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About Traditional Art / Professional Senior Member Mellissa Redman26/Female/United States Groups :icondeviant-mentor: Deviant-Mentor
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The Other and Otherness

Mon May 11, 2015, 1:10 PM

Otherness can be defined as anything or anyone who is not part of the dominant culture, or the person that they dominance is about. Artists are in collusion with the dominant culture and the rest of the people in the lower culture. Until we reach the Romantic period, there is not a lot of political or cultural dissent in art. This is because art was mainly focused on the patrons who purchased the pieces. The lower classes, rough, unpredictable, violent, excessive, threats to the established order. Facial appearance, body posture, stasis or movement, individuality and details (or lack thereof), paleness vs. tan pigmentation.

Class & Gender.


Portinari272 by Xadrea
Pre-enlightenment there was not many artworks that reference individuality. Difference was less noted in art because there was more social isolation simply because of the lack of technologies that would have allowed for diversity. All experiences had to be made through first hand contact. The industrial revolution helped break these boundaries and open the cultures of the world to each of them. Art was part of the small and high elite classes. It could not be viewed, much less enjoyed, by lower class individuals. There were not only marked differences that happened in this artwork, but also a perceived danger. The Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes shows a difference in social class between the shepherds and the Holy Family.

Adriaen Brouwer 004 by Xadrea
The signs of realism show not difference, but also social or even moral decay. The lower classes are more likely to age, to have evidence of scaring and wounds, illness, and to have open mouths. The audience reads lower class people as a form of illness. Physical disability is a symbol of moral decay. An “over display” of emotion is also seen as an Other. 

Pan and Syrinx (England) by Xadrea
The male sexuality was usually kept at bay by the Aristotelian ideal of balance.  Wholeness of man, of humans in general, was very important at that time. Pan & Syrinx is a good example of Greek Mythology, but it represents a resistance to the male gaze (assault). Throughout art history we find many images of women of power. There are many images of women who are in control of their bodies, their minds, and of their sexuality. It was easier to present a nude “character” of a woman, than an actual woman. The wives and lovers of the politicians at Versailles ran the court and were more savvy business practitioners than their husbands. Women of financial means had the freedom to indulge in education and society. The French Revolution, Napoleon’s laws, and the Industrial Revolution stunted this freedom and in many ways completely snatched it away. The woman’s economical contribution was removed with the creation of factories. Then began the two realms that could never cross, the home and society. Women were meant to remain in the home, men were meant to go out in the world.

Fernand Khnopff Sphinx Caresses by Xadrea
For the ancient Greeks, the male body was best. Females and female bodies were considered abhorrent. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the female body was also considered evil and corrupt because of Eve. Eve was often shown as corrupt, diseased, or seductress. Also, having been made second and having been made from physical means, males (Adam) are considered purer full of intellect. The male is seen as a closed, self-contained body. In contrast the female is seen as fluid, uncontrolled, and messy. Ancient medical beliefs implied that women were corrupted and deformed men. Whether or not women had souls was a serious debate up until the mid 19th century. Women were thought of as demonic and corrupt, insatiable in desire, and filthy in physicality. Pregnancy was considered one of many grotesque and "unnatural" occurrences in the female body. The fact that women's bodies are now understood by science and medicine is a somewhat new convention.

Edvard-munch-woman-ii by Xadrea
Many male artists also thought of women as the bringers of death, the carriers of disease, and the dressers of the dead. Edvard Munch noted woman as the “deathly figure.” He always used a woman as the human figure in the three stages of life. She begins as a youth, graduates to an odalisque (standing) and then as a hag bringing death. There is a mystical haunting in each of these images in which the figure is dangerous. Munch is reflecting the story of Adam and Even in The First Kiss. The tree in this painting divides the two of them, and the shadow looms over each of them.  Munch’s mother and sister died. Two of his other sisters became psychologically ill. He chose unsuitable female partners himself and came to the conclusion that women were hellish diseased succubus like creatures. 
C208245a53b9fb4dcc76136d277ab1ec by Xadrea
By the 19th century European women were considered objects to be desired and "pure" in comparison to the other racial groups now being discovered throughout the Asian and African continents.. The reclining female is weak, ill, and overcome by worry. This had much to do with the romanticization of illnesses such as Tuberculosis (it was thought to strike young intellectuals). 

Tanoux-1887namouna-xl by Xadrea
The female body was was eroticized and exoticized with the expansion of European trade to the continent of Asia. The mystique and fantasies of these lands occurred in the 19
th century during the height of English colonialism. Aggressive sexuality and comparison to animals are pulled into these images (the corrupt and demonic image). These women often gaze out at the viewer that is aggressive. There is openness to the body language, inviting and almost friendly. Many times the odalisque is alone, but other times she is accompanied by more women like her. In addition to orientalism, we see slavery Orientalized. There was a cultural acceptance and fascination with the female slave. This happens in another world, not “ours.” These paintings were not abolitionist or in favor of ending slavery, they romanticized it.

Race & Ethnicity. 


Phrenology and Physiognomy maps the body as “different,” foreign, and potentially dangerous. Phrenology maps bumps on the skull to show the potential for a person to be a deviant vs virtuous. With medical technology there was a sudden interest in “diagnosing” people’s behavior. Physiognomy scrutinized the visible body to diagnose deviancy. Johann Casper Lavater was the first to use the term physiognomy in the 18
th century. Samuel R. Wells published a book titled “How to read character with a descriptive craft.” Dr. G. Duchenne made “scientific” studies in which he shocked the faces of people to show the differences of facial emotions. Late 19th century. The reasoning for these studies was for a rationale to continue literally destroying non western culture.
Large by Xadrea

