One of the art books I bought to help me plan for the class is Art that Creeps: Gothic Fantasies and the Macabre in Contemporary Art, and one of its featured artists in Nicoletta Ceccoli. Her work uses pastels, and she too "infects the prettiness" with both darker, duller colors and darker content and themes. Her work below, The Princess and the Prey, seems at first whimsical, sweet, something out of a fairytale....adorable, even. But the girl rider doesn't seem innocent. She seems sad, certain, poised. And her steed looks alarmed. The beast she is slaying too human, too calm. Dice scattered in the background. Grays and dusty blues and greens smudging the pretty pastels. And yet I like the work more because it's not so predictable, so Disney, so cutesy. She looks like a serious heroine, and a smart one, and one who knows the woes of the world.