Tag Archive: stencils

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


Mandala Workshop Photos


Here was the description of my recent mandala workshop:

Event Type: Adult Program Age Group(s): Adults Date: 3/29/2014 Start Time: 1:00 PM End Time: 3:00 PM


 Mandalas are ancient symbols that use principles of geometry and symmetry to focus attention. Create your personal mandala with art instructor Ellen Miffitt using paper and embellishments. All basic materials will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring mementos such as photos, badges, ribbons and other keepsakes. Miffitt is an Olympia-based artist with over 40 years’ experience. Sponsored by the Friends of the Lacey Timberland Library.

and the longer info for the flyer included:

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. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as “a representation of the unconscious self.” Using principles of geometry and symmetry present in nature, along with your own personal creativity, you will come away with a design that represents yourself.  Your mandalas may contain radial symmetry with 2 to 12 sections radiating from the center or have an asymmetrical design. This should be a time to let go, to play with color and design, and to have fun.

I was so excited with with the participants designs.  This is a series of a design’s progress.

working on the design

below   finished

I ran around and tried to snap some quick photos between helping folks with their design questions so many images are a little wonky


this person was going to finish at home…

I suggested trimming the white edge, adding an outline in gold and then mounting the piece on a mat board putting foam core under it to raise it up.

cut her own stencil

middle phase

I wish I had time to take a finished photo of this one. Very inventive use of design elements.

garden beginning


this was so “sunny” bright. thinking about the upcoming gardening season.

this person wrote and wrote filling the mandala shape [stream of conscious writing]. Then added all those curving shapes in green and then in pink. It looked like a flower when he was finished.

I had purchased a bag of wrapping paper which was enjoyed by many. In the center, she placed a photo of a bird nest. She had a great quote that she was going to write onto the photo along with a small bird painting the size of a quarter to balance the design.

lovely focal point… other circles were added and the artist was going to use line work once the design was complete.


ocean stencil design

bird design 1


 bird design 2


bird design 3



Stars and stencils


fleur de lis focal point


Then to my surprise one participant at the end came up and said I have a gift for you…

her friend casts these sculptures and she paints them but they’re only to be given as a gift. I was so surprised at such a lovely and thoughtful thank you for teaching a workshop.


Keep arting,


A good time was had by all at the Lacey Timberland Library where I presented a Holiday Card Workshop on Monday.
I made a few samples to inspire the participants.  There were about twenty five people who came for the workshop. The pieces below are spatter paint designs. I cut out the stencils for them to use.

 notice how I messed up the star – a big blob of paint fell on it from the spatter brush as I was in a hurry to make the samples.   I think I can still save it by cutting out a star out of some other paper and gluing it in place.
The “dove”  below is cut out of card stock. Then I used a scribe to punch a pattern in the body/wings.  The tree is made from ribbon cut into strips.

Here is a participant’s project… luckily I remembered the camera and ran around to snap a few pictures of their pieces at the end of the workshop.

note use of pattern scissors

This person had lots of cat stickers and cut outs for her cards…

In the card design below – The background was too plain a green so a bit of dark green acrylic paint was spattered onto it to add a little texture. note the “Christmas tree lights ” that were cut from a holiday scrapbook sheet of paper. When they were attached, they stuck up slightly from the background.

spatter onto the green paper

The “joy” was traced/cut out from a patterned paper, adhered and then spatter painted. The scribe is used to punch holes into the paper to use mini brads to hold the trim onto the page.  NOTE: the old mouse pad and self healing mat beneath the card stock so no table was injured during this process.

Collage resembles a scavenger hunt to find the right colors of paper, ribbon, embellishments…

I love how people can start out with the same basic materials and end up with such novel results…

The card below has a great story… The woman saw just the right paper to make a birthday card for her friend.  She was a little embarrassed but I thought it was marvelous that she was inspired by the materials to create a 4th of July birthday card.

paper punched stars, bits of silver ribbon with a starry background paper

This was good preparation as I am presenting this workshop at Panorama Retirement Community in Lacey on Saturday. All my materials are still packed and ready to load into the car.



Bubble Art Activity

I managed to remember to bring my camera to Bainbridge Island yesterday when I facilitated an art activity at the Wyatt House – a retirement community. BAC – Bainbridge Arts and Crafts – sponsors these art activities.  www.BACart.org

I have offered this activity at the STARS program at the Olympia Center where I volunteer once or twice a month as well as at the Madison House another retirement facility on Bainbridge Island.

It is fun to see the different designs that the participants create.  I’m using bubble solution with acrylic ink added for color.  Bubbles are blown onto the 140 weight watercolor paper.  Lighter paper tends to get wrinkled and the bubble solution soaks through the paper.  I purchase the bubble solution at a local “dollar” store – 3 containers for a dollar!

 Then I had my stencils for them to use to trace designs onto/over their bubble patterns. [When I had class members do this in Zen Ink or Finger Painting on the Moon we did freehand drawing and/or created patterns when the paper was dry.]

traced flower…

In the image below – the bubbles were blown onto the traced flowers. Love how the marker bleed when the bubble solution landed on it.

In progress using the sea life stencils

 and finished

We all had a good time – making loads of colorful bubbles.

Art is playful expression…

keep playing – keep arting!