Saturday, February 17, 2007

What do you find beautiful?

I've never studied aesthetics, but I know what I like to look at and what I don't like to look at.

Like to look at:

- objects and buildings made of wood, especially old ones
- trees and water (oceans, lakes, rivers)
- mountains
- children
- eyes, hands
- fire
- snowfall
- fields, in any season
- horses
- birds
- growing crops
- my husband
- my children

Don't like to look at:

- strip malls
- almost anything plastic, especially brightly colored yard toys
- dirty snow
- aluminum-sided buildings
- litter

I could think of more.

I've found that the more I know/study a topic, the pickier I become about what I like. In the last year as I've studied good photographs, I've gotten choosier about what is pleasing to me.

I also find that I like to look at things more as their value increases. For example, the barn in the photo above does not immediately seem aesthetically pleasing. But as I've driven past it on my drive the last 3 years, it has become a familiar and appealing sight, partly because the rest of the farm where it stands is so attractive.
Like, have you noticed that someone who didn't at first seem particularly attractive to you becomes more so as you get to know them? (Or vice versa?)
What are 3 (at least) things you like to look at, and don't like to look at?
(I really enjoyed Jennifer's lists on her last post, which inspired this one.)


lesleyanne said...

like to look at:

-old [maybe falling apart] buildings
-the sky through trees

don't like to look at:

-black smoke billowing into the air
-people on the street with no homes
-someone biting their fingernails

i love this entry. audience participation. beauty is so selective, and it is so funny that someone/something i can regard so highly is not so lovely to someone else.

Ruth said...

Daughtuh, how did I forget flowers on MY list!!?? Maybe because it's winter. I like both your lists.

I remember posting a photo of a very old, very dirty huge boat of a car on my East Lansing blog, and one guy left a comment that he LOVED it. Not everyone does love such things, and I am fascinated by that. What is there in someone -- their genes, upbringing, whatever - that has brought them to love "maybe falling apart" buildings and cars and stuff. Me too.

Anonymous said...

like to look at:
-elderly people
-rivers, streams, babbling brooks, creeks (basically flowing water)
-produce in a farmer's market or a well-kept grocery store
-my dog

don't like to look at:
-ugly new houses, especially where the front side is brick and the other sides are aluminum siding.
-golf courses

Ginnie said...

Such a wonderful quest, Ruth! I like it when we have to think things through like this. Just stop for awhile and get off the merry-go-round! :)

** wrinkles
** Native American crafts
** paths & streams in the woods
** sand dunes
** antique oak furniture
** infectious smiles
** small, colorful stones

I dislike:
** rubbish along the roads
** cigarette smoke
** unkempt trailer homes
** pretentious gas-hog vehicles

Ruth said...

Heather, oooh, I would add the produce one to my list too. And I've gotta agree with you on Walmart and the houses with brick just on the front.

Boots, oh yes! sand dunes is a good one! And I agree with the SUVs.

Don said...

what a fun post!

like to look at:
you (Ruth)
stacked firewood
old tractors
rolling hills

don't like to look at:
new subdivisions
empty city buses
basketball hoops without a net

I agree with all of the other likes and dislikes. my favorite dislikes so far:Ruth's strip malls (they're ugly and every place in USA looks exactly alike!) L's people on the street with no homes, H's new houses with brick on the front (who thought that would look good?) and G's roadside rubbish, G, you're showing your international"ness" with the word rubbish!

Ruth said...


Don, I agree with yours (except looking at me), especially the empty city buses. Good ones!

Rauf said...

symmetry of any kind Ruth, Its lot easier for me to list what I don't like. My ideas have changed draamatically since last week. Now I love traffic too.
I give myself allowances and discounts. I don't like bad road in the city but I don't mind a bad road in the wilderness. I enjoy the train journey even if I don't have a seat. If I have a seat it has to be a window seat. I love window seat and I love trains. As far as possible I avoid long bus rides however comfortable they are.
I can go on and on Ruth.
Joy comes from nowhere. I saw Lesleyanne's blog I just came alive even before reading it, without wasting anytime I added her to the links almost immediately

Ruth said...

Rauf, your brush with death made you see things differently. That is a true gift. Do you ever just stare at something, for a long time, just look at it and try to grasp its essence? Not think of its name or purpose. It's a freeing practice. Like your experience.

Rauf said...

Yes I do Ruth, I keep looking and try to understand, I like watching clouds and connecting them to different shapes. But most of the time I make absolutely no attempt to understand complicated things.

This morning Lesley's page was open too, After typing a comment here had coffee and typed a comment on Lesley's page which was meant for Synchronising. Can't imagine the shock on her face.

thehealingroom said...

Hi Ruth,
Great Inspiration. I love all the lists!
like to look at:

-rocks, especially large boulders
-large old trees
-bodies of water
-a loved ones eyes

Not so much:

-ditto for walmart
-flourescent lighting
-someone spitting or a one-finger-nose-blow

Ruth said...

Jennie, oh man, those are good ones. I'd have guessed the rocks about you; I'd like to look at the ones in your yard too.

The nose blow and flourescent lighting I would concur also.

Ruth said...

Rauf, you'd better watch out for that coffee. Sounds like it makes you do unexpected and wild things. Better stick to ginger tea, man.

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