A NEW Class with Henrik Drescher!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are doing well… today and always!

When making art, I am always looking for projects and exercises that allow me to get out of my own way in order to keep my work fresh, spontaneous, and “mine.” And this last month I have been working on a “Seeded Notebook” which is a project created by one of my favorite illustrators, Henrik Drescher, to help us do that. 

We recently filmed a class with Henrik and I started my book the day after he left. I have worked on it slowly… there is no pressure to rush through these pages… I add something, take something away, cover things over a period of days or weeks. Henrik feels that his artwork is never finished (unless it is published or sold), and that simple idea — that any given piece is always in process — has really freed me up to just try stuff!

Henrik describes a Seeded Notebook like this: Imagine someone takes all your work, mixes it up in a blender and then serves it to you and says: “Look at that, look at how these two things go together, look at these new possibilities!” For him, this is literally how he comes up with new ideas. The process is random, but it is all based on your own art, and I found it to be a great way to break me out of my normal style and habits, and it was so fun! 

Here is a page from my Seeded Notebook:

Henrik Drescher is someone I have always been inspired by and we were honored to have him here to film this new class. He has produced 50+ illustrated books, including “The Boy Who Ate Around,” which was chosen as a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 1994 (and was our son Christer’s favorite book as a six-year old!).

Henrik does everything from children’s books to editorial illustration to painting, and has lived all over the world (check out: China Days). Here are a few of Henrik’s works that I just love (and you can see more at his website HERE).

Just a few of his children’s books!

I know I always says this but I hope you can join us for Seeded Notebook, this new class with Henrik Drescher!!


 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

New Class begins June 8th
Seeded Notebook with Henrik Drescher
6 Lessons • On sale for $72.25

In this class we’re going to build a ‘Seeded’ Notebook,’ which is a handmade book
that you create by using your own drawings and flotsam and jetsam that you collect.
We start with large sheets of randomly collaged paper, cut them up, bind them and then “work into”
each spread with mixed media. The result is random, fun, and magical —and will reveal
a fresh way to see your own work. For Henrik, this process is at the heart of all his new projects and books.
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anita Has a NEW Drawing Workshop!

Drawing Workshop
Instructor: Anita Lehmann
Class Dates: May 4-14, 2021
6 Lessons • on sale for $72.25


From Anita, Class Description:

I love to draw!

Drawing is a part of everything I do as an artist and in this class we will work on slowing down,  seeing more deeply and developing  confidence. We will practice some fundamental depictive techniques as well as an evocative and personal approach to drawing. We will endeavor to create honest drawings by truly drawing what you see, not what you think you see. All you need are some pencils, some charcoal, some paper and a willingness to have fun!

I believe drawing is about attempting something beyond language and beyond representation; it is a way to experience life. It is my sincere hope these lessons will give you surety in your drawing practice… and I hope you can join me!


Check out the quick video about the class below!


From the Depictive..

… to the Evocative..

… This is the drawing class I always wanted! Anita deftly gives us the technical bits while leading us through to expressive interpretations… join us for this deep dive into drawing with Anita! — Carla


Class Itinerary

Lesson 1 – Tuesday, May 4
Lesson 2 – Wednesday, May 5
Lesson3 – Friday, May 7

Lesson 4 – Tuesday, May 11
Lesson 5 – Wednesday, May 12
Lesson 6 – Friday, May 13


Week 1
Lesson 1 – Slowing Down
We will start with ‘upside down’ and blind contour drawing processes to unlock the brain to a new awareness and shift to your brain’s right side, while defining edges, size, relationships, and angles of what you see (not what you think you see).

Lesson 2 – True Horizontal + True Vertical
In today’s exercises we will use a directed straight line when exploring. We’ll start with tracing paper, another wonderful tool in discovering shape, size, and relationships. Then we will find the True Horizontals and Verticals from two different images and find the internal thrust of individual elements within the forms to create several diagrammatic drawings. The result will be a structure that is a strong, accurate foundation.

