Happy Cubist Thanksgiving

All Artwork and Guest Post by my Daughter-in-Law, Christi Sonheim!

Artwork and Guest Post by Christi Sonheim.

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Thanksgiving is going to be a little weird this year.

Weird can still be good.

If you know my mother-in-law, Carla Sonheim, you may have seen some of her lessons where she draws influence from Pablo Picasso to draw dogs or cats. It’s fun to try to loosen up and see all perspectives at once. It’s out of control and the final product is more of a surprise than a goal.

Instead of just drawing a normal turkey I took all the pieces, stuck them in a blender, and tried to make sense of it all. I didn’t know how they would fit together but it was my challenge to find the turkey.

I can’t think of a better metaphor for trying to plan our Thanksgiving. All the pieces are there, just not in the ways that are normal. We can see family, but maybe virtually or with a mask outside. We can eat a special meal, but maybe with fewer people. We can play football, but maybe as a video game. We can watch a parade, but maybe you’ll be the one dancing in the street.

The pieces are there, just not in the way we recognize them. Yeah, it’s weird, but it’s still Thanksgiving. And that can still be amazing.

by Christi Sonheim

A New Weaving Class with Mandy Greer is OPEN for Registration!

Teacher: Mandy Greer
Class Dates: Nov 17 – Dec 1, 2020
22 Lessons – On sale for $106.25

Whether you are a beginner or have fiber experience, don’t miss this chance to learn from fiber-based installation artist Mandy Greer and discover the possibilities of expressive tapestry weaving. Mandy’s teaching style focuses on breaking down complex techniques into specific, easily learnable steps, while encouraging intuitive exploration and risk-taking.

In 22 lessons, she covers warping, layering shag tassels, shapes, deep texture, working with reclaimed and unusual fibers, creating complex patterns, how to create a sculptural quality with embellishments, how to mount and hang weavings in ways that will set your pieces apart, and more.

Weaving can be meditative, peaceful and freeing —  to help let go of preconceived ideas and observe what’s happening in front of you in the loom without judgement. Be bold, take risks and make some beautiful stuff!

Time Sensitive! If you are interested in this class and don’t yet have a loom, you will want to order it this week to get it in time for the class! See details at the class sales page: https://www.carlasonheim.com/online-classes/weaving/

Photos courtesy of Mandy Greer.


Class Itinerary

Week 1 – Videos 1-10 will go up on Tuesday, 11/17/20

Introduction, Warping, Tassels, Begin Weaving
Mandy will share her guiding ethos for making art and weavings.  We’ll learn to warp our frame looms, how to build our own textural tassel bundles and  several styles for shaping them, and how to get weaving right away, with many tips and tricks.

Color Blocking: Geometric and Organic
Learn to make most any forms and shapes you can imagine, and how to treat your weft like you are painting, moving your forms around with your brush, with options for working intuitively or with a plan. 

Roving and Experiments with Recycled Fibers
Learn several ways to add thick wooly goodness to your weaving with un-spun wool roving.  Explore all the possibilities of recycling fabric into your loom, turning trash into deep texture and rich focal point.

Week 2 – Videos 11-17 will go up on Tuesday, 11/24/20

All the BIG Chunky Fun Textures!
Learn a wide variety of juicy high-relief textures that make your weaving have multiple planes and unique depths.

Adventurous Stitches with More Complexity
Lean in and learn some complex stitch work to add some counterpoint to your more organic patterns.  Based on timeless weaving patterns broken down for New Tapestry.

Openings and Spacings
Add dimension and light into your weavings by learning several technique for creating openings in the plane of your weaving. 

Week 3 – Videos 18-22 will go up on Tuesday, 12/1/20

Added Sculptural Forms and Embellishing Finished Weavings
Learn many of Mandy’s favorite ways to transform a flat weaving into a more complex wall sculpture, how to fix parts you hate, how to never give up on a weaving.

Mounting and Finishing
Just say no to dowels! Being creative and innovative in how to hang your weaving is just as important as the fibers and stitches you choose. Mandy will share a wide variety of ideas how to see your weaving as a work of art that can continue to evolve off the loom.


Scholarships are available. Click HERE.

100% Chance of Rain

Painting from around 2007

Hello on a Sunday!

We had made tentative plans to see friends today provided the weather allowed us to socially distance outside. Unfortunately, it’s been raining all afternoon, so maybe next weekend!

