Bed, Bugs & Adorable Chickens!

Did you know that Steve’s office is one thin wall away from our bedroom? I mean, my temporary office?

My back got slowly better over the course of the day, yay.

I even went upstairs and painted a few bugs:

And here is a collection of adorable chickens from Christine M.’s 4th graders (she had them do the Chicken! exercise which is part of our free Drawing Blast offering):

That’s it for today.

Daily Weekday Blog Posts – Day #1

Hi everyone!

Our annual August online class sale ended yesterday and Steve and I want to thank everyone who bought a class! We appreciate you so much.

I have been wanting to add daily weekday blog posting to my job description, and today was going to be the first day. I had plans!

But I did something to my back yesterday morning — I’m pretty sure I strained it while loading the dishwasher, so I won’t be doing that anymore — and my time in front of the computer and/or drawing table has been limited the past two days. At least I’ve caught up on my sleep!

I had really wanted to post some new work but instead am sharing another elephant from a few years ago that you might not have seen… I think it only exists as a scan, as I was moving all of the parts around and then tacking the pieces down temporarily for some reason.


So now I’m going to ice my back again and hopefully by tomorrow I can begin for real.



Checking in on an August 9th


It’s August 9th again!

Yesterday Steve and I got some boxes out of storage and I’ve been slowly sorting through them. I wanted to share this image I found with you.

It’s one of the first illustrations I did as an adult (I was 29). At the time I was working as a graphic design assistant in Illinois, and on my break one day started a portrait of our little family using Adobe Illustrator. I got so into it that I asked if I could take a “vacation day” and spent the rest of my work day (unpaid) finishing this illustration.

My boss at the time, Kathy Lay Burrows, took a look over my shoulder late in the afternoon when I was nearly done. She smiled, and said: “It’s too perfect and that’s all I’m going to say about it!” She ambled away chuckling, leaving me to figure out what she meant.

It took me a minute before I understood what I needed to do: muss up Batman’s hair and untie one of his shoelaces, making him a bit more human (since he really was my four-year-old son Christer and not a real superhero).



Our Annual August Sale of all of our online classes is now running! 25% off any class… we have 59 of them in our catalog right now from 18 teachers. Sale runs through August 23rd.



A ‘Zine


I spent most of yesterday making this ‘zine. And it was one of the most fun days I’ve had in awhile.

I found some sketchbooks from 2010 and picked out drawings that I haven’t shown before (though I realize now that one or two of them might be in The Art of Silliness).







I made 100 and there are about 20 left over at etsy… here is the info:

• 4.25″ wide x 5.5″ tall, 16 pages.

• Photocopied on cheap paper… you can see through it!

• Folded and stapled.

• 16 sketchbook pages that I’m pretty sure aren’t in any of my books or I haven’t shown for whatever reason.

• Limited edition of 100 (because I know myself, I will get bored after doing 100).

• A mini hand-drawn bird or fish on watercolor paper, stapled in (to justify the $5 cost of this little DIY zine). Size: 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″. I have made them and stapled them in… you will receive a surprise bird or fish!

• Sent via a plastic envelope with some goodies!

I’ve made many ‘zines in the past, but this is the first time in a LONG time that I’ve taken the time to make one!

P.S. We have a ‘zine portion coming up in the Words and Pictures class in the Fall!


Kids Art Week 2020 Begins Tomorrow!


Please join us for our 6th annual Kids Art Week! It’s free and fun… more details HERE… and here are our five guest instructors!


Kimberly Moore is a self-taught mixed media collage artist living in Charolotte, NC. Here is her Etsy.

Louis Allard makes and teaches art, simply adores his four cats, and loves a great grilled cheese sandwich! He is an elementary school art teacher in Seattle, Wa.

Libya Doman is a visual art educator and cultural competence facilitator who believes that art can be “a mirror” to ourselves and “a window” into another’s world.

Erika Couey lives (& teaches) in NW Georgia with her husband, her boys, & her cat (Nora). See her work at

Jen Foshee has taught art for 16 years, spanning grades K-5 and 9-12. She received the 2008 Teacher of the Year Award for Blakeney Elementary, in Waynesboro, Georgia and is currently the brand new art teacher for Glen Oaks Elementary in McKinney, Texas. Instagram: @MsFoshee_Art @puppywings_creations @puppywings_jen

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!)