Wonderful Beautiful Mess class

What a wonderful From Beautiful Mess to Strong Composition class! It was a full house at Sedona Arts Center at the end of January, with many artists traveling from a distance.

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Midpoint critique. Photo by Sandy Duckett

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Laura Pennington

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Jeanette Cassin and Michelle Erickson

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Kimall Christensen, Stacey Aikins, and GloriaRothrock

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Gail Dishman and Diana Grady. Diana came from Alaska!

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Sandy Duckett

My longtime mentoring client, Sandy Duckett from Phoenix, inspired everyone with her warm heart.

Trash-to-Treasure workshops

As part of a community-wide Earthflows event in January 2016, the Sedona Arts Center held a juried exhibition called The Art of Recycling – Turning Trash into Treasure. “It is art that makes materials valuable, not the other way around,” said their School of the Arts director, Vince Fazio.

In conjunction with the show, he asked me to do two 2-hour Trash-to-Treasure workshops using recycled materials for assemblage. Like paint, found materials inspire through color and texture. Unlike paint, they also inspire through association, stories, and form.

The workshops were filled with lively people juicing it up with their creativity!

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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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El Valle demo and workshop

The El Valle Artists Association in Cottonwood, AZ, invited me to do a demo and workshop in November 2015. Here is a picture from the demo.

Photo by Elaine Bomkamp

Photo by Elaine Bomkamp

It is always refreshing to gather with fellow artists! The workshop was held in a school, so during our break we had fun swinging on the swingset. A couple of the older artists hadn’t swung for 7 decades!

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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Arts Immersion mural with 127 K-2nd graders

In May 2015 I was charged with the task of creating a 60-foot mural with 127 kindergarten-2nd graders as part of an Arts Immersion program at West Sedona School in Sedona, Arizona. There were five classes of about 26 students each, who met with four other artists for their other classes on the three days of the Immersion: a sculptor, musician, dancer, and performance artist.

Heh, did you grasp that we had three days to complete this mural?

Well, it turns out kids are like an army. It was no problem for them to plow through 60 feet of stucco wall with paintbrushes and six colors of exterior latex wall paint…with energy to spare. Here’s how it went.

Day 1: The theme of the Immersion was Community, so in groups of three the kids traced each other in different positions and on different levels of the wall.

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This was lunchtime the first day, with half the drawings up.

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By the end of the first day the drawings were rich and full!

Day 2: After a lesson on using the paint properly (such as keeping similar colors within a body so it doesn’t break up, and “No lifting your brush out of the cup until you get to the wall!”) the kids were let loose.

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In this picture you can see a bit of the supply tables in the background, which were kept very organized so things didn’t get out of hand.

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Day 3: We only let the kids have small brushes for the final day of painting. All that remained was to fill in the little spaces and holes and try to paint neatly to the lines.

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And voila!

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At the end of Day 3, I stayed until it was too dark to paint any more, cleaning up edges, making decisions about areas that seemed unfinished, and generally trying to highlight the amazing spirit in the kids’ painting as radiantly as possible!

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Uh, not to mention cleaning 75 brushes. For the second day in a row.

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I began to fantasize about hiring kids to work in the studio, letting them start paintings that I get to finish! How inspiring to witness the brilliance of the child’s creative spirit unleashed!

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This is me with Vince Fazio, director of the Sedona Arts Center School of the Arts, who both administered the Arts Immersion program and assisted by keeping 127 kids with paintbrushes under control!

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