The idea of the other was embraced by other artists during the late 1980s. David Hammons drew upon the vernacular to make his artwork. He said, “I spend 85% of my time on the street, looking, listening, and gathering.” His pieces that are made from found objects speak of his otherness as a black male in society as a whole. The racial issues that still exist were being used as a point of reference for black artists. The word spade is a derogatory term for a black man; the use of chains refers to slavery, bondage. The materials are crude and not meant for anything outside of hard outdoor labor. Spade with Chains also references African Masks. Through a period between 1978 and 1990 Hammons made elephant dung sculptures. The sculptures, once dried, were painted with the colors of the African liberation flag (black, red, and green). In Western culture, elephant dung is abject and repulsive, however in other cultures specifically African cultures, elephant dung is used as fuel and building material. There is also a reference to the memory of an elephant, the elephant in the room, the ivory trade, etc. Elephants are also very human like creatures, with strong family dynamics and similar grieving process. Free Nelson Mandela references a barbershop, and prison cells. He did a series of works called Higher Goals that are totem poles that have basketball hoops attached at the very top. The poles are adorned with beer and pop bottle tops that appear to be very beautiful from far away. Whose Ice is Colder (1990) references a conflict that occurred in Hammons’s neighborhood. There were three rival stores, one owned by a black family, one owned by a Korean family, and one owned by a Yemeni family.

Piper Cornered 1988 by Xadrea
Adrian Piper also addressed the idea of black identity. Piper is a woman who looked at her essence as a black woman and the conflicts and overwhelming complexities of being of mixed race. She writes that she never felt comfortable in white culture because she is accused of being too black, she never felt comfortable in black culture because she was accused of being too white. She wanted to look at ways the way the self is presented in culture. She wanted to explore this tension of racism from both sides of the argument. Piper’s piece Cornered consists of television set, copies of her parent’s birth certificate an overturned table and several chairs. Piper recites an essay in which she explains her reasoning for speaking about her ethnicities.


Artwork Images 631 236123 Resize Glenn-ligon-i-fee by Xadrea
Some of Glenn Ligon's earliest works reference runaway slave posters from the 19th century. He asked friends to write physical description of himself and put together wanted posters of himself. Runaways also reference the slave trade. This work also investigates how we view an individual’s appearance. Different situations require different language, language is flexible and language requires different meanings. Ligon is most noted for language taken from other people’s poetry or novels. Often times he uses work from African American authors such as Langston Hughes. The works are stenciled onto canvases and they slowly blur away toward the bottom of the images. The works have a similar quality of Andy Warhol’s copies of prints. Language cannot be opaque or totally coded. The language is eventually being covered up and blurred out over time, the same thing which happens to ethnic identity over time in America. He also talks about in the contemporary period that we cannot see the difference between literature and fine art. Ligon is connecting to the notion that art can also be very much entrenched in idea. His pieces become increasingly blacker and blacker, suggesting that there are things that we need to see and consider but they are immediately concealed by preconceived notions about skin color.

Doubling & What It Means to Be Human.


Meeting the other in the mirror is fascinating and horrific. To be uncanny is to be reminded of death. Surrealists would suggest that people would not like going to funeral homes because they would project themselves on to the dead person. DeChirico and the mannequin- the mannequin as double, as replacement for the self. In high art, specifically in fine art the mannequin is repulsive and alluring. The mannequin is the ideal body (of the time, that is). The fears of humanity are projected onto the double (this is why so many people are terrified of clowns and dolls). Any way that the body is presented in society, it is done so as an idealized representation of a real human. Even models on a runway are idealized representations of the human body. 

721012bd40b7eb377948076f3a85eccd by Xadrea
The Surrealist Exhibition of 1938 featured the mannequin as the uncanny double. This was a collaborative installation of eight or nine artists (all surrealists). What they hoped to do was create an alternative Paris. The exhibition took place on two levels, the first level mimicked stores and roads in Paris. The lower level represented the dreamlike subconscious level. The point of the exhibition was to get people to experience surrealism rather than just looking at it. The exhibition also addressed issues of urban capitalism and consumerism. This exhibition displayed the darker side of urban consumption. The surrealists also wanted to display the darker side of relationships (male to female specifically). The monetary value of people was also questioned heavily in this exhibition. There were about 25-30 mannequins in this show. The mannequin is called the double self or the uncanny self (un-real, destructive, weird, nightmarish). As consumers become more and more clever in sucking up products, their identity becomes lost. There was a theme of confinement throughout all the mannequins, but also the female mannequins were left mostly naked except for obvious entrapments such as nets and cages. The lower level was also considered the realm of the feminine; it was made to feel womb-like with organic flooring and braziers going in random places. The entire exhibition was dark, and the people going had to take flashlights. A recording of maniacal crazed laughter played in the basement as well.

Claude Cahun Selfportrait by Xadrea
Claude Cahun (Lucy Schwob) was part of the surrealists and the Dadaists. Her father was Jewish and her mother was sent to a mental sanitorium when Claude was a child. Cahun was an anorexic who used restriction of diet to manipulate her body. One of her step sisters became her lover and helped her shoot her images. Cahun felt that anorexia could make herself less womanly and fleshy. She photographed herself as her father and was fascinated by mirrors. She shaved her head and presented herself as androgynous in her photography.

Portrait-of-rose-sélavy-1921 by Xadrea
The uncanny overlap and doubling of the self was attractive to many artists. Marcel Duchamp’s character Rrose Selavy was the female alter ego that satisfied his wanting to be both male and female. 
Rose was a nickname for the name Ruth (a Jewish name) and a lot of women who worked in the fashion industry as seamstresses were called Roses. These women were viewed as slightly dangerous because they had jobs and they were also seeking better jobs (a liberated independent woman). By doubling the r’s in the alter ego’s name, the pronunciation is more guttural and it sounds like “eros” (sex). Paired with Selavy “c’est la vie” (that’s life) the name means Sex-that’s life! Duchamp published and created artwork under this female alter ego. Duchamp developed a perfume under this identity called Belle Haleine (helaine meant breath). The bottle read “eu du voilette” which was a play on the old-fashioned rose and violet water perfume.

tumblr n5mtlsgXNW1tsptulo2 500 by Xadrea

Mark Quinn’s Self is created out of 9 pints of the artist’s own blood (frozen into a mold made of his own head). Though very compelling, is not a true double because it is part of him. He questions what does it mean to be a body, what is keeping it intact? Is it a thing in which other things reside? 

