What Matters Most

These past many months I have been taking stock of myself as an artist.   I have been pursuing art full-time for the past 12 years now; searching out processes, tools, techniques and where I want to land as an artist.  I have been on an intense journey of self-study for all of those years, and a long time before that actually, as a part-time creative.

I have worked art festivals as the primary means of selling my work from the very beginning of my creative process.  I have literally done hundreds.  When you work that way you get into a dialogue in your head about making art to sell, rather than making art for the sake of making art.  In the in between times of the heavy festival season, when I take a moment to breath, I use that time to make the art that burbles up from soul and I have no care or worry about where it will end up.  It is always my personal favorite work that shows up in these times.

Earlier this year, I made the decision to cut the “festival” umbilical cord, and begin to work without that preamble in my head any more.  (And before you step on a platform, shake your pointer finger and proclaim: “You should always make art for the sake of art!”, let’s get real with each other and admit we artists who make our living with strictly artwork, have all had the “what is going to sell” internal dialogue at some point – so please don’t preach).  When you finely take the leap of faith towards making the art you want to make for the sake of making art, the new internal dialogue becomes a question to yourself about what matters.  What do you want to say?  What gets you worked up, or what do you care about?

Cant I Just Stay Here With Sheldon

In my foray through many mediums I have finally landed happily on my two most dominant areas of creativity – sculpture and painting.  But what subjects, what stories, what gets me going?

I did some soul searching and what I really care most about are these: our environmental issues, women and their roles and relationship as nurtures and their powerful influence in the world, and the natural world, and what this planet will be like under our influences.   At root I am a story teller, so whether its portraying our vulnerabilities or strength as humans, our culpability for the state of our planet, the relationships we have with nature and our world – those are the things I am compelled to talk about most.  Some poignant some whimsical portrayals – that is where I see my work heading in the months to come.

I hope you will follow my journey and see what happens.  I am excited to finally just let it flow.


unearthed: open studio show

This show is different!

On May 18, 2019 from 10 am – 4 pm, I am hosting an open studio that I think is very unique.  There are lots of elements to the show that I am super excited about.  I am sharing my large workshop space (Acorn Haven Studios, 8265 Lascassas Pike, Lascassas, TN 37085) with eight other ceramic artists who I admire.  I am also debuting my ceramic work for the first time officially.

If you are like me, you love to go to craft and art shows and hunt for treasures.  And pottery is certainly a mainstay for these kinds of shows.  I love the wide variety of local artists that are found in these kinds of events, and show my own art at them often enough.  However, for someone who has ADD it can also be overwhelming to have so many things to see and choose from in front of me.

“What I wanted to do for this open studio show was pare it down to only offer ceramic sculptures and functional pieces.”

In my quest for artists, I started with one of my favorites!!!  I was completely thrilled when Nelson Grice, my featured artists for the event, agreed to do the show.  I have been a fan of his since very early on in my clay exploration.  He is from Birmingham area and his work is shown in galleries across the country.  He has an incredible style with clay that gives the illusion that his animal figurative work he creates are held together with bolts and mechanics.  He finishes them in a range of surface treatments that makes you puzzle over whether they are metal, clay or otherwise.  Not to mention his whimsical storytelling approach, which of course resonates with me.  Recently, you can even spot one of his pieces in a beautiful decor featured in Architectural Digest.

Nelson also agreed to teach a workshop on Sunday, May 18,  10-3 pm and will help participants build one of his magical figures here at my studios.  There are still a few spaces available.  (You can register for that on here: Local Classes ).  He also offers workshops on a regular basis in his studio and you can find out about those on his website (link provided below).

See More of Nelson’s Work Here on His WebSite

I have some nervous energy about this show on my own behalf, as it is my first official debut of my ceramic work.  I have been using clay as a form of relaxation for the past six plus years.  First taking lessons at Studio S in Murfreesboro, and then in past year or so in my own studio that I set up here at home.  I never intended to market my ceramics to the patrons of my other mixed media work, but more and more the pieces started selling off my living room shelves.   I also find that I really, really, love working with clay and  having my own kiln and lots of time to explore the medium, have honed my skills enough to feel ready to offer up my wares.  Many of the pieces I have been working on for this show have not been shared at all on social media so I am hoping to surprise my guests with a side of my art that they haven’t experienced before.

