Nine Lives Studio - Ellen Miffitt
Sumi-e, Collage, Mixed Media, Watercolor Pencil, PMC Jewelry, Block Prints and Art Instruction

Art Instruction

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


Winter Scenes

Ages: 16 and up

Explore the snowy whites of winter in watercolor and watercolor pencil while learning to paint the illusion of snow and create colorful shadows with a range of values. Supply list available online and at registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Jan 5         9 AM-1 PM $29 #6545


Simple Zine Illustrations

Ages: 16 and up

Zines are self-published magazines and a great way to artistically showcase interests and passions. Enhance your zines by developing your unique illustrations. Materials include ink & nib, as well as ink washes applied with brushes to create silhouettes, line drawings or a combination of the two. Illustration tips will aid your imagination and help you create awesome images to go with your poems, personal story or simple graphic zine. If you have pencil sketches or a file of ideas to adapt, please bring them. Instructor provides

quill pens, ink & nibs, pencils and erasers. Students should provide bleed-proof paper such as 120-weight Bristol paper or other hot press smooth surfaced paper. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

T Jan 8-29 6-8 PM $59 #6549


Fiber Art Collage

Ages: 16 and up

Paint, draw, stencil, embroider and create mini “collages” that could be used as wall hanging, journal cover, addition to a canvas bag or other creative uses. Layering techniques will pull it together in cohesive ways. This is a nonsewing fiber art collage except for the possible embroidery. Supply list available online and at registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

W Jan 9-30 6-8 PM $59 #6551


Still Life Drawing

Ages: 16 and up

Each week participants will use graphite sticks and pencils to develop value scale in their drawings. The instructor will emphasize fundamental still-life drawing principles such as proportion, positive/negative space and shape. Explore stilllife ideas as they relate to ensemble, vignettes and still-life objects. Please bring a pencil and a sketchpad no smaller than 11 x14 to class. Instructor provides graphite stick, blending stumps/tortillon and kneaded eraser. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Th Jan 10-31 6-8 PM $49 #6550


Painting with Paper

Ages: 16 and up

In this supportive environment, you will create a still life through the playful and forgiving medium of paper collage. Instructor will share what she has learned through her artistic journey and enthusiastically guide you through yours. Begin with a warm up  exercise exploring the various collage techniques and end with a finished still life. Bring images of a favorite still life to mimic or use the examples provided by the instructor. Be prepared to have a good time! All levels of experience welcome! Supply list available online and at registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Jan 12 9 AM-1 PM $29 #6546



Ages: 16 and up

Create galaxies and starscapes in ink and watercolor. Learn how to create the effect of deep space and tricks to create magical starry illustrations. Bring brushes and your favorite watercolors. All other supplies provided. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Jan 19 9 AM-1 PM $39 #6572


Found, Cut and Torn

Ages: 16 and up

This class will explore the use of found materials, images and texts to create collages on paper. Both formal and personal explorations will be encouraged. An emphasis will be placed on the search for images to achieve the unexpected as found images are juxtaposed. This class is for those curious about the format to those wishing to push themselves beyond their present abilities. Supply list available online and at registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Jan 26 9 AM-1 PM $29 #6548


Creative Watercolor Sketchbook

Ages: 16 and up

A watercolor sketchbook is the perfect place to freely and fearlessly expand your creativity. Improve your painting and sketching skills as you explore a variety of subjects and techniques using watercolor, along with fascinating combinations of watercolor pencils and pens. All skill levels are welcome. A supply list online and on registration receipt. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

M Jan 28-Feb 11 6-8 PM $39 #6552


Expressive Layers

Ages: 16 and up

Learn how to use imagery and color as elements for art making to create uniquely personal visual statements. Explore the relationships between ideas, personal experiences, and creativity by using a wide variety of materials. Students will be asked to bring in printed images, papers, drawings, and fabric, as well as found objects and something personally meaningful to incorporate into their ideas. The challenge is to develop a theme linking each of the mixed media pieces to the next, creating a personal statement within the works of art. Supply list available online and at registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Feb 2 9 AM-1 PM $35 #6556


Art Journaling

Ages: 16 and up

Art journaling is a safe space to play and practice the kind of art YOU want to make, and to experiment with using art supplies in new ways.An art journal is the ultimate place to turn the page for a fresh start. Please see required supply list upon registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Tu Feb 5-26 6-8 PM $59 #6554


Have You Tried This?

Ages: 16 and up

This class will offer you an opportunity to explore the broader and the narrower possibilities of working in collage. Following a brief historical survey of collage masters and innovators, you’ll learn strategies for developing unique collage materials. Doubtless, there will be a number of techniques new to even the most seasoned collage artist. Quilters, painters, printmakers, or graphic designers can bring their cache of materials and substrates to discover new applications. The class will be fun and enrich the beginner as well as more advanced students. A supply list is available upon registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

W Feb 6-27 6-8 PM $59 #6553


Pen, Brush & Ink Drawing

Ages: 16 and up

Ink drawings are strikingly beautiful! In this class, you’ll learn to use dip pens, crow quill pens, inking brushes, felt tip pens and calligraphy pens to create high-contrast images. You’ll learn how to do feathering, hatching, cross-hatching, and more. The classed will focus on the artists exploring classic ink drawing techniques and developing their own style with mark making. Subjects will include animal drawing, landscape textures, and portraiture. Supply list available online and will print on registration receipt. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Th Feb 7-28 6-8 PM $59 #6555


Playing with the Muse

Ages: 16 and up

Wash away the layers to reveal the playful muse within no matter how dormant you may feel your muse is. With fun 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 personal voice. The enjoyable projects will help you overcome the fear of the blank page and find ways to start a series or develop a theme. All supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Feb 9 9 AM-1 PM $39 #6557


Zen Brush with Color

Ages: 16 and up

We will first begin by practicing Sumi-e brush control and continue the basic stroke study by painting the “Four Gentlemen” and the “Four Seasons” in color (with a flower representing each season). Learn to express yourself in simple Zen strokes with color. All supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Feb 16 9 AM-1 PM $49 #6558


Art Sampler

Ages: 16 and up

Create simple projects using basic materials (ink, oil pastels, watercolors). You will be guided through step-by-step drawing and painting techniques that include subject development using basic shapes, shading, and blending. All supplies included in class fee. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Feb 23 9 AM-2 PM $49 #6559


Painting with your Fingertips

Ages: 16 and up

Most of us enjoyed finger-painting as children and surely, it is still the most gloriously direct way of applying paint. The process is visceral and delightfully messy. If acrylic paint is applied with a delicate touch by laying the paint gently onto the canvas, the imprecise application gives the finished piece an intriguing softness. Please see required supply list upon registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Mar 2 9 AM-1 PM $39 #6563


Water Soluble Colored Pencils

Ages: 16 and up

Want the look of watercolor and the control of colored pencil? 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. Please see supply list upon registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

M Mar 4-25 6-8 PM $55 #6560


Beginning Drawing

Ages: 16 and up

We’ll begin our practice with hand-eye coordination exercises such as contour, adjusted contour line drawing, and upside-down drawings. Drawing with charcoal and graphite sticks aims 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, eraser, and a sketch pad no smaller than 11”x14” to class. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Tu Mar 5-Apr 9 6-8 PM $79 #6561


Palette Knife Painting with Acrylics

Ages: 16 and up

We’ll explore knife strokes and color mixing with acrylics and modeling gel/paste, mixing on the palette versus on the canvas, the uses of color contrasts and blending, creating simplicity and complexity, and more. Please see required supply list upon registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

W Mar 6-27 6-8 PM $69 #6562


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 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 9 9 AM-1 PM $29 #6564


Think Big and Paint Small

Ages: 16 and up

Miniature painting has its roots in illuminated manuscripts. The word “miniature” originally came from a Latin term for the red pigment that was used in their creation. The decoration and illustration was necessarily small and these techniques influenced the creation of small, detailed artworks outside of manuscripts, and the name miniature stuck. Choose to paint a landscape or a still life with Acrylics. Supply list available at registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Mar 16 9 AM-1 PM $29 #6565


Etching Glass

Ages: 16 and up

Glass etching is a craft that was previously available only to professionals and skilled artisans, but it is now accessible to the general crafter, thanks to the formulation of etching cream. A relative newcomer to the craft world, etching cream is a fast and inexpensive way to create elegant designs on glass. And with just a little know-how and the right supplies, you can make  beautiful, personalized etched glass pieces that are perfect for gift giving and home decorating. Supply list will print on registration receipt. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Mar 23 9 AM-1 PM $45 #6566


Selling Art on “Print on Demand” Sites

Ages: 16 and up

Print on Demand companies, like Fine Art America, Zazzle, RedBubble, Cafepress, etc. are flourishing. Typically, you create a shop front and choose what types of items to display your work on. No physical products are created until they sell. Products include prints, t-shirts, mugs, and home décor. Spend an evening learning the pros, cons & risks of selling your art through a Print on Demand shop.Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

M Apr 1 6-8 PM $19 #6567


Unconventional Painting

Ages: 16 and up

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. Experiment with dribbling, smearing, and spattering to enhance your creative toolbox and work more freely. Attention to composition, use of space, and concept will also be explored. Participants provide their own acrylic paint, brushes, and substrate (canvas board, stretched canvas, or other substrate). Please see required supply list upon registration. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

W Apr 3-17 6-8 PM $49 #6568


Recharge Your Art

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. In addition, 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”x14”) to first class. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Th Apr 4-25 6-8 PM $69 #6569


Watercolor Experiments

Ages: 16 and up

Participants will experiment with wax paper, plastic wrap and more to enhance textures for their watercolor repertoire. Increase skills and have fun experimenting. Participants provide their own materials. Supply list available online and will print on registration receipt. Instructor: Ellen Miffitt

Sa Apr 13 9 AM-1 PM $35 #6570


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 Apr 20 9 AM-1 PM $39 #6571