New Class Open for Registration!

(Feat.) A New Kind of Class Featuring Six Artists
Class Dates: July 7-24, 2020


Please join us for a 6-lesson online class where I’ve asked six artists I admire — two children’s book illustrators, two mixed-media artists and two gallery artists — to join us for a live-streamed interview. Then we will have a mixed-media work session and project from Carla INSPIRED BY the featured artists (Aram Kim, Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, Mystele Kirkeeng, Liz Tran, Lewis Rossignol and Della Wells!).

Each lesson should be about 1.5 hours long and will be streamed live and recorded each Tuesday and Friday for three weeks starting July 7th…. the first half hour is earmarked for the artist interview and the second hour for the lesson. We will create it so that you can easily work alongside Carla if you like. Each session will be available in your account with forever access (in case you can’t make it to the livestream). No special app or signup will be needed.

And as always there will be a private Facebook group to share your work and the opportunity for feedback from the instructor and our vibrant creative community.

I hope you will join us for this new kind of class! Click HERE to sign up.


P.S. Scholarships are available. Click HERE.


Here is the schedule!

Week 1

Lesson 1
Featuring: Aram Kim
Tuesday, July 7, 2020 @ 6pm PT


Lesson 2
Featuring: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
Friday, July 10, 2020 @ 12pm PT


Week 2

Lesson 3
Featuring: Mystele Kirkeeng
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 @ 6pm PT

Lesson 4
Featuring: Liz Tran
Friday, July 17, 2020 @ 12pm PT


Week 3

Lesson 5
Featuring: Lewis Rossignal
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 6pm PT

Lesson 6
Featuring: Della Wells
Friday, July 24, 2020 @ 12pm PT


Featured Artists

Aram Kim is a NYC-based children’s book illustrator. You can see more of her work at

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw lives in Taos, NM and is the author/illustrator of four children’s books.

Mystele Kirkeeng is a mixed-media artist out of Illinois. Get to know her at

Liz Tran is a Seattle-based artist focusing on painting and installation. Learn more at

Lewis Rossignol is an illustrator from Portland, Maine. See more of his work at

Della Wells is a self-taught artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Read about her HERE.


Mini Update



I hope you are doing well today.

The above blue pages are from a “messy journal” that I’ve been slowly working on inspired by Kara Kramer’s lessons in the Words and Pictures class. Acrylic paints are not my first medium, and I’ve been trying to teach myself to love them, but I am a very slow learner on this one.

Last Friday, June 19th — “Juneteenth” — was our 28th wedding anniversary (Steve and me). We had a really good day!

Studio Update: Many of you have reached out with suggestions for black artist-teachers and I have had four enjoyable conversations so far. Anita was back in the studio on Wednesday to finish filming her new watercolor class, which we now plan to run in September. And look for details next week for a new 3-week class with me in July. Hint: There will be guest artists! The Best of 365 will begin next Wednesday (just $15 for 3 months of prompts!), and mark your calendars for this year’s free Kids Art Week: July 27-31, 2020.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a good weekend!



The Best of 365 – New 90-Day Session


The Best of 365
Cost: $15
Class Dates: July, August & September 2020

The original 365 class was a two-year project of daily prompts and this new class is a collection of the 90 best ones (we think), in order, from the first year. Each day a lesson will be added to your account for 90 days. Some lessons are short projects, some are inspirations and ideas, some are visits with artists and hopefully each day will be a little creative surprise. All the prompts are appropriate for kids and do not require special art supplies. Videos range from 30 seconds to 5 minutes long.

Our philosophy is that creative activity is really important and we should try to get at it in any way we can… and whenever we can. Please join us for The Best of 365!

Nuts & Bolts

• Class Begins on July 1, 2020 and will run for 90 consecutive days.

• You will have forever access to all the videos.

• You will receive an email once per week (Mondays) reminding you to check your account each day for the new prompts!

• A closed Facebook Group will be created to (optionally) share your work and meet artists from around the world.

• Please email if you need scholarship assistance.



My Studio is a Big Mess.


My studio is a big fat mess.

As I write, the blanket I use to cover the cracked and torn leather couch is disheveled and crumpled under my body. On the floor around me I see piles of books, pillows, crumpled rugs, a sewing machine, artwork, fabric, yarn, dying succulents, tangled power cords, and many piles of paper.

At eye level… every table surface is covered, a jumbled mash of finished artwork, paints, water jars, markers, pastels, more paper, important business stuff buried under to-do lists, aprons, ribbon, three different kinds of scissors, and more.

Above me, four out of the eight light fixtures have burned-out bulbs. And there might be a cobweb or two, I don’t know… my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be.

My studio is a big fat mess!

It might be okay sometimes, jumbled messes… evidence of a creative person doing the work perhaps….

But my mess has gotten out of hand, and it’s keeping me from creating anything new, so I find myself needing to begin the process of cleaning my studio today.

(Cleaning now. Keep me accountable!)

Please Read

Hi everyone,

Steve and I want you to know that events of the past week have affected both of us deeply… we could barely keep it together to be honest. We have been humbled and I feel completely inadequate to even attempt to write an email about race. We have so much to learn.

What we do know right now is that we are complicit in the marginalization of black people in our culture. There are many other forms of social injustice in our world, but this is what we need to talk about right now.

Our minds have been spinning with all the things we could do, how we need to change, and all the projects we could start, but we keep hearing that the thing we most need to do is to stop and listen. If you are feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed like we are, we encourage you to do the same and take a breath.

In the meantime, two concrete things we will be doing for sure: Donating money and seeking out black artists to be part of our classes.

This is a start,

Carla and Steve

P.S. We are a community, so please share any resources that you have found with me and others! My daughter-in-law sent me a Facebook post from Shonda Rhimes, which I love:

some are posting on social media
some are protesting in the streets
some are donating silently
some are educating themselves
some are having tough conversations with friends and family
a revolution has many lanes — be kind to yourself and others who are traveling in the same direction.

just keep your foot on the gas.
— Shonda Rhimesshondarhimes

People Portraits


These portraits were created in preparation for Lesson 11 of our Words and Pictures class!

The words are verbatim from recent journal entries. I think of them a little bit like they could be greeting cards, but to myself.

They are made with Neocolor II crayons, pencil and acrylic paint on rice paper and watercolor paper. The three above are ATC sized, and the ones below are 5″x7″






The next one has a sentence preceding it to make sense:

“I tried to put lotion on my face and now my right eye has been stinging for an hour.” Then,


I hope you are having a good day today. xoxo




Kitchen Table Mini Film Festival!



Hi everyone!

I hope you are well and hanging in there!

Here in Washington state we continue with our stay-at-home orders through the end of May. Steve and I are coping with lots of walks, lots of art and lots of naps!

In our cabin-fever-zoom-call world, like everyone else, we were trying to think of something new and different to do creative-wise. We’ve been working with Kara this past month on our Words and Pictures class and together came up with the idea of having a film festival for low-tech animations that anyone can make on their kitchen table.

Making your art move is an amazing way to tell a little story, express a thought, or just make something wiggle around. It’s wonderful to move our hands in a different way and a great project to do with friends and family.

So we are “rerunning” Kara’s Make It Move class where she teaches us how to make little animations from our drawings and collage bits and pieces and at the end of the class everyone can submit their favorite piece that they made and we will present them all in a live-stream event with awards and prizes for all.

Here’s a mini animation I made from her lessons… it’s almost addictive!



So if you need a break from zoom calls and want something really new and fun to do with your family, make a short animated film!

Class Dates: May 12-22, 2020

Film Festival Date: May 30, 2020

Cost: $35

Click HERE for more information (and even if you can’t join the class or make your own animation, we hope you will join us for the live screened film festival on May 30th)!

Dr. Bronner & the Lions


Last night I colored some lions while watching a virtual staged reading of “All One! The Dr. Bronner’s Play.” My nephew Will Sonheim and his girlfriend Abby Pajakowski were part of the cast and were WONDERFUL! The whole thing was tons of fun… thank you to The Passage Theater! Tickets are pay-what-you-can and half the money goes to the performers.

And for something equally wonderful, maybe more wonderful because of the performance by Abby — a “Vicious Dunk” music video directed by Will!




These lions were first drawn with my eyes closed with ballpoint pen. Colored in with pencil and colored pencils.


Have a great day!

The Woman, the Bird & the Lion


Hi everyone! I did this painting last Thursday in preparation for Lesson 9 of our 10th Anniversary class! I decided to make it a self portrait in Covid times… “me” as three characters: The Woman, the Bird and the Lion.

  1. The Woman calmly works on her laptop wearing the same clothes she’s worn for seven weeks.
  2. The Bird is kind of freaking out. It’s a beautiful day, and she is in no immediate danger for any reason at all. But she feels something is very wrong, and it is making her alternately anxious, irritable and in need of a three-hour nap.
  3. The Lion… sleeps.

How are you doing?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Taking One Liners Further

Hi everyone!

We are in the middle of celebrating 10 years of online classes! I received a question in our 10-Year Anniversary Class asking whether I ever took one-liner drawings “further” or if I just considered them as exercises.

They can be both!

  1. An exercise to get your hand moving and to get your subconscious in the driver’s seat.
  2. An idea-generator and/or the beginning of a final piece of art.

Here is a short tutorial of how I might take a one-liner further:

a. Find a reference to draw (or just draw from imagination):


b. Do several pages of small one-line drawings:


c. Pick a design you like and re-draw on a bigger piece of paper using a black Sharpie pen (size here: about 6″x8″):


d. Now “thicken” some of the lines as shown below and color in. Round edges!lionstep5

e. Add a first light layer of color with Copic markers:


f. Add a second layer of color with markers and colored pencils:


g. Last step: add details and dots with a white paint pen and a pencil.


I look forward to seeing your One Liners taken further! You can share at the Carla Sonheim Presents – Share Your Work! Facebook page!

And if you’re not sure how to do a One Liner, I have a Drawing Blast mini class with a video demonstration! Sign up HERE. Free!