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:icontechgnotic: Aug 29, 2012 by techgnotic

I am bringing your attention to a documentary, Beauty is Embarrassing, that
deeply inspired me after a screening last week. The life wisdom and positive
philosophy unfolding over a lifetime of living as an artist was deeply motivating.
I invited Wayne White, the subject of this documentary, to join deviantART afterwards.
I thought this would be something you would enjoy no matter where you might be at
on your own personal journey as an artist. While watching this I was also reminded
of the heartfelt explanations by many artists of what it means to choose the life of an Artist.

"Do what you love, It's going to lead where you want to go."


Please stop and say hello and welcome seewaynewhite in his first week at deviantART.

A strange thing happened at a local café called Fred 62, a sudden sense of something
askew in the universe. I realized it was the painting hanging on the wall above my friend’s
head. Could that really be the mundane landscape painting that hung on the wall in one of
the rooms in my child hood home? Why yes, it is. But the painting has been … infiltrated.
Geometric shapes now hung in the air above the autumnal scud of fallen leaves. Then you get
it: the shapes are actual words. The painting is protesting its near-purposeless existence
by breaking the fourth wall and “speaking” to me. And it’s saying: FoodBasedLifestyleEnhancement –
which is really funny, given the theatre of this moment. What is this? Graffiti? Tagging?

Wayne calls his word paintings and his other creations his “beautiful things” and he exhorts
other artists to ignore the pull of “seriousness” (in hopes of being officially declared “real”)
and instead be guided by what brings them joy to create, to do whatever it is creatively that
makes them happy. Fun and funny shouldn’t be anathema to the “serious artist” – the moment of
laughing at a joke one isn’t even sure one really understands… that should be the most sacred
artistic epiphany.

What I unknowingly discovered is Wayne White’s “word paintings.” Wayne “samples” (buys) otherwise
pointless examples of forgettable paintings, mostly landscapes, and then he paints his messages across
them like billboard credits kicking off a movie. His messages tend to be funny, sometimes deeply poignant
and are often slightly obscene. Not that pure juvenile silliness isn’t his guiding principle. The official
art world doesn’t quite know what to make of Wayne’s increasing popularity and the success he’s experiencing
after a lifetime of being a “jack-of-all-trades” artist. They’ve hung a general “surrealist/pop artist”
label on him and dismissed him as a “non-serious Ed Ruscha.” But Wayne White’s art, funny and silly and profane
as it might be, is far from being a joke. He’s a man and an artist on a mission.

If your first experience of Wayne’s art is his “word paintings,” then you’ve come in late to an amazingly
multifaceted and storied adventure that has been his creative life. It’s a life now documented in a new film,
"Beauty is Embarrassing," which every creative person will enjoy immeasurably and will provide every person seeking
the secret to “what makes the artist tick” with palpable insights. His journey has been as long, oblique and
serendipitous as only a lifelong muse-driven pure artist’s journey can be. Wayne left his home in Tennessee to become
a cartoonist and illustrator for some of the hippest pop-art-laden publications of the day, like The Village Voice.
He then became one of the driving creative forces on the now legendary Pee Wee Herman Show, creating props and puppets
and performing voices. He won three Emmy Awards. His puppetry and art direction talents earned him awards for music
videos as well, including Peter Gabriel’s Big Time and the Smashing Pumpkins’ amazing George Melies-inspired Tonight,
Tonight. But it’s his word paintings that are finally making his name known. Are they “real” art? Or is this some kind
of a joke? It’s Wayne’s mission in life as an artist to address this endlessly-arising “question” so vital to
conversations concerning "high art."

An Interview withWayne White

Your “word paintings” “sample” pre-existing paintings of kitschy landscapes (i.e., depressing Americana memes).
Do you feel a kinship with early rappers who reinvented music in a similar way, sampling tapes in bargain bins?

Not really. Even though there is a similar aesthetic of recycling. I've recycled junks since the 70's... way before
rap came along. But like rappers I do feel like i'm collaborating with the original artist and harmonizing with the work.

In what ways have your non-fans in the official art world sought to delegitimize your art and your very status
as an artist?  They seem to believe that as an artist provocateur injecting humor into fine art, you are a major threat.
What is this perceived threat?  Why are they so threatened?

First of all I am not perceived as a major threat. if anything I'm perceived as an imitator of Ed Ruscha because I live
in L.A. and I use text. I wish I was a major threat. That would be fun! But I'm afraid I don't have that kind of power. I guess
some people are threatened by humor in fine art because they see it as a corrupting influence.

Your credo that the purpose of artists is to create beautiful things, and your belief that humor is a major part of the “beautiful” might indicate that you hold technical art “study” in low regard. Is there as much point in studying why a portrait is “beautiful” as there is in analyzing why one laughs at a joke?  In fact, as with “deconstructing” jokes, the analysis itself destroys the joke. Do you in fact prefer to remain “awed” by great art and laughing at funny art as the highest tribute to be paid to art (critics be damned)?

The creative act is not an act of analysis. It’s an in the moment spontaneous experience. The analysis comes later by the viewer and the arts. And yes too much analysis sucks the juice out of anything so its the challenge for the artist and the viewer when they are confronting art and humor.

Your broad artistic palate, stretching from painting to cartooning to video to puppetry, indicates a wildly wandering artistic consciousness.  As someone who simply creates, like a mountain climber, “because it’s there,” do you ever feel the need to let the rational part of your mind catch up with the creative part of your mind that is so obviously in control of the show?

I try to keep it strictly creative in the studio. After the physical act of creating something the rational mind always takes over and starts to analyze it so its always a balancing act. Nobody is 100% creative or 100% rational.

What would you say to someone who thinks your art “mocks” art?

Uh.. Thank you.

What would you say to someone who says you’re talented enough to be a “real artist,” if only you’d take it more seriously?

Fuck you. Seriously.

What’s the most important compliment you’ve ever received from someone whose opinions on art you really respect?  

Joel Hodgson called my paintings "magic" and that's coming from a magician!

What would your advice be to a young artist with interests in multiple disciplines and mediums just embarking on a lifetime of making art?

Don't let anybody tell you that you have to concentrate on one thing. You don't. It’s possible to cross over as many times as you want. I think crossing over is a healthy and invigorating thing to do. It freshens up all the genres. Many teachers will try to pigeon hole you unfortunately. Don't listen to them!

