Mug Shots and Bad Girls

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:

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!

A New Way to Learn

Design 58I am super excited to announce that I will be teaching an online course in collaboration with the fabulous Lucy Brydon and some other amazing artists called “Monoprinting Makeover”. The classes launch on October 1, follow this link to learn more and get signed up!!! If you Register by September 1 and you will receive a 25% early bird discount when you enter the code MAKEOVERMADNESS. Click on this link to get registered ( and to learn more about the class. I am looking forward to sharing some fun info with you!

All of the instructors will be showing you creative, beautiful, and fun ways to rework your monoprints.  If you are not sure what monoprinting is this course is still great because you will learn a ton about it.   So go get Registered and do it early to save!

Design 57


Setting Up a Clay Studio

Einstein Planter 2016
Einstein Bust Planter Ceramic Clay – 2016

Earlier this year, I finally committed to the fact that I love working in ceramic clay and it was time to be a grown up and set up my own studio at home.  I had been working at Lewis Snyder’s Studio S ( for the past 5 years doing hand building.  My good friend, Kay Currie, was my instructor.  I had reached a point though that I was no longer satisfied with only doing clay 2 hours a week.  I find when I work with clay I really get lost in the work.

My husband and I discussed it and we went in search of a kiln.  At the point of making this decision, I also realized I had never even fired a kiln, let alone my own kiln.  I also didn’t know what clay body I wanted to work in – there are 100s.  The luxury of Studio S was that the clay/glazes were provided and all the firing was handled by someone besides me.  Needless to say, I had to dive into some intense independent study of additional clay education in order to fully equip myself.  I mean glazes???  What kind and what fire – low or high?  Colors and the chemistry, oh my sweet lord!!!

My kiln – “Brigid” – Celtic Goddess of Fire

Lewis helped us purchase a great kiln (Olympic MAS2327), and I went to work setting up my “clay studio” and equipping myself with all the peripheral supplies I needed to get in place. From, tools to forms to glazes and a place to wedge clay.  I discovered the amazing mecca of clayness that is Mid South Ceramic Supply in Nashville and The Clay Lady Studios (  Every single person there is absolutely amazing and so helpful.  They really took time to answer all my questions.  They had nearly everything I needed to get my studio stocked up.

My kiln took 7 weeks to be built, she is beautiful and was worth the wait.  I named her Brigid after the Celtic Goddess of Fire.  We had to reassemble her on her base and add venting when she arrived.   I also spent the 7 weeks that I waited for her to arrive, building pieces to fire, educating myself, attending a couple workshops and doing research.

I decided to work with low fire red clay and attended a wonderful two day workshop at Mid South Ceramic called “Red Handed Symposium” and also finally took a workshop from the amazing clay artist, Nelson Grice, in Birmingham, AL on how to do image transfers on clay.

clay figure7I purchased a table top pottery wheel and am a long way from mastering throwing, but I will tackle that and get the hang of it.  Practice, practice, practice on that one.  Though I was able to throw a couple pots with the help of my friend, Kay.

My first batch of bisque is glazed and I will load up Brigid this week and put the final glaze fire on the work.   That is when it all comes together.  It’s like a science experiment with lots of variables and you only really know how the study works when you pull it out of the kiln after the glaze firing.  I will let you know how it turns out.

Learning New Tricks

“Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.”  Rumi

I will always be a learner when it comes to art.  I love setting aside what I think I know and taking a fresh look at ways to make art.  It never gets stale for me that way. I think sometimes I am more in love with the process than anything else.  Most recently, I enrolled in Lynn Whipple’s online class called “The Essence of Still Life” (Carla Sonheim Presents) which has been absolutely delightful.  Lynn is one of my favorite instructors.  Her approach to making art is always free, colorful and fun.  In this particular series of 6 lessons we learned to draw simple shapes of our favorite objects, jumble them around on the panel and then created wonderful layered still life works that do just hint at the essence of of each object.

I learned a new art term that I really love: “Pentimento” – which is actually where an artists covers a previous layer or body of work and you see hints of it in the new layer or work.  It’s something I have always loved to see in my own work.  Like a little ghost of another story that was being told.  I thought the Latin breakdown of the word pentimento would come out to be something like “small” and “remembrance” – which would make love sense and who doesn’t like a small remembrance.  However, turns out its Italian and means something like “repent”.  I think I will stick with my Latin guesswork since it sounds so much more pleasant than to repent or be regretful.

The techniques I learned in this class will definitely show up in future works as their own “Small remembrances” or Pentimentos.  Thank you, Lynn.