Dawna Magliacano

“Ernest” by Dawna Magliacano

Hand picking the artists was a lot of fun.  I wanted to offer a diverse collection of clay work by uniquely different clay artists and went seeking out some of my favorite folks in the area whose work I really admire with the intention of making this show a special and diverse experience for those who attend.

The artists I selected who produce beautiful sculptures and functional pieces include:  Nelson Grice, Kay Currie, James Carson, Crystal Shade, Kaitlin Savage, Chelsea Zachary, Gwen Copeland and Robert Harvey.  All of which are well-established ceramic artists.  You can learn more about each of them and see more samples of their work on the Facebook page:  @unearthedstudioshow

There will be light refreshments served throughout the day, lots of beautiful work to purchase and bring home, a chance to meet and speak with the artist, and for the lucky few that enroll am opportunity to learn from Nelson Grice.

I hope this becomes an annual event, offering more artists and more workshops in the future.  See you on the 18th!!!

unearthed poster3

Ready for the New Year

Getting new workshops on the books for the coming months!!!

I am so excited to get my teaching pants back on and load up my schedule with a lot of fun new classes (go to my Workshops tab and see what is coming).  I am even offering my first ever ceramic clay class, abstract mixed media, watercolor, and more!!!  I have several local classes plugged in right now and am getting ready to load up the Online workshops in a few minutes.  I am covering a lot of techniques and mediums so get your aprons ready and bring a friend too.  I will tell you my classes get full fast.  I don’t teach more than 6 students at a time in my local workshops because I like to dedicate myself to making sure you get what you need.  More than that and I am spread too thin.  However, I do plan to do some bigger workshops later down the road in a “demo” format.  And stay tuned for possible retreats, guest artist instructors, and art shows coming up.  It’s going to be a great year for expanding your art toolbox and I look forward to being part of it!!!

I have made registering for the workshops easy with a nice little PayPal link provided.  I will mark a class full once I get six in the seats, so if you see one you want – I recommend you jump on it to claim your spot.

Of course, the online classes will have “unlimited” enrollment.  I will have a Facebook Group for each of those and you will receive feedback and access throughout the classes.  They work nice for those of you too far to travel to my Local Workshops, and for those of you who have crazy schedules – it makes a nice alternative because you do them at your own pace and time.


The Birth of Series

I am working on a number of pieces right now and they are in various stages of completion that I am calling “Bad Girls”.   I have been fascinated for a long time with the discovery of a plethora of vintage photos featuring women in Mug Shots.  I study their faces with such a mixture of emotions.  I can’t help but wonder over the “back story” – what lead these women to the place that has them standing before a police station camera being photographed.  A permanent record of their “bad behavior”.   I am not talking about the widely publicized photos of celebrity brats acting out their angst over having too much fame too young.  I am talking more about the ones that look like a housewife, complete with rollers still in their hair, aprons dusted in flour – as if they were baking a cake and something in them just finally snapped.



I think about the journey that may have lead them to the snapping point.  As  a woman who has been through a myriad of life changes, and whose own journey has had some very rocky terrains.  And, as a woman who has suffered abuses in my past, and who fought hard to keep my children fed and clothed in my single years, I can’t help but wonder what these women did and what desperation brought them to it.

In a current climate in America especially right now, and the concern over women’s voices being heard, I am especially compelled to tell more of these “Bad Girls” stories.  So in the months to come I am working on pieces that are both 2D and 3D, and taking some creative liberty to work these Mug Shots into a more rounded story.  Some of them speak volumes by the sheer nature of the image captured in the moment, but some of them beg for more in depth telling of the tale.

I Fought Back

“I Finally Fought Back”  10×10 Mixed Media on Panel by Dawna Kinne Magliacano

I think this series will have a wide spectrum of emotions stirred and that is what art should do, right?  I look forward to sharing as I move through creating them.


I am a GOLDEN Artist Educator!!!


It All Started with the Application

Back in February, I came across a link to apply for the GOLDEN Artist Educator Program.  This seemed like a no-brainer on my part because I absolutely love GOLDEN Artist Colors.  I have used the line almost exclusively since discovering them in 2011.  I promote them in my workshops and often say to my students “Invest in yourself as an artist and buy the paints that will support the quality of the work you want to be creating.”  I must say as I filled out the application it felt a bit daunting and I wasn’t sure if I would make the cut.  But, I pushed fear to the back seat and I sent it out into the Universe with a prayer of gratitude for showing me the link and got to work in my studio.

The very end of June, I received an email from Kevin Greeland congratulating me and informing me that I had made the cut.  There were 20 of us heading to New Orleans for a week of training the first week of October.   I was jumping for joy!!!  And having a hint about the products we would be receiving as part of the program had me GOLDEN giddy!!

The first view in the training room made me feel like Charlie must have felt walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for the first time.

We met for a reception on the first evening in New Orleans at our beautiful hotel in the heart of the French Quarter.  For me; however, the first real impact of what we were about to experience was upon entering the training room and seeing the volume of GOLDEN products for the first time that we would be using in the week to come.

We hit the floor running on the training after meeting our incredible GOLDEN training staff: Kevin Greeland, Golden Artist Colors, Inc.’s Education Coordinator (who sent us our notification emails), was our instructor for the week; along with Samantha Williams-Chapelsky, Valerie Allen, and Kevin Tobin who were his GOLDEN Working Artists assistants.  GOLDEN 5 We had a large box of boards by our seats, tools and water buckets were placed on the tables, and our own aprons draped on the back of our chairs.

Over the week, working at an incredible pace we learned so many amazing process and uses for the GOLDEN paints and mediums I fell in love with them even more.  And…we painted a lot of PEARS!!

In the evening, GOLDEN wined and dined us and made us all feel so incredibly blessed to be in the group selected to learn how to educate others about the products.

The training was intense and fun.  And we were forming great friendships with our fellow trainees.  Artists from all over the continents from Santiago Chile to every providence in Canada, and United states.  To be among such talented and diverse artists was inspiring.

GOLDEN knows how to do it right!!

GOLDEN 7The whole week was full of fun, inspiration, wonderful cuisine and music.  We were entertained, trained, and satiated in true


Bon Bon Vivant Performing just for us.  What a Treat!!  Check them out: http://www.bbvband.com/videos.php

New Orleans Style!  Including one evening with our own private concert by the amazing jazz band called Bon Bon Vivant!

The week included also a number of amazing meals including one at the historical treat, Antoine’s – one of the oldest restaurants in New Orleans and still owned by the originating family.  The flaming Baked Alaska was a show stopper.


One day was a half day, and we got to explore New Orleans on our own, which for many of us started at Cafe Du Monde for some Beignets (a NOLA must have), GOLDEN 8 then we all returned to the hotel for dinner and our private jazz show!  Our last evening we had a relaxing and wonderful journey down the Mississippi on the Natchez Steamboat for a dinner cruise and more jazz. IMG-8283

None of us truly wanted the week of magic to end but were also excited to get home and get to work in our studios.

We got to divide among the artist trainees all of the remaining Golden products we used in the training.


My bounty of GOLDEN products that I got to take home with me!!  More is being shipped later!

And now that I have passed my final test once I got home, I can say I am a certified GOLDEN Artist Educator.Golden Artist Educators Logo_blk

What that means for all of you is that I can teach you all about these amazing products in workshops that will will be forthcoming to you very soon so stay tuned.  Here’s a few I have in mind as starters:

  • Monoprinting with QoR Watercolors
  • Image Transfer on Canvas
  • Painting on Pastel Ground & PlexiGlass
  • Can you say Micaceous Iron Oxide??


I can’t wait to get started!