Tag Archive: art classes


Shibori Fun…

Still didn’t get around to correcting/posting the mixed media collages but the exterior of the house is 98% painted in one week…
I beat the two days of rain over this weekend!!!
Saturday I facilitated a Shibori class with ten very enthusiastic participants at the Olympia Center through Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation. Shibori is the Japanese style of dying fabric with Indigo dye. I prepared samples Friday night after I canned two batched [19 jars] of Bread & Butter pickles… was up to 3am finishing the samples and getting the materials ready … so today I rested and made lots of Shibori pieces.
general items to use when pinching/binding the fabric.

cotton, silk or hemp fabric – washed first to remove sizing. Then fold and use string and elastics to make a design – very controlled random of course

whoops – fuzzy image – plastic clothes pins and wooden blocks

silk scarf wrapped on a pvc [plastic] pipe and tied with string… then compressed/slide down to bunch the fabric. I need a bigger diameter pipe. you’ll see why later.

soak in clean water to wet fabric before dying…

remove excess water

Indigo dye – mixed at least one hour before dying – notice bloom on top of dye.

remove bloom before adding fabric – add bloom back after finished dying…

pieces floating in the dye vat

remove pieces about twenty minutes in the dye vat – remove bindings and expose the material to the air. Air is the catalyst that makes the green liquid turn to Indigo.

as I was undoing the bindings on other pieces you can see the green turning to blue here…

after unfolding the cloth, the air is still reacting with the dye. that green will turn indigo.

silk scarves removed from dye

square silk scarf – notice the white area… that’s why I need bigger diameter pipe because about half didn’t dye.

same for the long scarf… I could re-wrap and dye the white side.

this is a large square cotton “towel” – next you rinse in plain water then wash with soap to stop the process…

That’s what I did to day as I recover from dangling off the ladder painting my house last week….

Tomorrow I make salsa and can it… and finish the 2% house painting if its sunny!
back to writing my story
e

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Here’s another batch of paintings I did during the Watercolor Techniques and Textures class I taught. The students [12-16] were incredibly focused! Most of these use wax paper or plastic wrap over wet washes. After the paint is dry, you lift off the wax paper or plastic wrap and play with the resulting images. Can you tell my favorite color is Payne’s Grey?


Winter Woods

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
wax paper over the top – plastic wrap over the bottom wash


Winter Woods # 2

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Wax paper over the wash and then pen and ink to make the trees appear.


Winter Woods #3

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Wax paper over wet wash for the forest – plastic wrap for the field snow…


Crow in Winter Oak

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
cut a stencil of the tree, outlined it and then painted watercolors. Salt on the sky’s wet wash. The crow was a blob of color – whoops into a crow!


Mountain Evening

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
This one has a very Sumi-e feel!!! Wax paper over a wash of various dropped in colors. Tree details added when dry…

OK back to writing
Keep arting – make your heart sing!
e

here’s news about the Broken Pottery Jewelry Workshop I went to yesterday…

It was a nice group of women at the workshop. The presenter facilitates one “recycle” workshop a month at the Estate Store.

Several of the woman volunteer at the Estate Store and the director was there. The presenter experimented with shard jewelry over the last couple weeks before the workshop.  I admit to having done that in my past as an art teacher [ I’m making paper beads like crazy as I’m offering a class two months from now]… so for all it was a learning experience and good company.

When I came home, I looked up some references to broken pottery jewelry and realized we were not using the wheeled cutter properly. Its more to score and then use pliers to snap a clean break. This way it creates a straighter break that you don’t have to clean up as much with a tile stone or various grinding stones using a dremel.

The main tools you need are: the wheeled tile cutter tool, regular & tile nipper/trimmer pliers, glass key cutter, scorer/breaker tool, and safety glasses. A dremel or flex shaft or a tile stone can be used to smooth the sides. I will experiment more as I love how the shards look. You need a really good soldering gun, lead free solder, copper foil tape like they use in stain glass and flux. A hammer can be used to break the plate/cup into smaller pieces but I saw a picture demo that just used scoring and snapping with the nipper/trimmer pliers. Much more control over the braking/selecting of the pattern.

