All Artwork and Guest Post by my Daughter-in-Law, 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.
Weaving! 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!
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. _____________________________________
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
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.
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.
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!).
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!
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:
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!)
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: