Category Archives: Trips

My autumn 2018 through pictures

Autumn is a time of fruition and transition.

I taught my final Luscious Abstractions 2-day crash course at the Sedona Arts Center in September 2018. I say final because I will be turning that class into an online course and transitioning my in-person teaching to a 3-day workshop, The Inspired Abstract.

Here is the wonderful group of painters and their luscious abstractions:

Carlos, Colby, Sylvia, Eliana, Rob

Sylvia was inspired to take the class because she owns two of my paintings and wanted to try my method and see what would come out. Find her fabulous musical painting in the photo above.

Eliana created delicate and lively pieces. She was concerned that she couldn’t keep imagery from appearing in her work. I told her, as I often tell students, “Imagery is fine! as long as it appears by itself and you aren’t forcing it.”

In October an art therapist, Diane, came out from California full of heart, and we had a wonderful time in a private workshop. Her apron is embroidered “Art Heals,” and that says it all.

In November a young adventurer, Fulya from Turkey, came to Sedona on a spiritual quest and wanted to capture it in a painting. When she contacted me out of the blue with this request I said, “Wow, have you ever come to the right place! That’s exactly what I teach!” Here she is with her fairy-dance piece created in our private workshop.

Meanwhile, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s in Sedona included my work in a several-month group show called “Signs of Life” and promoted it beautifully. (They even made a video of my work in the show!) Here are a couple of my pieces on their walls and in their ads.

As a highlight of the show, Sotheby’s hosted an elegant artist reception. It happened to be scheduled the evening I planned to drive to San Diego to attend a coaching conference, so I considered skipping the artist reception. But then Sotheby’s placed another ad, “Meet the Artist – Julie Bernstein Engelmann” and some of my friends saw it and told me they were coming! So I went to the artist reception after all and delivered my 3-minute speech to the lovely crowd and had a great time; then changed clothes in the car and embarked on a 7-hour drive, arriving in the wee hours.

At the conference I met my Artist Mastermind buddies in person for the first time. We had been meeting by Zoom for awhile, but hadn’t gotten the full flavor of one another. In person we all hit it off like old lifetime friends and had a magical time together. Here I am with my special and most wonderful support buddy Barbara Brown, artist of the forest (watch her incredibly beautiful video! scroll to bottom). We continue to meet by Zoom every other week, alternating with our Mastermind, to share, witness, and support each other in our respective art businesses. 

Finally, over the course of 5 weeks from November to December, I collaborated in a community mural called “Camp Verde Grows” in the nearby town of Camp Verde, AZ. The lead artist, Joan Bourque, held meetings with members of the community, including me, to determine which elements to include: scenes from its Sinagua, Hopi, and Yavapai roots; farming, vineyards and crops; birds that draw birding enthusiasts to the Verde Valley; area scenery, from faraway forested Flagstaff with its San Francisco peaks, to the red rocks of Sedona, to the white gypsum cliffs the town is nestled among; and the constellations, since Camp Verde is the world’s newest International Dark Sky Community.

I worked with Joan on the design and layout and painted the top third of the mural – all the non-green parts and sky that required climbing the scaffolding! From there, up high I could turn around and see the entire expansive landscape that I was painting. I used a star chart to paint the constellations! My favorite part was painting the petroglyphs by Montezuma Castle; check them out in the enlargeable photo below.

Here’s a nice blog post from a local journalist about the project, which quotes me quite a bit, including the story of how the mural’s title came to be.

Here is the core group of artists (the ones that got paid ;)) although a number of community members had their hand in the mural as well!  Joan Bourque, the lead artist, is second to right.

Camp Verde Grows mural – click to enlarge. I painted the upper third of the mural – all the non-green distant landscape and sky, as well as Montezuma Castle at right. Check out my favorite part: the petroglyphs!

The mural project was organized by the Town of Camp Verde Economic Development Department. They bought one of my paintings, which is on display in their office conference room, along with another of my abstracts.

I always appreciate the subsiding of activity between Christmas and New Year’s, and this year was no exception. After all the activity, I went into hibernation for a deeply enjoyable time of regroup and regeneration. Winter, even in sunny Arizona, brings its gift of fresh clean newness.

Tucson Workshop and the Abstracts of the Chiricahuas

I love combining travel and teaching. In April my sister Minda from Montreal came to Arizona for a reunion with me in Sedona and our other sister Beth in Tucson.

We were excited to plan the trip so they could both attend my Luscious Abstractions class. As it turned out, my daughter Amber attended too – as well as a dear artist friend from western Pennsylvania, Kathryn Galey!

Here are some moments from this special Luscious Abstractions class at the Sedona Arts Center, April 2017:

Then we sisters headed for southern Arizona. Here are some stunning abstractions from the Chiricahua National Monument:

Finally, knowing I would have a couple days to spare while Minda and our husbands went on a birding jaunt, I set up a workshop at the beautiful studio of Don Canada in Tucson with the help of amazing Marva.

