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National Poetry Writing Month – NAPoWriMo

April is National Poetry Writing Month and I have been participating over on my Poetry blog where I publish a poem and a drawing inspired by the poem.

My poetry blog has been going for a few years now, but I haven’t published much this year, until this month – so hopefully participating in this daily challenge will get me back into a more regular routine!

Following is a sample of some of the drawings I have been publishing – but you’ll have to visit my blog to read some poetry!

Happy reading 🙂

April – National Poetry Writing Month #napowrimo

April is National Poetry Month where poets from around the world write a poem a day and post it somewhere on social media – Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram, Tumbler, the choices are endless (although one could participate as a personal challenge and not share on social media, of course). The idea behind social media, though, is to network and connect, and also read some of the great work of others working in this literary space.


As regular readers may know I also have a Poetry & Drawing blog. It began as a poem and drawing a day blog, and after one year of posting I scaled it back to posting weekly. But in April I try to write daily for the National Poetry Month.

So far I have been successful in posting daily (despite extending my studio, which will be the subject of this weeks Sunday Studio Visit, so stay tuned)!

My poems are always accompanied by an original drawing by me inspired by the poem. The drawings range from abstract art to realism to digital art. I will leave you with a small gallery of drawings, and to read the poems that accompany them check out my Poetry Blog 🙂



I’ve been published!

I have been writing poetry on an off since I was a teenager, but began to write regularly again a couple of years ago after a long break – kids, etc…you know the drill!

When i began writing again I added a twist to my poems though by also creating an accompanying drawing, and I made a new blog to publish these new creations on.

During that first year I wrote a poem and created a drawing everyday; I also participated in National Poetry Writing Month and made it to the top five favourite wordpress poetry blogs for the month!

After that first year I dropped back to writing about once a week, which was less manic and more manageable, as I also do lots of other ‘art’ stuff as well, as regular readers will know.

Now to the point of the article – on the last day of 2014 I made my new years resolution, and it was to get a poem published, and I am happy to say it has happened!

A new ezine Felan put a call out for drawings and poetry for their first publication and the theme of love… now I am a bit of a dark character and fluffy love isn’t something I write about, but dark love is! So I entered three poems and drawings for consideration. I was lucky enough  to have one poem and all three of my drawings selected for the first edition!

The ezine is absolutely beautiful to look at and the poetry is incredible. Copies are available for electronic download or a hard copy can also be purchased HERE.

pen on handmade paper

pen on handmade paper

As part of the promotion process contributors were also interviewed. All the interviews give an insight into the writers and their inspirations and processes and are great reading. You can read my interview HERE.

I am really proud to have been selected for this first edition and happy that I achieved my New Years Resolution – and I do hope to have more publications soon, so stay tuned 🙂


Pit Firing Ceramics – The Book Launch At Last!

Book Launch and Exhibition in Ballarat

So, the long awaited day finally came – and went!!

Saturday was a bit of a dreary drizzly day, not unexpected in Ballarat, yet a great crowd managed to rug up, brave the cold, sip wine and talk ‘arty’ stuff in support of my book launch and exhibition – thankyou 🙂

The launch began at 2pm in the Annexe of the Art Gallery of Ballarat, where signed copies of the book was for sale and  a slideshow of book contributors played in the background. Also in the background, my partner Strobe Driver plucked dulcet guitar tunes and the lovely Belinda Coates, Greens member for Ballarat, officially launched the book with a fantastic speech.

Of course, having an opening speaker, I (foolishly) thought that would get me out of saying anything – but no, thanks to Strobe I was hauled (not physically) before the microphone to say a ‘few’ words. After stumbling through a few ‘thankyou’ remarks I opened it up to questions, which worked much better than speeches (for me anyway). The questions were great, ranging from ‘how did I go about getting a publishing contract’ through to ‘how to get involved in ceramics’ ie – how to learn. Of course, at that point I flogged my own classes and workshops …lol!!

Then it was down to Backspace at 3pm to view the exhibition in the Exquisite Objects Project space with a bit more wine and some nibbles.

It was a fantastic afternoon with some great feedback on both the book and the works in the exhibition, which featured contributors to the book, both national and international.

The day was topped off with a few friends joining us afterward at Mitchell Harris Wines for a celebratory bubbles.

The exhibition runs through till the 27th July, so if you are in, near or passing through Ballarat drop into Backspace Gallery (behind the Art Gallery of Ballarat) and have a look. All works are for sale will all monies going directly to the artists (no gallery commission).

Backspace Gallery times are Thursday – Sunday 10am – 4pm.

And now for pics 🙂




Book Launch and Exhibition Opening in Ballarat

Join me this weekend in Ballarat for the Launch of my new Book and Exhibition.

As many readers will know recently I published a book called Pit Firing Ceramics: Modern Methods, Ancient Traditions. The book was in February catalogues for Australian book shops, libraries, etc, and is now beginning to hit book shelves. it is also available online – it came out in the USA in November last year.
The book is being launched this weekend at the Annexe, Ballarat Art Gallery 5th July 2-4pm, so if you are in or near the Ballarat drop by and share a glass of wine and cheese with me.
Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing, or if you already have a copy bring it along to be signed.
The launch is also accompanied by an international exhibition featuring some of the artists that contributed to the book. The exhibition is in the new Exquisite Objects space in the foyer of Backspace Gallery and runs throughout July.
Below is a flyer with all the launch information or join the event on Facebook!!
I hope to see you there 🙂
Dawn Whitehand Pit Firing book launch flyer

My Poetry Blog and NaPoWriMo

What is NaPoWriMo you may ask?

National Poetry Writing Month… and that month happens to be April, which is this month!

So, over on my other blog I have been busily writing a poem every day – but of course because my blog is about poetry and drawing, I have also been creating a drawing everyday – pastels, wax, digital, charcoal, whatever strikes me at the time.

