All of my art classes listed below are held at the Olympia Center through Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation –  222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia WA 98501   Call 360.753.8380


Adult classes

Block Printing: Linoleum Cut    Ages: 16 and up Monday May 6- 20 from 6:00pm- 8:00pm 3 classes

Learn techniques for the relief printmaking process using the flexibility and ease of linoleum. A relief is achieved by carving into the surface using special tools to leave raised images. These images are then inked and printed without a press to create a dynamic and textured print that can have many layers and colors. Open to both teens and adults. All materials and supplies included in class fee.

Paint what you love – acrylics   Tuesday May 7 – June 25   from 6-8 pm  8 classes

This course is an instructional class for learning to paint with acrylic paint that will cover the essential elements of competent drawing skills, good composition, accurate values, exciting color harmonies and expressive textures. A course outline and materials list will be mailed upon registration. Participants provide their own materials

Design Principles: An Introduction Ages: 16 and up Wednesday May 8 – June 26 from 6:00pm- 8:00pm 8 classes

DESIGN is the basis for all other art courses and it includes the elements and principles of art. The material will be presented through hands on studio problems in two dimensions. These will cover line, shape, texture, value and color. Also the topics of balance, unity repetition, and other principles will be introduced through simple projects. These exercises will provide you with the tools to create compositions in any medium. Bring pencil, eraser, pad of Bristol paper 11”X14” – [and will make a list of materials]

 Sumi-e _ Zen Ink Painting  Thursday  May 9- June 27 from 6 to 8 pm 8 classes

Instructor Ellen Miffitt will introduce you to the four treasures: ink stick, ink stone, brush and paper. The simplicity and spontaneity of brush painting begins by learning to hold the brush, making the basic strokes, and loading the brush to create tones and depth. The goal is to break away from logical thinking and to be spontaneous in expressing with the brush.

 Saturday Classes –

Candy Tin Assemblage Saturday May 4th   9:00 to noon

Spend a Saturday creating tiny assemblages with metal candy tins.  Learn how to create fascinating works of art using “everyday” objects and collage materials.  The possibilities are infinite!   Supply list available at registration.

 Travel Sketching/Watercolor/Pencil Workshop  June 15th from 9 to 1pm

Ever wonder why we rarely relive our travels through photos? Perhaps because taking a photo requires so little investment of one’s attention. Artistic journaling slows your pace, as you observe a scene for at least as long as it takes to sketch it. Journaling is solely for pleasure – it doesn’t require that you be an accomplished artist. Regardless of skill level, you’ll be amazed how quickly your drawing and watercolor skills improve – within hours! We’ll visit and sketch some of Olympia’s interesting locales. By the end of the workshop, you’ll be dedicated to journaling.

Zen Brush with Color Saturday  July 20th 13 9:00-3:00pm

First begin by practicing brush control and continue the basic stroke study by painting the “Four Gentlemen” and the “Four Seasons” in color (with a flower representing each season). Using the refined sumi-e style, students learn to paint flowers, insects, birds, and animals with simple strokes in color.

 Introduction to Mandalas Sat. August  24th from 9:00 to 3:00pm

The word “mandala” is a Sanskrit word that is over 2300 years old translated as “circle” or “sacred center”.  Circular patterns have been used throughout time in many cultures, including the Tibetan and Native American, as tools for centering and healing.  In this workshop we explore the history of mandala patterns and create our own personal mandala, using oil pastel, colored pencil and collage.  Using principles of geometry and symmetry present in nature, along with your own personal creativity, you will come away with new knowledge of yourself.  This should be a time to let go, to play with color and design, and to have fun.

