Monday, April 14, 2014

Pretty

I've been hesitant to post this painting (8 x 8 inches on canvas panel)...because it's rather pretty.  And pretty is something I've consciously tried to veer away from, for years.  Nevertheless, a couple weeks ago I felt the urge to paint something with green, pink and gold.  And this is what I got.

What is it about the word "pretty" that feels so creepy?  It's kind of like "nice," another word that sounds like a catchall, just something to say because you don't know what else to say, or you don't have the vocabulary to be more specific...or because you really don't like something at all but feel you would be offensive if you said anything besides "pretty" or "nice."  So I've actually come to think of both these words themselves as offensive...in a pretty nice way, of course.

But here's the other thing ~ I enjoyed painting this pretty little piece.  As I'm enjoying all the painting I'm doing.  Although it always seems to be difficult for me to actually begin painting, I enjoy it probably more than anything else I've done over the years.  Which is very interesting to me when I fully consider what I just wrote:  It is difficult for me to do things that I enjoy.  Hmmm...

14 comments:

Karen Isaacson said...

I'm right there with you. What is it about those words that makes me want to run away screaming. I believe in beauty. I believe in kindness. but don't give me pretty or nice.

Jacki Long said...

I agree, totally!
But, I would also add "cute'" ...
in my offending word list ;op
As far as the work,
you are so talented
it all works for me. ;o)

PamelaArtsinSF said...

Pretty...cute....nice.....bad words.....

Charlton Stitcher said...

I'd also add 'interesting' another word that means I'm not sure what this is all about and I'm not sure I like it. Despite this, these words which can seem small and limiting have their uses and in the right context, to the right people, can be very welcome and encouraging music. Mind you, if anyone used them of my work, I'd run away screaming!

Your work is not pretty in that small, unimaginative sense. I like the stylised leaf shapes ... and the dots suggest stitch lines ... what more could I want?

Irene said...

I would say that's a pretty darn nice painting, Connie.

Jeannie said...

It is pretty - and elegant, interesting, textural, serene...... I know what you mean about pretty/nice. It always seemed like someone was saying "ordinary" or a back handed compliment - not ugly but not beautiful. Or, it could be the stubborn, revolting against my mother mentality of "being a nice girl". LOL! I am elated that you have found something you love to do. (I have found that "after the chores are done" mentality keeps me from doing what I enjoy. A bad habit I am determined to break. :D)

Betty Eilat said...

I learned something here today... I hope that if I used any of these words to describe what I felt about your work I did not offened you... it must be my limited vocabulary :)

MegWeaves said...

You know me, Connie, I like pretty and I try to make anything I do have a little bit of pretty in it, if not a whole lot. But I've come to think that pretty doesn't have to be boring. Well, it's taken me years to get that far. What do I do now? LOL.

And I have a hard time getting started on things I love to do the most. Sometimes. Other times, I just make myself do it before thinking about it, and that seems to work.

Maggi said...

I really like the simplicity of this piece. It's more representational than your recent work but there's nothing wrong with that when it works so well. I do agree with you that pretty and nice are overused and often considered derogatory but I also think that sometimes they are used to describe something that people like, just that they are not able to express themselves in a different way.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Call it what you may, I like it! It is different from what you have been doing, but still appealing... how's that? I love leaf shapes, and the colors make me think of Spring, one of my favorite seasons. I, too, find it difficult to start a new project, but once I get in to it, that usually goes away.

Jeanne Aird said...

It is pretty and elegant with lovely color and value choices, flowing lines and texture. Part of the problem is that the work "Pretty" is overused and not specific feedback. Worse is when someone says your work is "cute." Shriek, shriek!!! Glad you are enjoying painting. Beginning any new creative endeavor is difficult.

The Idaho Beauty said...

This "pretty" little piece looks as if it could be a textile. I'm wondering if you are partly struggling with the difference between "fine" art and "decorative" art. Decorative art is just plain pleasing to the eye for whatever reason, and does not need deep hidden meanings. It just is and that is reason enough.

At some point I came to terms with this, readily admitting that much of what I like to create may fall more under the decorative art category, but that does not make it any less a good, perhaps even great piece of art.

This really is a lovely piece, even though a surprise since it is so unlike what you usually show us. Enjoy going with your heart.

Leslie said...

I like that painting a lot. Very graceful. Almost underwater-y.

I use 'nice' when I like something just fine but it doesn't move me enough to use stupendous or amazing or anything much higher than 'nice'. Is there another word that would work for the level of liking something other than 'nice'? Maybe I'm one of those people who don't have the vocabulary LOL.

Quilt or Dye said...

"Pretty," "nice," "interesting" are all words used when someone doesn't really like or get something but doesn't want to be rude. "Oh, that is nice" really means "What the hell is that supposed to be?" Okay, those "nice" comments don't fool me.