Art Classes are a great creative gift to give friends and family.  Below is my winter schedule. There is plenty of well lighted parking at the Olympia Center.


Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation –  222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia WA 98501   Call 360.753.8380


WINTER 2016 Class Schedule

Resolution Collage in a Container

Ages:  16 and up

Start the New Year by visualizing your desires and goals into permanence. In this workshop, we will create a work of art around and inside a container or box using a variety of intriguing techniques. Many of us have collections of memorabilia in the form of old photographs, postcards, buttons, twine and found objects from everyday life to use to collage the box. After transforming it into a work of art, students will create an altered paper doll as resident. This class will be enjoyable for both the beginner and experienced student. A supply list will print on registration receipt. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa           Jan 9                      9:00am-Noon                      $25         #3287

I actually added a lot more to this design during a second workshop…

Playing with Moonbeams

Ages:  16 and up

Jump start your creative side! Awaken the muse within no matter how dormant you may feel your muse is. With activities designed to lead you gently into a creative space, everyone will enjoy this adventure. We will work with a variety of simple materials and explore how to develop our playful personal voice. The fun projects will help you overcome the fear of the blank page and find ways to start a series or develop a theme. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa           Jan 16                    9:00am-1:00pm                  $39         #3168

Introduction to Sumi-e

Ages:  16 and up

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. All supplies included in class fee.

Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Tu           Jan 19-Feb 23      6:00pm-8:00pm                  $99         #3281


Enticing Your Personal Writing Muse

Ages:  16 and up

This creative writing class will develop your vibrant writer’s voice by letting the words flow, stream of consciousness style. Two twenty minute writing exercises with nonjudgmental sharing encourages writing from your heart. Pen or pencil and a spiral notebook are all you need to begin this creative journey! If you wish to use an electronic device, please be sure the keyboard doesn’t make “typing” sounds. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

W            Jan 20-Mar 9        6:00pm-8:00pm                  $89         #3144


Mimic the Masters

Ages:  16 and up

Paint like the Master! Each week a different artist will be featured. You will use media of your choice such as watercolor, pastel or acrylic paint to mimic the featured artist’s style. Supply list provided with registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Th           Jan 21-Feb 25      6:00pm-8:00pm                  $69         #3291

Special Effects Watercolor

Ages:  16 and up

Each week you will learn and implement a special effect to your watercolor painting-of-the-class-day. Increase skills and have fun experimenting with salt, wax paper, and more. Participants supply their watercolors and watercolor paper. Supply list will print on registration receipt. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

M            Jan 25-Feb 8         6:00pm-8:00pm                  $39         #3253

Altering a Kids’ Board Book

Ages:  16 and up

You will use watercolor tricks to create a series of paintings on paper (subject matter up to you). Then you will put the finishing touches on with pen, ink, pencil, gesso, charcoal, marker, collage, or whatever else the pieces need. We’ll start creating with paper and finish the day by adhering them to a kid’s board book. Most supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa           Feb 6                      9:00am-1:00pm                  $35         #3288


Artist Trading Cards

Ages:  16 and up

As their name indicates, ATC are collectables of miniature works of art, a brilliant idea born of the older sports-themed trading cards. The only rules being that the small works of art are, (1) exchanged and not sold, and (2) that they must be  2.5”x3.5” or 64 X 89 mm in size. The whole essence of these tiny works of art is about artists meeting (by correspondence or online if need be) and exchanging their works, thus meeting many artists and getting exposed to many personal styles. Because they are art for the sake of art, ATCs are a precious reminder to amateurs and professional alike of what creativity is about – the pleasure of working with beauty and the excitement of being surprised by experimental techniques. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa           Feb 20                    9:00am-Noon                      $25         #3203


Selling Art on “Print on Demand”  Sites, the Pros & Cons 

Ages:  16 and up

Print on Demand (POD) companies, like Fine Art America, Zazzle, RedBubble, Cafepress,  etc. are flourishing. Typically you create a shop front and choose what to display your work on. No physical products are created until it sells.  Products include (prints, t-shirts, mugs, home décor, and so on) within their marketplace.  Spend an evening learning the Pros, Cons & Risks of placing your images on a POD shop. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

M            Feb 22                    6:00pm-8:00pm                  $19         #3294

