I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia but after graduate school (MS psychology, 1986, Augusta State University) I moved to the spectacular north Georgia mountains. For eleven years I worked in a variety of mental health capacities, including as a behavior specialist for the developmentally disabled, and as a therapist, psychological examiner, and school psychologist.
In 1997 I left my mental health career to pursue art and writing full time. I exhibited for 15 years on the national art festival circuit (including Cherry Creek in Denver, Ann Arbor, the Plaza Art Festival in Kansas City, MO, Magic City (Birmingham), and Port Clinton in Highland Park Chicago, to name just a few), and my work has been represented in numerous galleries, public and private collections, and exhibits (see Art Resume). Today you can buy my work at Plum Nelly Shop in Chattanooga, Tenn., at The Little Green Store and Gallery in Huntsville, or directly from me. If you're feeling REALLY original, commission me to paint your (or someone else's) pet (see Pet Portraits). A pet portrait makes for an original, personalized birthday, Mother's or Father's Day, anniversary, or Christmas/Chanukah/wedding gift unlike any other.
Outside of art, I am an award-winning newspaper columnist (humor and travel), freelance writer, certified professional life coach (Coaches Training Institute, 2012) and the author of two books. My memoir, The Body Tourist, was published in 2014. It is about the intersection of my eating disorder with my mental health career, and about all the forms of starving that have nothing to do with food. My most recent book is a collection of twenty years-worth of my newspaper columns, and it's called Finding the World: Thoughts on Life, Love, Home and Dogs. You can check out my writing and publications at Danashavin.com.
I live with my husband, fine artist Daryl Thetford, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with our two rescue dogs, Jada and Zayde. Please contact me with any questions about work, prices, or commissions.