           

Performance-Artist-James-Lunas-Take-a-Picture-with by Xadrea
James Luna has a Mexican father and a Native American mother and often times his works play on those distinctions in his works. Half-Indian/Half-Mexican is set up like a mugshot revealing both halves of Luna’s ethnicity. He wants to address what truth and purity are in race and ethnicity. What is authenticity? Why do people want to be Indian? He writes that the number of people claiming to be of Native American origins had raised between the 1970s to the 1990s. Artifact Piece was displayed in a natural history museum. The piece was a performance featuring Luna himself as an attack on the practices of museums and how they set up displays for Native American culture as though they are dinosaurs and frozen in time. Native culture is still continuing today, but researchers and historians ignore it. Luna considers himself a social education activist. Take a Picture with a Real Indian was another performance piece in which Luna presents himself as three types of indian, the noble brave, the reservation indian, and a normal view of himself. So which is the real indian?

Conclusion



“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.” 
― Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle 


:heart:Xadrea



Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore and ideologically sensitive material)

Mortality in Abject Art

Mon May 11, 2015, 11:54 AM

Contemporary artist Chris Burden passed away just a few days ago, and as we reflect on his influential (and often controversial) career as an artist I'd like to include other artists for a broader perspective of Burden's use of abjection in his work. As defined by Julia Kristeva in the Powers of Horror, the abject is not simply defined by the abhorrence of bodily fluids or excrement, but a lack of order and control. Anything which deviates from the established norm. Death is certainly the most abject that we as humans must face, but the very idea of death, the realization of one’s mortality, is even more frightening. The spilling of bodily fluids and disease are two of the most obvious displays of abjection from a living body, and this is seen in the works of Chris Burden, Otto Dix, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Chris Burden

burden-Doorway-to-Heaven-1973 by Xadrea
"It’s about trying to frame something. And draw attention to it and say, “Here’s the beauty in this. I’m going to put a frame around it, and I think this is beautiful.” That’s what artists do. It’s really a pointing activity." - Chris Burden

Burden used his body to make his early artwork. He did acts of violence upon himself and acts of endurance. In Kunst Kick Burden had someone kick him down the stairs. Burden had a friend shoot him through the arm in Shoot (the actual shot was meant to graze him, but his friend missed and the bullet was lodged in Burden's arm). After 1964, violence became more and more commonplace on television because of the video and photographic coverage of the conflict in both Vietnam and violent racial tension in the US. In Transfixed (1974) Burden had his hands nailed to a Volkswagon Beetle, it was rolled out to a driveway, had photos taken, then released. In Through the Night Softy (1973) Burden had his hands tied behind his back and wore nothing but a bathing suit crawling across 50 ft. of broken glass. Burden, rightly, feared that the American public was becoming desensitized to images of violence. 

It is important to remember that the aforementioned pieces are simply a sampling of Burden's work throughout his entire career. A sampling of his large body of work can be viewed here: www.marthagarzon.com/contempor…

Otto Dix

Dix-skat-players-1920 by Xadrea
Painting is the effort to produce order; order in yourself. There is much chaos in me, much chaos in our time." - Otto Dix

Otto Dix’s work depicted combat soldiers who had survived WWII but had returned to society horrifically maimed. Beyond the maiming, which in itself is an abject thought, these veterans were each outfitted with mechanical prosthetics. The bodies of these men which were already violated were manipulated to even more grotesque proportions with metal jaws, leg that stuck out at awkward angles, and missing appendages (sometimes even cut off at the torso). These depictions of maimed soldiers were meant to make a social and political statement about the treatment of wounded soldiers.

370132 by Xadrea

Often there is “glory” in either living through war completely unscathed or never returning alive. Society would rather not accept a gruesomely maimed man, regardless of the fact he sacrificed so much to defend those very people. These paintings also objected to the practice of redeploying terribly injured troops up to three times after suffering severe injuries.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Felix-baci by Xadrea

In a way...this refusal to make a static form, a monolithic sculpture, in favor of a disappearing, changing, unstable, and fragile form was an attempt on my part to rehearse my fears of having Ross disappear day by day right in front of my eyes. —Felix Gonzalez-Torres

By contrast, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ piece A Corner of Baci spoke of the profound loss of his partner Ross to AIDS (a virtual death sentence in the 1980s). This piece handles several abject ideas. The very first being love between two gay men. The second is the notion of coming into close contact with a gay man and accepting something from him (in this case a chocolate kiss, which is “baci…” a double entendre). Third, and the nail in coffin, is AIDS. Combined together, all three were a massively frightening monster to 1980s America. HIV and AIDS were widely believed to be a “homosexual disease” at that time. Additionally, anything having to do with anyone LGTBQ was taboo and highly suspect if not outright feared because so many people were dying shortly after diagnosis. Viewers are invited to take and eat as many of the Baci as they like. The chocolates were Ross’ favorite candy, but also represents the wasting of his body as the candies are removed from the exhibit and consumed. Exactly 42 lbs. of chocolate completes the installation, the weight of Ross at his death.

What counter-balances this piece so excellently is the fact that it is portrayed as a loving memorial, and not a grotesque and loathsome reminder of death. This piece is completely non-threatening in this way, and made wholly accessible to everyone. This is supremely important to its themes. Everyone will experience loss (if not the death of a loved one), and to a degree love as well. This piece demonstrates the obvious sameness and humanity of the couple in the adversity of a rejecting culture and destructive disease.

All three artist's effectively tapped into social and political problems of their times by addressing their subjects from the ultimate abject thought: mortality. 

:heart:Xadrea



Resin Casting

Thu Apr 30, 2015, 3:00 PM by Xadrea:iconxadrea:
:iconprojecteducate:
:iconprojecteducate:


Artist's Toolbox Week

Using resin in your artwork


Hey guys! I’ve been wanting to write a tutorial on resin casting/pouring for a bit now (and I promise one is in the works!), but in the meanwhile, I think it would be good to explain what epoxy resin is, safety concerns, and of course, how AWESOME it is!

