Art-Making workshops

that support self-care, relaxation, and self-compassion for those who need it most.

online art workshops with cris sanhueza

Interested in me facilitating an online art workshop?

Get in touch and let me know your requirements. I can offer a flexible schedule that suits your institution’s needs, whether you want weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly classes, for 3 months, 6 months, or beyond.

Workshops are between 60-90 minutes, depending on your preference, and are available for up to 21 participants. These limited class sizes ensure everyone gets individual attention during the session.

my process leaf min

My Process

The Session Plan

Each session has an overarching theme we will cover, which connects to the key goals of the workshop series. Within that, we will work with various mediums and mixed media art supplies, such as pencil, paint, watercolor, and collage.

Before The First Session

Before the first session, participants will receive a Q&A video to get them excited about taking part and reassure them about what to expect. I remind people they have everything they need within themselves to create art. In fact, if you are not physically able to do those things, you can still create art by talking about what colors you love and let your caregiver assist you.

I always talk about the fact that we are here to play with art materials. There’s no pressure to create work that looks a certain way. We’re here to enjoy the process. Participants will be encouraged to start thinking about what colors they are drawn to, and reflect on what brings them joy ahead of the first workshop.

Each participant will also receive a curated art kit with a handwritten invitation to welcome them to the process. I also share a fun postcard with very brief comments about the positive benefits of arts participation to set the scene.

During the First Session

I begin each session by greeting each person by name. I strive to nurture an environment that fosters trust, empathy, comfort, and an uplifting experience. When our ears encode that our name has been said, there’s a whole chemical reaction that begins in the brain that releases dopamine and serotonin and signals empathy and trust to the unconscious brain! 
This process of feeling seen, heard, and understood by me as the facilitator, as well as the group of people experiencing similar situations and challenges, is transformative in itself and fosters community and connection among participants.  
Because of the nature of the challenges many participants face, I am very flexible with the fact that some may arrive late. If we get a latecomer, I stop everything to address them. I give them lots of encouragement for showing up, get them settled in, and return to the activity. 

Body Check-Ins

I encourage participants to check in with their bodies during the process. I usually model this and say: “Oops, I got nervous about the time and notice myself pinching the paintbrush very tightly. I’m going to take a breath. Where are you holding tension? Let’s all relax our shoulders and take a breath.” This encourages everyone to practice mindfulness and settle into a deeper state of relaxation. Showing vulnerability encourages participants to feel comfortable with sharing and showing up. And modeling versus teaching mindfulness makes the session feel collaborative.

Show and Tell

I invite participants to share progress at the halfway mark and at the end. This is the only time I use formal art speak to honor and respect the person’s effort. Everyone gets a thoughtful, positive critique. I call everyone by name again and explain from the start that they can choose not to share, and I’ll move on to the next person. Sometimes I’ll offer a compliment like: “Good boundary. You know what’s best for you.”

Wrapping Up

When we are wrapping up, I thank everyone and share ways they can incorporate the relaxation and happiness benefits of making art beyond our time together.

Throughout the Workshop Series

I provide a monthly Q&A just about art supplies where participants can ask me any questions they might have. This keeps the sessions focused and continues the message that I’ve got your back! Around halfway through the workshop series, I send out a handmade postcard saying: “You’re doing a great job” to encourage everyone.

Check-Ins and Feedback Along the Way

Halfway through the workshop series as well as at the end, I organize a meeting with you to review whether we are achieving our goals. We chat about what is going well, what isn’t, what you like and want more of, and what you want less of, and get feedback on what participants have been saying. You’ll also have first access to my calendar for the next quarter if you would like to rebook.

My populations of Interest


cancer centers

Cancer Centers

I facilitate workshops for adolescents and young adults with cancer. When you’re on an emotional roller coaster like this, you need some distraction, community, and relief.

alzheimer's groups

Alzheimer's Groups

Alzheimer’s is a challenging condition for both the patient and the caregiver. Workshops are gentle, easygoing, and deeply compassionate.

helping professionals

Helping Professionals

The art classes are a place to calm down your nervous system, get grounded, and take some breaths. They are done weekly during or outside of business hours.

pregnancy loss


I offer artmaking workshops for bereavement groups with a special focus on pregnancy loss support groups. I am passionate about helping people going through this most tender of loss. Compassionate and transformative artmaking workshops provide a supportive environment where you can navigate your grief, honor your loved ones, find comfort through the creative process, and forge meaningful connections with others who understand your journey of grief and loss. You don't have to do it alone.