I didn’t stay to put the jump rings on… I had to get home as my son hasn’t been feeling well. As I said, it was fun group and we  played musical chairs moving around from dremel tools or soldering irons all the while chatting away.

Lots of patience to get the sides smooth [see better cutting tool list above] and to put the self sticking copper foil tape around the edges without wrinkles as well as an even edge on front and back of the china piece. Next hold in place with clamp or clothespins, apply flux to help move the solder, apply heat to the solder and melt/smooth over copper foil and finally add a jump ring. A third hand tweezer would be great to hold the jump ring in place while applying the solder.

That’s it – fairly easy process but its deceptively tricky… I think they’re making book clocks next month, then a garden angel and sometime soon Fairy Lamps from tea cups with the addition of a small solar light… great group of women and I’m enticed to learn more. My daughter is bring up some broken plates later next week so I need to get some tile tools!!!!!

http://www.theestatestore.com/

Keep Arting – now to go make some more paper beads and finish my earrings…

I just found a video showing how to glue leather to the back that encloses a wire bail! No soldering…

http://www.ehow.com/video_6035374_make-broken-china-jewelry.html

A few days ago, I gave these shells a second coat of mod podge and selected the beads that will hang inside of the shell.

Yesterday the “studio” was just the right temperature to work on my jewelry projects

I drilled the holes in the shells, wire wrapped the top of the headpin that holds the beads to form a loop, cut fine copper wire to 5″ and wrapped it around a tool handle to make a bail. I just have to smooth/tuck in the wire ends before stringing them on rolled leather. I plan to make a findings out of the copper wire too…

I also made a loop on the end of the headpins that held beads & paper beads. Then I attached a simple silver preformed ear wire. picture isn’t the best – excited to share… I will be offering a paper bead making class through Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation in the Spring session.

I made this reversible  PMC [Precious Metal Clay] pendant a long time ago. Recently set the hematite stone and today strung a few beads and ta Dah…
its looking good except for the crumby lighted photograph.
BACK:

FRONT:

I just have to check all the ends of the wrapped wires to make sure they won’t snag on skin/clothing…

moving forward on my jewelry projects. I will have them ready for Spring Arts Walk. I will be at the Estate Store on Columbia in Olympia…

 

2015 NaNoWriMo

Hope everyone’s holidays are enjoyable…  I am offering:

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

Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation –  222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia WA 98501    www.olympiawa.gov/experienceit   Call 360.753.8380

check out my art classes on their website…

I’m still working on 2015 NaNoWriMo – I have reread my novel three times from the beginning to the end over the last 3 weeks and added dialogue, corrected dates, etc. – took a big chunk out but am now at 80,622 words.
Last week, I made a time sequence page and fiddling with the story tonight realized I need to correct a few things or they just don’t make sequential sense.
I was going to print out all 271 double spaced pages to work the next correction on paper but now I need to futz with those couple problems that I found tonight first.

I also went back to last year’s story @ 59,243 and started working with that as well.
I found I am really loving this writing!

Yes, I starting blocking out a new story that was floating around in my imagination. I have the characters and a base couple of pages capturing the story line. I just didn’t want to loose what I had in my head for this 3rd story.

going to play a card game in front of the Christmas tree and then I’ll be back at it!

e

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    www.olympiawa.gov/experienceit   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

 

My  PMC jewelry and mini 4X4″ mixed media are now posted on AFTCRA. My images are available on three online shops listed below.

TH 2 brown background

I’ve been so busy with the some holiday art fairs and making things for them as well as NaNoWriMo… I have finally set up my AFTRCA shop… PMC jewelry and mini collages… https://www.aftcra.com/Nine_Lives_Studio

Ruby Flower Mandala

Ruby Flower Mandala

I’m not doing Etsy anymore.. Over the years I had so few sales and last year the listing fees equaled the few items that I sold. . I’ll let you know if AFTCRA works any better. Least there are no listing fees.