I started using epoxy resin in my paintings almost two years ago after being introduced to the resin paintings of Bruce Riley during ArtPrize 2013. I was initially drawn to finding a way to achieve visual depth on a 2 dimensional surface. Now, of course it is more than possible to depict spatial depth by using perspective, but my paintings aren’t trying to depict a realistic sense of perspective. Rather, I wanted to find a way to layer color and patterns in a shallow space and doing so without overwhelming the image. The only way to achieve that would to be somehow work in multiple layers, and thus resin was the answer! Most recently, I’ve started casting bracelets with my left over resin and I plan on casting even more stuffs as time goes on!

What is this stuff?


So, what is this epoxy resin that I speak of? Epoxy resins are a pre-polymer, which is science for “mixed with the right stuff, this thing’s molecules will link up and get larger and denser.” And that means harder. Most commercial resins are a two-part mix, one part being the resin; the other part is the hardener. The resin requires the hardener in order to harden up. It can be used to protect surfaces, as a glue, or even to cast objects in molds. 2015-02-06 16.17.08 by Xadrea

Is it toxic?


Is it dangerous? Yes and no. While resin isn’t toxic, you can’t bathe in it, eat it, or huff it :XD: In it’s liquid state resin can irritate your skin and give off smelly odors. In it’s hardened state it’s no longer hazardous, unless you decide you’d like to sand/file it because you’d be getting plastic dust in the air (and potentially in your lungs).  There, there, I’m not trying to scare you so get out from under your desk! I’m just giving you the rundown! In my opinion, working with resin in your artwork is no more dangerous than working with oil paint (some of which are toxic).  All art making materials can be dangerous in the right situation, so it’s important to know how to handle them to avoid accidents and health issues down the road.

How do you use it?


I’m pretty good at eyeballing my measurements of the two-part mix, but if you’re just starting off it would be in your best interest to use mini measuring cups. If you don’t measure both parts equally your resin will never fully harden, rather it will stay tacky and unusable. You’ll also need a well-ventilated work area and a level surface. Resin cures in warm environments best, so working in a drafty studio or your garage on a cold day isn’t optimal. I use a silicone mat to protect my table from any drips that might happen, but old paper can do the trick as well. Protect your workstation because resin is permanent. Ok, well that’s not entirely true…it can be melted with other chemicals, but trust me, you don’t want to have to do that. Lastly, if you have a heat gun or blow dryer, bring it along! Both can help you get air bubbles out after you pour it onto whatever surface or mold you’re working with.
2015-02-06 16.16.24 by Xadrea


After you combine the two equal parts of resin, mix them until the liquid is smooth looking. Try to do so smoothly so you don’t get a ton of bubbles. Large ones will pop on their own but the teeny ones will try to stick around and you probably don’t want them. Pay attention to the time. Typically, you’ve got a 30 minute working time before the resin begins to stiffen up, but if your workspace is toasty that time frame will shrink faster. Try to spend no more than 10 minutes mixing. Before you pour your resin, make certain that your surface is oil free, hair free, and level. Since I pour my resin on a surface with no raised edges, I use masking tape to give it a border to run up to. I didn’t do this in the past and I had resin dripping and running everywhere! After I’ve poured my resin, I like to spread it evenly with a painting knife or wooden stirring stick to ensure equal coverage.

What is Cure time?


The cure time for your resin greatly depends on the brand you buy. I’ve found with the kinds I buy 36 hours is the general cure time. If you’re planning on making jewelry (like the bracelets I’ve been making) you’ll really need to pay attention to the cure time because you will be pouring the resin in layers. If you do three layers, you probably shouldn’t even think about popping your piece out of its mold for 3 or 4 days after the final pour.

Where do you get resin?


Where I get almost everything, Amazon!:XD: I have yet to find reasonably priced resins from art suppliers, so I have been and will continue purchasing my resins from Amazon. EasyCast is the most reliable brand I’ve used, no yellowing, good cure time, and low odor (in fact it really doesn’t smell at all). Around $70 will get you 1 gallon of resin. When purchasing, remember that you are buying two parts, so a 16-ounce kit equals 8 ounces of resin and 8 ounces of hardener.

Practice makes perfect!


I played around with resins for about 5 months before I actually began using them in my paintings and had maaaaaany errors in that time. Like any art process, it’s important to remember that failure is part of learning and mastering the skill. With time, you’ll have success and a beautiful finished artwork :D

:heart:Xadrea

Resin Casting
Ever got the hankering to experiment with resin? Check out this journal for the rundown!
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Consider this journal your watercolor primer! Listed in the sections below are the materials that will help you get well on your way with watercolor! I've included links to my watercolor tutorial series and other helpful watercolor tutorials around dA,  as well as some "assignments" if you would like some ideas to get you started :D

Additives, Pigments, Brushes, & Materials Shopping List

Screenshot 2015-04-25 21.45.43 by Xadrea

    1.     Table Salt. You can get some really interesting textures from using salt in your wet watercolor. The resulting texture can be altered by the size of the salt crystals. Table salt will most often give you very stippled texture, and sea salt will have a softer result. However, table salt can do both depending on the amount of water and salt you use, so it is a cheap staple to keep in your tackle box.

    2.     Rubber Cement. This is not the official masking fluid of watercolor (which is called Frisket), but it is a much cheaper alternative that works just the same.

    3.     Gum Arabic. Gum Arabic is an ingredient in watercolor pigments. If it is used as an additive, it will make your paint dry very shiny and slightly more opaque. 

    4.     Rubbing Alcohol. Also known as Isopropyl Alcohol, can be used to create unique textures. Water-based wet media (ink, watercolor, and acrylic) repels alcohol because their molecules cannot fully mix (similar reactions occur in oil and water).  This affect works best with Isopropyl Alcohol that is 91% or higher alcohol by volume. 

