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Back to work…

April 6, 2016

Lately I’ve been trying to fine-tune my skills with pen and ink and with graphite pencils.  I had offered some of my work here…such as Big Gramp’s House, this old scratch board work, and The Eyes.  They seemed to be well received, but I know there is so much I still have to learn.

I picked up a piece of charcoal and did this quick sketch from an old photograph of No3 when she was little.

"Alexandria" (graphite stick on charcoal paper, 9" x 12")

“No3″ (graphite stick on charcoal paper, 9″ x 12”)

It was enough to get me wanting to do more.  With this renewed urge to create, and do it well, I thought of taking classes.  But my schedule is such that it’s too difficult to fit them in.  I have found some good information online and hope to find more.

One I especially like is this video showing how artist Terry Jackson from Australia does her beautiful, life-like pencil and graphite animal pictures.

There are many of you out there that do the type of art I like and do it much better than I. Maybe with your help and suggestions, I’ll be able to improve my work.

Pen & Ink: Big Gramp’s House

November 11, 2015

This is my lastest pen and ink drawing.  I like working in this medium because of the details I can add.  “Big Gramp’s House” is First Love’s grandparents’ house.  It was originally built in the early 1800s as a simple log cabin.  Obviously, there have been several improvements and renovations over the almost 200 years since it first went up…most done by the original family which owned it until about 40 years ago.  The current homeowners may be surprised to know that the original logs are still within the structure.

2011 JSD drawing of Big Gramps House copyright

I used Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pen on Bristol.  This may likely be my last pen and ink drawing since my vision problems have returned…temporarily, I hope.

Indiana Parent Speaks Truth to the Indiana Legislative Branch of ALEC

October 24, 2015

With the way many of our school systems are being run, I feel that it’s important to re-post this blog about Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, an Indiana mother’s address to her state legislature. If you are a parent or grandparent of school children, you may feel this is as important as I do.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Cathy Fuentes-Rower went to the Indiana legislative hearing about the teacher shortage, and she patiently waited seven hours to testify. Cathy is a parent, not a teacher. She was forced to listen to a lineup of “experts” who insisted there was not too much testing, compared to Florida; and there is no teacher shortage, because the superintendents who reported a shortage are biased, and the conservative NCTQ said the data were inconclusive.

When she finally testified, she spoke out boldly.

She said:

I am a mother of four children in public schools.

I know that my children’s learning conditions are their teachers’ working conditions.

This educational environment has become a pressure cooker for our kids and teachers because the legislature has decided that somehow educators weren’t accountable enough. The learning and teaching process has been transformed into a test-taking, data collecting nightmare to somehow prove accountability… at the root…

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A Ball Problem

January 23, 2015

Wanted to share Rants’ comments about Deflategate!


If you’re not a Rants Army Regular, you might have clicked this because the current issue surrounding the New England Patriots ‘deflategate’ story is still hot.  To be honest

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Throwback Thursday to a trip to Scotland and England

January 22, 2015
Branxton Parish where casualties from the Battle of Flodden were taken in 1513.

Branxton Parish where casualties from the Battle of Flodden were taken in 1513.

Scottish independence marker in Coldstream

Scottish independence marker in Coldstream

Abbotsford 0013 - 2



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