Christmas Newsletter 2021

Full newsletter with pics here:

Christmas Greetings,

I hope you are well, I thought I would wish you a Merry Christmas and let you know how I have been getting on this year.

Please scroll down for next year's course dates.

It has been another year of challenges in many ways, and I have had many opportunities to use my creative thinking skills! The year started with a full schedule of Zoom classes and workshops planned. One of my first workshops was on Chinese Brush painting; a media and way of working I find so relaxing and calming. I plan on running another of these in February 2022. Other workshop subjects have included monoprinting, drawing trees in charcoal, drawing a duckling in coloured pencil and an African safari drawing workshop.

The Tuesday Afternoon Class has continued to be popular, and we have explored many different subjects and media over the year.

A bit of silliness...

We had just enough snow in January that my sister requested I make a snow cow for her this was a challenge that I was happy to take on! The result gave us all many chuckles and I named him Angus.
Apart from classes and workshops for groups I have also been busy with Private lessons for both adults and children and was asked to run two very special birthday workshops for a little girl on painting her favourite polar bears.

On Mother's Day I put on a creative online workshop to paint a hummingbird particularly for mothers and daughters/sons to take part in together. I even persuaded my mum to join me. It was a great couple of hours with a fun and friendly atmosphere. The youngest participant was only two and enjoyed the glitter probably a bit too much!

My classes at the Hurst continued online for the first part of the year with courses on Watercolours, Acrylics and Drawing and Painting Animals, however the Adult and Community Learning Department was closed in May due to funding cuts. This was quite a blow to all the teachers involved and I have missed working with the team. Before the closure I had been planning on offering a portrait course the following term which I instead made as my very first recorded course. It did feel weird talking to myself, with no one on the other side of the screen. With practice I have become more used to this now and manage by imagining some of my students and the types of questions and comments they might make at certain points.

I also put on two evening painting workshops in May where we looked in depth at a painting by Van Gogh and another by Monet making a copy to understand the painting process, techniques and style of these masterpieces. These workshops were well received and an idea I hope to repeat.

Also in May, I was contacted by Artcare who asked me to run two workshops for NHS staff. ArtCare is the arts in health service for Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. They run events to raise awareness of the importance of a creative hospital environment to patient and staff wellbeing. I really enjoyed leading two small groups in using watercolour to paint two relaxing scenes, getting them to slow down, look and enjoy the activity of painting.

In the spring I was excited to discover that one of my Dad’s lockdown bird boxes, a woodwork project that had been keeping him busy, was being used by a pair of Great Tits. It was lovely watching them from the art studio window, darting in and out all day. Two Great Tits fledged, which was not bad seeing as a lot of nests had failed completely that spring. It was fun to watch the fledgling’s antics as they explored the world for the first time and were fed by their hard-working parents.

Commissions this year included two baby portraits and a dog portrait both of which were very well received by the clients. I am already looking forward to more commissions next year.

In August Esme my black and white Syrian Hamster joined the Milam family. She is a very friendly little girl but can also be a mischievous pickle!

In April I became a ‘The Big Draw’ organiser with the plan to offer workshops throughout the year leading up to a busy schedule of events for the festival month; October, unfortunately this did not quite work out as I was called into hospital during the key month, meaning that my plans had to be cancelled. Instead, I put on my thinking cap as to ways I could keep my students painting in my absence. This was when I started offering Video on Demand Tutorials that could be streamed or downloaded, like any other video content. Which means that you can paint and draw at your own speed and at a time that suits you as well as pause and rewind as required. I spent quite a few weeks working away like a busy bee recording, editing and setting up the online store to get the first set of these ready and hope to make more in the future! This was quite a learning process as although I had made family videos in the past, the software I was used to was not available for my computer, I also needed to combine more elements. The sound quality of these first videos is not great and so I have purchased a clip-on microphone to use for future recordings and online classes. I just need to remember to unclip it before walking away from the computer as I forgot once and pulled out the cable!

I have been looking into other avenues for my art/teaching and created both a Redbubble shop and a Sellfy store this year. Redbubble is a Print on demand service, so you can now purchase my artworks printed onto t-shirts, towels, clocks, coasters and so much more. Getting this set up meant another steep learning curve this time with photoshop. I now know how to remove backgrounds, and although the first attempts were a work in progress, I continue to improve in this area. More designs will be added as and when I can.
View and Buy Video on Demand Tutorials Here

Take a look at my Redbubble shop here

As many of you know I have had chronic pain for many years and my operation in October meant delaying the start of this last term. The operation was my second laparoscopy and the surgeon found that the situation was more complicated than expected. The consultant confirmed stage 4 (severe) endometriosis which is affecting multiple organs including the bowel. I’ll be having an MRI after Christmas, but it looks like a pretty big operation may be in the future. If this means delaying or cancelling any future lessons, I hope that you will understand. Not knowing what or how quickly things will go after the scan is making planning for next year difficult. I know many are keen to go back to the hall but frustratingly I don’t feel able to commit to this at present. I am thankful for my mum who keeps me constantly supplied with hot water bottles on bad days.

I will of course continue to teach online as I have been doing, and I am planning on offering other courses and workshops along with the Tuesday class and a few more video lessons. I hope that you will continue to enjoy the lessons as much as I do. I have lots of ideas for future lessons and courses.

Next term dates for the Tuesday and Drawing Garden Birds are below.

Keep an eye out for future workshop dates on my website.

Tuesday Afternoon Art Class (Online)
Tuesday Afternoons, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Classes Are Held on Zoom
Spring Term: Part 1
11th January – 22nd February 2022 (7 Weeks) £58.50
Contact Bethany Y Milam to Book.

Drawing Garden Birds
Monday 10th January - 31st January 2022
2pm/7pm TBC.
4 weeks
Classes Are Held on Zoom
Learn to draw common UK garden birds in pencil and coloured pencil.
Contact Bethany Y Milam to Book.

It has been a roller coaster year, but I am fortunate to say that there has been a lot of good to go with the bad. This past year has shown me, again how important art and creativity is for our well-being. Going forward I have lots of exciting plans including having my own YouTube channel.

Have a safe and happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year,

Keep Painting!


If you are still reading a big thank you to you all, for your support. I will be back with plenty of classes and workshops in the New Year!