Tag Archive: stream of conscious writing


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
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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!

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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

 

I participated in NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month again this year.  http://nanowrimo.org/   I am so excited – I have surpassed my speed of last year. On November16th I had reached the 50,000 word goal. I found someone who will edit but we haven’t worked out a fee. This year the only notes I made the week prior were about names and a little about the characters. no time line and no outline.

By Nov 23rd = 60,080 – I was still tying up loose ends, checking sequence/dates, etc

My writing technique…  I had written a very short story 6 months ago that I used as the base. No working outline. About six times I read what I had written from the beginning to whatever the end page at the time was. Then I made a genealogy, added information to the list of characters to figure out ages and a rough time span of the story. Five times I made a list of questions to answer. Basically I just start writing. I’ve written and/or corrected every day.

On Nov 24th I was up past 1:30 as I started from the beginning to about page 140 and added conversation where there was too much text, moved some sections around to make more sense… there were 210 pages at that point with double spacing. I also made a “chapter title” sheet which helped me locate approximate page and make notes, or figure where to shift things to a better place, etc. because sometimes I just start writing about something prior and just leave it at the end of the story to move later….

While at the Lincoln Winter Market on Nov 28th,  I managed to rough draft 1,454 words between talking to folks. So the total word count for that Saturday was 66,420 and I was still revising what I wrote.

Monday Nov 30th – 68,519  I was going to add more before the midnight deadline and THE POWER Went OFF!!!

At Wednesday’s TESC Holiday Fair I wrote an additional 1,782 words to flesh out several incomplete areas.

I love to write; the characters just kept urging me on…. All month of November, I would write off and on during the day especially staying up to 3:30 four different times; at the holiday fairs or when I gallery sit at Gallery Boom, I wrote steadily between customers. My Word count total is 70,274 words … someone had teased me as I had said I could not picture myself writing that much. Last year my novel was only 59,386.

Now to print and edit before giving it to that editor friend – after we haggle a fee… ^..^

This is a little section I wrote yesterday that will be near the end:
Calm Skies
Alderon held Aerilaya’s hand watching the sunset turn the domain golden hues. Blake, Caiden and Aletheia were riding dolphin like mammals creating gilded ripples that raced to shore. Evening bird songs filled the twilight. The stars turned on one by one; fireflies the size of robins in man’s world flitted into the approaching dusk from a nearby copse.
“It’s good to have Aelieyeeva [Aletheia] in physical form again. The experience in man’s world will expand her understanding of fear, hate and intolerance.” Aerilaya looked into her beloved Alderon’s calm face. The children were now tossing octopus looking creatures at each other.
“Excuse me Aerilaya…” walking over to the shore edge, Alderon had to dodge a tossed ten legged creature that managed to grab onto his arm before hitting the sand. With a clap of his hand the dolphins swam close to the shoreline. “Do you need to apologize to the tenopus that you’ve been hurling at each other?”
The one that had been hanging on Alderon’s arm managed to climb up and wrapped a few legs over his right shoulder. Holding his arm over the water the tentacles let go leaving chartreuse circles of varying sizes on his elegant shimmering silver robes.
“But their mother said they could play with us.” Protesting, Aletheia made that cute pout face, “I can ask her to tell you.”
Looking carefully Alderon could see chartreuse circles covering the three misfits from head to toe. A very large tentacle the size of a tree trunk threaded its way between the resting dolphins.
“Janbell, didn’t you invite us to play with the little ones.” Caiden asked rubbing at one of the circles. “Does this stuff come off? We have Aikido class tomorrow.”
Blake started rubbing his massive amount of circular embellishments. “Least the gee will cover up most of them.”
The entity was not forgotten; even in the Everlasting Domain vigilance was necessary to maintain the natural balance. The seven sisters watched over the Elvan realms without intruding. Their seven realms respected the land and honored their founding matriarch by sounding at first light and at twilight.

I’ll be facilitating a Stream of Conscious writing class :

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

Long time since I posted any poetry or writing exercises – my poems ebbed during the long dismally hot summer… back in the swing.
I have signed up for NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month] again and am working on character sketches and thinking about what they want to do.
That’s why I’m working so hard on my prep for the holiday shows so I can relax a bit and write like the wind come November.

