We live in a world which seems to embrace 'tough', 'trendy' and 'sexy'. Is it okay to want to be pretty and feminine? What IS wrong with liking all things pretty, pink, lacy and floral?
Most likely if you've come across my website it is because you have searched for something pretty. I simply love things which are soft, gentle and feminine, anything which add beauty to my day.
I come from a fine art background and when I was training, 'beautiful' and 'pretty' were taboo. Anything that didn't have an edge to it was not considered 'real art'. I spent my years swimming upstream, making artworks of small details in nature, feathers, shells, butterflies, leaves etc which were beautiful in themselves. After a while I decided that I would be unashamed about my love of beauty.
Mixed media painting "Whatever is Lovely".
My former studio space - set up for an exhibition weekend.
Beauty in small things.
Having been around the dance industry for nearly 20 years, I've noticed that despite the fact that ballet is beautiful, that even in this field there are still some people who would rather dance be modern or sexy or controversial - anything but pretty. It is often acceptable for little girls to wear pretty costumes and dance pretty dances, but as they grow older, they are usually given more 'age appropriate' pieces to dance. Pieces which deal with real issues in life such as suicide, drugs, violence, mental illness, war etc etc. Those themes certainly have a place in the art world, I just feel that the emphasis seems to be on negative rather than positive emotions. There are however, a remnant of people in this world who still embrace beauty in every form! I'm fortunate enough to meet them often.
So - the real artists can and will continue to create deep and meaningful paintings, sculptures, installations, music, photography and dance choreography with intense emotions and edgy imagery. I can appreciate a lot of that work but I think there is a little corner of the world that has space for lighter work. I even venture to say that pretty work is just as relevant and perhaps has a depth of its own. Femininity is as ancient as Eve. Deep down, most women love to feel feminine. We can simply be who we were created to be. If we feel the need to be sexy, it is for a man, if we feel the need to be tough, it is probably to protect some aspect of our personality and if we feel the need to be trendy it is most likely so we can be accepted by others. Now, there are plenty of girls out there who are fully themselves when they are not being pretty or feminine, so it's a good thing that we live in an age where girls can wear whatever they like. I think for girls who hate dresses, the idea of being forced to dress pretty would be just as nasty a prison for them as if I were forced to wear jeans and a t-shirt every day.
I find it a joy to collect pretty costumes, accessories and props and to design photo shoots full of beauty. It is a delightful afternoon when I can photograph a pretty girl, laying in 2,000 pink rose petals. There can never be too many flowers, too much tulle, to many sparkles or too much lace.
Life can be so tough and this world so harsh - I hope that my photo shoots provide a little escape into a lovely fantasy world full of happiness for an hour or two. I love to see the look on my subject's face when they view their pictures for the first time and see how beautiful they are. I hope that when other people see my portraits that they feel some sense of warmth toward the person in the picture.