April is quickly coming to a close, and while it can be difficult to produce a poem and drawing everyday, what will I do without this new routine?

Readers of my poetry blog will know I went though this conundrum when I changed from writing a poem and drawing every day to once a week – which I did after blogging every day for twelve months.

It was during this first twelve months that I participated in my first NaPoWriMo challenge – I was writing every day anyway, so why not participate?

And much to my surprise at the end of the month I was listed in WordPress’s top 5 poetry sites for NaPoWriMo 2013!! An amazing feat considering the number of poetry bloggers out there in the cybersphere!

Anyway, back to the point…. I am participating again this year, after being used to only writing and drawing once a week, so it has been a bit more of a challenge to get the ‘routine’ happening, and no sooner have I perfected it (?) than the challenge is over :-/

Oh well!

For those readers that have not yet checked out my poetry blog, here it is:

Or, if you would just like to look at some drawings that accompany the poems here is a small gallery of images… more are on the poetry blog… enjoy 🙂


February and March are WAY to BUSY!

As some readers may know, I recently got married – last weekend in fact – and as a consequence I have fallen a bit behind in what I want and need to do over the next couple of months!!


For instance I am curating an exhibition at Backspace gallery in Ballarat scheduled for April – the deadline of which was today, but I have been so pre-occupied with ‘wedding’ stuff I have overlooked sending out reminders and, coupled with a few enquiries about late entries, have decided to extend the deadline to next Friday 21st February – hopefully I can be organised by then!! The entry form can be downloaded here:

I am also participating in the Sculpturescape category of the Lorne Sculpture Biennale opening on the 8th March, where I will be demonstrating a pit firing on the beach. I will do the actual firing on the 9th March with my own sculptural pieces and will unload them on the 10th – unloaded will be available for sale on the day. Yikes, I guess I better start making!!

A new dimension to the Lorne Sculpture Biennale this is year is the Scarlett Award, a writing award aimed at developing critical writing about contemporary sculpture. The Award is named after Ken Scarlett, a curator and writer on Australian sculpture who regards himself as an observer and reporter and has actively worked to promote Australian sculpture for over 40 years.

So, I have two articles I want to write to submit for this ward – one reviewing the Sculpt Chair Exhibition which was held in Daylesford over the Australia Day long weekend, and the other reviewing the works of Melinda Muscat’s latest exhibition at Unicorn Galley in Ballarat. These articles are due by the 28th February – yikes again!!

Jodie Goldring Chair 1 & Chair 2

Jodie Goldring Chair 1 & Chair 2

I have also been curated into the inaugural launch of ContainArt – a public art initiative of the City of Ballarat. The concept is a touring exhibition housed in repurposed shipping containers which travel throughout the Central Highlands region featuring local artists and designers, the idea being the ‘travelling’ galleries will bring art to towns and people who normally don’t have access to exhibitions. the opening is 28th February – again yikes!!

And finally…. as some readers may know, my book Pit Firing Ceramics: Modern Methods, Ancient Traditions was recently published. As a result I am organising a book launch here in Australia, in the town in which I live, and I am curating an exhibition to accompany it featuring works from contributors to the book. The exhibition is planned for somewhere between May to June – which sounds like a way off, but still needs lots of organising in the meantime.

Book Cover

And all of this in between the usual stuff of teaching, blogging, writing, drawing, etc!!

So, what does this mean??

The wedding ‘bliss’ is over, and the workaholic returns!! haha.. (though I did enjoy having a few days of novel reading).

People Are Actually Buying My Book!!

So, a little while ago I posted that my newly published book about Pit Firing Ceramics was available for pre-order from Amazon, and the Book Depository, and Barnes and Noble, and Fishpond (in Australia).

BUT, I wasn’t really expecting anyone to buy it so soon!!

Tonight I visited Amazon and it would appear some purchases have been made! I have no statistics, but anyone Amazon savy will be familiar with the information below the book listing links to other books purchased, which says

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

AND my book has this! Which means people have bought it! Doesnt it?? woohoo!!

amazon book


My Book is Now Available for Pre Ordering

Book Cover

I have just found out my long awaited book Pit Firing Ceramics: Modern Methods, Ancient Traditions is available for pre order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble & the Book Depository.

It is due to be released in America on 28th November 2013 with other countries to follow.

But if you can’t wait, of course, order it online!


Barnes and Noble

The Book Depository

Am pretty excited – I have only seen a virtual copy of it for layout editing and the like, so it will be great to hold a hard copy in real life after such a long period of writing and proof reading.

I first submitted my proposal to Schiffer Publishing when I finished my PhD in 2009 – so it has been four years in the making.

I will keep you posted on hard copy release dates as they come to hand 🙂

Collage: Wax and Paper

Do you think I need new Pastels

Do you think I need new Pastels?

As followers of this blog will now it was my birthday a few months ago, and as well as receiving some charcoal pencils I also received a set of Derwent wax artbars from my partner. Most of the time when drawing I use pastels, and they were (and still are) looking pretty sorry for themselves, so to receive a new medium was a welcome challenge.

I found that I really enjoy the texture of the wax bars, they are so different to pastel. These bars are also water soluble, but I haven’t experimented with this quality much as yet. The texture of the wax, as I was playing with them, seemed to lend itself to creating collages – in my head anyway, so that is what I began creating.

I also have a second blog dedicated to poetry and accompanying interpretive drawings, so I began making collages to sit beside my poems, which you can view here. If you click on the collage category you will be able to view the poems that are linked to each drawing.


In the meantime, below are some of the collages created so far using my wax bars and paper – mainly containing text.

My next task is to explore the water soluble properties of the wax bars – so stay tuned 🙂

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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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