Lesson 3 – Don’t Draw the Monkey
“Don’t draw the Monkey” is a play on words, of course. When I concentrate on the shapes that surround the monkey shape, voila, the monkey appears all on its own. The “negative” shapes are truthful and very right-brained; they cannot be named and identified, which is such an important tool in drawing and seeing. In this lesson we will also touch on the underlying geometry of the individual elements of our still life.

Week 2
Lesson 4 – About that Sphere: Volume + LIght
In this exercise we will identify the light form qualities: core shadow, half tone, cast shadow, reflected light, highlight. The assignment will be to create a vine charcoal and a graphite drawing of a sphere with nuance and beauty. 

Lesson 5 Still Life: The Depictive
Let’s put all these concepts together: Line, Shape, Volume and Light and continue the process that creates honest drawings, truly drawing ‘what I see, not what I think I see.’ We will draw from a still life and work by describing/depicting by measuring, correcting, searching, and exploring with line.

Lesson 6 – Still Life: The Evocative
Think of the Evocative drawing process as putting oneself into the subject, beyond the Depictive. We will study a subject and ask: What is the subject saying to me and what am I saying back to the subject? The process is emotive. The finished drawing may be simple or complicated but always meaningful and personal.

For more information and to sign up, click HERE.

Happy April… and, FLOWERS!

Hi everyone! I wanted to post the contents of my recent newsletter here, too… here it is! You can subscribe by clicking this link if you would like to receive it! I send 2-3 a month.

I hope you have a wonderful day. xoxo




Hi everyone,

Sending love to you this sunny Spring day in Seattle!


The above two images were created for an assignment we received from inspiring and prolific artist Pam Garrison, who was the guest artist this month for our yearlong class… please check out her instagram to see her beautiful work! Below is my first attempt at finding flowers “a la Pam”:

And these next drawings were created during the Zoom portion of the class, where together we drew “fast blind contours” of a bouquet flowers, without worrying about composition (since we didn’t look at the paper at all). I love drawing this way and the results remind me that perfection in drawing is NOT necessary to make compelling drawings!

And seeing these flowers together now, I’m struck by how influenced I’ve been by both Lynn Whipple and Cat Bennett…  and I’m so grateful to them (and all teachers everywhere) for generously sharing their ideas and processes. 

Last month’s live ZOOM class was really fun… If you missed it, we will be running it again!

This month’s featured class is Y is for Yellow, my yearlong class from 2016. There are 26 drawing lessons and 10 mixed-media lessons. It was one of our most popular classes… if you missed it for some reason, now might be a great time to pick it up!

As always, thank you for being a newsletter subscriber… Steve and I appreciate you so much!

Have a wonderful month!


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Y is for Yellow with Carla Sonheim
26 Lessons • On sale for $49.50

In this class we will march through the alphabet as a fun way to move through our lessons (“P” is for Picasso! “C” is for Collage!), while tackling the more serious question, “How do you create a body of work?”

What’s New with Melinda Tidwell!

Hi everyone!

My friend Melinda Tidwell has taught two classes with us, the popular How to Make Abstract Art that Works and Fine Art Collage! She reached out recently to tell me about a recent show and also a free webinar she is hosting on Thursday!

Shortest Interview Ever
with Melinda!

Q: Tell us about your webinar!

A: The purpose of the webinar is to teach artists what I use as guiding principles for developing abstract compositions. I was so lost when I began making abstract work, that I have always wished these kinds of resources were available. If people want to follow this path further, they can take the course we did together “How to Make Abstract Art that Works”,  or if they are wanting to study it with even more vigor, our Abstract Art – The Deep Dive, a 6-week course, is beginning April 1 in Yum City.

Q: Tell us about your show!

A: I had a group of 9″x12″ collages on panel that i sent the Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum, ID. Working on panel has resulted in much more layered work which I really enjoyed making—- though they went through many iterations.

So check out the webinar and show! Congratulations, Melinda!

