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Scratch Board

February 11, 2012

Since I was a child, I’ve been a wannabe artist.  I had no idea what I wanted to do in that field…I just knew I liked to draw.

I had no direction from my parents because they didn’t know…it wasn’t something I shared with them because I could see they were struggling just to get by.  Dad kept steering all of us to go into teaching…something he never had the chance to do because World War II came along.  And no high school counselor ever asked me or counseled me about my future.

However, in the year and a half I did attend the local community college, and over the next two decades, I managed to take every art class available that interested me.  Years later when I returned and received my Associate in Science degree, I also received my Art degree. 

Now, I know that this being just a community college, these degrees certainly aren’t as impressive as a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in art…all the fancy stuff everyone seems to have nowadays.  But I did it for me, and that’s all that matters.

As I am now trying to get myself organized for 2012 and to simplify my life (in other words, get rid of the crap in my house), I came across a portfolio of my art work from over the years.  In it was this piece from one of the first classes I took.  It was my first attempt on scratch board, done from a magazine advertisement, and I now see a ton of flaws when I scan it to show here.  But I like it, and apparently the instructor liked it, too, because it’s got a nice “A” on the back.

Scratch Board by JSD

Do they even make scratch board anymore?  I’ll have to check.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2012 8:50 am

    Wow! I have never heard of “scratch board”, but I love the look of that! My fifth graders are working on charcoal pencil sketches right now, and this sort of reminds of those, with the use of light and shadow. Good for you for doing it, for pursuing your dream and for recognizing the beauty of having done both. And never put “only” in front of your accomplishments! I would love to see more of your art…..

    • February 11, 2012 10:52 am

      I don’t know if the medium is still available…will have to take a trip to the art supply website. It was fun and a real challenge. Thank you for your comment…I’m hoping to get more into my art and will share! 🙂

  2. Betsy Cushman permalink
    February 11, 2012 9:12 am

    Such a gift you have, dating back through so many years! Now you are exploring and developing that gift and it’s a joy to see. Wow.

    • February 11, 2012 10:53 am

      Thanks, Betsy. Your encouragement is very much appreciated…always has been!

  3. February 11, 2012 9:29 am

    It deserved an ‘A’ too. I really like it, The fine detail and everything. Scratch board isn’t the easiest substrate to work on. I did a couple of them years ago but didn’t like that the medium was so unforgiving. Would love to see more of your work. Thanks for sharing.

    • February 11, 2012 10:58 am

      Thank you very much. I’m planning to work more on my artwork. I feel very content when I’ve finished something.

  4. February 11, 2012 9:53 am


  5. February 11, 2012 10:56 am

    Are you kidding me? You see the flaws? I thought it was a photograph – beautiful!


    • February 11, 2012 11:09 am

      Thank you so much, MJ. Craig Wetzel of Craig Wetzel’s Imaginactory told me…”I have painted for a lot of years … but nothing I’ve done has been perfect, nor have I ever been satisfied.” I think that is the need for perfection that many creative people deal with, myself included.
      Also, this blog format is the first time I’ve put my work out there for the world to see, and I greatly appreciate all the wonderful comments.

  6. February 11, 2012 11:29 am

    Yes, they still make scratch board and from the looks of your photo, flaws or not, it might be a good idea to try it again. Keep it up.

    • February 11, 2012 1:48 pm

      Thanks, Craig, I hope to do just that. 🙂

  7. February 11, 2012 6:11 pm

    We have more in common than I realized. I too was pulled to the arts at a young age, although I didn’t have much confidence with my drawing. I did like to make things. I had several years of junior college with no degree and then marriage, children….. I went back to the junior college to take evening art classes, even spoke with a counselor (who was also a football coach) and he said I was wasting my time with art. I still took art classes along with the other stuff and finally got an AA degree in art. I am so proud!! Off and on, I did eventually finish my BA, but not in art. I was almost 50. All part of my journey….
    I love your scratchboard figure and the striking contrast. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    • February 11, 2012 10:01 pm

      It’s amazing how many of us have traveled the same journey, isn’t it? I’m glad you like the image…now I’m looking forward to trying some more. 🙂

  8. Snoring Dog Studio permalink
    February 11, 2012 7:48 pm

    I think it’s lovely. I’ve never used scratch board but I’m sure they still make it. I don’t think art supplies go out of fashion.

    • February 11, 2012 10:03 pm

      Thank you! Now I’m on a quest to find it again. 🙂

  9. February 11, 2012 8:06 pm

    Wow! Wonderful art.

  10. February 12, 2012 8:33 am

    You should definitely pursue this. You obviously have a lot of talent. I look forward to seeing what you create in 2012.

    • February 12, 2012 2:09 pm

      Thank you, Annie. That is my intent. 🙂

  11. February 21, 2012 12:31 pm

    This is fantastic! I’ve messed -around with scratchboard but never acheived anything like this .
    Yes they do still make it. I recommend going to Dick Blick art materials; ( Google “Dick Blick”) ; they carry several types of scratchboard—& a lot of other really neat stuff.

    • February 21, 2012 2:16 pm

      Thanks! I’m familiar with Dick Blick…will have to get my act together and get to their local store. 🙂

  12. November 6, 2012 7:31 pm

    Wannabe artist? Nope! You’re an artist! Scratch board takes a great deal of patience. This piece really shows a great deal of skill.

    • November 7, 2012 7:48 pm

      Why, thank you…that’s very kind and encouraging! 🙂

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