QuestionsFor the Reader

  1. When an artwork makes you laugh, do you consciously (or subconsciously) label the work as “not serious art” regardless of the artist’s creativity and talent?
  2. Has there been one moment in your life above all others when you were absolutely awestruck (“embarrassed”) to be in the presence of a particular artwork? Can you compare this with laugh you laughed at the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced in your life?  Are beauty and humor necessities of life – or the whole point of life?

Watch the trailer: Beauty is Embarrassing

Beauty is Embarrassing directed by Neil Berkely hits theatres on Sept. 7th.

White Knights and Why They're Harmful

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 2:34 PM
This is quite a huge/concerning topic, and I know that not all deviants share the same point of view, and I respect that. I'm sure that there are many other journals touching upon this subject, but because I personally have had very bad experiences with it, I want to inform my watchers about it myself! Hope it helps some.


White Knighting

So, for the past year or so I've noticed that some people saying that they specifically dislike  a lot of "popular" dA artists due to the overprotective behavior of their watchers.

I personally find it very sad that people are turned off by my artwork simply because they associate my username with "[my] white knights".

There's no way I can possibly control what my fanbase does or says, and this can lead to some very awkward situations and conflicts on my end.

Don't get me wrong...I love each and every one of my watchers, in fact without you guys my artistic life would be incredibly more lackluster. I'm sure many other people feel this way too. But there is no denying that some watchers can take things too far when it comes to "defending" their favorite artists against thieves, trolls, and tracers.

I've seen some very nasty things said to others due to alleged tracing/stealing/trolling. Name-calling, offensive/vulgar slang, and even death threats are tossed around like it's nothing...and that just isn't right.

Is art theft bad? Yes, of course it is.
Trust me, It sucks having your artwork stolen all the time, not to mention it is copyright infringement.
Having your work traced?
Even though it's acceptable by dA standards, I personally find it very distasteful to use someone else's art to selfishly pursue your own gain.
And trolling?
Definitely annoying, but let's face it, anyone who trolls usually has some sort of superiority/insecurity issues anyways, so not much to get upset over.

But guess what?
The only person who should be seriously dealing with these situations are the artists themselves -- there is no need to lash out at thieves/trolls/tracers on behalf of the artist that you idolize.

 In fact, trying to take on the role of a "savior"usually only makes the situation worse.

When a bunch of "rabid fans" mindlessly defend their idol without a second thought, not only does it makes the white knights look foolish, but also the original artist themselves. In fact, this is a surefire way to damage your favorite artists' reputations. And I'm sure that's the LAST thing you'd want to do, if you truly care about the artist!

 Now, when passerbys see the artists' name come up, they'll think "Oh, so-and-so, isn't that the guy with the crazy, bloodthirsty fans? Yeahh, I'm staying away from them."
It makes others afraid of interacting with the original artist out of fear that they'll be somehow attacked by the white knights.

"You are who you surround yourself with", as they say.

Also, by trying to take a situation into your OWN hands instead of simply letting the original artist know privately, you are disrespecting the original artist by not letting them have a say in the matter and trying to act on their behalf. Artists can handle themselves; they don't need their own personal armies to come to their rescue over small things! :nod:

You are not doing anyone a favor by acting hatefully!


Also, please don't get "white knighting" confused with those who calmly correct misinformed statements about an artist, or those who warn an art thief that it is against dA's rules to repost artwork without the original artist's permission.

For example, this is not white-knighting:
Person: "Omg liek I heard Billy is such a terrible person, they turned down some guy's commission cuz they thought the character wuz ugly!!!1 wow what a self centered asshole!"

One of Billy's watchers, in reply to Person: "Hey there! Actually, Billy did not accept that person's commission because the character they wanted drawn had a lot of neon colors in it. Billy speicfically wrote in their Terms of Service that they do not accept neon characters, that's all!"

But this IS white knighting:

Person: "Omg liek I heard Billy is such a terrible person, they turned down some guy's commission cuz they thought the character wuz ugly!!!1 wow what a self centered asshole!"


See how foolish the BOTH of those people look now? Don't put yourself on the same level of the hater. ;)


If you are ever feeling harassed or bullied by a "white knight", I would recommend ignoring and  blocking the user, and maybe even report them depending on how serious it gets.
I have had to report several malicious users on my page in the past, and have had positive experiences with the staff in dealing with them.
Cyberbullying is not tolerated as lightly as it was a couple of years ago.

Depending on your level of comfort/familiarity with the original artist, you could let them know about the harassment as well.
Perhaps they can speak privately to the white knight and ask them kindly to stop.

Also, if your artwork is ever directly stolen, there is a VERY easy way to get it removed.
Simply file a DMCA complaint to dA.
If you can prove it's your original work, the staff will have the theft's taken down within a couple of days.It also often results in the thief being banned from dA, which is a bonus!
No army of white knights necessary :)

And just remember:

"Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding."

- Mahatma Gandhi

la-chess: la-white-knight la-chess: la-white-knight la-chess: la-white-knight 

I haven't spend much time on my computer last weekend, but enough to see that DeviantArt was kept busy by a troll that apparently did really well for as much as trolls can 'do well' on the internet. A little over 4000 pageviews in just 4 days the account is online proved not only the artists involved in the matter took offense... but apparently a lot of other DeviantArt members as well. Even those that seemed (to me at least) totally uninvolved with the troll or the particular type of art.
For those that wonder about the issue; It's about Foxbun's rather cynical joke about the 'closed species' matter. (I'm usually against name calling here. But this account has intentionally created for its goal. It has been all over the site already and would've been in the comments within 10 minutes, even without me mentioning here. I don't provide a link, though. Use your search engine if you want to research it.)

The term white knight is to most older members of DeviantArt (or the internet in general) a well known term, and not for its positive connotation. It's most used in the context of fanatic fangirls or groupies that defend a celebrity or (in this case) famous artist on basically every front, regardless of checking sources, or if this person is right and reasonable or not. This often leads to awkward situations, harassing people, spamming and entire wars against a single (sometimes unaware) critic, often with devastating consequences. 

Seeing the huge amount hateful of comments on this single issue, and considering the fact that a few of the artists attacked where considered 'big shots' on DeviantArt, I consider this again a classic case of white knighting. And regardless of the person being a scam or not; I do not like the sight of that. Not at all. It reminds me a bit too much of the high school bullying where it was often 10 people against 1, and the rest stood by and just watched and laughed. I just can't help to cringe at that kind of behavior. 

Sure, this person might be an experienced internet user. A troll, or whatever people might call it. But not all people are aware of internet rules and community etiquette.
In one of my early years on DeviantArt, I once made the mistake to post a critical comment on an artwork from a user that had a rather big fanbase. Despite my good intentions of actually of wanting to help this artist, and the fact that my comment was overall balanced, the comment was everything but appreciated. At least; not by her fans. Even before she could reply I got at least 5 replies in my inbox written by her fans. They told me, not in the nicest way, my comment was unjustified and that I was a **** [you may imagine] for even having the guts to write something like that to their idol. In the end the artist herself never replied to me, but the negative feeling that came with her drawings lasted a long time. I unwatched her for a while. And even when I found back the courage to watch her again (when I realized she wasn't the one responsible, but her fans were) I actually never commented again. I liked her art, but wanted to avoid her fans really badly.

A few years of experience and a lot more watchers have basically forced to view the issue from the other side as well. 
And this makes it part of the reason why I want to share this with people.

Because as an artist I've learned that you can't completely control a watcher base. A few days ago I made a piece for the MH17 airplane disaster. Just, heartfelt, because as a fellow Dutchy (a lot of people from my country died there) I felt like it. Most reactions were positive. One, however, was negative. But before I even woke up the next day and had the chance to look at it and write a reply to it... another person already wrote something instead. Luckily this was a very sensible person and a very sensible and thoughtful comment. But the point is; with such exposure, people answer things before I myself can even get to it. And that's basically how part of this happens.
Part of it, I say. Because I firmly believe the other part is controllable with responsible behavior. There's a difference between making a journal about "Somebody insulted me. I feel bad today"  or "Person-X insulted me. What a ****". The first statement is probably going to get you some cyber hugs and comforting reactions. The second thing will most definitely redirect all the hate towards that Person-X. And while that sweet revenge might bring you relief for a second, it won't make you anything more than just a big cyber bully. Overall; refrain from name calling, unless positive... or unless it's such a big blown up matter that everybody already knows it and not saying the word is like ignoring an elephant in the room.

As for people in whose name is white knightned (if that even is a verb). I cannot speak for all of them on DeviantArt here, but I'm sure there are many people with me on this one, that don't particularly like it when their "fans" go all out on someone or something. Having a reasonable discussion with someone about a subject, even in the name of some else, is totally fine. As long as it's done in a polite manner and with some solid arguments. Trolling people, harassing them, spamming them, calling names, bullying them... etc... is not cool.
It might seem cute and everything. Defending your idol. And sure, I can imagine people being protective towards someone else that else that already gets a lot of criticism -- I don't deny the fact that some people here are in fact exposed to harsh criticism. But doing bad things in the name of your idol only gives your idol a bad name and reputation. And that's the one thing you don't want as fanatic fan. People turning away from your fandom, because they might've liked the fandom itself, but can't stand the fans. 

To return to the beginning of my DeviantArt journey. I was a newbie on the site, a non-native English person (took me ages to write a message in English) and unaware of the general culture on the site. I thought I did something helpful, and those reactions scared the shit out of me. That being one of the first experiences with that particular artist on the site, it left such a bad taste in my mouth that I never commented on the artist work again. Ironically not even up until today. I could've been an amazing fan, though. Considering that, back in that time, I was a basement dweller with basically no life and there were other people that I commented on all the time. But yeah, those so called fans just scared me away.

What I wanted to say is; just don't be that person that ruins the experience for other people on the website.
If the artist himself wants to be an ass and chase away his fans... that's up to him. Those are his fans, so it's his loss. But don't do it for another artist. If someone personally attacks you, your family, or your best friend... it's totally be okay to get involved. If someone attacks your art, it's okay to get angry. But don't get into a fight for an artist you barely know. Or at least not without doing a proper background check on the subject and having a solid opinion on the subject that's actually yours.

And as a final note. Before any of you go harassing to comment section saying "OMG! U support art theft!!!!" or anything like that, just because I mentioned this particular case; learn to read context. I don't support art theft at all, and I've never done so. But I don't support cyber bullying either. My stance on this case is rather neutral, and the only reason I brought it up is to serve as a recent example.
Img-og by techgnotic

Dear White People, the minimum requirement of black friends needed to not be racist has just been raised to 2. Sorry, but your weed man, Tyrone, does not count.”

— Sam White, Dear White People

The Sundance award–winning film “Dear White People”

Marking the debut of director Justin Simien, examines the question of race and racism in post–Obama America through a satirical lens. The goal of the film is to use humor to start a conversation about the construction and perception of racial identity. We follow the journey of four black students attending a fictional Ivy League college as they struggle to answer the question of what “being black” in this day and age means and how that defines not only who they are, but who they are seen as being.

Sam White finds herself struggling to define who she is as a biracial person feeling forced to “choose a side.” Lionel Higgins is unable to fit in on either side of the black/white line as a gay wallflower who feels he has nothing in common with other black students and is seen only as “technically black.” Colandrea Conners is on the opposite side of the spectrum, wanting to disassociate herself from her ‘ghetto’ black background choosing to go by the name of 'Coco’ in an attempt to be seen for who she wants to be instead of how others define her. Troy Fairbanks, the black Dean’s son, wants to join the all–white paper and dates the university president’s white daughter to please his dad. Each is struggling to fit into their surroundings while trying to figure out who they truly are.

How would you feel if someone started a ‘Dear Black People’?”
— Gabe, Dear White People

No need. Mass media from Fox news makes it clear what white people think of us.”
— Sam White, Dear White People

The humor in Dear White People is often sharp, seeking to expose the covert vehicles of racism that continue to propel it forward.

The media is called out for its perpetuation of a cliched black culture black American stereotypes. It mocks Hollywood’s creation of “movies for everyone,” but a separate genre of black movies just for black people.

Racism is over in American. The only people who are thinking about it are… Mexicans, probably.”