A LIVE Workshop via Zoom!

Gelli® Plate LIVE
A Live Workshop via Zoom
Saturday, March 27th
3.5 Hours – $45

Hi everyone! I’m excited to offer Gelli® Plate Printmaking as a workshop via Zoom. Create beautiful monotypes without a press and with limited supplies!

In this live, technique-based class, we will work on fine-art quality abstracted landscapes. The monotype printing process is something that got me really excited about art over 20 years ago. You never know what you’re going to get, and I love the myriad of textures and patterns! The Gelli® Plate allows you to create beautiful monotypes without a press, using materials anyone has in their studio.

In this 3-hour live workshop we will work on how to apply bands of color and texture, develop your images with layers, stencils, stamping and drawing, and tips for finishing your prints. It doesn’t matter if you print all the time or have yet to pull your first one, this get-together promises to be a productive and fun day.  

Warning: Gelli® Plate Printmaking is addictive!


Class Itinerary

9am – Welcome
9:15am – Bands of Color, Texture
10am – Working in Layers, Glazing, Stamping
10:30am – Break
11am – Stencils & Brayer Drawing
12pm – Q+A
12:30pm – Class Ends

Class runs Pacific Time with a half-hour break in the middle (click HERE for time converter, but basically it’s a morning workshop for West Coast USA, an afternoon workshop for East Coasters, and an evening workshop for Europeans).


Nuts & Bolts

• Class will run live via Zoom on Saturday, March 27, 2021. 9am – 12:30pm Pacific Time with a half-hour break in the middle (click HERE for time converter).
• The Zoom link and instructions will be sent within 24 hours after signup.
• If for some reason you can’t make the live session, a video recording will be sent within 24 hours after the end of class.
• This live workshop is based off of our bestselling online class, Gelli® Plate Printmaking.

Create up to eight 5″x7″ abstracted landscapes during this class! I hope you can JOIN US!

A NEW Class Open for Registration!

with Lewis Rossignol
Class Dates: February 16-26, 2021
6 lessons / 2 weeks
$46.75 (sale price!)

Working in a sketchbook can be an important part of an artist’s life, beyond just “sketching” out ideas. For me it is vital for stress relief and well being… and I have a lot of fun! I hope this class will help you loosen up and discover new ways to use your sketchbook. We will remind ourselves that a sketchbook should be a personal journal, and not something that has to be a masterpiece from beginning to end. By combining collage, words, and drawing, we’ll start a sketchbook that will hopefully free you to not overthink future sketchbooks.

We’ll explore composition, shading, and different levels of completeness as not every sketch has to be fully fleshed out. We’ll bring our other passions into our sketchbooks, and explore different types of reference. But most of all we’ll have a good time pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. Through these six lessons we will start a new sketchbook that you will be able to finish afterwards using new ideas, thoughts, and techniques.

Class Itinerary

Lesson 1 We’ll  start by looking through some books and see all kinds of ways that different artists use their sketchbooks, and then do an exercise that will take the pressure and anxiety out of drawing in a brand new sketchbook.

Lesson 2 This lesson is all about composition and finding multiple solutions to the same problem. We will focus on minimalism and empty space.

Lesson 3 In this lesson we will experiment with multiple methods of shading, as well as continuing to think about composition.

Lesson 4 Bring your favorite scientific or organic interests into the realm of your sketchbook!

Lesson 5 We’re going to start our final project in this lesson: a grid drawing. I’ll demonstrate how I start these types of drawings.

Lesson 6 This final lesson will be a demonstration of how to complete a grid drawing, focusing on mini compositions that create one larger composition.

CLICK HERE for more information and to sign up!

FREE New Year’s Day Workshop!

A free online drawing & writing workshop with exercises & making sessions. Playful & interactive. Set intentions for the year. Make art!