Here’s some info and writing resources from NaNoWriMo:

A tour of “The NaNoWriMo Library”

November is nearly upon us, and we’re busy putting the final touches on this year’s “NaNoWriMo Library.” Sure, it’s an imaginary place, but that doesn’t mean the stained glass, warm amber light, and enticing smell of books is any less real… Here’s an orientation for this creativity-filled space:
The Reference Portal — Get guidance from published authors on your pressing writing questions. Our NaNo Coaches are porting in for a #NaNoCoach tweet-chat on Wednesday, October 28 at 4 PM PDT (Your Time Zone).

The Community Bridge — Whether your loved ones are near or far, bridge the distance by writing your stories together. Invite someone you know to join you in noveling this November.

The Commitment Tree — Carve out your commitment to your novel. Award yourself the “Tell the World” personal achievement badge after publicly declaring your creative goals.
The Visioning Tower — Want to see your story come to life through art? We’re pairing 30 NaNoWriMo 2015 participants with 30 designers who’ll create cover art to reflect your amazing visions. Take part in the 30 Covers, 30 Days project now.

National Novel Writing Month
3354 Adeline Street
Berkeley, CA 94703

This is a list of my Fall Classes offered through Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation – Olympia Center, 222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia, WA  98501 www.olympiawa.gov/experienceit

 

Travel Sketching with Watercolor/Pencil
Ages:  16 and up
Do you 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 sketch around Olympia’s Percival Landing and by the end of the workshop; you’ll be dedicated to journaling! Supply list available online or at registration.  Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Sa            Sept 12  9:00am-1:00pm   $29         #3038

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
Tu            Sept 15-Oct 6       6:00pm-8:00pm   $49         #3026

The Art of Seeing: Beginning Drawing
Ages:  16 and up
This class has been designed to help the beginner see the world with new eyes through the act of drawing. Each week, exercises will challenge students to question what they think they know about their subject and really begin to experience their subject through intense, direct observation. The primary goals of this class are to give the beginning drawer tools for visual problem solving, confidence in the handling of drawing media, and most importantly to inspire joy, meditation, and awareness through the act of seeing. No prior art experience is required. Bring a soft pencil (4B is good), an eraser and a sketch pad no smaller than 8 x 11 to class. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
W            Sept 16-Oct 14     6:00pm-8:00pm   $59         #3031

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
Th            Sept 17-Nov 19    6:00pm-8:00pm   $109       #2900

Finger Painting on the Moon
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            Sept 19  9:00am-2:00pm   $39         #3011

Handmade Paper for Embellishing Holiday Projects
Ages:  16 and up
Not only is making homemade paper a fun experience for you, but it’s a good way to recycle waste into wonderful possibilities such as envelopes, greeting cards, artwork and more.  Making paper is a fun way to express your creativity and homemade papers are the perfect additions to holiday greeting cards, gift tags, wrapping paper and more! A supply list with directions for making a simple mold & deckle and press will be mailed with your registration confirmation. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Sa            Oct 10    9:00am-1:00pm   $39         #3041

Holiday Block Print Cards
Ages:  16 and up
Learn techniques for the relief printmaking process using the flexibility and ease of a linoleum type material (soft Kut). Block printing is a simple technique of carving into the surface using special tools to make a relief design that is then inked and printed for cards. This process is an excellent way of producing simple line designs. Instructor will provide many sample designs or students can create their own designs for holiday cards. All materials and supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Tu            Oct 13-20              6:00pm-8:00pm   $35         #3016

Art Inspired by Words
Ages:  16 and up
Art projects will be inspired by words. Poetry, a descriptive passage or a quote will be used as a starting point for participants’ illustrations. Conversely participants have the option of writing after completing the art project. Art techniques/media will vary and include the following: watercolor, watercolor pencils, pen & ink, scratch paper, Sumi ink, etc. All supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
W            Oct 21-Nov 4        6:00pm-8:00pm   $45         #3039