My Watercolor Tools by KelliRoos

Pigments
Royal & Langnickle, M. Graham, Reeves, or Windsor & Newton are suitable (and affordable) brands of tube and cake watercolors. Do not purchase white or black watercolor.  Also, only purchase one tube of each color. The tubes will appear small, but what is inside will last you for years to come. Below is a list of the minimum number of pigments you could get started with:

    ·       Cadmium Red
    ·       Alizarin Crimson
    ·       Burnt Sienna
    ·       Payne’s Gray
    ·       Ultramarine Blue
    ·       Phthalo Blue
    ·       Cadmium Yellow
    ·       Lemon Yellow
    ·       Yellow Ocre

Brushes

There is be no need to purchase expensive, or “fancy” brushes or brush sets for the purpose of watercolor (though such things do exist). Your most expensive brushes will be the wide 1 and 2 in flats, all others can be simple “all media” or acrylic synthetic bristle brushes. Please refer to the list below when purchasing brush sets:

    ·       1 inch flat brush (one)
    ·       2 inch flat brush (one)
    ·       ½ inch flat brush (one)
    ·       ¾ inch flat brush (one)
    ·       Angled flat of any size
    ·       Round brushes, sizes 0-10 (one of each)

Additional Materials

    ·       Two containers with lids for water (NO GLASS JARS)
    ·       Spray bottle
    ·       HB pencil and sharpener
    ·       Paper towels (these can be reused)
    ·       X-acto knife and cutting surface (self healing mat
    ·       Scissors
    ·       Metal ruler (12” or longer)
    ·       Crayons or candles
    ·       Plastic eraser
    ·       Synthetic sponge cut into chunks
    ·       Watercolor 10-24 pan palette that includes a lid
    ·       Gel medium, Mod Podge, or PVC glue
    ·       Masking tape (NOT PAINTER’S TAPE)
    ·       30 in x 40 in Masonite board
    ·       Binder clips
    ·       Binder or folder
    ·       Drinking straws
    ·       Viewfinder
    ·       Shish-kabob skewers
    ·       Q-tips

Papers

Screenshot 2015-04-25 21.57.51 by Xadrea

 The paper used in watercolor work is highly important. It’s very different than other artist’s paper because it is specifically made to get wet. There are three (3) types of paper when it comes to watercolor paper: Hot Pressed, Cold Pressed, and Rough. These papers can be both machine and hand made. Bear in mind, machine made papers will often times have an artificial texture “stamped” into the surface. Hand made papers are generally more expensive. Watercolor papers contain more sizing (that is the stuff that holds the paper pulp together) than regular papers and is much more dense than regular drawing papers. Stretching the paper (that is, saturating it while it is taped to a board and allowing it to dry overnight) may be necessary to avoid buckling if you do not want to tape your paper down. 

In addition to the paper types of, there are also different weights (thickness): 90lb, 140lb, 260lb, and 300lb. These weights are not indicative of the actual weight of the sheets, but instead the weight of the paper ream. A higher weight means a thicker paper. Heavier weight papers are useful to beginners because they are more forgiving in surface and require little or no stretching.

    1.      Hot Pressed Paper. This watercolor paper is very smooth and has almost no tooth (raised texture) to its surface. Since this paper has a very smooth surface it’s ideal for very tight intricate work or illustration. Pigment will also dry more quickly.

    2.      Cold Pressed Paper. This is the most common type you will find in art and craft supply stores. The surface is lightly textured and paint dries with subtle irregularities (watermarking affects).

    3.      Rough Pressed Paper. This watercolor paper is the most heavily textured of the three.  You can achieve the most watermarking effects from the watercolor alone because it will catch and pool in the indentations of the paper’s surface. 

Do not use regular drawing papers to paint on. You will get untold amounts of rippling and buckling in your paper for the afore mentioned reasons. Faber-Castell, Fabriano, Strathmore, and Canson watercolor papers are trustworthy and affordable brands to purchase. Printmaking papers (which are similar to watercolor papers) such as American Masters, Stonehenge, and Reeves BFK can also be used.

1 Month of Watercolor Assignments

Screenshot 2015-04-25 22.42.07 by Xadrea
#1 Swatch Chart:
Learning how to achieve a wide range of tonal variations in watercolor is essential. For this assignment you will be creating a swatch chart of at least three columns in six variations of color on a sheet of watercolor paper. Columns should be taped off to create clean edges. The color family may be of your own choosing or full spectrum.

Screenshot 2015-04-25 22.42.14 by Xadrea
#2 Two-Color Flat Wash Still Life: 
The flat wash is one of the basic techniques of watercolor painting. For this assignment you will create a still life of 4 dissimilarly colored objects in a shoebox. You will be rendering objects using only a single layer of flat washes. 
Screenshot 2015-04-25 22.42.21 by Xadrea
#3 Patterns Using Resists and Brush Control: 
Areas of white space (or negative space) can be achieved through masking and brush control. For this assignment you will create a pattern of your own choosing.

Screenshot 2015-04-25 22.42.27 by Xadrea
#4 Full Color Still Life with Texture Ground:
Beginning with a texture ground of your choice, you will in this assignment create a still life of 5 dissimilarly colored objects in a shoebox.  

Tutorials

Watercolor Tutorial: Wet on Dry by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Masking by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: How to Mix Watercolor by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Salt Glaze by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Skin by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Bleeding by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Hair part 1 by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Hair part 2 by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Lifting by Xadrea Art Tutorial: Watercolors Prt1 by Xadrea Art Tutorial: Watercolors Prt2 by Xadrea Watercolor Stretching Tutorial by blix-it Watercolor Tutorial by Loonaki Watercolor Tutorial by Claparo-Sans Watercolor Stretching Tutorial by MisttheWarrior  Watercolor Masking Tutorial by Lithe-Fider Watercolor Effects by CyprinusFox Practical Colors Tutorial by KelliRoos Watercolor Tutorial by Taiyo85

Extra Reading Material




Limber Up Your Imagination
www.watercolorlearningcenter.c…

Watercolor Lessons and Exercises
www.watercolorlearningcenter.c…

Watercolor Tips & Techniques

www.watercolorlearningcenter.c…

Use Your Computer to Paint Better Watercolors
www.watercolorlearningcenter.c…

:heart:Xadrea

Watercolor Patients, Eat Your Heart Out!
If you're a newbie to the watercolor game this journal is for you!:heart:
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Share the word about my book :D +news

