REPEATING: Diane Culhane’s Class, “Paint Your Garden”!


“Paint Your Garden” with Diane Culhane from Silly U on Vimeo.

Acrylic Painting
2-Week Class; 6 Lessons
Repeat Class! January 26 – February 6, 2015.

We will explore six different painting techniques that deal with how we touch the surface of our paintings and the characteristics of the paint itself, including:

Sgraffitto , Masking,  Frottage Texturing & Blown Blots.

These techniques will become essential tools, not only for creating areas of mystery and intrigue in your work, but also for inspiring new ideas as your paintings evolve.

We will start by making test paintings of each technique to discover how viscosity and the physicality of the surface play a foundational role in the creation of a painting.

Our test paintings will then become an opening conversation, leading the way to three completed paintings of your garden, real or imaginary.





Lesson #1: Sgraffito & Stippling
Lesson #2: Paint Your Garden!
Lesson #3: Masking & Drawing Gum
Lesson #4: Paint Your Garden!
Lesson #5: Frottage & Blown Blots
Lesson #6: Paint Your Garden!



Here’s the scoop for this class:

• Each M-W-F you will receive an email from Diane with a reminder to visit the class blog for that day’s lesson.

• A password-protected blog dedicated to each class will serve as our clubhouse.

• A facebook group will be created for you to (optionally) share your paintings, and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. (However, if you are shy about posting your art, Diane is always available to look at your work via email.)

• The class materials will be up and available for download until “forever,” if for some reason you need to miss a day (or a couple of weeks).

• Upon registration, you will receive an email within 48 hours confirming your sign-up. On the Wednesday before your session begins, you will receive a “test” email to make sure you can receive/view everything.

• What you will need: You will be able to read acrobat pdf files and view videos.

• Class fee is good for participants living in a single household.




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Diane Culhane is a professional artist and art educator who lives West Seattle in a 1910 home, and works out of her studio in Ballard Building C. She received her BFA from the University of Utah and Master’s Degree from Seattle University.

Diane has taught for The Bellevue School District, Seattle Pacific University, Kirkland Arts Center, Bellevue Arts Museum and currently directs and owns Kelsey Creek Fine Art School for children in the summer.

Visit her website at:

My Day


Today I enjoyed reading part of Amanda Palmer’s book, “The Art of Asking,” and ended up looking up her music on youtube, which led me to this video interview with her husband, Neil Gaiman. I liked his hair so decided to paint him.

I’m shy to even post it here (I so rarely try to do “real” people), but do feel I caught him a bit!

Then I set myself to my more usual subjects: a dog and a fox.



Have a wonderful week, everyone!

My Christmas and Birthday Presents for 2015: NYC!


Hello everyone!

First, I’m on a “bunny roll.” Bunny Wisdom is the best.

Second, I’m headed to New York City in February!

As a step towards my children’s book illustration goals, I signed up to attend the Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in NY starting February 6th… I am really looking forward to just taking a small “next step” in the journey. I also signed up to show my portfolio on Friday night, so that is what I will be working on the rest of this month!

I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Filming Classes Freaks Me Out


Not so long ago (yesterday) I had to film my first lesson for the Spark! class.

Secret: I don’t really like filming!

Those of you who took Imaginary Creatures, my first “filmed” online class ever, might remember how nervous and self-conscious I was.

It’s 3+ years later and, while I look more natural on camera now, the day and a half preceding the filming is a nightmare for both Steve and me. Basically, I freak out for 36 hours… I pace, jump up and down from my computer, can’t sleep at night, sleep all afternoon, wring my hands, and basically feel very uncomfortable in my skin.

The relief I feel after I finish filming is palpable!

I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this except that I want you to know that sometimes things that look natural and easy, really aren’t that much! :D Or, it takes some uncomfortableness on the journey to get to the “easy” end-product.

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Having Fun IS Productive

The past month I’ve been preparing for the “Year of the Spark” class to begin (both mental and physical preparations). I’ve been giving more thought to why creativity matters… WHY taking the time to draw rabbits and birds…


… or arrange pom pons around your 4-month-old daughter (as my DIL Christi did yesterday)…


… or crochet yarn together…


… is a valid use of time?

The common denominator for me is that doing these things are just FUN to do. Being creative — making something — can make us smile, make us happy — both in the doing and the outcome.

These little creative moments… we all do it constantly every day and sometimes don’t even know it! … make our days more fun!

Jennifer Falkowsi, one of the SPARK! students, wrote: “Being Happy IS Productive.”

Yes, it is!

My wish for you today is to HAVE FUN in the little things throughout your days — today and all year long — so you can have the most productive (happy) year ever!

And if you’re not at a place to have fun today (mentally or physically), my wish for you is to BE GENTLE with yourself in all that you do or don’t do. It’s okay!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Year of the SPARK! Mini Video

“Year of the SPARK!” Online Class! from Silly U on Vimeo.

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Hello! Here is a little mini video about our new online class, “2015: Year of the Spark!” Our talented nephew, Will Sonheim, did the editing. Thanks, Will!

Lynn Whipple and I are so looking forward to working with all of you who have already signed up (and all of you who haven’t, yet!)

For more details:

“Introductions” begin January 1st, and your first mixed-media lesson is on Thursday, January 8, 2015! (But sign up by December 31st to get two signed mini-prints from Lynn and me!)


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