— President Fletcher, Dear White People

Dear White People pushes no racial agenda, instead focusing intensely on cultural identity.

The film asks questions applicable to young people of all backgrounds in today’s society as they look to define themselves before others do so for them. Social change begins with social awareness and, that awareness starts the necessary conversations that can make us uncomfortable. Comedic treatments of the black–white schism in America — comedies that provoke thoughtfulness rather than exploit tired cliches — are often the best messengers of painful truths. Laughter is a powerful social medicine. In 1967 we had Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. And now we have Dear White People. Hopefully many more such thoughtful comedies will follow to help us become more aware of and take responsibility for the culture we shape.

A crucial companion piece to any film is its movie poster which serves to visually communicate the essence of the film and to entice potential audience members to see it in theaters. With such a charged topic as race it is difficult to capture the ethos of Dear White People in a single image. Designer and Disney Imagineer Nikkolas Smith (Nikkolas-Smith) took up that challenge. After seeing a screening of the film he decided to create a poster which he then emailed to Simien as fan art of the movie. The poster eventually ended up as the official movie poster for the film. Nikkolas was kind enough to answer a few questions and to share his experience in creating the poster for such a commercial and cultural success.

Interview with Nikkolas Smith

Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get started in art?

Absolutely! Well I grew up in Houston, Texas, and have been drawing since the age of one, I suppose… As most of us did. But I just never stopped. I’m a proud 80’s baby… Raised on Nintendo, Marvel, and Disney/Spielberg/Spike Lee/Reggie Hudlin films. I studied art in grade school, but went to college for Architecture, which ironically helped my Photoshop skills immensely.

A Disney Imagineer by day, you get to design incredible attractions for the Disney Theme Parks. What is it like to get to do this on a daily basis? What has been your favorite attraction to create?

It really is a dream come true, to get the chance to help design and transform those classic Disney films into an architectural storybook that billions of guests get to experience. All the attractions are so unique and amazing in their own way, but I’d say the most memorable experience I’ve had working on an attraction is having the opportunity to travel to China and work on Shanghai Disneyland, which is currently being built as we speak. What a magnificent theme park this is going to be! Start saving up now, you won’t want to miss the grand opening. =)

How does a Disney Imagineer end up designing the “Dear White People” movie poster?

Funny story about that. I remember being criticized by judges in architecture school because my entries "looked too much like a Disney movie poster". Fast forward 5 years and I find myself working as a Disneyland architectural designer, and having the opportunity to meet one of my heroes, legendary poster artist Drew Struzan, at work. That talk changed everything. A few months later, I got to see the Dear White People screening at the LA Film Festival, and that night I created the DWP one–sheet! After emailing my design to the DWP director as fan art, it got passed around at Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate films until it became the official movie poster. I’m still a bit in shock at how that happened!

(Also, side note) I was greatly inspired by the painterly style of Disney artists in movies like Bolt, Wall–E and Princess and the Frog, when I started working for The Walt Disney Company as an intern. I like the sketchy, unfinished style, and also natural looking paint brushes that are actually digital.

The poster for “Dear White People” was your first movie poster design, was this an important piece for you to design personally?

Professionally, it was the biggest moment of my “freelance concept artist” career, and has helped open doors to many new opportunities in the field of concept art. It’s also made me realize how much I have to learn!

What's the balance like between creating a beautiful piece of art that communicates the feeling of the film and making something that also functions as a commercial tool for selling the film?

Perhaps this is some variation of form following function, but you have to first figure out what the spirit and message of the film is. Then, the look of the piece with definitely flow from sticking to that message. One of the most iconic parts of Dear White People was the “micro–aggression” of intruders having to constantly explore the unfamiliar depths of Lionel’s Afro–centric hairstyle. This one act captures the silliness and seriousness of the film. I knew if I could capture that ‘gravitational pull’ moment in one shot, it could be equally hilarious and might give an overall feeling of the comedic tension that the film has to offer.

What was your process like in creating the final design for the poster?

I started by gathering some images of Tyler James Williams (aka Lionel) that I could use as reference images to help capture that shocked/disturbed/surprised look on his face from his afro being groped. Also, I got my two favorite Photoshop brushes ready (a charcoal brush I made, and a dry paintbrush style). Charcoal for the massive amount of curly hair, and the dry brush mainly for the skin. Next, I studied a massive amount of Sam Spratt paintings, as always, haha. The first draft of the painting took about 4 hours and had more of an unfinished, sketchy style. Ultimately we decided to add another level of photorealistic brush strokes to finalize the design.

You created a piece depicting Martin Luther King Jr wearing a hoodie similar to Trayvon Martin. What message do you want to communicate via this piece?

My MLK hoodie art piece was created as a reminder that it really isn’t okay to judge someone by their outward appearance, but rather by the content of their character. It was incredibly sad to see the fearful and hateful reaction so many people had when I simply took the same “MLK in a suit” image we’ve all seen a million times, and Photoshopped a hoodie around him. All of a sudden I was depicting Dr. King as a “thug.” This is the same mindset George Zimmerman had the night he killed Trayvon Martin. The point was that this could’ve easily happened to MLK as a child, and how many potential Martin Luther Kings have been killed in the past 10 years from our flawed, fearful, stereotypical perception of our fellow human beings? From Compton & Chicago to St. Louis & New York… We must do better as a human race.

Dear White People poses a lot of questions about race and racism in current day America, but leaves it to the audience to come up with their own answers. What was the most important thing that stayed with you after watching the film?

Just the simple fact that all of us Earthlings really are more alike than we are different. We all struggle with stereotypes and finding our own identity. This crosses all color lines. Dear White People is a hilarious reminder of that.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists looking to make it professionally in the arts?

I would say find your top three artists… some of the best in the world… and study their style… emulate the greats!

Also… “The Best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” — Walt Disney

Also… SAM. SPRATT. ( google his art O_o )

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you think documentaries about slavery and civil rights struggles or movies starring black heroes from Sidney Poitier to Denzel Washington have been the most transformative of generation’s ideas and attitudes about race?
  2. What movie about racial relations do you remember having the most impact on your developing social consciousness?
  3. Do you feel that artists have a special duty to find ways of communicating across cultural barriers with their art in order to unite our common human cores?