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:50 AM
So remember a couple months ago when I told you the book I illustrated went live? Well now I need you all to do me a favor and help me share the word :D Here is the link to buy: www.createspace.com/5284571&nb…;
Just $7.49 a hard copy :D
and below is one of the lurvley pictures within: 
Stormy Horizons by Xadrea

Now for the news: I've decided to totally revamp/revive Queenie aaaaand I've decided to write and illustrate my own children's book *confetti* It's going to be a huge project on both ends since Queenie is well over 100 pages in already, and the fact I'll be doing this book from complete scratch, BUT I have faith in my abilities and perserverance :D Currently, I'm working on some concept sketches for the book characters and reviewing Queenie's text (it will be greatly improved in Queenie 2.0) as well as drawing up a calendar for myself. Currently, I'm just a few weeks away from graduation with my Master's but I have no hard plans for work as of yet. I'm sending out numerous applications weekly with my fingers crossed. I've applied just about all over the place (continental US) so I have no idea if or when I'll have to move either. For now, I have summer work (not great pay, but it's something XD) but doing these projects will help me maintain my sanity and also fulfill the desire to continue making. As always, I appreciate the support and luv from everyone here :D:heart:

  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: The Kids Aren't Alright--Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: Call the Midwife (Part 1): by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: pretzels
  • Drinking: water

deviantID

Xadrea
Mellissa Redman
Artist | Professional | Traditional Art
United States
Hi I'm Mellissa and I'm 26. I have an MFA in painting from the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (2015). I have a BFA in painting and drawing (art history minor) from the University of Akron (2012). I'm an illustrator and freelance artist ^ ^My favorite color is pink, and I think muffins are the cutest food ever!

Besides painting, I love printmaking and I plan on eventually owning a silkscreen to produce prints outside of the studio!
Lastly, I block trolls and overall mean people, so be warned! ;)


Commissions - Open by SweetDukeGifts - Friends Only by SweetDukeRequests - Friends Only by SweetDukeNo Point Commissions by SweetDukeNo Trades by SweetDukeNo Requests by SweetDuke

Current Age: 26
Current Residence: Grand Rapids, MI
deviantWEAR sizing preference: small (but alas, the deviantWEAR store has been closed for over a year D: )

I'm member of:

:icongetwatchers:

#GetWatchers help artists to share their creativity, increase their audience and get more feedback by getting more exposure and pageviews. If you want more exposure of your arts, constructive critics, watchers and/or if you would like to discover new talented artists, come join us :pointr: Here :pointl:.
Interests

The Other and Otherness

Mon May 11, 2015, 1:10 PM

Otherness can be defined as anything or anyone who is not part of the dominant culture, or the person that they dominance is about. Artists are in collusion with the dominant culture and the rest of the people in the lower culture. Until we reach the Romantic period, there is not a lot of political or cultural dissent in art. This is because art was mainly focused on the patrons who purchased the pieces. The lower classes, rough, unpredictable, violent, excessive, threats to the established order. Facial appearance, body posture, stasis or movement, individuality and details (or lack thereof), paleness vs. tan pigmentation.

Class & Gender.


Portinari272 by Xadrea
Pre-enlightenment there was not many artworks that reference individuality. Difference was less noted in art because there was more social isolation simply because of the lack of technologies that would have allowed for diversity. All experiences had to be made through first hand contact. The industrial revolution helped break these boundaries and open the cultures of the world to each of them. Art was part of the small and high elite classes. It could not be viewed, much less enjoyed, by lower class individuals. There were not only marked differences that happened in this artwork, but also a perceived danger. The Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes shows a difference in social class between the shepherds and the Holy Family.

Adriaen Brouwer 004 by Xadrea
The signs of realism show not difference, but also social or even moral decay. The lower classes are more likely to age, to have evidence of scaring and wounds, illness, and to have open mouths. The audience reads lower class people as a form of illness. Physical disability is a symbol of moral decay. An “over display” of emotion is also seen as an Other. 

Pan and Syrinx (England) by Xadrea
The male sexuality was usually kept at bay by the Aristotelian ideal of balance.  Wholeness of man, of humans in general, was very important at that time. Pan & Syrinx is a good example of Greek Mythology, but it represents a resistance to the male gaze (assault). Throughout art history we find many images of women of power. There are many images of women who are in control of their bodies, their minds, and of their sexuality. It was easier to present a nude “character” of a woman, than an actual woman. The wives and lovers of the politicians at Versailles ran the court and were more savvy business practitioners than their husbands. Women of financial means had the freedom to indulge in education and society. The French Revolution, Napoleon’s laws, and the Industrial Revolution stunted this freedom and in many ways completely snatched it away. The woman’s economical contribution was removed with the creation of factories. Then began the two realms that could never cross, the home and society. Women were meant to remain in the home, men were meant to go out in the world.

Fernand Khnopff Sphinx Caresses by Xadrea
For the ancient Greeks, the male body was best. Females and female bodies were considered abhorrent. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the female body was also considered evil and corrupt because of Eve. Eve was often shown as corrupt, diseased, or seductress. Also, having been made second and having been made from physical means, males (Adam) are considered purer full of intellect. The male is seen as a closed, self-contained body. In contrast the female is seen as fluid, uncontrolled, and messy. Ancient medical beliefs implied that women were corrupted and deformed men. Whether or not women had souls was a serious debate up until the mid 19th century. Women were thought of as demonic and corrupt, insatiable in desire, and filthy in physicality. Pregnancy was considered one of many grotesque and "unnatural" occurrences in the female body. The fact that women's bodies are now understood by science and medicine is a somewhat new convention.