Mixed Media Painting

Ages:  16 and up

This class is designed for those who want to add to their art repertoire. Break loose, play and dare to be spontaneous with unconventional materials! Use wire mesh, wood, glass beads, acrylic gel, oil pastels and other material you have saved but didn’t know what to do with! Experiment with techniques like dribbling, splashing or smearing, spattering and other methods to enhance your “creative toolbox” and work more freely. While playful experimentation is encouraged, attention to composition, use of space, concept and other relevant aspects will be explored. A course outline and materials list will be sent upon registration. Participants provide their own acrylic paint, brushes and substrate (canvas board, stretched canvas or other prepared substrate). Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Tu           Mar 1-22               6:00pm-8:00pm  $59         #3283


Comics Aren’t Just for Kids 

Ages:  16 and up

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. Please bring drawing pad, pencils and erasers.

Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Th           Mar 3-24               6:00pm-8:00pm                  $49         #3292


Zen Ink Doodles

Ages:  16 and up

Calling all artists, doodlers, and pen-wielding daydreamers! Using design principles and elements, participants will create patterns and textures. Finished drawings can be plain black and white or you can add a little color to some or all of your black and white designs. You’ll be surprised at the results! This is a great right brain activity. Supply list will print on registration receipt. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa           Mar 5                     9:00am-1:00pm                  $25         #3290

Painting with Water Soluble  Colored Pencils

Ages:  16 and up

Want the look of watercolor and the control of colored pencil? Water-soluble colored pencils can match many watercolor effects plus have the ability to create colored pencil techniques. Discover this medium’s exciting versatility using wet-on-dry, dry-on-wet, wet-on-wet and much more! At each class you will apply this information to create painting studies. Participants bring watercolor paper and watercolor pencils to class along with ideas/sketches for realistic to abstract paintings. Download supply list. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

M            Mar 7-28               6:00pm-8:00pm                  $49         #3282

Beginning Drawing

Ages:  16 and up

Drawing is practiced observation and the goal of this beginners class is to practice observation through hand eye coordination exercises such as contour and adjusted contour line drawing. Upside down drawings of various images also increase hand eye coordination. Exercises with charcoal or graphite sticks aim to increase the skill of representing value and creating depth in a drawing. No prior art experience is required. Bring a soft pencil (4B is good), graphite stick, an eraser and a sketch pad no smaller than 11” x14” to class. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

W            Mar 16-April 20   6:00pm-8:00pm                  $69         #3260

Spring Equinox Personal Mandala

Ages:  16 and up

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 will explore the history of mandala patterns and you will create your 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, play with color and design, and to have fun! Most supplies included in class fee. Suggested embellishment list will print on registration receipt. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa           Mar 19                   9:00am-Noon                      $25         #3289


Illustrating Your Interests

Ages:  16 and up

Drawing skills are taught in conjunction with participant selected subject interest. Participants have the opportunity to design long term projects while also being taught the skills needed to express themselves visually. A variety of media will be used: graphite/pencil, pen & ink, colored pencils, watercolor pencils and a variety of paper in accord with the media to illustrate the subject matter of your choice. Developing your unique style of illustration from stylized to realistic will be emphasized. Please be thinking about what subject matter you would like to illustrate and bring in your own photographs or other images of those subjects. All supplies included in class fee.

Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Tu           Mar 29-Apr 19     6:00pm-8:00pm                  $69         #3284

positive negative design

Design Principles: An Introduction

Ages:  16 and up

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. Please bring pencil, eraser and pad of mixed media paper (11×14 inch) to first class. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Th           Mar 31-Apr 21     6:00pm-8:00pm                  $69         #3285


Drawing on your iPad

Ages:  16 and up

Among the many creative apps for iPads, there is a wonderful portable non messy way of staying creative on the go! Art Set Pro Edition has the feel of using the real materials. It’s a great way to plan projects, practice sketching and finish pieces to be used for prints. The app cost is $6.99 and must be downloaded from the Apple App store prior to class. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

M            Apr 4-18                6:00pm-8:00pm                  $39         #3293

Simple Book Making

Ages:  16 and up

This hands-on class will focus on combining simple book structures to make small art books/journals. Easy to learn bookmaking such as the Japanese stab binding stitch, ribbon & chopstick book and other simple forms will lead students to understand the formal qualities of the book. Book covers will be created using mixed media/collage approach. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa           Apr 9                      9:00am-1:00pm                  $29         #3286