Abstract Painting Spirit

I created this video as a window
into the wondrous delights of being an artist.

Abstract artist Julie Bernstein Engelmann demonstrates her creative painting process
(acrylic and poured latex) and discusses the Spirit in the paint.
Beautiful music by composer Bruce Mitchell. 9 minutes.


2:47 "You know you're being an artist when you feel that pulse flow through you, of present tense, excitement, aliveness, and beauty, and joy."

4:08 "When you create these things, they go out from you and they evolve into some other creation in the Universe. I feel as an artist that what I make--I put everything I can into it, but I also realize that it's not really exactly mine. It has a life of its own, and I try to honor that when I paint. I try to listen to the spirit of the painting to see where it wants to go--to see what beauty it wants to express."

5:38 "What we've done is we've made a gazillion fabulous possibilities that are unpredictable, that make your painting more interesting, possibly, than would have happened if you had just done it out of your contriving mind--you know, 'I'm going to paint a cool abstract painting.' We don't have that much richness in our minds, most of us."

7:22 "What I learned is that there's a spirit in the painting--like, in the paint itself, in the painting itself--and *that* will never lead you astray. And so, it's a co-workership. You have your sense of what you want to do in the painting, so you go ahead and get your brush ready with that color and that idea. And then, just before you put the paint on the canvas, you ask permission from the painting spirit: 'Do I have my brush the right angle? Do I have the right colors on it?' You know, sometimes I'll just dip the corner in a slightly different color. And I feel the brushstroke before it happens, you know: 'Oh, that's the way it's going to feel.' And then I just do it. Like, now I know what to do; there's confidence."

August 2012

Future Teachers Discover Art at IUP -- Artist-in-Residence Program

In 2013 I did an artist residency for non-art major college sophomores who were going into education and special ed. The idea, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was to give future teachers an intensive hands-on art experience so they could better include art in their early-childhood classrooms.

The university made a video about the residency. Their Youtube description:

"ArtsPath and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania College of Education partnered to provide non-art education students the experience of an artist in the classroom. Hear from the students, professors, and artists who participated in this program."

September 2014. Four minutes.

The two professors who co-taught the course and I wrote an article about the residency that got published in Teaching Artist Journal (2018).

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© 2012-2019 Julie Bernstein Engelmann