White Roses for an Eternal Bond

Sat May 12, 2012, 10:00 PM by jeanpat:iconjeanpat:

White Roses for an Enternal Bond

May 13, 2012

There is a song, White Rose of Athens, sung by Nana Mouskouri, and with its haunting lyrics, it was one of my mother’s favorites.

"So goodbye my love till then

Till the white rose blooms again"

I had been living in Athens Greece for six years, and it was from there that I sent my mother the first gift of white roses as a “Mother’s Day” gift.  But I sent it on my birthday. In my early twenties, I came to the realization that my birthday was not only about me being born on that day.  The special day was also about my mother, who had given me the most wonderful gift of all... life! How can it be that Mother’s Day and Birthdays have been so unnaturally “separated?”

I wanted Mom to know that even though it was my birthday, my thoughts were also about her. The note that I included in that first bouquet read, “I have never thanked you for bringing me into this world. I would like to do that now with these white roses from Athens”. Every year after that first gifting, the white roses, the symbol of our eternal bond, were sent to her on my birthday, and needless to say that each time she was genuinely touched and loved the gesture.

Just six short years after this birthday tribute started, my mother was taken away from me forever. Now I could never again send those beloved roses to her. With her passing, we were once again separated, at least until we meet again.

"The summer days are ending in the valley

And soon the time will come when we must be apart

Now you must start your journey to the sailing

And leave me till another spring-time comes around"

Why don’t we avoid the Hallmark cliché for Mothers Day and create more personal gifts linking our birthdays with Mothers day? And why don’t we all evolve from the concept of “birthdays” to focus as much on the mother giving birth as the child being born? Let us not forget the eternal bond between mother and child.

"So goodbye my love till then

Till the white rose blooms again"

Mom has been gone for many years now, and in place of those roses, I light a candle for her on my birthday every year. Silently, I thank her for giving me life.

"Goodbye till then

Goodbye till then..."

:bulletblack: ---- Emotions in Black & White ---- :bulletblack:

:bulletblack: Find a collection of the most beautiful, emotional and moving black/white shots collected during the last months in the Photography/People Galleries. Enjoy!

Au regard du passe by air-de-rien :thumb104144772: With a baby Louis Vuitton. by xcatchmex And then all turns black. by Be-at Lonesome by scaret Tear stained eyes by onechristina inside out. by florit disappointed by propan3 :thumb104853102: Today was your last day by disposable-heroX affianced by nowaryesblack Why don't you kill me by cookiemonstah Love is love anyway. by Bunnis The Littlest Princess by DalaiHarma :thumb105116571: j 01 by metindemiralay :thumb103142932:

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ta_sama_ann 006 by Akel-Elen
:thumb55828825: :thumb75359383:

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:thumb102541672: :thumb56679449: Exit music by onechristina :thumb104039531: night time by minon-minon p a i n by wiersz sometimes. by wiersz more than wanted by muszka

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Bed stories _03 by hellwoman
Whispering by onechristina A feeling. by glitterscene :thumb104463993: Lucy in the sky. by Oeuf-au-riz :thumb104488646: :thumb104503171: The anti barbie by Mimy0318 :thumb101603221: Listening.. by m-petrov portrait by artemiyb :thumb97695572: Genuine. by Be-at Hungry? by Be-at Fashion Victim. by Be-at The little white shirt. by Be-at abandoned fairy tales II. by RAWR-ima-Dinoroar : : Lost : : by EasyCom Amaya 2 by karapix If Loneliness was all by DarkCrissus :thumb93312216: Summer eve by bimbom :thumb89204626: :thumb94600139: Nikky 04 by aprelka THE BLACK PRINCESS by lahuelladigital 42 by escaped-emotions catch my smile by bimbom i wanna take you home. by nrprtm :thumb54975989: Chastity.XxX by Pretty-As-A-Picture Your Tears and Tremblings by brisni It's all a giggle really by mouseonmeds her by nanachan85 Freedom by Insomnia-Transient Light from the Door by lazereth Mar 4 by hulahulaa :thumb77839167: :thumb97730681: Janna 5 by pocelueva Magdalena I by destiny5 zawstydzona... by destiny5 :thumb60971225:

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bathroom_05 by hellwoman
Picture of me III. by Zwielicht-Art under umbrella by mizconseption Dark side of the rainbow by Prettyscary Alice au pays de Paname by Image-of-You :thumb104184885: in between days III by micmojo miss whore by anomalia-magnetyczna :thumb97255171: white sky by zenibyfajnie :thumb90163250: :thumb103545712: :thumb93503317: :thumb92987144: :thumb102843866: in sand by 2infernal4you :thumb103307948: dancing ... by karoluzz :thumb98372487: Just don't by ScorpionEntity :thumb103108485: wdycham spaliny by ajss Loneliness in the autumn air. by Bunnis Feurey by markroutt :thumb85424800: the best model. by appylovesyou :thumb101616602: :thumb86751959: :thumb97847810: maggie 1.4 by M-K-Munich an ocean between us. by catherineisabel :thumb90065102: :thumb101632822: :thumb101630833: Walk to the end by xbelle :thumb87265200: Walk the line by PhilipMatthews i've been there .. by nrprtm P by Cortese999 :thumb100512584: :thumb75124835: On the rock by Luna--cy :thumb83186298: :thumb82552595: working class hero by thePartisan Watching the winter sky... by XSugarfreeX :thumb97485464: let me by Gewof you by Gewof caro-4 2 by Klay-Ger caro-4 1 by Klay-Ger :thumb86052429: :thumb89066270: Girl by soniaa :thumb66580950: :thumb92864107: long black by Lucem winter is comming by go-go-skipper na schodach. by lifedeath13 Steph:Senior Portrait '08 BW by OsmynOree Like what... by RayGoneWild Little Miss by Cristel-m :thumb97535144: :thumb93686330: :thumb100927427: :thumb68343755: tenderness by Cretin-girl Provocative by Olga-Zervou :thumb93927374: This Dream by LunarRose

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wisH . to Be a woMAn by V3Nr3VeNG3