Paint the Holiday, a Snow Scene – Acrylics
Ages:  16 and up
Come paint a simple landscape featuring a snow scene with step by step instructions. Participants provide their own materials. Materials list will be provided at registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Tu            Oct 27-Nov 3        6:00pm-8:00pm   $29         #3025

Make Art, Make Books
Ages:  16 and up
This hands-on class will focus on combining simple book structures that would be great as holiday gifts! Easy to learn bookmaking such as the Japanese stab binding stitch book will lead students to understand the formal qualities of the book. All supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Tu            Nov 10-24             6:00pm-8:00pm   $49         #3024

Introduction to Mandalas
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 water color pencil, scrapbook paper and your embellishments (buttons, feathers, shells, etc.). 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            Dec 12   9:00am-2:00pm   $45         #3040

Fall Classes @ Olympia Center

Here are the rest of the listings for my Fall schedule at the Olympia Center through Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation…  City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation,   222 Columbia Street NW,   Olympia, WA  98501  Call 360.753.8380

www.olympiawa.gov/experienceit

Finger Painting on the Moon
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. This fun workshop is full of tips and prompts for a creative soul and is a great way begin or for the experienced artist to break out of a rut. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Sa           Sep 27                    9:00am-2:00pm                  $39         #1850

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
Tu           Oct 7-28                                6:00pm-8:00pm                  $45         #1991

Make Art, Make Books
Ages:  16 and up
This hands-on class will focus on combining simple book structures that would be great as holiday gifts! Easy to learn bookmaking such as the Japanese stab binding stitch book will lead students to understand the formal qualities of the book. All supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Sa           Oct 11                    9:00am-1:00pm                  $35         #1926

Mixed Media Monotype
Ages:  16 and up
Enhance monotypes by incorporating hand stamped elements, decorative papers and various other collage elements into your prints to create beautiful texture and depth. By printing onto lightweight papers, you will layer imagery onto substrate/base paper. No need to have had previous printmaking experience to enjoy exploring a combination of monotype and mixed media elements. All supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Sa           Oct 25                    9:00am-2:00pm                  $39         #1907

Holiday Art Cards
Ages:  16 and up
For the beginner to experienced student…come make your own holiday greeting cards combining collage, stencils, stamps and simple watercolor/watercolor pencil techniques. Discover how simple transfer, painting and collage techniques can lead to surprising and beautiful holiday greeting cards. Participants should bring blank note card/envelopes. Instructor: Elllen Miffitt
Sa           Nov 8                     9:00am-2:00pm                  $35         #1942

Holiday Block Print Cards
Ages:  16 and up
Learn techniques for the relief printmaking process using the flexibility and ease of a linoleum type material (soft Kut). Block printing is a simple technique of carving into the surface using special tools to make a relief design that is then inked and printed for cards. This process is an excellent way of producing simple line designs. Instructor will provide many sample designs or students can create their own designs for holiday cards. All materials and supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
M            Nov 17-24             6:00pm-8:00pm                  $35         #1832

Paint the Holiday,  a Snow Scene – Acrylics
Ages:  16 and up
Come paint a simple landscape featuring a snow scene with step by step instructions. Participants provide their own materials. Materials list will be provided at registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt
Tu           Nov 18-25             6:00pm-8:00pm                  $29         #1971

Introduction to Mandalas
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 water color pencil, scrapbook paper and your embellishments (buttons, feathers, shells, etc). 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           Dec 6                      9:00am-2:00pm                  $39         #1949

June 2014 poetry

Strawberry Shortcake

during the endless hot sticky summer,
dinner was kept simple.
Mom didn’t want to heat up the house
by cooking a big meat, potato and veggie meal.
Heading out to the garden, Dad and I would
get to work picking strawberries.
Mom and I had made shortcakes in the cool morning.
Strawberries were sliced and lightly sugared,
cream was whipped. shortbread cut in half…
then came the layering in soup bowls.

Quiet…
except for
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmms
and scraping spoons,
no need for conversation;
sides,
it was too hot to talk anyway.

