temptation to go for the tried and true. In some ways,experimentation is the most stimulating act of the creative process. With small stuff, the artist speculates: "What the heck, I'll try this."

Elan: Flushed with energy and enjoying a vivacious rush, the artist commits, conducts and masters. Elan itself releases the genie of imagination. The artist looks and acts like a maestro and thus becomes one.


Rebecca Bush said...

Thanks for sharing this!

Izzychat said...

Bozzetto is a good word to know - new to me... I love the way the Italian rolls off the tongue. And I love Paucity and audacity as just cool sounding words. I like the idea of building our critiquing vocabulary and general competence. Thanks for sharing.