Hi Everyone! This past year I’ve had the pleasure to work with writing instructor Chris Wells. I’ve been part of a weekly writing group and also attend his show “The Secret City Daily with Chris Wells” as often as I can, as he and the community he brings together never fails to begin my day on a positive, hopeful note. Chris and I decided it would be fun to co-host a mini drawing/writing workshop to begin the New Year. It’s a 3-hour workshop, and free (but you need to get a ticket HERE). I hope you can join us! — Carla

About this Event

Carla Sonheim and Chris Wells host this free online workshop designed to waken and inspire the creative self. Carla leads art workshops that are playful and warm and reminds everyone that drawing and painting can and should be fun. Chris leads writing workshops that are dynamic and deep; he prompts people to explore their creative selves and to dive into the practice of writing. This free online workshop will be part drawing exercises/part writing exercises with the first two hours toggling back and forth between the two, and the third hour dedicated to creating something new of your choosing in a timed session with live music accompaniment.

We’ll begin by reflecting on what the past year has been like and we’ll leave with some intention setting for making 2021 a creative year.

Special guests:

Bobby Lucy will share a few of his paintings.

Jeremy Bass will perform guitar music in the third hour.

You’ll be sent a zoom link closer to the date of the workshop.

Click HERE to sign up!!

Registration is now OPEN for Our 2021 Yearlong Class!

2021: Carla’s Yearlong Class
24 Lessons & 12 Zoom Work Sessions
$168.25 (15% Off the regular price of $198)
Begins January 8, 2021


Wow, this is our 9th yearlong class! Over the past eight years we’ve drawn and painted giraffes, illustrated fairy tales, looked for the “spark” with Lynn Whipple, worked from daily prompts, collaged with Lynn and Anne Marie Grgich, worked on a series in “Y is for Yellow” and, most recently, combined words and pictures!

This year’s class has three main parts.

The first will be a monthly Mixed-Media Lesson via recorded video from my studio. To me, mixed media is mostly about experimenting! And not just experimenting with materials (which we WILL do!), but also with concepts, styles and ways of expressing ourselves. The goal for each assignment is that it will be fun to do and also maybe give you some new tools and ideas to take into your next piece. We’ll work with watercolor, ink, colored pencils, markers, fabric, ribbons, thread, photography, acrylics, charcoal, pastels and etc. and etc.!

The second part will be a monthly Zoom Work Session where I will lead you through one or two warmup drawing exercises and then we will all spend an hour creating together in real time. Imagine sitting all together at a coffee shop, all doing our own thing together. It is surprisingly fun to work alongside each other even virtually!! (These will be recorded and accessible later if you need to miss.)

The third part of the class is about finding ways to stay motivated and inspired. We are constantly changing as people and as artists, and one of my biggest challenges is to keep myself feeling like I’m capable of making something NEW. This is where we need to reach outside of ourselves, so in this class I will be bringing Guest Artists to interview and maybe some studio visits when we can travel again. This is similar to what we did in our (feat.) class. We will also be talking about other sources of inspiration: books, the world around us and even our inner lives. I really want to create a master list of sources of inspiration based on what we can all bring to the table, a sort of “stone soup” of motivation!

I anticipate this to be a busy and ABUNDANT year of creating! I’m really looking forward to it, and hope you can join in! Click HERE for details and to sign up!

Carla (and Steve)


Nuts & Bolts

Lesson Videos will go live the first and third Fridays of each month.

• Zoom Work Sessions will be on the first Friday/Saturday of each month, there will be a 1.5 hour Zoom session.

Community Forum. We will have a private forum to share our work and be inspired by the work of others.

Cost: Only $168.25 for 24 lessons (15% off the regular price of $198)


Important Information!

1. Scholarships available HERE.

2. If you sign up before December 31, 2020, you will qualify for a free $25 Gift Card to give yourself or a friend… follow the instructions at checkout!

3. And for the first time, all the recorded video lessons will include Closed Captioning.

Happy Cubist Thanksgiving

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

Artwork and Guest Post by Christi Sonheim.

* * * * * * * * * *

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.