Creative Arts Eliot 2024: Your Choice of Workshops

Saturday, August 10, 2024 from 04:00 PM to Wednesday, August 14, 2024 to 04:00 PM

Our workshops for 2023 are listed below. Please join us for an amazing creative experience! If you haven't registered for camp already, go to our home page and click on the Big Blue Button. Some of our workshops do fill quickly, and registrants are placed in workshops in the order they register. So, don't delay!

If you want to apply to be a presenter for a future camp, please scroll all the way to the bottom of this page to find links to information and applications.

Elizabeth Higgins • Nature Journaling for Everyone

Elizabeth Higgins photo

Program Description: Nature connection, creativity and mindfulness come together in the practice of nature journaling in this workshop that will give participants the skills and space to connect to themselves, to nature and to one another through nature journaling. Participants will learn a variety of techniques in watercoloring, stamp-carving, drawing and writing and be given prompts and guidance to create their own “conversation with Nature” in the way that feels authentic to themselves.  No experience is necessary, just bring a journal and your desire to express yourself using basic art supplies. We will spend time indoors and outside, observing, appreciating, reflecting on and celebrating the nature around us.

Biography: Elizabeth Higgins is an artist, instructor and nature connection guide who teaches classes and workshops that connect people to nature, mindfulness and creativity. She has taught nature journaling classes and watercolor classes for over a decade. She is known for her calm, supportive teaching style and her approach is centered on the belief that both nature and creative expression are crucial components of human well-being.


Francisco Ruiz • Circle Singing - Your Voice

Francisco Ruiz

Program Description:  Circle singing cultivates the traditional skills important for ensemble singing—intonation, dynamics, blend, and sensitivity, and builds the fundamentals of musicianship, including composition, harmony, counterpoint, intonation, improvisation, and deep, responsive listening. Group singing benefits posture, breathing and muscle tension release - regardless of the skill level of participants. Join us in a safe exploration of our voices as we navigate fundamentals of breath control, listening skills and unveiling the singing potential within each one of us. Francisco Ruiz will facilitate Circle Singing, emphasizing community building and utilizing singing as a spiritual practice.

Biography: Francisco Ruiz is a 3x Latin Grammy Nominee vocalist and arranger, hailing from Ecuador. He has worked with various artists including U2, Ivan Lins, Luis Enrique, Noel Schajris and KC Porter. He has worked as vocalist and choir director at various LA venues including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Wiltern, among others. Most recently, Francisco worked with producer Hector Crisantes as vocalist and arranger in 2022 Latin Grammy Nominated Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album "LA VIDA" by KURT [Universal Music Mexico]. Graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Francisco has been a vocal educator for over 10 years, touring with vocal projects and sharing his knowledge in vocal improvisation acquired by studying and performing with ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby Mcferrin and members of Voicestra: Joey Blake and Rhiannon. 

Lynn Ungar • Poetry as a Spiritual Practice

Ungar photo

Program Description: Beloved poets throughout the ages have turned to the natural world for inspiration, finding, in Shakespeare’s words, “tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones” and the wisdom that we need to find our place in this world. Participants will be invited to investigate both poetry and nature as inspiration for creating their own wisdom poetry.

Biography: Rev. Dr. Lynn Ungar is a poet, Unitarian Universalist minister and dog trainer who lives in Vancouver, WA with her two Australian Shepherds. Her books of poetry include Bread and Other Miracles, Breathe, and These Days: Poems of the Pandemic Age.

Bryan Willis • Writing Your Story

Willis photo

Program Description: Open to everyone who enjoys writing. Our workshop will include the basics of story, character development, and plot with an emphasis on creating new works via in-class exercises. Writers will be encouraged to write poems, short stories, and memoirs. Have a work-in-progress you'd like to revise? We can help! No experience necessary, but be prepared to have fun. Enrollment limited to 15 students.

Biography: Bryan Willis serves as playwright-in-residence for the Northwest Playwrights Alliance at Seattle Repertory Theatre.  His work has appeared throughout the U.K., China, Israel, Japan, Canada and U.S., including New York Theater Workshop, Milwaukee Rep, Unseam’d Shakespeare Co., Book-It Repertory Theatre, Riverside Studios in London and Seattle’s ACT where John Langs directed the mainstage premiere of Seven Ways to Get There.  His collaboration with Kenneth Lonergan and Frank Pugliese, Woofer the Psychic Dog, has enjoyed success in many theaters on both coasts and in Japan. Bryan’s work has also been featured on NPR, BBC Radio 4 (commission for Sophie) and German Radio NDR (collaboration with novelist Peter Mountford). Bryan worked in new play development in New York at Playwrights Horizons and later worked in the literary department at Lincoln Center, serving as NYU's Playwright-in-Residence while completing his MFA in Playwriting & Screen Writing at Tisch School of the Arts.  He is a proud member of Artist Trust and received a gold medallion from KC/ACTF, where he served on the National Selection Team in 2011.  

Shannon Wells-Moran • Painting Miniature Models

Shannon Wells-MoranShannon Miniatures

Program Description: Do you enjoy playing tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons, but are tired of using bare plastic figurines? Are you a sculptor wanting to add color and depth to your creations? In this workshop, we’ll learn how to use acrylic paints to breathe life into three-dimensional miniatures, starting with the basic steps to paint your first miniature, and moving up to skills and techniques used by the masters of realist painting. This is a workshop for everyone, from beginners who have never touched a paintbrush, to traditional painters looking to transfer their skills to the third dimension, or even experienced modelmakers and miniature painters who want to hone their craft.

Biography: Shannon is a self-taught miniature painter from Portland, OR, who has been painting models and miniatures for five years. He works as a part-time commission painter and full-time in social services. When he is not painting, he enjoys drumming, sculpting, and using his painted miniatures in games of Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars: Armada, and Star Wars: Shatterpoint.


Drew Betz • Creative Embroidery with Felted Wool

Drew Betz

Program Description: Wool is one of the oldest materials used by humans. It is incredibly easy to sew through and felted wool is the perfect medium for using decorative stitches and creating gifts for beloveds. This workshop will focus on learning and practicing embroidery with Perle cotton and other threads on felted wool. Other embellishments may be added as desired. Each participant will be able to work on a sampler of stitches and create one or more projects of the participants choice. All of the work will be done by hand. Experience with simple embroidery technique is a plus. Experience with basic sewing skills is highly recommended. Students will be expanding their lexicon of stitches from the most basic running stitch to more complex stitches that include wrapped and other wonderful stitches that can be combined for graphic impact. A supply list and introductory letter will be sent as soon as registrations are confirmed.

Biography: Drew Betz has been an instructor at previous Creative Arts Eliot Camps, leading several workshops on quilt making before introducing this form of stitchery on wool felt last year. The opportunity to do handwork in community is a gift she willingly shares. Drew has been working in the wool medium throughout her practice in quilt making and fiber art. She enjoys the freedom that using wool provides.

Corey Pressman • Waxed Powder Painting

Corey Pressman

Program Description: This workshop experience will introduce students to the unique art form known as waxed powder painting. Waxed powder painting involves directly applying powdered pigments to a surface (usually paper) and finishing the work with various wax media.The workshop will cover the mixing, handling, and application of powder pigment, the benefits of various paper types, stencil cutting, and the manufacture and application strategies of both cold and encaustic wax media.

Along the way, participants will learn an approach to abstraction and art making that centers presence and self transcendence. Various nature and poetry exercises will help participants craft a practice of encounter and expression that allows them to access their whole being as a means to making art. We will learn about an approach I call “the alphabet of everything.” This included witnessing and borrowing elements from the natural world as an alphabet with which to express one’s self…or lack of self.

Biography:  Corey S. Pressman is an artist, writer, and teacher living in the Pacific Northwest. His art is shown around the country and has won several awards. Corey regularly teaches workshops propagating his approach to art and the method of waxed powder painting. He has published academic works as well as short stories and poetry. Corey is a member/owner of Portland’s Blackfish Gallery and works as a creativity coach and as an instructor in the Integrative Health and Wellness program at the University of Portland. 


Margo Benedetto • Bringing Mindfulness to the Creative Process

Margo Benedetto

Program Description: Mindfulness has been described as a superpower because it trains our minds to help our brains to help our minds. Yikes!  In this workshop, we’ll untangle the message here and use mindfulness meditations and techniques to cultivate the mental states that support our creativity and help us release mental rigidity and resistance, whether we’re newcomers or veteran artists. Each day will include discussions, group activities and guided meditations on positive mental traits, such as awe, non-judgment, integration, gratitude and compassion, and their specific relevance to creativity.  Expect to feel relaxed, inspired and connected—a willing spirit and writing notebook or sketchbook are all you’ll need.  Samples of your visual or literary art, or work in progress, are  welcome—though not required—so that we may include them in group activities.  Time and space will also be available for those who’d like to pursue individual projects outside of workshop hours.

Biography: Margo Benedetto has been a public educator for over 30 years, specializing in mindfulness/SEL, English, Theater Arts and Spanish for youth and adult populations.  She currently leads a weekly Mindful Community group for adults and teaches mindfulness classes for Senior Services of South Sound.  Her mindfulness work has also included Centralia School District, North Thurston Public Schools, Pope John Paul II High School, Thurston County Dog 4-H and AIE International School in Awaji, Japan.  Margo is a certified mindfulness instructor and a licensed teacher in Washington State.  

Calling All Artists!

Are you interested in presenting a workshop at Creative Arts Eliot? If so, you can find more information at this link: Workshop Presenter Information

Ready to apply to present a workshop? Please complete the application found at this link: Workshop Presenter Application

To apply to be the CAE Children's Art Workshop Coordinator, please complete the application found at this link: CAE CAW Coordinator Application


13395 Lagoon Drive NW, Seabeck WA 98380