Expressive Aspirations
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And so it started...

As a young child, I was always drawing.  I loved to watch cartoons, not only for the entertainment, but also to try to draw my favorites.  The Peanuts Gang was my ultimate favorite, and still is today.  I, like so many others, have been inspired by Charles Schulz.  I host most of his early collection of books.

I had my first "successful critque and review" in first grade.  My teacher always had me draw cartoon figures for visitors to the classroom.  (Did I mention she has always been my favorite teacher?)  Throughout my grade school, high school and college years, I took art classes and continued to draw.  Unable to afford law school at the time, I decided to enter into the field of Special Education.  I had always had an interest in helping others and this seemed like it would be a good fit for me.  I thought about attending art school, but did not see much in the way of a true profession, specifically in my "home" area, at that time. 

Special Education was a "good fit" for me, and I spent the next twenty plus years working with parents, children, and professionals. These folks taught me more about life and learning, than I ever thought possible.  I have been touched by so many, and appreciate each child, parent, and professional.



Throughout my professional career, I always found ways to use art-whether it be with the children, or creating projects, bulletin boards and games (like most teachers do), or volunteering to make posters, create covers for various organizations, or just drawing for me.  Drawing was never far from my thoughts.  Photography was always a favorite too, and at the age of ten I received my very first camera.  (I'm not too sure if everyone was happy about that, as I was always snapping, sometimes "candid" shots.)  I learned discretion as I got older, and began focusing more or nature and animals.

Jump to the present.  My interests in drawing and photography continue today, with even more passion.  I have learned and continue to learn, from all who are willing to share their knowledge and skill.  I have met with some success in illustrations-drawing children's cartoons, illustrating poetry, creating a few covers, and more.  I enjoy working in pen (black & white) but continue to develop skills across all mediums.  I am fortunate to have had some of my art and photos published in print publications and on the web.  I continue to write and create, residing at the base of mountain, amid nature, where I am supplied with much inspiration for my work-writing and drawing.  Thank you for your visit and interest!  I welcome your comments!

About the Author


Dana Smith-Mansell holds a BS in Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Behavior Disorders.  She has worked in Special Education for over twenty-three years.  She is the author of the children’s book, Stop Bullying Bobby!  Helping Children Cope with Teasing and Bullying, New Horizon Press.  Her poetry, essays, pet stories, educational articles, and illustrations have appeared in print and on the web.  She is the author of Visions of Existence-Simplicities of Nature (poetry and art), Sacred Intentions-Depths of Perception (poetry), and is one of six authors of the inspirational title, Pink Jasper-Gems from the Journey.

 Dana resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and pets.  She continues her work on children’s titles, poetry, art and illustrations, photography, educational, and inspirational creations.  She enjoys all aspects of creating, and hopes that her work touches her readers.  She seeks to share meaning in all of her work.


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All information, photos, and art contained on this site are copyrighted. No information/art may be used without the written consent of the author artist. Thank you for your courtesy, and for your visit.

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