Q: I have found a scratchboard by Alderson Magee and can’t find out much about it. Any information you can give me would be helpful.

A: Alderson “Sandy” Magee was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1929. He taught himself how to paint, and in 1971 he quit his job as a technical representative for Pratt & Whitney to work on his art full time. He began working on scratchboard in 1972 and has worked exclusively in that medium since then. Scratchboard is usually cardboard or heavy paper that has been coated with a layer of white clay or chalky white material and then painted with black ink. The design is usually made by cutting, scraping or sanding away layers of black ink to let white lines show through. The technique was developed in the 19th century and was used instead of engraving to produce images for printing. Magee’s scratchboard design of Canada geese was chosen as the 1976-77 federal duck stamp, a stamp all duck hunters were required to buy.