6/1/2014

Sunbaked

Preliminary yawn –
radiant heat soaks physical
melting resistance to nonconformity.
Average and normal
are too tame;
somewhere buried notions
rise to surface.
Upon reflection
it’s time for sprinklers,
blowing bubbles,
flying kites,
and jumping rope.
Spontaneity is refreshing.
Sun bakes away dampers…
hop scotch anyone?

6/2/2014

More dirt beneath the nails

grubbing in the garden again…
I can’t get enough of the warm soil.
tucking seedlings in,
sun warms my back;
silently wishing them well,
the birds start singing to the evening.
tidying up the tools and flower pots,
light lingers preventing waiting stars
from making their routine appearance.
the earthy smell coats my clothing
along with sediment handprints.
Contentment settled in…
growing flowers and vegetables serves
an internal drive for participating in renewal.
The bonus is beauty and harvest.

6/5/2014

The promise

Between cats and dogs
between art and words
between flower and vegetable raised beds
between teaching
between family and friends
I show that I am here…
still viable,
still living,
still observing,
still feeling,
still loving.
I promised myself
to keep creating
because life is meaningless
without whimsy and beauty.

6/6/2014

Elizabeth Bowen said, “I am sure that in nine out of ten cases the original wish to write is the wish to make oneself felt. It’s a sign, I suppose, of life’s decreasing livableness as life that people should feel it possible to make themselves felt in so few other ways. The non-essential writer never gets past that wish.”

leaving ceiling light on
charges luminous plastic stars.
moon rises without not within;
ceiling stars don’t circulate.
permanent placement
equals no celestial changes
because their stagnant liability
lacks earth rotations.

6/7/2014

 

Trying to face forward,
the past is sticky.
I still miss family members
that have spread across country
and all the elders are now deceased.
Reminiscing threads tug when facing dawn;
it doesn’t matter whether its gray or brightly colored…
the memories rise out of sleep.
Shrugging off the intricate webs,
these dreams pass into darkness
until deep the next sleep reveals
the strength of lasting connection.

6/8/2014

 

Pilgrimage

walking holy
threadbare in sandals
feet protest the miles
blisters retaliate
burst their liquid
scab and bleed again
slowing pace toward
sacred destination
gnawing hunger intensifies
water barely quenches thirst
upon arrival –
is that all there is?
exposing folly of expectations
rumination of the divine
amongst the disappointed
the journey home is always quicker…

6/9/2014

 

Decisions

So many in a day
Swarms of them buzzing
Prioritizing with a flyswatter
Until swinging fails
Ultimately the to-do-list shrinks
While more choices pile up again
And again…

these have to end or begin again
and again…
why and what flutter toward the light
attraction is not always fatal
spontaneity finds a place
but reasonable thoughts prevail.
In this case:
Why bother.
So I won’t.

6/10/2014

impetus

As an equal opportunity user of words,
I will not discriminate.
No word is too odd, offensive or unorthodox
for me to fill in the blank.
No shortcuts.
No shame.
No judgment.
My trusty thesaurus is lovingly worn
from pulling words hidden in aging memory storage unit.
Flipping through the pages produces
tactile impetus as fingertip travels down the columns.
So many words…
So little time.

6/11/2014
Paperwork

Sitting too much
lost track of time
the glaring monitor orb
dims my eyes
preparing handouts for classes
searching the web
simplifying effluent blah-blah
guilty of too much information
when I always say to my class
please keep it simple

6/12/2014

Get out your tap shoes!

Too bad I never learned to tap dance.
I tried in my late 30’s…
the teacher put me at the far end.
The others caught on quickly;
at the end of the line,
I fell even further behind.
I quit and kept my awkward.
When I teach, I do my best
to include everyone equally.
No one gets sent to the end of the line.

But this is not about being ignored.
This is about celebrating art sales.
This is about happy dancing
without rules and technique.
Lace up those shoes…
start the invigorating joyous
free form tapping.
Awkward be damned!