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- window silhouette - by SaschaHuettenhain
Bitter Words by Jole22 Free from myself by mouseonmeds c o s c  .   i  .  e n  z a by V3Nr3VeNG3 :thumb78002388: kiss by the train by mandyy123 :thumb63758346: Baby Queen by Nefeli6 Lonely Girl by TattooTheWorldArt Far away by Insomnia-Transient drink by dincha To Be Alone With You by Asilwen Fairytale by pixie-13 the joy of life by cinaz The Swing by Iznanka :thumb90060535: Drill by suck-milk :thumb74053865: :thumb94601818: Caught In A Moment by FairyFeathers night . . by karoins :thumb71662942: Stop looking start seeing by Ejsz Roz and Rebecka 5 by TootingBecWreck :thumb99036057: no flowers grow. by xjankax Promise me by Ejsz Water by Panter :thumb97577709: Kitted Up by escaped-emotions :thumb65061212: Leave me alone by SecretElii Lois black and white by seanandcow dress2 by mizconseption Plateland Punk XXVI by lordfruitecake Hello there by Fanfa Delicate when unobserved. by Be-at Sweetness sleepless. by Be-at :thumb100267942: lashes II by TimelessImages laughter... by TimelessImages never leave you .. by addiicted nowhere to be found. by RAWR-ima-Dinoroar :thumb47390438: :thumb88476799: fash. dla niesmialych by lifedeath13 agata II by butterfliesinstead zapomnialam by britnii :thumb99795803: :thumb96506826: Rain Dance by Prettyscary Lilac No.4 BW by existentialdefiance never is a promise by micmojo Despair by spaceman2005 :thumb103752153: XIIA by StrangeLoser depresja. by bakanisuru :thumb88780599: a ja taka potargana by bakanisuru let a fate save you by Kleohot przestrzenie wolnosci by trzykropki Plouf. by Klereuh :thumb64648174: :thumb101530838: :thumb101161871: :thumb103102551: :thumb68933897: :thumb56013261: good spirits by karae wenig verstand, viel herz by jazstereo :thumb88660301: Ket: Strip your soul by sonar-ua tear by bagnino :thumb58591947: :thumb95791078: Before I sleep by skinnyknees123 :thumb67051091: we are not old fashion by SinfulEyes Best Friends by SinfulEyes As Flowers Withered by Halohid Ketty_13 by Valovephotography di dar by ubikentang autum girl by bagnino sleeping well_4 by MotyPest

:bulletblack: ---- Containing Nudity ---- :bulletblack:

:thumb104663695: :thumb82250810: :thumb103821423: :thumb102482659: la propagation by glennprasetya Helpless by zlty-dodo D by xyour :thumb92071686: belangloser realismus by jazstereo papillons by grenasse :thumb97239537: :thumb96765228: :thumb57025976: :thumb57025976: 1 of 5 by Bulat :thumb96325715: Leopard legs by nurave .. by agnieszkakryspin So coool by s27w :thumb102388892: :thumb101444101: my pain is self chosen by xxnever-namedxx :thumb100519173: calmness before the storm by Olga-Zervou
Img-01 by techgnotic







Michael Slovis


Hey everyone, welcome to “Watch The Throne”, a weekly feature in which we talk about Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones from the season premiere to the finale. As usual, we offer a heartfelt thanks in advance for not sharing any spoilers from beyond the plot of this episode in the discussion section.

When we watch Arya get dropped off outside of the House of Black and White for which season five’s second episode is named, we’ve all got some reasonably high expectations. The building is tall and domineering, with no windows, and seemingly nothing and no one nearby. A place that produces men like Jaqen H’ghar commands a certain amount of stateliness just from the implied notions viewers have about what’s inside. So it’s almost a little comical when Arya approaches the door and, unsure of what to do, gives an unceremonious knock.

Arya’s attempt to enter the mysterious hall — which we assume is full of assassins — is rebuffed. After hanging around outside for an unspecified but extended period of time, Arya does what Arya does best, and moves on (until the episode’s end, that is).

Meanwhile back in Westeros, Sansa and Little Finger cross paths, coincidentally, with Podrick and Brienne. This is the second time in memory that major characters have a chance in encounter inside of a tavern on the road. Perhaps it isn’t too much of a stretch, but there was an inescapable sense of here-we-go-again when Podrick points out Sansa Stark and Brienne tells him to go get the horses ready.

Bronn and Jamie Lannister are such an unlikely duo, but this reviewer was almost giddy with excitement to see them converge once more. Who would have guessed this is what Jamie meant when he told Cersei he wasn’t going to travel to Dorne to save their daughter alone? Their reunion scene is pretty inspired, with Bronn looking hilariously uncomfortable as a lord, and a palpable sense of relief washing over his face as the promise of adventure looms on his horizon.

Just in passing it has to be mentioned that Jon Snow gets elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch after Maester Aemon settles a dead-heat election between Jon, Ser Alliser Thorne, and some ranger from a western outpost along the wall whom we’ve never met before. But it doesn’t happen before Stannis Baratheon offers to legitimize Jon as Ned Stark’s son, and make him lord of Winterfell. Even though our dreams for House Stark and the north in general were thoroughly crushed at the red wedding, this is an enticing proposition, but it’s one that, predictably, Jon Snow is too principled to accept.

The brunt of the episode’s arc was filled with Daenerys continuing to determine what kind of ruler she wants to be. This week, she is learning the value of laws that transcend the whims of their enforcers. That is to say, when Daario and Grey Worm catch the assassin from Sons of the Harpy who killed one of The Unsullied in the last episode, she chooses to grant him a fair trial rather than a summary execution. The matter is complicated when a band of former slaves kills the imprisoned assassin and leaves his body as a warning. Daenerys must oversee his killer's execution, but not without a degree of hesitance. Dany has made plenty of hard choices during her tenure as a leader, but seeing her up on a pavilion overseeing a beheading in front of a large crowd — very much the same way that newly-crowned King Joffrey was in season one — is a viscerally uncomfortable experience.

Dany’s evolution into a true ruler has always been, among other things, a platform for other characters in the show to put forth their own ideas about how a person should govern. That’s true in this episode when Ser Barristan points out the importance of even-handed justice, using Dany’s late father, the mad king, as an example of how things can go wrong. Reluctantly we have to grant that killing the assassin’s slayer was probably the just thing to do, but Dany didn’t do herself any favors by conducting it in such a public setting.

