Hello Everyone! Video Greetings from Our Teachers


We hope you are well this Sunday.

We sent an email last week to our teachers and asked if they could record a little “hello” from their studios. You can see them all in one place at our Vimeo Showcase HERE, and I’ve attached them below, too!

We hope you have a good week!



Lynn Whipple:

Karine Swenson:

Kara Kramer:

Diane Culhane:

Cori Dantini:

Cat Bennett:

Anita Lehmann:

Nelleke Verhoeff:

Dar James:

Lendon Noe:

Melinda Tidwell:

It’s Our 10-Year Anniversary of Making Online Classes


It’s been such a strange month and I hope you are well and hanging in there through all of what’s been happening! I have been okay, kind of up and down, and definitely at times have only been able to do the minimum required of me, which means I missed posting this special class here on the blog as usual!

We are celebrating 10 years of making online classes! We will have some teacher-generated goodies soon, but the first thing we are doing is having a live streamed online class with me… which starts today!

Click HERE for more info and I hope you have a good day!



Keep Creating!

I sent this newsletter out a few days ago, but wanted to post it here as well. –Carla


Cat by Ethan Sonheim, age 6

Hi everyone!

I hope you are well.

Many of you know that Steve and I live in Seattle and have been somewhat affected by the current health situation, and we know that many of our friends around the world might be having an even more difficult time as well.

And so we just wanted to reach out with our thoughts and encouragement, and we hope that this community of artists can be an encouragement in this weird time.

Making and sharing art can be a comforting and helpful a way to refocus our thoughts…. To that end, we have reduced the cost of all of our classes by 15% (at least until the end of March), and have added Faces Mini and Flower Crazy Mini to our “Free Stuff” page (where there are also five years of Kids Art Week classes):


So if you are staying home (or have kids at home), we hope this can be a little bit of a positive distraction!

We hope everyone can stay creative and engaged, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help in any way.

Steve and Carla

P.S. I love our grandson Ethan’s cat “Sam,” above, and I’ve been playing with his image this week. Thanks, Ethan!



Anne Marie Grgich’s NEW Class is Open for Registration!


Painting Figures with Anne

Anne Marie Grgich shares her carved, figurative method of painting on canvas. This class is a sister class to her faces painting class using similar techniques, but continuing the adventure by creating a whole world and characters to inhabit it. The way Anne works is similar to writing a story in that her characters change and evolve as she paints them.

This is a very special class because Anne’s process is so free and easy and fun to do! It is a way of creating a finished piece of art that doesn’t feel like hard work.

Watch a quick video about the class below!

Click HERE for more information and to sign up!


How to Make Abstract Art that Works

A NEW online class from Melinda Tidwell!

How to Make Abstract Art that Works
Instructor: Melinda Tidwell
Class Dates: February 11-27, 2020
6 Lessons • 3 Weeks • $85

When I first began to attempt making “abstract art,” I knew what I liked in museums, but I had no idea how to do it myself. I had taken both drawing and painting classes at college but our work was always representational. I had also taken classes where you just sit down and start painting abstract colors and shapes. I would get this horrible anxiety of just feeling aimless and utterly lost. This is the course I wish I had had to get me started, a primer on abstract composition for art.

My aim is to give you a very supported, linear methodology for developing abstract art. My first tool is a set of organizing Structures to guide your initial layout of elements. You are free to follow these closely, loosely, or not at all. They are there if they help you and have been invaluable in my own process. The second tool is using several of the Principles of Design that are the most essential in creating dynamic and unified compositions. Most of the work in creating abstract art is editing and clarifying your design, iteration after iteration. These principles will guide that refinement.

Our third tool is the collage process, which allows us to quickly rehearse many different arrangements and see their effects. To keep things simple, we are mostly just using painted papers (and line) as our elements. This will really force you to make things like color, shape, size and proximity be the levers you adjust to make interesting harmonies and contrasts happen.


Class Itinerary

Tues, Feb 11 – Lesson 1
Thurs, Feb 13 – Lesson 2

Tues, Feb 18 – Lesson 3
Thurs, Feb 20 – Lesson 4

Tues, Feb 25 – Lesson 6
Thurs, Feb 27 – Lesson 7


Lesson 1 – Painting Papers
We will be making collages from found and painted papers. But before we can do that, we need to make those papers! This lesson explores several techniques for creating collage elements using acrylic paint and assorted papers.

Lesson 2 – Unity and Variety; Grid Structure
In this lesson, I introduce the two most fundamental design principles: Unity and Variety. Your work needs both to be both coherent AND compelling.
I also introduce our first Structure: the Grid, and show you a variety of great pieces of art that use this structure.

Lesson 3 – Begin with Value; Thirds Structure
In this lesson we look at the primary importance of value, the darkness or lightness of your colors, in a composition. The new structure for this lesson is something I call Thirds. We will be looking at some work by Robert Rauschenberg who used this structure often.

Lesson 4 – What Creates Unity; Strata Structure
For design, we look deeper into the ways you can create more Unity in your compositions. For structures, we work with something I call Strata.

Lesson 5 – Variety, in More Detail; Implied Triangles Structure
Variety is what bring vigor and surprise to your work, and the way we get it is through differences. We will use the Structure of Implied Triangles to explore energizing your work with more variety.

Lesson 6 – The Composition Editing Process
This lesson outlines my methodology for working. We review the design principles we have learned, and then go through some examples of how to edit and strengthen some ailing compositions of mine.

Click HERE for more information and to sign up!

Getting Ready for 2020


Wow! We’ve had over 500 people sign up for the yearlong Words and Pictures class so far… thank you to everyone who has signed up!

I’m getting ready for an awesome — and PRODUCTIVE — 2020!

But first, the holidays!

I’m headed to Colorado tomorrow for two days to visit my mom and sister, and then we will celebrate Christmas here with Steve’s brother and family, as well as Wes, Christer, Christi and the grandkids.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

2020 Yearlong Class is 10% Off Until 12/15!


We have returned from our 10-day East Coast filming trip last week and finished our new promo for Words and Pictures, our next yearlong class!


I’m super excited about this year, as I am hoping it will help me solidify a personal book project that I’ve been noodling on for years!

From the Description:

There are many ways that words interact with our artwork: They can inspire each other, work in tandem with each other, enhance the other, and can be graphically incorporated into our work!

This year we are going to explore these things by making art and learning from 15 writers, illustrators and graphic novelists. But don’t worry, this is still a fun mixed-media class and I will be teaching 8 lessons throughout the year. Together we will be hitting all aspects of words & pictures including hand lettering, art journaling, sketchbooks, comics, ‘zines, illustration, paintings that incorporate words, artist books and more.

We are lucky to be able to work with some amazing illustrators including Martha Rich, Susy Pilgrim Waters, Sarajo Frieden, Kara Kramer, Andrea D’Aquino, and Cat Bennett. From these artists we will work on messy journals, facing the blank page, illustrating a recipe, idea generating exercises, mixed-media techniques and more!

We will also learn from comic artists Greg Stump, David Lasky, Austin English, Brandon Vosika, and Ozge Samanci. We will work on creating single panel comics, 4- and 6-panel comics, gag cartoons, creating ‘zines, an introduction to graphic novels and more!

In addition, we will write! We’ll learn from writers Beth Kephart, Allan Hunter and Jason Poole — even have a quick book-binding lesson with Bari Zaki!

Here is a LINK and a PDF with all of the Guest Artist Bios and samples of their work!

If you love words, love art, and would like to spend a year writing and making cool stuff with a bunch of great people from all over the world, please join us!

Buy now through December 15th at 10% off!


P.S.  The cost for the whole year is the same it has been for the past six years… $198 for the whole year (and only $178.20 until 12/15!). More info HERE!

Some Word/Picture artwork done recently:

And the sneak peek we put out earlier that shows more art from our 15 Guest Artists!




A Visit from Eva from Germany!

I spent the better part of Monday with long-time student Eva Schull from Germany! She visited me in the studio and brought an accordian-book structure for us to collaborate on.

Here is a 7-second video of Eva putting the last touches on the project:

And here is our finished book! (Eva drew the boy, and I made the bird):



Pages 2-3:


Pages 3-4:


Pages 5-6


Thank you, Eva, for a wonderful visit!


Anita Lehmann Article


Hi everyone!

Cheap Joes Art Stuff (an art supply company) publishes a quarterly painter’s magazine titled The New Palette.  The most current issue has Anita Lehmann’s artwork on the cover! Here is the PDF link if you would like to download it!

New Palette 71_AHL

In the article Anita outlines her process for painting landscapes… and some of these steps will be part of her new class beginning in just two weeks — 7 Essentials: The Studio Practice of Anita Lehmann.

Congratulations to Anita, and happy reading to you!


Registration OPEN for Anita Lehmann’s New Class!

Hi! We are excited to present this new class from Anita Lehmann!

7 Essentials: The Studio Practice of Anita Lehmann
Class Dates: October 22 – November 7, 2019
7 Lessons – $85

I get excited when I go to my studio because I get to play… but also because it means getting deeper into my work. Along with the play there is something happening in the background, a discipline of sorts that I have broken down into 7 Essentials. These are tools that I can use to get started, find inspiration, push to a finish or just free myself to be expressive.

I happen to have found 7 of these for myself, including things like Gathering, Brainstorming and “Painting like Crazy.” My hope for this class is that you can explore them, pick and choose what works best for you and finally discover some of your own.

We will be working in a variety of media and I will be giving you some fun assignments to test these out for yourself. I’ll be working with birds, flowers, laundry, and still life. You are welcome to follow along with my subjects or choose your own.

I really hope you can join us to practice and share together!



Class Itinerary

Essential 1 – Collect & Gather
This first essential gives you the opportunity to discover your passions in your art practice; it’s a “gathering of evidence.” Let’s find a box, label it with your theme and fill it up with meaning.

Essential 2 – Field Sketching
Let’s get outside or another space the inspires. This essential provides another opportunity to gather evidence and acknowledge your surroundings, where ALL the senses are on fire. These free-flow drawings will give one a freedom of expression while back in studio, too.

Essential 3 – Memory Map & Brainstorming
A key essential is mapping or brainstorming and letting your ideas generate more ideas. Pose a question and where does it take you?

Essential 4 – Recipe
Pick a Format, a Media and an Idea — and stick with it for a series of pieces. Keeping things simple is key in this fourth essential. With so many art supplies, papers and format (I know I have plenty), employing a recipe in which to work clarifies ideas and concepts, resulting in clear, cohesive artwork.

Essential 5 – Design
One of my favorite essentials, Design is my pathway to strong art. Simultaneously, I am challenging ideas or concepts — a free-flow aspect of usual note-taking, media explorationa nd looking for opportunity in one’s idea. Every thought, diagrammed, in an open and non-judgemental way is freeing and enjoyable.

Essential 6 – Edit
Intention wins in this Essential. I sometimes attempt placing too much into one painting, so I ask myself, “What is really needed here?” or “What is my intention?” Clarity is key; powerful work happens when you edit.

Essential 7 – Paint Like Crazy
Woohoo! Now the fun begins. Many times I have been given this essential: Practice, Practice, Practice; Explore, Explore, Expore… Paint like crazy!


For more information and to sign up, click HERE!