When I looked at the weather report yesterday, for today, it said that there was 100% chance of rain between the hours of 2-7pm.


I wondered how they could be so sure… especially since weather predictions are often wrong. It seemed so CONFIDENT of them… 100%.

What in life has a 100% chance of playing out?

But they were right.

It’s been raining all afternoon.

Off to make some tea!

A NEW Kids Class – Bugs!

Bugs! An Art Class for Kids
Class Dates: October 19-23, 2020
5 Lessons • $25.00 $21.25


Every summer we do a Kids Art Week online class, and thousands of kids of all ages have joined in! This year, we are bringing classes for kids to the school year too!

Our theme for our first class is “bugs.” I’ve been on a bug kick lately, and it made me want to learn more so I asked some artist friends to create some projects for us. We have a bug scientist from North Carolina and Children’s Book Artists from as far away as Scotland who will join me via a Zoom call and share their projects, and I will demonstrate. Videos are prerecorded and about 20 minutes long; you can do them with basic supplies like crayons, markers, watercolors and a glue stick!

We will first spend time with a bug scientist named Adrian Smith. He films the coolest slow-motion videos of bugs flying. After our talk we will make some imaginary bugs with watercolor and crayons.

Next we’ll learn from two children’s book artists from Scotland, and a mixed media artist from Seattle, and draw, paint and collage bugs from imagination and photos. We’ll work on a 3-D pop-up bug world, a set of flying toy bugs, and an endangered butterfly or moth collage!

Finally, we will end with a creepy crawly that EATS bugs … tarantulas! Children’s book illustrator P. Marin has us painting mud tarantulas with, well, mud! We might even have a special guest that last lesson….

Created for kids ages 5-12, there will be a private forum* to share work with other kids from all over the world. A great way to have fun via the computer with supplies easily found at home. All of these lessons can be adapted for littler or bigger kids (of ALL ages).

We hope you can join us!


*In this class we will open up two private Facebook forums… one for Kids/Families and one for the Adults who would like to take this class to tap into their inner child.


Bugs! Class Schedule

Lesson 1
Monday, October 19
Flying Insects + Imaginary Bugs
Interview + Videos: Dr. Adrian Smith
Imaginary Bugs: Carla Sonheim

Lesson 2
Tuesday, October 20
Pop-Up Bug World
Guest Teacher: Cara Rooney

Lesson 3
Wednesday, October 21
Simple Flying Bugs
Guest Teacher: Hazel Terry

Lesson 4
Thursday, October 22
Butterfly Collages
Guest Teacher: Lisa Myers Bulmash

Lesson 5
Friday, October 23
Mud. Splat. Tarantula!
Guest Teacher: P. Marin


We hope you can join us! Go to www.carlasonheim.com for details and to sign up!

A NEW Class from Contemporary Artist Liz Tran!

Instructor: Liz Tran
6 Lessons over 2 Weeks • $72.25

Class Dates: October 6-16, 2020

Create a rainbow, polka-dotted, semi-abstract starscape with cut paper, acrylic paint, pens, graphite, alcohol ink, glitter and more! Build layers and create depth, texture and motion through pattern and color, and learn how to prep and finish your painting so it is gallery ready.

I’m so thrilled to share this project with you! I hope you find the process of creating your very own starscape to be meditative, joyful, and informative. I am an art materials NERD and this is a great opportunity to let loose and use up those supplies that have been hanging around the studio. It’s also a fabulous opportunity to try something NEW. Most importantly, this is a stellar (ha!) opportunity to have a whole lot of FUN.


Scholarships are available. Click HERE.


A super fun and freeing class… Click HERE for details!

Top 5 Reasons to Take Watercolor Workshop!

Anita’s new class begins tomorrow!

Hi everyone!

I wanted to remind you that our new online class — Watercolor Workshop with Anita Lehmann— starts Tuesday, September 15th!

Here are the top five reasons I’m planning to take this class myself!

1. I want to get more vibrant colors in watercolor.

2. I love Anita’s artwork.

3. I want to get a better handle on wet-on-wet technique.

4. I’ve always been fuzzy about the difference between warm blues and cool blues, warm reds and cool reds, etc. 

5. Painting Clouds! 

And there’s more… Won’t you join me?

Watercolor Workshop is a must-have for your toolbox. The class runs over three weeks (recorded with forever access) and is still 15% off. Click HERE to learn more.


