Tag Archive: painting

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!


Here’s a few flower themed pieces before I head to bed…

Poppies and Daisies

© 5/2016 ellen Miffitt
This was from one of my adult classes in May… forgot which one

Tangerine Rose

© 4/2016 Ellen Miffitt
this was from a watercolor pencil class that I taught.

Floral Design

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Made this in the Zen Ink class with the 12-16 age students. white gel pen on black paper.

I have lots of collages and other work I’ll post soon…

time for zzzzzzz but I have to back up my writing first!

Watercolor and words

I have been writing up a storm… I participated in April and July Camp NaNoWriMo… wrote three stories and have corrected my Nov 2015 NaNoWriMo…

Then it was summer classes at Olympia Parks, Arts and Rec – 10 of the 12 ran.

Finally posting some new art – Win 10 automatically updated and killed my scanner software. Found  the disk last night and stayed up to 2pm after writing to 12:30 to scan some art. Slowly correcting images from light leaks. My camera died a long time ago so its the iPAD or the scanner…

Here’s some recent art:

Evergreen Mandala

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt

Sacred Tree

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt

Tree Meditation

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt

These were created in my age 12-16 Watercolor Techniques and Textures class this summer. I had the best kids ever in the older students offerings – very focused and inspiring. I cut a stencil for the various trees. Spattered WC over two of them and the third I traced and painted using WC and watercolor pencils. When dry I used these beautiful stencils to ink the design on top.

Will post more later back to writing

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


Gallery Boom has a Pop-Up Store located in the Capital Mall for the month of December! Thirty artists are participating in this excellent adventure. I am so excited to participate in this venture. The hours are listed below. Gallery Boom 360-584-9091 • http://www.GalleryBoom.com 5304 Little Rock Rd SW, Tumwater will remain open from Wed to Sat. 11-7pm & Sunday 11-5pm.

Pop-Up Gallery Boom in the Mall is Open 11am-9pm Wed-Sun Dec 2nd-19th And Dec 20-23, 26-30th
Closed Xmas,Xmas eve and New Year’s Eve.

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:
Redbubble I’ve only had a few sales:
Zazzle sales are increasing daily…
http://www.zazzle.com/Nine_Lives_Studio* http://www.zazzle.com/zen_ink*

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

Wednesday was The Evergreen State College Annual Holiday Sale…. I actually arrived very, I mean very early to get a decent parking space. I’m embarrassed it was so early but last year I swear it took me 20 minutes to walk shoving my cart from the parking lot to the CAB. I was 5th in line for check in…  ^..^

Remind me not to sign up for the small table… 3 foot square card table. Was trying to save $ because last year I only sold 2 cards.

cramped space…

this image is a little fuzzy

I was amazed at how much I could fit on the table.
It was slow for the first hour; then it picked up around noon…
I made my table fee of $15 and then $23 over… not much but every time I do a craft fair, it helps to check other people’s displays and what they are selling & if they are selling. Plus Evergreen is a ten minute drive for me.

Tomorrow is my last holiday show of the year – Olympia Waldorf School. Our names will be printed in their next newsletter so I have the opportunity to say I teach classes. I hope that brings in business as far as the teaching.

The sun is out and I have to clean up the yard a bit and put some holiday lights up. It’s true what they say “Make hay while the sun shines” especially out here in the PNW in the fall/winter. We’ve had such heavy rain storms lately…

Please buy from local artists…
Keep arting folks…

Trying to get things done for 5th Annual Lincoln Winter Market which is scheduled for Saturday November 28th 11am to 5pm.

location: 213 21st Ave SE, Olympia, WA

but… time is slipping partly because I put so much work into NaNoWriMo novel = 62,147 words to date.

I finished the tops of ten boxes last night as well- heres a few samples…


and the ones below need a little more work… sorry for the fuzzy photo I’m in a rush but realized I needed to post!

I’m getting 15 lighter weight chopstick books readythat will have block prints adhered to the covers – These will go for $5.00. Single layer cardstock cover and 15 sheets of regular copy paper for the pages. My other chopstick books have double cardstock cover and 65# weight paper 20 pages [ 10 folded in half].

and I must get to making bubble wands… whoops another fuzzy image!

and of course… I need to get to those wooden boxes and ornaments – I need a few more 24 hour days this week.

Enjoy celebrating Fall Harvest/Thanksgiving Day

TESC [the Evergreen State College] 3rd Annual Arts & Crafts Fair.

This event is held on Wednesday Dec 2 from 11 to 5pm and will have over 90 vendors…

The link below is for their Facebook page:




Enchanted Winter Faire – Olympia Waldorf School on Saturday Dec 5th, 2015 from 11am to 3pm – 8126 Normandy St SE, Olympia, WA

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

Displaying image002.png

OMG – I can’t believe that March was my last post…  somewhere along the line from Nov to May, I really fell down a deep hole. To be honest, it was a struggle to put food on the table. Please no food bank advice – we don’t each much of what is given out at out local food bank.    Out of 17 classes offered through Olympia Parks, Arts and Rec only five ran. That with limited art or blank note card sales created a real low. With that said, lets move forward….

Wow…. It’s September 2nd! what a wild and crazy summer. Thirteen of my 14 kids art classes ran. Between the heat and the 6 hours a day, plus prep at home, and buying supples, I crashed last week. I was exhausted. I’m thinking far less hours next summer – for instance 9 to 11:30 for the 12-16 year olds and 12:30 to 2pm for the 8 to 12 year olds. Most of the older kids were incredible – they came in ready to learn and create. I made art work along with them. I will scan and post soon…

all six pieces that I entered into the WA State Fair Fine Art Exhibit [formerly Puyallup Fair] have been accepted. The reception is on Friday the 11th.
The pieces include: two mini 4X4″ canvas mixed media [Nocture and Blue Moon], two 11X14″ Sumi-e [Cat Zen and Serenity] and two mixed media on stretched canvass – 16X20″ [Departing Heart and Green Man, Forest Spirit].

The two mixed media pieces that I created for the Confluence Art Gallery in Twisp WA were finally delivered after the level 3 evacuation was lifted because of the wildfires  and the gallery could safely reopen.

“Celebration of the Horse” at the Confluence Gallery in Twisp, WA. The Confluence Gallery will give a percentage of the proceeds to the non-profit organization Methow Valley Riding Unlimited (MVRU), which offers a therapeutic riding program among others. However, all artists will receive their full commission for works sold during the exhibit.
The Horse

© 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt

Twilight  (C) 8/2015 Ellen Miffitt {please note – colors are slightly off on this image.]

My camera has died so learning to use the iPad to take photographs.

Back to arting despite a bumpy Spring and full summer teaching schedule.


Keep arting –