Edvard-munch-woman-ii by Xadrea
Many male artists also thought of women as the bringers of death, the carriers of disease, and the dressers of the dead. Edvard Munch noted woman as the “deathly figure.” He always used a woman as the human figure in the three stages of life. She begins as a youth, graduates to an odalisque (standing) and then as a hag bringing death. There is a mystical haunting in each of these images in which the figure is dangerous. Munch is reflecting the story of Adam and Even in The First Kiss. The tree in this painting divides the two of them, and the shadow looms over each of them.  Munch’s mother and sister died. Two of his other sisters became psychologically ill. He chose unsuitable female partners himself and came to the conclusion that women were hellish diseased succubus like creatures. 
C208245a53b9fb4dcc76136d277ab1ec by Xadrea
By the 19th century European women were considered objects to be desired and "pure" in comparison to the other racial groups now being discovered throughout the Asian and African continents.. The reclining female is weak, ill, and overcome by worry. This had much to do with the romanticization of illnesses such as Tuberculosis (it was thought to strike young intellectuals). 

Tanoux-1887namouna-xl by Xadrea
The female body was was eroticized and exoticized with the expansion of European trade to the continent of Asia. The mystique and fantasies of these lands occurred in the 19
th century during the height of English colonialism. Aggressive sexuality and comparison to animals are pulled into these images (the corrupt and demonic image). These women often gaze out at the viewer that is aggressive. There is openness to the body language, inviting and almost friendly. Many times the odalisque is alone, but other times she is accompanied by more women like her. In addition to orientalism, we see slavery Orientalized. There was a cultural acceptance and fascination with the female slave. This happens in another world, not “ours.” These paintings were not abolitionist or in favor of ending slavery, they romanticized it.

Race & Ethnicity. 


Phrenology and Physiognomy maps the body as “different,” foreign, and potentially dangerous. Phrenology maps bumps on the skull to show the potential for a person to be a deviant vs virtuous. With medical technology there was a sudden interest in “diagnosing” people’s behavior. Physiognomy scrutinized the visible body to diagnose deviancy. Johann Casper Lavater was the first to use the term physiognomy in the 18
th century. Samuel R. Wells published a book titled “How to read character with a descriptive craft.” Dr. G. Duchenne made “scientific” studies in which he shocked the faces of people to show the differences of facial emotions. Late 19th century. The reasoning for these studies was for a rationale to continue literally destroying non western culture.
Large by Xadrea

The idea of the other was embraced by other artists during the late 1980s. David Hammons drew upon the vernacular to make his artwork. He said, “I spend 85% of my time on the street, looking, listening, and gathering.” His pieces that are made from found objects speak of his otherness as a black male in society as a whole. The racial issues that still exist were being used as a point of reference for black artists. The word spade is a derogatory term for a black man; the use of chains refers to slavery, bondage. The materials are crude and not meant for anything outside of hard outdoor labor. Spade with Chains also references African Masks. Through a period between 1978 and 1990 Hammons made elephant dung sculptures. The sculptures, once dried, were painted with the colors of the African liberation flag (black, red, and green). In Western culture, elephant dung is abject and repulsive, however in other cultures specifically African cultures, elephant dung is used as fuel and building material. There is also a reference to the memory of an elephant, the elephant in the room, the ivory trade, etc. Elephants are also very human like creatures, with strong family dynamics and similar grieving process. Free Nelson Mandela references a barbershop, and prison cells. He did a series of works called Higher Goals that are totem poles that have basketball hoops attached at the very top. The poles are adorned with beer and pop bottle tops that appear to be very beautiful from far away. Whose Ice is Colder (1990) references a conflict that occurred in Hammons’s neighborhood. There were three rival stores, one owned by a black family, one owned by a Korean family, and one owned by a Yemeni family.

Piper Cornered 1988 by Xadrea
Adrian Piper also addressed the idea of black identity. Piper is a woman who looked at her essence as a black woman and the conflicts and overwhelming complexities of being of mixed race. She writes that she never felt comfortable in white culture because she is accused of being too black, she never felt comfortable in black culture because she was accused of being too white. She wanted to look at ways the way the self is presented in culture. She wanted to explore this tension of racism from both sides of the argument. Piper’s piece Cornered consists of television set, copies of her parent’s birth certificate an overturned table and several chairs. Piper recites an essay in which she explains her reasoning for speaking about her ethnicities.


Artwork Images 631 236123 Resize Glenn-ligon-i-fee by Xadrea
Some of Glenn Ligon's earliest works reference runaway slave posters from the 19th century. He asked friends to write physical description of himself and put together wanted posters of himself. Runaways also reference the slave trade. This work also investigates how we view an individual’s appearance. Different situations require different language, language is flexible and language requires different meanings. Ligon is most noted for language taken from other people’s poetry or novels. Often times he uses work from African American authors such as Langston Hughes. The works are stenciled onto canvases and they slowly blur away toward the bottom of the images. The works have a similar quality of Andy Warhol’s copies of prints. Language cannot be opaque or totally coded. The language is eventually being covered up and blurred out over time, the same thing which happens to ethnic identity over time in America. He also talks about in the contemporary period that we cannot see the difference between literature and fine art. Ligon is connecting to the notion that art can also be very much entrenched in idea. His pieces become increasingly blacker and blacker, suggesting that there are things that we need to see and consider but they are immediately concealed by preconceived notions about skin color.

Doubling & What It Means to Be Human.


Meeting the other in the mirror is fascinating and horrific. To be uncanny is to be reminded of death. Surrealists would suggest that people would not like going to funeral homes because they would project themselves on to the dead person. DeChirico and the mannequin- the mannequin as double, as replacement for the self. In high art, specifically in fine art the mannequin is repulsive and alluring. The mannequin is the ideal body (of the time, that is). The fears of humanity are projected onto the double (this is why so many people are terrified of clowns and dolls). Any way that the body is presented in society, it is done so as an idealized representation of a real human. Even models on a runway are idealized representations of the human body. 

