Spark Summer

Self-Study Class Includes Lifetime Access, Online Community & More!

12 Lessons – $84.15 $99

This 12-lesson class is about ART, and how we can infuse MORE of it into our lives…. More art, more creativity, more time, more inspiration, more motivation, and more FUN!

Now available as a self-study class.

TEACHER: Lynn Whipple & Carla Sonheim

Class Description

In 2015 we (Lynn Whipple & Carla Sonheim) taught a year-long online class together, 2015: Year of the Spark. In this summer package we picked our favorite 12 lessons… join us!

This online class is about ART, and how we can infuse MORE of it into our lives…. More art, more creativity, more time, more inspiration, more motivation, and more FUN!

Lynn and I share a love of making art, moving our hands, and keeping things FUN. We believe that the more fun you have, the more open your mind is to creative solutions, which produces more authentic and imaginative art!

You will receive 12 video lessons + pdfs which will include a short spark-your-art exercise (how do we make the time for creativity? How do we start?), as well as a longer, technique-based mixed-media project.

How will this work?

We want students to create art that is true to their own style (as opposed to expecting art look like ours). The techniques taught are just starting points and you will incorporate them into your own existing styles, and what will come out will be fresh and new!

Also, we strive to make sure that every online lesson includes both techniques and the opportunity for personal growth and self expression. “Spark Summer!” includes an online community where participants from all over the world share their work, their thoughts, and encourage each other. And of course, we are available to comment on all work uploaded throughout the class.

Class Itinerary

Lesson 1: Journal Pages & One-liners and Gestures! Exploring Line Quality with Carla

Lesson 2: Sketchbook Patterns and Brain Surprise: Shape Making with Lynn

Lesson 3: Automatic Writing and Thoughts are Things Mini Books with Carla

Lesson 4: Drawing to Music and Duo des Fleurs “Flower Duet” with Lynn

Lesson 5: Warmup with Wes and Smartphone Monotype Collages with Carla

Lesson 6: Color Mixing and Color Making: Value Painting with Lynn

Lesson 7: Journal Diving and Carved Watercolor Paintings with Carla

Lesson 8: Favorite Icons and Threading Thoughts with Lynn

Lesson 9: Daily Ritual and Draw-Through Face Grids with Carla

Lesson 10: Thumbnail Sketches and Directional Mark Making with Lynn

Lesson 11: Modern Artists & Kids and Painting Big: Thinking Small with Carla

Lesson 12: Free Patterned Paper and Not so Still Life with Lynn



Following is a very general supply list for the “Spark Summer!” online class. Hopefully you will already have many of the items, or can easily substitute with what you have on hand. The summer is long… so please don’t fee you need to gather everything before class begins!

Substrates: For paper, Carla will often demonstrate mostly on her favorite go-to paper, Fabriano Artistico hot-press 140# watercolor paper (the equivalent of 2 22″x30″ sheets for the year). You can also use cold-press paper (which is rougher), or any other paper you feel comfortable working with that can handle wet media, such as watercolor, acrylics and gel medium.

Sketchbooks: Carla likes a hand-book 5.5″ x 5.5″), and also inexpensive paper (such as card stock from an office supply store). In the end, just choose a size/brand that you like to work with!

Paint: For watercolors, Carla uses a small set of Pelikan watercolors, but any set — pan or tube — will work fine.  For acrylics, Carla will be demonstrating with Holbein Acryla Gouache, Blickacrylics, and some Golden Fluid paints. Lynn will demonstrate with Liquitex Basics and sample jars of flat house paint.

White Gesso: We prefer Golden, as it’s a little thicker than many other brands.

Mediums: You will need a matte or a gloss medium (“regular” fluidity).

Brushes: Carla’s favorite watercolor brush is a #12 round (any brand). For acrylics, she often uses flat brushes in various sizes. Lynn: brushes can be the cheap ones with a few smaller rounds for a lyrical line.

Pencils, Pens, Erasers: Carla likes inexpensive mechanical pencils, ballpoint pens and Sharpies, Microns, black Tombows, soft vine charcoal, and water soluble markers (any brand, even inexpensive ones). We’ll work with colored pencils (any brand). I mostly use a kneaded rubber eraser.

Lynn likes #3 or #4 pencils as well. Also, a dip pen and ink (Speedball is good), white, black and any other color you like.

Glue: Glue sticks.

Collage: found papers, magazine pages, some copies of Hero people copied on card stock in color (these can be people in vintage photos or even people you know). Also, collection of paint chips/color free samples from home depot for collage.

Carla Sonheim

Carla Sonheim is a painter, illustrator, and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating.

Carla is the author of three instructional art books, including Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun; Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop and The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone. In 2012 she co-authored Creative Photography Lab with her husband, Steve Sonheim. They live in Seattle, WA.

Lynn Whipple

Lynn Whipple writes, “I am deeply grateful to live my life as an artist. Play and discovery are my dearest and most constant companions. There are a zillion tiny challenges in each art making experience, and so often I find, just as many small, sweet victories. Without a doubt, living creatively is the most enjoyable and satisfying game I know.”

Lynn shares a warehouse studio with her husband, John Whipple, in Winter Park, Florida. Lynn’s work includes found-object mixed-media assemblages; found images altered with a combination of drawing, painting, sewing and more; and her well-known Ninny Boxes, collages combined with found objects, and assembled within a box format. Her unique pieces have a playful, quirky, and often absurd, charm.

Lynn explains: “I allow myself to play and let my pieces reveal themselves to me…I have been fascinated by old books, history, and odd bits of memorabilia. I find the things that interest me the most are slightly absurd…My hope is to create something real and somehow poetic but not commonplace. My goal is to keep communicating in my language.”

Lynn’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and her new book, Expressive Flower Painting, was published July 2017. Visit Lynn’s website at

Nuts & Bolts

  • This class is now available as a self-study class.
  • Immediately upon class signup, you will receive access to the class videos and corresponding materials.
  • A private Facebook group will be available for you to (optionally) share your artwork and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. You may also email your teacher directly with questions or feedback.
  • You will have indefinite access to this class.
“Never too early or too late to start the class again, and again. Truth is I enjoy all Carla’s classes!” — Lola Y.
“Thanks Carla and Lynn for this opportunity to play, experiment, explore, and discover!” — Laura L.
“You two are such forces of nature -- fabulous & vibrant. Your prompts are wonderful, your vision(s) inspiring & you are both so dedicated & generous.” — Katrina R.