Senior designer and UX manager


On the subject of pentimenti

Operational signs that edits are needed.

Operational signs that edits are needed.

A pentimento (plural pentimenti) is an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his or her mind as to the composition during the process of painting. The word is Italian for repentance, from the verb pentirsi, meaning to repent.  It also happens to be a word I was unaware of until just last week.  Whether I knew it or not (I didn't), I've been exploring the concept of pentimento in my artistic work recently.  I've been drawn to the mistakes and happenstance that can come from artistic struggle.  Which is all very interesting since a majority of my day job happens to be devoted to designing beautiful things, and a subset of that time devoted to the identification and eradication of errors, mistakes and bugs.  In case you are wondering why my work includes so many revisions, edits, and redactions - I guess I find those reference points more interesting than the thoughtless, cool virtuosity that tends to follow in the footsteps of practiced expertise. 

This wikipedia article has more examples of pentimento throughout history.

And here you will find a cheatsheet of proofreaders marks courtesy of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Do you have examples of mistakes that you like in art, movies, or music - let me know in the comments?  Hope to see you at the SAM gallery on Thursday 1/11 for the opening reception of New Art, New Artists.



Jason GouliardComment