721012bd40b7eb377948076f3a85eccd by Xadrea
The Surrealist Exhibition of 1938 featured the mannequin as the uncanny double. This was a collaborative installation of eight or nine artists (all surrealists). What they hoped to do was create an alternative Paris. The exhibition took place on two levels, the first level mimicked stores and roads in Paris. The lower level represented the dreamlike subconscious level. The point of the exhibition was to get people to experience surrealism rather than just looking at it. The exhibition also addressed issues of urban capitalism and consumerism. This exhibition displayed the darker side of urban consumption. The surrealists also wanted to display the darker side of relationships (male to female specifically). The monetary value of people was also questioned heavily in this exhibition. There were about 25-30 mannequins in this show. The mannequin is called the double self or the uncanny self (un-real, destructive, weird, nightmarish). As consumers become more and more clever in sucking up products, their identity becomes lost. There was a theme of confinement throughout all the mannequins, but also the female mannequins were left mostly naked except for obvious entrapments such as nets and cages. The lower level was also considered the realm of the feminine; it was made to feel womb-like with organic flooring and braziers going in random places. The entire exhibition was dark, and the people going had to take flashlights. A recording of maniacal crazed laughter played in the basement as well.

Claude Cahun Selfportrait by Xadrea
Claude Cahun (Lucy Schwob) was part of the surrealists and the Dadaists. Her father was Jewish and her mother was sent to a mental sanitorium when Claude was a child. Cahun was an anorexic who used restriction of diet to manipulate her body. One of her step sisters became her lover and helped her shoot her images. Cahun felt that anorexia could make herself less womanly and fleshy. She photographed herself as her father and was fascinated by mirrors. She shaved her head and presented herself as androgynous in her photography.

Portrait-of-rose-sélavy-1921 by Xadrea
The uncanny overlap and doubling of the self was attractive to many artists. Marcel Duchamp’s character Rrose Selavy was the female alter ego that satisfied his wanting to be both male and female. 
Rose was a nickname for the name Ruth (a Jewish name) and a lot of women who worked in the fashion industry as seamstresses were called Roses. These women were viewed as slightly dangerous because they had jobs and they were also seeking better jobs (a liberated independent woman). By doubling the r’s in the alter ego’s name, the pronunciation is more guttural and it sounds like “eros” (sex). Paired with Selavy “c’est la vie” (that’s life) the name means Sex-that’s life! Duchamp published and created artwork under this female alter ego. Duchamp developed a perfume under this identity called Belle Haleine (helaine meant breath). The bottle read “eu du voilette” which was a play on the old-fashioned rose and violet water perfume.

tumblr n5mtlsgXNW1tsptulo2 500 by Xadrea

Mark Quinn’s Self is created out of 9 pints of the artist’s own blood (frozen into a mold made of his own head). Though very compelling, is not a true double because it is part of him. He questions what does it mean to be a body, what is keeping it intact? Is it a thing in which other things reside? 

           

Performance-Artist-James-Lunas-Take-a-Picture-with by Xadrea
James Luna has a Mexican father and a Native American mother and often times his works play on those distinctions in his works. Half-Indian/Half-Mexican is set up like a mugshot revealing both halves of Luna’s ethnicity. He wants to address what truth and purity are in race and ethnicity. What is authenticity? Why do people want to be Indian? He writes that the number of people claiming to be of Native American origins had raised between the 1970s to the 1990s. Artifact Piece was displayed in a natural history museum. The piece was a performance featuring Luna himself as an attack on the practices of museums and how they set up displays for Native American culture as though they are dinosaurs and frozen in time. Native culture is still continuing today, but researchers and historians ignore it. Luna considers himself a social education activist. Take a Picture with a Real Indian was another performance piece in which Luna presents himself as three types of indian, the noble brave, the reservation indian, and a normal view of himself. So which is the real indian?

Conclusion



“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.” 
― Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle 


:heart:Xadrea



Are you on Twitter? follow me @XadreaLeonhart :D 

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Comments


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:iconlexi247:
Lexi247 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015
Just stopping by to say hello :hug: Have a wonderful day!
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
:hug: thankies!
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:iconmrwolfeconcoctions:
MrWolfeConcoctions Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015  Professional General Artist
Flashy sent me here. :)
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
:heart::wave::hug:
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:iconnamco-nintendofan-88:
Namco-NintendoFan-88 Featured By Owner Edited Feb 28, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
HAPPY 26th BIRTHDAY, Mellissa Redman, a.k.a. "Xadrea," dear friend!
:sing: :sing: :sing: :sing: :dance: :dance: :boogie: :boogie: :party: :airborne:

Good luck, and I hope you'll have a great birthday today!
Also wishing you keep up the good work on all awesome artwork 'n stuff; I love 'em! ;) :heart:
:thumbsup: :pringles: :cake: :pie:

Comments by:
Nelson C. [my real name],
"N.N.F.88"
3:00 P.M.
Los Angeles, CA ;)

Since I wouldn't have been able to do some birthday muro drawings, I got two extra drawing copies, so...
SURPRISE;
Believe it or not, two birthday muro drawing copies I made, of chibi Haruhi Suzumiya and Mikuru Asahina wishing you one, so, wishes 'n' luck!
Click on them:
fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/201…
fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/z/201…
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
:heart: Thank you! :meow:
Reply
:iconajinu-okami:
AJInu-Okami Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Happy birthday!
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
:hug: thank you!
Reply
:iconajinu-okami:
AJInu-Okami Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015  Student Digital Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconbirthdays:
birthdays Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015
:woohoo: :party: :iconcakelickplz: !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! :iconcakelickplz: :party: :woohoo:

It's February 28th which means it's that time of the year again and your special day is here! We hope you have an awesome day with lots of birthday fun, gifts, happiness and most definitely, lots of cake! Here's to another year!

Many well wishes and love from your friendly birthdays team :love:

---
Birthdays Team
This birthday greeting was brought to you by: KoudelkaW
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
:dance: thank you!
Reply
:iconsimplecomics:
simpleCOMICS Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I've recently hurt a very dear friend by forgetting their birthday. I shall not do the same to you, Ms. X ^^

Happy Birthday! I hope things are going well for you these days :party:
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
:heart: Aww thank you Jason ^ ^ things are going pretty well, busy with school as usual buuuuut spring break is next week so I hope to be around dA most of that week :D
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:iconsimplecomics:
simpleCOMICS Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Sounds like a plan. :)
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Woohoo, plan in action :D
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