All of us got a little surprise when Drogon, Daenerys’s most unruly dragon, returned from doing whatever he’s been up to since he fried that little boy to a crisp last season. He extends his head as Dany reaches up to touch him, and mother and dragon have a heartwarming little reunion before Drogon takes flight over the city. Whatever type of ruler Daenerys is, and whatever claims to the throne she possesses, the image of a black dragon flying out over Meereen is a reminder of her most distinctive feature as a ruler, and also of her most solid claim to any throne.

Read More:

Watch The Throne: S5 E1 - The Wars To Come

Your Thoughts

  1. What would you have done with the former slave who killed that assassin from Sons of the Harpy? Did Khaleesi make the right choice executing him?
  2. For those keeping score, we currently have three on-the-road style buddy comedy subplots: Brienne and Podrick, Tyrion and Varys, and Jamie and Bronn. Which duo is your favorite?
  3. When the boat captain drops Arya off at The House of Black and White, he says “any man of Braavos would have done the same.” How do you think the citizens of Braavos feel about having a shadowy order of assassins living and working amongst them? How would it make you feel if you lived there?

..shiver by 8rurupyon8 fumare by bagnino

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fe_tiSH by bagnino

:thumb110458953: :thumb139840861: cattitude by Roudeee  
_DSC7842 by a-belozerov  Forbidden Fruit by bigcitydreams respiro by bagnino
:thumb151018570: Lunar ringlets by bitterev gone with the sin by kelebebeq
the butterfly effect by PsycheAnamnesis Smile by The-Freak-Nora leaving with or without you by aimeelikestotakepics
TicTacTicTac by ruuca Hysteria by ruuca :thumb113971908:
:thumb151412109: Prodject 'FACES' by NataliaGautier svetlana5 by rodossky
untitled by nnoik  Libertate frate'.. by c-time Here, with my friends by c-time
0180 by lwc71 R e a c h by ZanaSoul Old Story by dim-baida
nurdan III by OkTaYBiNGoL Portre 45 by OkTaYBiNGoL :thumb107178273:
nataly 3b by bagnino Behind by Anezka123 LF. by paulsch
Curious by speartime the shadow, part two by Anaris88 :thumb148315649:
Avatar by MarinStefan :thumb99019303: on a sunday morning by Anaris88
The hiker... by vincentfavre rosalyn by Anaris88 a helping hand by poivre
:lost: by aanaliza
my old Converse2 by NerySoul Sasza5o2 by astatta Pensive by iNeedChemicalX
hoop-pa by foart :thumb104144772: :thumb102728994:
:thumb108722005: n II by MustafaDedeogLu two minutes by MustafaDedeogLu
cats music by unemo Martina... v2 by MaComiX Promise you by vejitatoja
Moonage daydreams by leenik cold by xTive :thumb97965152:
When The Rain Comes Down by IssyMoon zona cmentarna by joannarasta
Eleven by pepytta Harmony by vemano88 sleeping time by KalbiCamdan
mira.candy by xutomu smell of delicacy . by M0THart mk_tarasov by inna-ya
kate by inna-ya automne by 2jL - peace of mind - by A-T-I-S
Intimacy by AgnieszkaTrzaska white poem by rakowska

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Izabella by OlgaC

summer rain by litill-alfur nyr dagur by litill-alfur :thumb123551403:
Coffee Geommetry by aR-Ka Ewe III by patrycjanna before i go by Dabadus
Coffee cup by funnyOne :thumb142892541:
Collected by thursday-hurts What you Looking at? BW by CZOart ...Lu -1-... by OlegBreslavtsev
One Above Darkness by FlorentCourty olga sec 7313 by bagnino :thumb109779652:
stay hard by alinashamalova :thumb92266596: Me as a model - DeGraw shoot by duskOFsummer
never leave you .. by addiicted

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for all we know by micmojo
autum girl by bagnino
Ah Serge. by Merube Lullaby by Kleemass Portret by fraukatie
light by KonradC the small grains make room by haikman an unsuspected party by Anaris88
nr 2 by aanaliza the smell of... by aanaliza mnmn by aanaliza
To start off here, thank you for the entries in the September Contest, much appreciated and

a good start. Let's not waste any time, here's the info on our second contest!

I will hold these contests every month and increase as we go on. The goal is to hold a

couple each month and to be able to give away more prices so that we donate more to charity.

I will always match the contest prizes in cash given away to Red Cross Foundation in

winners name. Participate and help me help others.

:bulletgreen: Rules
- Anybody can participate.
- Maximum of 3 entries.
- You must link back to this article in your deviation description in order to take part of

the contest.
- Artwork must be created for this contest (uploaded earliest October 2nd), no previous

artwork will apply.
- Favorite the article (love it!) in order to help spread the word.
- Send me a note with your entry.
- Deadline for entries is October 25th (23.59 GMT+1)

:bulletgreen: How to enter?
1. Create artwork to go with the theme Black & White.
2. Upload it and link back to this article in the description (+ favorite/like the article).
3. Follow the Rules
4. Check our entry in the Black & White Gallery

:bulletgreen: What is the contest theme?
- This months contest will have Black & White as the contest theme. Create Your

own interpretation from the theme in any genre desired. Work with typography, photo,

drawings, poetry etc, your choice!

:bulletgreen: Who wins and how?
- The winner will be announced October 30th.
- To win the Black & White contest you need to come up with a creative and interesting

concept of portraying the theme.
- All different genres is allowed, photography, digital art, drawing etc
- Winner will be selected and presented together with runner up in an article on October

30th (as well as notified through DeviantART).

:star: 1st place will receive 5,000 points!

:star: 2nd place will receive 2,000 points!

:star: 3rd place will receive 1,000 points!

Entries upon deadline can be viewed in Black & White Gallery

If you have any questions about the contest or how things works, contact med and I'll make

sure to put you straight.

Good luck and spread the word, the more contest entries we get, the more money we'll be able

to raise further on.

Total donations so far (October 2nd 2011) is: $145,00

Best of luck!
:thumb121972182: Would you play with me? by End-of-Sadness :thumb121894986: :thumb122046019: Malgosia by hellwoman :thumb121922842: :thumb122184287: :thumb122566212: daydreaming by britnii :thumb122071575: :thumb121160088: no smile by patus-patrika

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mercredi by Lucyanna
On my own by juiloquellavera :thumb116338087: :thumb121553254: Elusive by Reverentia Vera Sherbakova 11 by aprelka girl by yodhi19 burn black by xxnever-namedxx SMK 10 by Kamelionen :thumb121941601: that's not my name by xxnever-namedxx :thumb95695424: SMK 13 by Kamelionen

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meg topless in tree 6 by lonelylover123
:thumb122176028: :thumb122359858: :thumb122271173: :thumb122489647: :thumb122487764: Pencil Touch by crazydonut soulless by ajss Waiting by Lilichka :thumb122476636: forest hymn by nozhki-v-bosonozhkah

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es tut mir weh by nozhki-v-bosonozhkah
:thumb108472464: Marta5. by polish-girl

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take me ce soir by jazstereo

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my time is now by micmojo
:thumb69366479: :thumb122550428: :thumb119545584: :thumb119546239: Panza de paianjen by Adelina2 :thumb114385409: alcoholic1 by theshelbyharris :thumb119858124: London Portrait by HardcoreShizzle :thumb40216764: Inside of Me by velvetdrusilla juice by Talabananasaurusrex 3 5 0 by hoppetanikisu :thumb121181605: :thumb116884306: show me you're real by ElisaNight Photo 117 by milkaa007 :thumb118641945: Eidolon No.4 BW by existentialdefiance Unfinished Business by ElisaNight Lost in a lost world. by Be-at Smoking In Front Of My House by zlty-dodo tell me a story by NathashahMMM A frozen memory by AnjaRoehrich KIKI 2 by unomak :thumb120675230: Pretty As You Feel. by Inconditionnellement Cosy In The Rocket by Desert--Rose Paris by HerrWilliam Alinka by fo0losophy ... by Naiade-on-the-roc

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empty seats by Stephanie-Anne
Love by Naiade-on-the-roc

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You Caught Me by finnler

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Entwined by RawBonesStudio
ooo by Vanessa7 Regle n'2 : Liberte by only-mistery :thumb120705810: Hide-and-Seek by SidXandXNancy catdog by haircut closed 2 by kle-m Kladoniya 2 by kle-m See you soon by xXIcigoXx :thumb119479735: :thumb120468222: :thumb120418901: chess_flight by YC-ua :thumb109998252: :thumb117755129: cannot accomplish intolerance by jazstereo

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The Blind One by JC-Stark-Arts
:thumb117358867: :thumb117077634: Tutu by LetsDieSlowly Missing by gottabeagga :thumb118458623: :thumb118415173: :thumb114773681: 2 by KrzysztofSalwarowski blowers daughter by pavlikrelations moment. by UNtonka 234. by sellotapestars Martina by sickshotshow Gone by DopeStars Piano by beddy Im sleepy by puzzle-1190

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rowek by britnii
How to Fit A Square by CrinaPrida smeared, indistinct uncertain by Dopasowana 1 by KrzysztofSalwarowski It's Not Black And White 2 by WingsForShtuka :thumb109591899:

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lighter by TheRedWater
Emmy II by TheRedWater Memory and desire by Dabadus ms trash by anarchymodel

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bend the throttle by anarchymodel
:thumb116308867: :thumb116534848: :thumb82821501: :thumb117073903: :thumb111989058: too hard to see by mariaslu :thumb117312565: :thumb115026985: :thumb114179215: Half by psychiatrique rrr by BlackDennie :thumb93062820: :thumb103138853: resist by MaryMagpi

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dream II. by yenda-net
:thumb108105452: :thumb116332928: Lera at Blues Bar by psychiatrique :thumb111862358: :thumb116330119: Bogdana by psychiatrique Marina in glasses by psychiatrique Rebel2 by nazliaslanger pandu andita maharani 9 by adalahsaya maharani 5 by adalahsaya maria portrait by mbennion76 not flying by accelerate despair under the summer rain by deinitio :thumb114201881:

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Selia 2475FX by FrancoisDeWynter
:thumb114888851: :thumb114639211: :thumb114878936: Ena4 by pinkswallow cat woman ? by pinkswallow I Shall Believe by Alksndr :: ewelina :: by bagnino behind blue eyes by GOnFriday :thumb110444646: mistress monologue by bitterev piece by piece by RazZzZ Alice. by Y-newman :thumb115870988: :thumb116530211: let's get crazy by notisia :thumb116510420: :thumb116478684: :thumb115936249: Zoe III by javertime Perfect combination. by RaisaPhotoArt The Little Doll_ gothic by Ukiko :thumb116744323: :thumb116611850: :thumb116785611: I remember you by ginger-77 On the brigde... by kaktus69 :thumb116864180: :thumb115890853: :thumb92870241: :thumb117096991: down by Rum-and-Kola :thumb112236075: :thumb116506795: :thumb117249421: :thumb116312256: a wind by Pistacjova :thumb109150496:

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Foto 64 by Fotoankh
A.N by Dabadus :thumb104177034: :thumb105490215:

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Questions series 18: Drown? by liseva
Selina by RealKilroy :thumb97682322: :thumb116127964: :thumb114766299: Vlad Kenner 1 by carlyerin :thumb114852021: :thumb115530890: Flash flash flash by Insomnia-Transient :thumb83564531: trampled rose by thicktheo attente eternelle II by MissElain sun by mizconseption :thumb92356355: Merry christmas presents by mizconseption :thumb113255403: Glass by chernyaeva I don't like tv by mizconseption long ago by Por-fin :thumb115268932: old life. by Cenzzored sensibility. by Zaratops Sweet Teddy by make-it-happen Alone in the Cellar BW by Magicc-Imagery Glooooria. by hoppetanikisu Ace by RENOPHOTO Linda. by RENOPHOTO just sea by Serejka :thumb107750629: I wrote these words by lesmick :thumb112373967: :thumb113307035: :thumb107856299: :thumb106089194: By Starlight. by emeraldiris Its The Creature Inside by lepersabstain Hold Me by lepersabstain m xx 59 by metindemiralay :thumb54902008: Silence. by SilverMercury :thumb80358150: :thumb78587970: :thumb112209235: Arts by imperatorowa :thumb109292060: Shut up. by Piipsy Forever Blowing Bubbles by MizzMaeve with my daughter by Styush :thumb104798843: