Category Archives: Commissions

Dear deer: Creating through desire and allowing

For the Sedona Arts Center 36th Annual Juried Members Show, March 4-28, 2016, I entered two paintings; both got selected. One of them was an odd painting that came out of me after I had moved to Arizona, yet didn’t feel settled yet.

I had been looking at a pink and yellow canvas for quite awhile. The rectangular pink form on the lower half had begun to take on a life of its own.

That’s when my friend Scott, forever passionate about deer, commissioned me to paint a deer portrait.

Quiet, detail, acrylic on canvas, 20"Hx24"W, 2014. Private collection

Quiet, detail, Julie Bernstein Engelmann, acrylic on canvas, 20″Hx24″W, 2014. Private collection

In the course of looking at deer faces and deer paintings I got onto the wavelength. Suddenly it became clear what the vision was on my pink and yellow canvas:

Julie Bernstein Engelmann, Creating Through Desire and Allowing, acrylic on canvas, 25"Hx25"W

Julie Bernstein Engelmann, Creating Through Desire and Allowing, acrylic on canvas, 25″Hx25″W

The force of those antlers was very masculine compared to my usual flowy forms. I may have to return to such imagery one day! The eye needed to remain in transition – an abstraction transition…

The title, “Creating Through Desire and Allowing,” was a subject on my mind. How do you manifest something in your life? The object coming into view between the antlers represents to me the oscillation between desire and allowing that occurs in the process of bringing a creation into being, into reality.

 

Earth Heal

Last summer, composer Bruce Mitchell, from Ontario, Canada, commissioned me to paint Earth Heal for his CD cover. It has finally become a real CD!

Composer Bruce Mitchell's website

Buy and listen here
to Bruce’s soul-nourishing, beautiful music.I also designed/painted the cover for Bruce’s previous CD, New Earth Goddess, which won Best Neo-Classical Album of 2009:

The songs on this stunningly rich album (my favorite of all time) depict the vibration of different goddesses. You can listen to it at the same link.

Working on this album cover, in turn, inspired me to create three of the paintings that appear in my current SAMA show:

Athena25x25-2

“Athena (Goddess of inner wisdom)”; Oil, latex & acrylic on canvas; 25″Hx25″W; 2010

“Rhiannon (Goddess of magic and mystery),” Acrylic, oil & charcoal on canvas; 40″Hx30″W; 2011 (This painting just sold to a collector!)

“Aeracura (Goddess of unfolding and blossoming),” Acrylic & latex on unprimed canvas; 14″Hx26″W; 2011

I’m grateful that Bruce has become a dear friend, and also that he allowed me to use two of his songs on my video, Abstract Painting Spirit.

Abstract Painting Spirit

This summer I was asked to speak to a group about my creative process. I offered to create a video, because my process is in the living color! So this is my first video, showing the process of making two of the paintings for my Lily Pads exhibit. It’s 9 minutes. P.S. The group responded well!

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.

Lily Pads
I was fortunate to be offered the second-ever exhibit at The Artists Hand Gallery, our new art center in my town of Indiana, PA. Here is the postcard:

Why Lily Pads?
Artist Statement for Lily Pads exhibit (excerpt)

This summer I took my annual sojourn to northern Wisconsin. On a day trip, our pontoon ambled through a chain of lakes and channels to a secluded area strewn with lily pads.

I was struck by the majesty of the water lilies: their confident blooms bursting forth from the impervious, sashaying leaves swaying above the secretive, sinuous stems swishing in the undertow. I took countless pictures.

Back in Indiana, Sandy asked me whether I had come up with a title for my show. In a leap of faith, I decided to create my show around that inspiration, even though I only had three weeks to prepare new paintings. Luckily, many of my current paintings fit the feeling of the theme: bold yet fluid. I set about creating several new pieces.

You may notice some interesting titles. These are taken from my journal. I name my paintings before I paint them. I don’t always keep the titles, but they provide a meaningful starting point for my embarkation from blank white canvas into the land of discovery. They guide me along the way, and they usually turn out to be uncannily suitable.


Color – joy – refreshment – intuition in overdrive – unexpected, thrilling color-texture blends – lush beauty and tactility – childlike freedom – releasing the left brain – being alive to this moment : these are reasons I create art. Can you see them in the paintings?

- Julie Bernstein Engelmann, August 21, 2012

Best of Show
Earlier this summer I was very proud to receive the Best of Show award in the Indiana Art Association 71st Spring Show at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Museum. It was a big surprise, because there were several other pieces that could easily have taken the award. Here is the winner: Saved by Flaw 36″Hx40″W.

Best Art Sales
Thanks to my wonderful patrons and dear fans, I had the best summer ever in painting sales. I sold 17 paintings through my Silent Auction, plus three more after-auction sales. On top of that, two realistic commissions paid for my summer travels to Ontario and Wisconsin–a great way to go.

So I have had a very good summer and am looking forward to a fantastic fall. I hope you are, too!

Yours, Julie