family caregivers

Family Caregivers

There is burnout in caregiving. I believe this is a huge, underserved population.
Unlock your creativity and find solace in the transformative power of art with our engaging artmaking workshops tailored specifically for family caregivers. These workshops provide a safe space for self-expression, stress relief, and personal growth, allowing you to explore your emotions, connect with others, and find renewed inspiration on your caregiving journey.

school & refugee organizations

Refugees and Newcomers

As a native Spanish speaker and former Newcomer student combined with degrees in social work and arts in health practice focused on work with Latinx families and children, I am skilled and culturally sensitive. Participants embark on a creative and empowering journey that uncovers the potential of art to support mental health as they navigate a new home and forge connections with others who share similar experiences while celebrating diversity and supporting their integration into a new community. Together, let's use art as a powerful tool to bridge cultures, build resilience, and create a brighter future.

cancer centers

Cancer Centers

As a leading cancer center, I know you have a huge need for quality services that improve the well-being of your patients. You’re looking for a completely self-contained service that offers a stress-free project that isn’t intrusive or a burden on your institution or staff.

This is precisely what I offer, and as a contractor, you’ll get it at a fraction of the price of hiring someone full-time. I know your needs after working for many cancer centers just like yours. I’m a member of your team, ready to go. People keep telling me I’m a unicorn. On top of that, I’m bilingual (I speak Spanish and was born in South America), so I can help a more diverse population.

My population of interest is adolescents and young adults (AYA) due to what I have observed as a huge need. I know patients can feel stressed, lonely, depressed, and angry. Especially at this age, they’re asking “why me?” When you’re on an emotional roller coaster like this, you need some distraction and relief. One of the things cancer patients love about the offering is that it is all done virtually. When you’re sick, you have enough appointments as it is. The schedule gets overwhelming and exhausting for both the patient and the caregiver. On top of that, you don’t want to compromise your immune system by having to go to the hospital, so you appreciate a virtual workshop.

One of the aspects AYA cancer patients love is finding their community. There is a lot of social isolation in having cancer. When you’re doing chemo, you often don’t have a lot of time to see people your own age. Doing an art workshop is a chance to see a human face on Zoom and connect with people who get it.

Alzheimer’s Groups

Alzheimer’s or any dementia is a challenging condition for both the patient and the caregiver. I was the primary caregiver for my grandmother with Alzheimer’s for many years, so I have lived experience with this disease and have deep empathy for everyone involved.

I have extensive experience working with a spectrum of partners to offer artmaking workshops for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The workshops are gentle, easygoing, and deeply compassionate. They offer a multitude of benefits for both the patient and their caregiver. It offers much-needed respite and distraction, facilitates connection, and strengthens the relationship between the patient and caregiver while providing stress management and self-care.

The most magical aspect of artmaking for those living with dementia is the way it can trigger language and help us access long-term memories. If we look at a picture, it often sparks conversations about the person’s childhood. It gives them self-esteem to share about themselves and remember who they were, especially when their autonomy is slowly being removed.

The workshops meet the participants where they are at. If the disease has advanced and folks don’t have the capacity to create art by hand, it may turn into more of a conversation. Everyone is welcome, no matter their abilities.

My workshops go beyond holding space for the person with Alzheimer’s. They also bring in their care partner. I know firsthand that your patience isn’t great when you’re not well rested or fed, all while also battling the grief of slowly losing the person that you love. When caregivers have an outlet to practice self-care, everyone benefits.

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helping professionals

Helping Professionals

Healthcare professionals are now considered a vulnerable population in the United States and are a top priority of the surgeon general. Living with COVID-19 the last few years has been tough on us all, but those on the front lines in our hospitals and our communities (healthcare professionals, social workers, therapists, chaplains, nonprofit folks, teachers) have been hit the hardest.

When you hold so much space for others—through the hardest of situations, like loss and pain and sickness—it takes a toll. When you see so much need around you, it’s easy to put yourself at the bottom of the list. You’re working long hours. You’re eating meals at your desk. It’s barely a meal, more like you’re inhaling something. Self-care and boundaries can become nonexistent. You’re at risk for compassion fatigue and burnout. When you’re overwhelmed, you’re not your best self. You’re more prone to errors and exhaustion. If you’re not looking after yourself, you’re going to feel wobbly, and the quality of your life decreases.

Together, we will sit down and work on an art directives document outlining the key goals of the work. If everyone is stressed out, we’ll focus on self-care. If there is tension in the office, we’ll focus on social connectedness and resilience. I have overarching themes like joy and how to be happy. A happier employee or a happier patient is going to have better outcomes across the board.

The art classes are a place to calm down your nervous system, get grounded, and take some breaths. They are often two-hour sessions, done weekly during or outside of business hours. From my experience, your staff will feel deeply grateful. There are always tears and deep conversations about being overwhelmed and fears of burdening the rest of the team by taking time off. We champion self-care, and they get very excited about reporting what self-care practices they have incorporated into their week.

Pregnancy Loss

I offer artmaking workshops for grief and loss groups with a special focus on pregnancy loss.

I am passionate about helping people going through this most tender of loss because it’s hard. And it’s made harder by having to carry it alone. It’s also misunderstood, so there’s not a lot of community support. People are excited to have the service to complement grief therapy, or in a support group to have something to do beyond talking.

When you’ve just lost your baby, you’ve not just lost a child, you’ve also lost hopes and dreams for the future. It’s a really tender space. There also is a lot of shame that women feel when a pregnancy ends, which is why it is so important to build community and see that you are not alone.

I meet each person where they are at, because the stages of grief are not linear. You could be one year or five years out and things still feel tender. The process with my artmaking workshops is gentle, compassionate, and deeply empathetic.
Artmaking activities, meditative exercises, and social support offer you purpose and a positive reprieve during your grief journey. This is self-care through art, and it is healing.

For groups where participants have marked the one year anniversary of their loved one’s passing, we incorporate mementos or bits and pieces of a loved one’s clothes into the art materials to make personalized, meaningful pieces to honor them.
Some people have a sense of humor. Some people cry. Whatever your experience or how recently or long ago your loss was, you are welcome.
My work is endorsed by Claire Bidwell Smith, an author and global leader in grief and loss.

pregnancy loss min
family caregivers

Family Caregivers

There is burnout in caregiving. Art is a relief. Art is a validation.
I offer artmaking workshops that are sensitive to the particular needs of family caregivers. I believe this is a huge, underserved population. I didn’t realize what it was like until I had my own lived experience with it. There are so many physical and mental demands that impact one’s quality of life.

We’re socialized as women to be the helpers and often martyr ourselves to help. But I don’t believe that we were put on this earth to be miserable and put ourselves last. It’s easy to lose yourself when someone is actively dying or actively in need. If your loved one has dementia or cancer or cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s or any other health condition, it’s hard to enjoy a bubble bath. It just feels selfish.

Workshops are a creative escape intended to promote happiness and playfulness through expressive writing and lots of arts and crafts. We create collage joy journals to document all the things that bring us joy. We paint rainbows and flower-filled meadows. Participants will experiment with a combination of energizing and relaxing activities. It’s about cultivating a sense of wholeness and reconnecting with your identity outside of caregiving while practicing self-care so you have the capacity to hold space for others.

There is a lot of engagement in my family caregiver art groups. I’m not the main character in the story. They have so much to share and often give advice to each other. There is a lot of witnessing. This is one of the huge components of community—being able to tell your story and have someone truly hear you and validate you. It’s a powerful thing to be able to step out of the role or shoes of the caregiver for an hour with folks who get it.

Refugees and Newcomers

I offer artmaking workshops to schools and non-profit organizations, with a special interest in Latinx populations. As a native Spanish-speaker born in South America combined with a degree in social work focusing on practice with Latinx families and children, I am sensitive to cultural norms and traditions (including grief practices) of Latinx populations and skilled in providing this support in both English and Spanish.

I research the demographics of the specific population being served, respecting the distinctions between many of the Spanish-speaking cultures throughout the world.

Born in Santiago, Chile, I later moved to the United States with my parents and found myself a Spanish-speaking child surrounded by English speakers having no context for how Spanish speakers were treated and viewed in the United States. I understand how destabilizing it can be to be dropped into what feels like a whole new world.

Art-making offers relief and creative expression to process difficult feelings that may have arisen from fleeing warzones, poverty or discrimination.

refugees and newcomers min


I am currently booked out for the next 6-months with exciting projects.

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