 Children’s classes


Draw Your Own Comic Book Ages 8-12  week of June 24-28 from  1:00 to 4pm

Have you been wondering if you could come up with your own super characters or silly family?  Join this class to draw, doodle, and have oodles of creative fun.  Learn how develop your ideas into a story line which then is translated into character studies for your comic strip. Get the ideas out of your head and into reality through  basic drawing, sequencing, writing, production, and character development techniques. Students bring drawing pad, pencils and erasers

Manga      Ages:      12-16   July 15-19 from 9:00 to noon

Are you a fan of anime and manga? In Japan, people of all ages read manga “whimsical pictures.” Are you interested in learning to draw in the black and white manga style – then this is the class for you! Illustrate your action-adventure, comedy, or fantasy writing in a single episode – to be continued in the next issue or collection of stories. Basic drawing skills and more that you need to know to develop your characters and storyline. Bring sketch book and pencil to class. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt bring a sketchbook

 Art Sampler for Ages 8-12   week of July 15-19 from 1 to 3:30pm

Through the use of paint, pastels, watercolors and other materials explore nature from Aardvarks to Zebras and beyond.  Students will be guided through a step-by-step drawing and painting techniques that include subject development using basic shapes, shading, blending, and the development of an environment/background

 Art from Around the WorldAges 8-12:  July 22-26 from 9:00 to noon
Take a trip with your creativity and imagination! Discover the secrets of art from faraway places. Create a range of art projects derived from various cultures around the world. Both 2D and 3D processes will be covered. Enjoy painting, drawing, and mixed media as we learn about different countries.

Sketchbook Drawing  Ages 8-12   July 22-26 from 1 to 4pm

includes a sketchbook to work in….

Comprehensive drawing skills are taught in conjunction with student selected subject interest. Students have the opportunity to design long term projects while also be taught the skills needed to express themselves visually.  Drawing exercises include: upside down drawing; contour and gesture drawing; the value scale and blending techniques; and using a basic unit and sighting as found in Betty Edward’s Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.   Students will use a variety of media: graphite/pencil, charcoal, pastels, pen & ink, colored pencils, watercolor pencils and a variety of paper in accord with the media to illustrate the subject matter of their choice. Developing their unique style of illustration from stylized to realistic will be emphasized.

 Draw Your Own Comic Book Ages 8-12  July 29 to August 2 from 9:00 to noon

Have you been wondering if you could come up with your own super characters or silly family?  Join this class to draw, doodle, and have oodles of creative fun.  Learn how develop your ideas into a story line which then is translated into character studies for your comic strip. Get the ideas out of your head and into reality through  basic drawing, sequencing, writing, production, and character development techniques. Students bring drawing pad, pencils and erasers

 FUNdamentals of Acrylics  Ages 12-16  July 29-August 2 from 1 to 4pm 

A class designed to take students from “Start To Finish” in the “FUNdamentals” of accomplishing an acrylic artistic endeavors.  “HOW TO’s”  include planning, thumbnails, composing and executing a painting with subject matter of still life, portrait, landscape, seascapes and cloudscapes. Students will be worked with individually to take their creative ideas from start to finish. This class is designed to increase essential foundation of drawing skills, composition and value, capturing light, color theory and expression to a finished work. Instructor will demonstrate techniques in each class.

Mimic the MastersAges: 8-12 August 5 to 9 from 9 to noon Each class one or two different artist will be featured. Students will use various media such as watercolor, pastel, or acrylic paint to mimic the artist’s style.

Explorations in Watercolor – Ages 12-16   August 5- 9 from 1 to 4pm Each week, students will imitate an American watercolor artist’s unique use of color, method of applying paint and subject matter.  This is a great way for students to gain skills, learn about American artists, and gain a sense of their own personal expression.

 Art in the Middle Ages and Today Ages 8-12  August 12-16 from 9 to noon 

This class explores medieval art and its influence in today’s time.  Student projects will include creation of a contemporary coat of arms, illuminated page, gargoyle sculpture, simple woven tapestry, and faux stain glass design. They will also learn about contemporary artists who combine text, symbols and images in altered books and create an altered book of their own.

 Collage/Mixed Media Art  – Ages 12-16   August 12-16  from 1:00 to 4:00pm

In this workshop, students will create a series of collages using a variety of materials – this is recycled art at its best. Come prepared to learn the basics of collage, materials, and techniques in a supportive environment. Emphasizing fun – collage is a spontaneous art…  enjoy sorting and finding objects, bits & pieces in the most unlikely places and putting a puzzle together.

Fantasy Sculpture – Ages 8-12  week of Aug 19-23 from 9am to noon

Create imaginative, playful animals, monsters and masks using self-hardening clay, papier-mâché, found objects and wood. Students will learn about form, space and have a lot of fun!