Here are highlights from the fall months of 2016:
Here are highlights from the fall months of 2016:
A year ago, my solo show, “Being Spirit,” was featured at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Altoona, Pennsylvania. At that time, the museum acquired my painting, “Flight of the Faerie Queen.” Now the painting is on view at the museum’s current exhibit in their Loretto, Pennsylvania location, titled Arriving in Style: Recent Acquisitions of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.
According to the museum’s web announcement, “The exhibition, on view April 25 through June 14, features seventy-six paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by artists of regional and national stature.”
If you’re in the area of Loretto, PA, home of St. Francis University, stop by! See SAMA’s page for more information, hours, map and directions.
While I was at the Center for Creativity at the Greater Latrobe High School (Latrobe, PA) doing the Third Grade Art Symposium (see last post), I took the opportunity to wander the halls and view their famous art collection.
This student-selected, student+community purchased collection has been acquiring artworks almost every year since it was founded in 1936. The collection has been an inspiration to many other school districts, including the Derry Area School District that purchased my painting last November.
Walking the halls, you can’t help being awed by the presence of the artworks (which are, by the way, protected by plexiglass). The noise level when the students are pouring out of classrooms seems much lower than in other schools.
Eventually I found my way to my own painting, Restart, which was acquired by the collection in 2006. This purchase was actually a key event for me, as I explain in My Art Story:
My turning point as an abstract artist came in 2006, when I won a Purchase Award from the Greater Latrobe School District Special Collection, which is selected by the students. I was aware that people loved my abstracts as much as my landscapes, but this was a wake-up call. Not only did real, regular high-school kids pick my abstract painting over my realistic ones, but this was the first abstract painting they had picked for their collection since the 1960s. In the meantime, I had discovered how to create space in abstract paintings. I finally decided to throw myself behind my belief that abstract painting is my gift. Mine are the abstracts that don’t need theories to explain themselves to people’s hearts.
Here is my painting in the hallway, after hours.
As Barbara H. Nakles says in her introduction to A Unique Vision of Art, The Special Collection of the Greater Latrobe School District, second edition (2008), “The collection is…one of the finest collections of 20th and 21st century regional art on permanent display.”
Her book includes all the artworks in the collection purchased through 2007. My painting can be found on page 191. I love that!
My painting, Interconnected People Doing What They Love, was recently purchased by the Derry Area School District Art Collection, Derry, PA.
I was so excited, because the high school students voted for my painting from among many others, having seen it in a show last February (9 months ago!) at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Ligonier Valley. It was the third painting acquired for the collection so far.
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!
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:
“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.
I had an amazing trip to Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. The whole thing was just magical.
For some reason, a couple months ago when I heard about a seminar by Andrrea Hess in Phoenix on manifesting, my heart leapt with joy and I knew I just had to be there. Apparently the Universe agreed, because the Latrobe Art Center sold one of my big paintings, “Listen,” which paid for all my bills and plane ticket in preparation for the trip. Thank you!
Meanwhile, “Phoenix,” I thought, “I’d like to teach a workshop at the Phoenix Center for the Arts one day.” Then it occurred to me, maybe I could go ahead and do it on this trip!
I didn’t even know whether there was such a place, but a couple web searches, emails and phone calls later, I was scheduled! Soon my workshop was more than full. Here are paintings made by some of the wonderful attendees.
Meanwhile, GoogleMaps had told me that my sister Beth was a mere 2 hours away in Tucson, so I scheduled my trip around seeing her. We went hiking in Saguarro National Forest.
I got to see some of my paintings in her office at the University of Arizona.
She came to the seminar with me and we had a wonderful time.
And the best part? I was able to make a very good connection with a fancy gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, that tentatively wants to start representing me in June 2014! I have been floating in seventh heaven ever since. If you’re wanting to buy one of my paintings, you might want to do it before then, because once I’m in there my prices may double or triple!
I’m heading back to Tucson in December to house-sit (I would say babysit, but my nephew is 14 and might not appreciate that term). I hope to use the quiet time to create an art book for my show at SAMA*. And I’m also going to check out places where I may want to move with my family. My heart is longing for the southwest air and soft colors!
*I’m putting the finishing touches on my final artworks for the show at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona, PA. I’ll have 39 pieces, all abstract work from 2005 through 2012. Show dates are Jan. 18-Apr. 20, 2013, and we have a couple of special events scheduled. More on that to come!
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.
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!