P.S. We still have some scholarships available… email Steve at steve@carlasonheim.com for more info. 


It’s already Thursday again, how did that happen?

I’m still painting bugs, just a bit more slowly as my month has gotten really busy suddenly. I am already planning next year’s year-long class, and we are filming three new classes in the next three weeks… phew!

One of these is a new Kids Art class… hurray!

And more very soon about the other classes as well, but in the meantime don’t forget about Anita Lehmann’s new Watercolor Workshop which begins on Tuesday!

I learned so much during the filming… she has a wonderful way of teaching and I hope you can join us! Scholarships given for those in need. Click HERE for more information about the class!

As always, thank you for being here and part of our community.

Goings On

Notes taken with watercolor and ink while listening
to a show by Chris Wells. Page inspired by Martha Rich and her
Words & Pictures assignment for us back in January!

I send a twice-monthly newsletter out and one went out on Wednesday… here is a link to it if you would like to take a peek: newsletter. And if you would like to subscribe, go here!

I’ve had a good week and hope you have, too. Summer break is over and we are moving into filming our Fall lineup of classes and planning next year’s year-long. Personally I have been listening to a book by Dr. Mike Dow called “The Brain Fog Fix,” and am implementing some of his vitamin recommendations (and do feel more clearheaded!).

I’ve also been tuning in each morning to The Secret City Daily Show with Chris Wells… and today he read to us a beautiful poem by Stuart Kestenbaum titled “Holding the Light.” These lines… wow:

it all comes down to this:
In our imperfect world
we are meant to repair
and stitch together 
what beauty there is, stitch it 

with compassion and wire. 

* * *

I hope you have a beautiful weekend.

Registration Open for “Watercolor Workshop” with Anita Lehmann!

Watercolor Workshop with Anita Lehmann
Class Dates: September 15 – October 1, 2020
7 Lessons • $72.50

Dear Creative Adventurers:

In seven creative sessions we will develop an understanding of transparent watercolor, discover its characteristic four variables and work with the beauty of the paint. Whenever I work with watercolor I am excited to see where the paint takes me!

Painting with watercolor has its challenges, and in this class I’ll share “cut-to-the-chase” techniques for making vibrant and expressive pieces. We will try to eliminate some of watercolor’s challenges: muddy paint, weak colors, paintings overworked, feeling a lack of control, or too many colors to manage. These step-by-step lessons begin with getting comfortable with your tools: paint, water, a few brushes and paper. We will investigate properties of color, color strategies and working with color’s key partner “value.” Awareness in watercolor’s four variables will be presented to simply break down the thinking process while painting: wetness, composition, value and color. 

A must-have class for your mixed media toolbox… The adventure begins. Let’s paint!


Class begins September 15th… learn more HERE!

Weekend Bugs, Enchanted Lion Books & The Secret City!

I hope you had a good weekend! We spent some time with the grandkids before they go back to school this week and a few more bugs came to life.

These are all made with watercolor and ink only… I think I have had watercolors on my mind lately because we have been working on putting up a new watercolor class with Anita Lehmann… Registration opens tomorrow!

I am giving a Monday-Friday blog post commitment a solid try, as I have wanted to share more of what I am working on and about what is coming across my desk… books, podcasts, teacher news, etc.

Here are the two things I wanted to share with you today:

  1. If you love children’s picture books and don’t yet know about Enchanted Lion Books, you should! They create and publish the most beautiful books. They recently put up a Kickstarter to help them through these tough times… I just supported them at the $27 level and am going to get a copy of our own Kara Kramer‘s forthcoming book, “Make Meatballs Sing: A Story of Sister Corita Kent” due out in Spring 2021. Congratulations to Kara!! And HERE is a link to their Kickstarter campaign if you would like to donate. (Kara has taught two classes with us!)
  2. The last few months I have been part of a writing group led by a guy named Chris Wells. I have so appreciated his straightforward and insightful coaching, and I am making some very slooooooow but steady progress on a book project. Chris is the founding artistic director of The Secret City and hosts a daily livestream at 9amPT/12pmET on Facebook or Instagram: The Secret City Daily with Chris Wells. “Art, Joy, Community.” We have so much to watch and listen to these days, but I do encourage you to check it out as I really enjoy the mornings I can tune in.

Have a wonderful day and check back tomorrow for information on Anita’s NEW class!

P.S. Notes while listening to Chris’ show this morning: