Category Archives: Events

CASA and Marva’s Heart

Marva came up from Tucson for my Luscious Abstractions class last April. She enjoyed the critique so much that afterwards she asked if I would do something similar for her art group. Marva is the program coordinator for the Contemporary Artists of Southern Arizona (CASA). So we came up with a plan, and in October I drove to Tucson with slides, demo, and critique supplies in hand.

My morning presentation was called “Honoring the Paint: Layers and Pouring in Abstract Painting.”

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The program included a pouring demo, but on seeing a CASA show the evening before, I realized that the canvas I had brought was not suitable. The group would benefit more if I used a regular store-bought canvas instead of my hand-stretched one where the paint runs at a much slower speed. So Marva offered a canvas of her own.

This gesture, and Marva’s whole nature, was so generous that when it came time to pour the demo and I needed a title, the first one that popped to mind was “Marva’s Amazing Heart.” Here is the way the painting evolved:

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This was the initial pour during the demo. Look at that yummy yellow! Pours are luscious when wet.

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I added a second pour when I got back to my studio. The painting needed more action in the corners, and I wanted a soft, neutral gray to offset the active red.

Marva's Amazing Heart, by Julie Bernstein Engelmann, Latex and acrylic on canvas, 24"H x 20"W

The finished painting: “Marva’s Amazing Heart,” by Julie Bernstein Engelmann, Latex and acrylic on canvas, 24″H x 20″W.  I turned the canvas vertically and completed it in acrylic. First, I seated the diamond shape on the beautiful base. Then, I integrated the corners by modifying the colors and activity. Finally, the center suggested a “story,” which also served to give it definition.

A group of artists stayed for the afternoon Mini-workshop, “Revitalize your abandoned artwork! In-process critique with Julie Bernstein Engelmann.”  Each attendee brought a piece she was stuck on or hadn’t finished in a previous workshop. Using acrylic on glass over the painting, I demonstrated the thought process for enhancing the magic you do see in the paint, rather than letting frustration blind you to it.

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The next day, heading home my daughter and I stopped at the studio of a friend who wanted a private art class. It was a special and sacred time.

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Maryanne Maldonado and her magical mystery painting. Photo by Paul Maldonado

My favorite kind of trip: as an art emissary!

 

Dreamtime show at Sedona City Hall and Mayor’s office

I was invited to show at one of the Sedona City Hall buildings, Oct.-Dec. 2015.

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I called the exhibition Dreamtime,” an aboriginal term for the eternal place where the uncreated spiritual essence of form exists. 

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My daughter Amber at my Dreamtime show

Two of my paintings were hung in the Mayor’s office. Do they look gorgeous or what on those purple walls with the arch window! Check out the beautiful sculpture on the left, too.

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Here I am with Mayor Sandy Moriarty at the Artist Meet and Greet closing reception on January 6, 2016.

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Heart Conversations exhibition

Gallery 527 in Jerome gave me a featured exhibition for the month of September 2016. I called it “Heart Conversations.”

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Articles about the exhibition were printed in 4 area newspapers, along with a huge color photo of the painting on the upper left, “Nighttime Conversation.”

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From the press release:

“The paintings are like personal stories, only just their distilled essence,” said gallery owner Donna Chesler. “Each one has a very specific feeling, distinct from the others, which is unusual in abstract art.”

Engelmann explains, “The title, ‘Heart Conversations,’ refers to my heartfelt relationship with what I call the painting spirit. Like a dynamic conversation, the painting spirit actually helps me make a much better painting, leading to a surprise ending that reflects my seed idea in an intriguing way.”

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Gallery 527 Jerome

My sister Beth is fearless — especially when it comes to promoting my artwork. I took a picture of her here in the artist colony of Jerome, which she cheerfully describes as “cutesy.”

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Jerome, Arizona, is a former copper mining town built into the side of the Mingus Mountains. Its only main street switchbacks up the mountain, revealing one spectacular view after another, mixed with colorful galleries and tourist shops, mixed with the ruins of the ghost mining town it is built upon.

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So, there we are eating a delicious lunch and perusing art galleries. Next thing I know, Beth has made a connection to get my art into Gallery 527, my favorite one.

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With an intriguing range of high quality local art, the gallery has been around for ten years — which says a lot. Within a couple of weeks my work was beautifully installed.

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All photographs are by me except this one by Ken Chesler, co-owner of Gallery 527 with his wife, Donna

Soon I attended my first Artwalk.

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There, I was interviewed by a local photojournalist. Within a few days a large color picture of my artwork and me appeared on the front page of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

Everyone needs a sister like Beth.

Check out my page on the Gallery 527 website. It gives the poems behind four of my paintings!

 

Farewell to dear friends and Indiana, Pennsylvania

With our house finally sold, out went the days of houseshowing interruptus, and in came the massive task of packing and strategizing.

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Before we left, we got to enjoy one more family trip to Northern Wisconsin.

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My grand-niece Macy painted my nails abstract.

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I am fortunate to have made many amazing friends among the artists of Indiana, PA, and was sad to say goodbye. The Indiana Art Association threw me a wonderful farewell party.

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with an “abstract cake” in my honor.

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In turn, I brought all of my not-so-great canvases that I didn’t want to cart across the country and gave them to friends who wanted them. Here they are, all laid out on the floor of the Artists Hand Gallery.

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A sendoff with love!

What I learned from the young ones

In May I had the intense experience of a month-long residency teaching abstract painting to K-12th graders in a therapeutic school setting.

I’ve taught Abstract Acrylic Painting dozens of times over the past nine years, refining my methods each time to better help students avoid pitfalls and quickly reach a level of comfort and freedom of expression through their materials.

Teaching a workshop at the East Suburban Artists League, Murrysville, PA, April 13, 2013.

Little did I know the kids would change my game forever. They showed me that the steps I was teaching could be collapsed even further, which has led me to develop a new course called From Beautiful Mess to Strong Composition. I will be teaching this workshop several times in July and August, and then developing it into an online course. To keep informed, sign up for my free Beauty & Spirit Note from the studio.

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Residency final exhibit, May 30, 2013

Residency final exhibit, May 30, 2013

 

Finding My Voice: A Dance to my art

The most moving part (pardon the pun) of my artist reception at my SAMA exhibit was a modern dance choreographed by Jennifer Park to express the spirit of my artworks–in particular, Finding My Voice. Perhaps Jennifer is to dance what I am to painting, because for some reason we have this amazing creative connection.

Jennifer (from Altoona, PA) and her daughter Heather Park, along with Tango dancer Sean Cosgrove from Pittsburgh (who explained to me the fascinating interactive responsiveness of Tango), together created a mood like a blessing in the exhibit space.

You can enjoy the dance through a video that my husband and I put together. What you will see at the 10 minute mark is the audience joining in the dance in the most loving, heavenly, spinning way. It was an awesome experience I will never forget.

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Finding My Voice: A Dance to Art

 

 

Special thanks to composer Bruce Mitchell for his gorgeous music.

Here is the stunning cover photo that Heather Stone Russell created to express this experience.

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Wonderful artist reception at SAMA

My closing reception at Julie Bernstein Engelmann: Being Spirit was truly a beautiful celebration. Held April 13, 2013, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona, PA, I was honored by having so many dear friends travel over an hour to be there.

Click here to take a photo tour of my exhibit.

Me with my wonderful sister Minda, who came from Montreal to celebrate with us. She took many of these pictures and some of the video that will appear in my next post.

Dear friends Bob & Vera Bonnet. Bob helped videotape the beautiful video I'll put in the next blog post.

Me with dear friends Bob & Vera Bonnet. Bob shot some of the videotape.  Below are dancers Jennifer Park (blond), Heather Park, and Sean Cosgrove. See next blog post for their amazing dance! DancersFood.sm DancersJenHeatherSean.sm

Talk about Being Spirit

What a wonderful turnout and enthusiastic audience for my Lunch a l’Art talk for my Being Spirit exhibit at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona, PA. Here are some photos and snippets from my talk on March 13, 2013.

“I found that latex and acrylic complemented one another. The color range was vast, and the variations of fluidity were exciting. I could make what I call a beautiful mess to start with, and then go in with my brushwork and give form to the painting, and add things to create — well, I never know what!

“I pick up on the stories in the paint, and I start adding depth, and make it into shapes, and the vibrations start to come into tune. As some parts come into tune, the other parts–it becomes apparent what needs to happen. And by the time I’ve worked it through, there comes a moment when the entire painting jumps into 3D, like a hologram.”

“I began to take pieces out of my journal and use them for starting points on my paintings. You can see, some of the titles are kind of long and unusual, and I think that they’re fun, because sometimes they’re even a spiritual exercise of their own.

“But once I started working with these ideas, so they were more personal, it became much easier for my intuition to kick in. And I began realizing that I was actually working with the paint as a co-creator, that the paint had a consciousness about it. I began realizing that I wasn’t alone in what I was doing. And it was a huge revelation. I can’t tell you how this turned the corner for me.”

One more special event will take place before my exhibit closes on April 20, and that is my Artist’s Reception on April 13. Guess what! A choreographer who came to my talk got inspired to create a dance, and will be performing it, along with some other dancers, at my reception!

Here is the description:

“Finding My Voice” is a modern dance choreographed by Jennifer Park, based on an exploration of Julie Bernstein Engelmann’s creative life as it transfers from canvas to dancers. Inspired by many of the stories behind Julie’s abstract paintings, the dancers frame the works through movement, stillness, voice, reflection, and energy. Witness as the dancers communicate from painting to body back to painting… and eventually to you. We hope you will feel inspired to join in!

Please click to Exhibit and Event Info for all the details and to RSVP. I hope to see you there!