6/13/2014

Closer to earth

Cherishing every breath,
every sunbeam and moonbeam,
every blue sky or even dismal gray…
vision upon vision to store for eternity.
Second by second,
this body moves closer to earth.

6/14/2014

I worked on this moonbeam night scene – added a fairy and child.
the flash brings out the iridescent colors and looses the details that are subtle. the leaves on the lower left really are not close to the painting at all… they look like blotches of color in this photo.

Wrote a poem to go with after the acrylic class tonight…

Moonbeams (C)6/2014

who’s coming with me

closed off
adult sight fails to see them
too mature for such foolishness

preferring immaturity in certain areas…
responsible spontaneity
is an endearing way to dance.

welcoming moonbeams,
late night walks provide fleeting visions.
you know the kind,

the out-of-the-corner-of the eye sighting
of flitting wings dusted with moonlight.
moons on the rise tonight…
who’s coming with me?

6/3/2014

 

 

May 2014 Poetry

 

Skipping

Sun melts my bad mood
dripping it into dry earth.
Moisture is no match
for the rays beating down.
Foul winter is finally burnt;
Spring leaps forward.
Daffodils, Narcissus and crocus
have wilted weeks ago…
unruly weeds fill in their blank spots.
Petals droop from flowering trees;
tulips naked stigmas swell.
Frogs still sing;
birds chant morning and evening.
I turn another calendar page;
May 1st is dressed in blue and light.
Practically skipping through dog walks,
my light heart entices muses to gather;
most likely they are amused by my spring fever…

5/1/2014

 

waiting forward
selecting this breath
because nothing else is real.
what are memories?
nothing but trouble
keying into past patterns,
sucking into a black whole,
rehashing the useless.
lightness is all around
until that switch is flipped…
then monsters crawl out.
it takes time to round them up;
rehashing boundaries,
gifting rewards consistently,
training the form and the soul
because only this heart beat is real.

5/2/2014

 

 

 

bedtime

 

Rain pounded the skylights.

Waking from a short nap…

it was meant to be short

but now several hours later sleep

expanded dreams broke a sweat.

Deprived of reference, time and space

was lost until glaring red digital numbers

grounded me. where was I…

is answered by a dog’s bark.

physical form is achieved again

and sleep unsaddled an hour

before normal bedtime.

5/3/2014

 

 

 

 

I’m taking care of your flower pots.
Grandma smiled and nodded…
there was a soft glow of a summer’s eve
surrounding her as contentment flowed outward.

Some dreams are more than that…
there are visits from beyond the last breath.
Gram was dressed in pastel colors
the total opposite of her navy blue or black.

Her hair was braided but softer;
light sparkled off the white mass.
wrinkles were smoother too;
her skin was rejuvenated.

There was probably more to the dream.
Seems odd that it was about three Majolica flower pots;
I do treasure them… I only remembered
Gram’s visit when I touched one pot to rotate it.

5/4/2014
I have her two McCoy Pottery – green brown Glaze Majolica Jardiniere Planter Pots … the third one is probably the same maker but is a little larger with a fluted top.

 

naked night
fire swirls across midnight
ashes turn dark
embers grow cold
Beltane is over
another spring is relinquished
to summer’s longer days and short nights.
Solstice creeps nearer with every step…
even timepieces can’t keep up.

5/5/2014

 

threads

nervously picking
at creases of worn jeans,
the faded blue denim becomes
pock marked with tiny holes –
threadbare openings
expose white skin
to sun rays…
what odd patterns appear
on pale Easter lily white legs.
now decorated with odd red dots,
its a shame there is no one to see them.
in this trending time of selfies,
one could share the oddity with the world.
it’s my chance for fifteen minutes of fame….

5/6/2014

 

flat

almost unnoticed
must have picked up a nail.
grimace
can’t be late to teach.
laughter…
because screaming won’t do.
laughing…
it doesn’t mean replacing one tire;
a flat means replacing all four.
we’re full of quirks
but Subaru’s need four tires if one goes flat.
quirky…
more laughing –
more maniacal than funny,
the day is warm,
the sun shines,
and it’s only money…
right?

5/7/2014

 

“s” word

apologizing too much
sorry,
nasty habit
the repetition
the real “s” word
sorry
must have said it a billion times
once is more than enough.

5/8/2014

 

No style styling

My intentional indistinctness of worn comfort:
T-shirts and faded blue jeans with hair mused –
I forget to comb it
and slap a stained baseball hat on my head.
Decorative paint stains and rips on clothing…
that’s me on any given day no matter where I go.

Some friends are so put together –
not in a crazy expensive way,
they wear some make-up, blouses, pants…
I’m amazed – they dress like that all day
not to go special shopping or out to dinner.
Those clothes are uncomfortable to me;
I’d be so conscious of not splattering paint or ink;
smearing excess glue on a pants leg would be out.

Most of my friends have husbands;
maybe that’s part of their dress code.
I have no one to impress not even myself.
I’m comfy in my worn duds…
maybe it’s a career mistake.
Who hasn’t made loads of ill-fitting choices?

I should be at the top of my game for my age.
Here I am styling with no style;
occasionally pondering selecting a different image
to personify the creative artist within and without.
Because of the Sumi-e painting, I could select Japanese styles
or India gauze skits and tops would be arty…
unfortunately the free box clothes at the food co-op
mostly has worn jeans and slightly cleaner t-shirts.
I guess I won’t be changing my facade anytime soon…

5/9/2014

Fred Astaire said: “The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it’s considered to be your style.”

 

sun put up a closed sign
it was way past normal hours;
due to working overtime,
night gratefully descended.
starlight pricked the sky;
spring was shifting quickly.
summer crossed off calendar boxes
anxious to shine fully during its allotment.
everything was proceeding properly…
as properly as a season would
because perfection can’t last forever.

5/10/2014

 

Guanshiyin © 5/11//2014 Nine Lives Studio

Another Mother’s Day

I try not to miss her.
Somewhere I read it holds the soul back;
Mom, forgive me if I have…
I really hope I’m not holding you back;
I will always hold you in my heart.

I’ve said it before…
I miss our existential talks;
we didn’t know what existential was then.
We’d work over life events
laced with mystery and confusion –
with or without discovering meaning –
so much of life, just happens…

Guanshiyin, divine mother,
grounded in compassion
you grace my spring garden
surrounded with Forget-me-nots and Cranesbill.
The bees are busy at work today…
another Mother’s Day has arrived.

Guanshiyin, I envision your energy coiling
around all motherless children
when you hear their unhappy cries…
May you always instill hope
in life’s darkest moments.

5/11/2014

Guanyin is the bodhissattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female. The name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin, which means “Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World”.
undaunted derelicts…

 

heralded in space
wavering instability
the nondescript walk among us
they might be more in tune
than seemingly stable citizens
whose normal eyes avoid them

invisible sentient
smile inwardly
avoiding other’s disgrace
rain falls
sun shines
seasons rotate

their dance intimidates shoppers
who concentrate on window views
anything to avoid abstraction
one breath from destiny
they continue to grasp their reality
as if nothing will ever change

5/12/2014

 

who are these people
walking on ashes so carelessly tossed?
cinders of past enlightenment
are handled with disregard; tenets
become wasted moments of inspiration.
washed away by soapy wringing hands,
wild minds don’t tarry on circumstances.
they race forward faster than wishes;
they race through consequences,
they race past warning signs…
the end is just another shortcut.

5/13/2014

 

Weak

rabid thoughts
flows past lips
bubbling foam
dribbles down the chin
a concourse deliberately festooned
with fleeting promises
rank and foul
licking nervously
tongue darts behind lies
feet fall prey to complex rhythm
dancing with darkness
mental agility leaps ahead
to provide proper conversation
leading the weak to believe.

3/14/2014

 

so much madness

the world’s askew
or I’m foolishly addled
to see blatant evil
corroding society.
Ignorance is normal;
peasants toil to survive.
Wealth is control.
Constantly mystified
by this inhumanity and greed,
where has love gone?
I believed John Lennon’s song;
Imagine…
I guess
I was young and foolish then.

5/15/2014