Christmas Wreath Cat

Christmas Wreath Cat

As far as online Print on Demand sales, I listed the links below.
Nothing has sold on Fine Art America in a long time – FAA used to be just cards and prints but now have an increasing amount of other products:
http://ellen-miffitt.artistwebsites.com
Redbubble I’ve only had a few sales:
http://www.redbubble.com/people/NineLivesStudio
Zazzle sales are increasing daily…
http://www.zazzle.com/Nine_Lives_Studio* http://www.zazzle.com/zen_ink*
http://www.zazzle.com/christmas_studio*
http://www.zazzle.com/photos_9lives_studio*
http://www.zazzle.com/emiffitt_studio

I will be offering a class through Oly Parks, Arts and Recreation about Print on Demand sites – Pros and Cons.

Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation –  222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia WA 98501    www.olympiawa.gov/experienceit   Call 360.753.8380

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

Zen Ink Class samples

Catching up with another summer class exercise samples – Zen Ink as in doodling but this style of ink doodling has a well know copyright name that shall remain nameless…
This is a landscape that is almost finished…

Hills and Dales  © 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt


Flower Gardem  © 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt  Ink pen design of multiple flowers colored with color pencils.


Fall Pumpkin  © 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

Did this exercise with adults once but I colored in the doodles after I made the designs within the pumpkin sections and leaves. There are many “line” drawing that are copyright free online. This often helps with students of any age that might not have ability to draw an object.


Name Doodle  © 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

The first project I had the students make was their name. I had started this in an adult doodle class and finished it between checking/advising the student’s work. I was amazed at the talent the kids exhibited.


Black and White Mandala  © 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

When creating these type of repitious patterns small mistakes happen. The whole idea is to just left it flow. No predrawing and no erasers – there is a freedom in letting little mistakes be there… over time, skills with the pens increase. There are many mandala blank designs online that can be downloaded for doodle exercises and are copyright free. Hint: work on a smooth surface. the table had slight pattern and I got a few extra bumps.


Cats in Boxes  © 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

The exercise is to create a whole series of different shape boxes. Doodles could be whatever you fancied. One girl did Manga drawings, another flowers….

Owl  © 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

The exercise was to draw a simple outline of a animal and then create the doodle patterns within the simple outline. I had started this owl in the adult class. The 12-16 year old classes were three hours long and they worked the full time on their doodles.

I bought pickle cucumbers so I’m going to slice and dice for awhile before bed and make Bread and Butter Pickles tomorrow!

scanned art work that I did when working with the older kids age 12-16. They were fun to be with and they liked to see what I would come up with on each exercise in the recycled collage class.


Orange Moon

© 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

Orange Moon is a torn/cut collage landscape from discarded watercolor paintings.


Leaf Nymph

© 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

Leaf Nymph was made from sewing pattern tissue paper and a hand cast face.

Painted Spheres

© 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

The paper for this design was scrap scrapbook paper and hand stained paper [acrylic paint]. This design is on a 16X16″ black paper but I can only scan most of it.


Butterfly Weaving

© 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

Anothe design from scrap scrapbook paper and I emphasized using weaving as part of their design. This design is on a 16X16″ black paper but I can only scan most of it.

I’m almost finished with the chopstick books I’m making. All I have to do is cut the ribbon and thread through paper punched holes to keep the chopsticks in place. I may cut up Leaf Nymph, Painted Spheres and Butterfly Weaving as well as other older collages/artwork to decorate the cover of these simple books.

The cooler weather has me reenergizing and starting to work on lots of started projects!

Wonderful to be focused again..,
e

SHELTON  PARKS and REC Fall Art Class   

     Registrations must be made by filling out the program registration form and paying.  The form can be found at http://www.ci.shelton.wa.us/parkrec.php.  All classes will be conducted at the Shelton Civic Center

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