Here are some of the sun-drenched moments of the workshop, Layers: Intuition to Composition in Tucson, April 2017:

The following month I had another opportunity to visit Beth in Tucson, and took advantage of the time to have a followup mentoring session with Marva at Don’s studio. Beth and I also hiked among the saguaro.

I needed some art supplies, and while at the store with Beth, got the inspiration to suggest that she buy some paint too! Next thing we knew, she was all set up with her own studio outdoors by the pool, painting ecstatically.

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!

 

Art Exploration in Charmed Santa Fe

In August 2016, my sister Beth from Tucson had a conference to attend in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was quick to tag along to check out the art!

Like Sedona, Santa Fe is filled with beautiful adobe structures. Unlike Sedona’s clean, contemporary adobe look, much of Santa Fe’s is rustic and natural. You can feel the evolution of structures over time.

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As part of her conference, my sister and I took a Healing through Self Portraits workshop with Amy Stein. Actually it was drawing your inner self, as there were no mirrors. I think her quirky humor was the most healing aspect of the workshop!

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The galleries on Canyon Road are a fairyland of exploration! Amid much wonderful abstract art, I made some good connections.

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Serendipitously, the week before, someone had told me to check out the art of Stan Berning. I was impressed with his work – and excited to learn that he lived in Santa Fe, just where I was going! Right off the main square, his studio has an exhibition space called Art Box  that can be seen through a big window even when he’s not there.

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Thrillingly for me, we were able to meet and have a long conversation about abstract painting. Stan showed me a treasure trove of luscious paintings that had not seen the light of day for a long time! Apparently I was so engaged in the moment that it never occurred to me to take a picture of him in his studio to show you.

Another special connection was made in Santa Fe. A Fun Fact from my past is that my sister’s and my high school art teacher in Austin, Texas was a Mexican-American/Native-American who went on to become one of the most highly successful and well-known artists in that arena, Amado Pena. We visited him at his gallery in Santa Fe, plus I managed to find his sprawling studio somewhere in the most convoluted and authentic red-dirt back roads of an Indian reservation.

We paid him one last visit at his booth at the art fair that happened to be held the final day of our trip, and headed home.

Okay, this picture is actually from an art fair in Tucson 2015, but we all looked exactly the same in 2016. Photo by Minda Bernstein

Okay, I neglected to take a pic that day, but this picture is from an art fair in Tucson in April 2015, and hey, we all looked exactly the same in August 2016. Photo by Minda Bernstein

 

The Art of Summer

Summer in the Southwest: hot, dry, timeless freedom. Here is how mine went.

Luscious Abstractions students painted enthusiastically at the Sedona Arts Center, May 2016.

Tracy, Gioia, Stephanie, Brenda

Tracy, Gioia, Stephanie, Brenda

In June a gentle free spirit, Marj Leininger, came from New Mexico for a private workshop. Here she is with our paintings-in-progress (hers on the left, mine at right).

Marj Leininger

The Sedona Summer Colony cast a charmed spell over six weeks of the summer. A new collaborative venture of the Sedona Arts Center, over 100 artists came from all across the USA to the beautiful red rocks of Sedona for inspiration and creation. My daughter was an intern for the Colony, so I led a number of hikes.

Devil’s Bridge Trail wound up through jutting rocks to a spectacular landscape:

Devil's Bridge, Sedona

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That last shot is quite abstract! Here is my daughter Amber on Dead Man’s Pass Trail:

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We also climbed the heart-stopping Cathedral Rock Trail:

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My hat tried to blow away in the gusty wind on those heights. Photo by Wanda Holmes

Summer in Arizona means hummingbirds! I make a practice of trying to photograph them in the sunset.

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Meanwhile, my painting “Saved by Flaw” was in the show Of the Earth at the Sedona Arts Center in July (biggest one in photo).

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“Promontory” was in the Sedona Arts Center’s August show, Blowin’ in the Wind.

Photo by Beth Bernstein

Photo by Beth Bernstein

Local newspaper The Cottonwood Journal gave a cute caption to a photo of my painting. It says, “Gallery 527 artist Julie Bernstein Engelmann will show her work, ‘I May Be All That Exists.’ That is something to think about and discuss at First Saturday Art Walk on July 2 in Jerome.”

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In August my Luscious Abstractions class at the Sedona Arts Center included a joyful and loving combination of deeply spiritual people of different faiths.

Rabbi Alicia and Marj

Flo, Rabbi Alicia, Marj

Here are their fabulous paintings!

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L to R: Paintings by Marj Leininger, Linda Hogsett, Florence Johns, Alicia Magal

Marj, like summer, stayed for an extra day of pouring.

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The summer wasn’t complete without a trip to Santa Fe, but that’s another post!

 

Sunfire doll and the desert

My sister Beth invited me to Tucson to take a doll workshop with Gretchen Lima, her favorite doll creator, who happens to live nearby in the desert.

It was delightful to learn from taking another artist’s workshop, relax into her instructions, and see her fabulous studio setup. Here is a rare picture of my sister sewing (on the right).

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And here is my doll creation, called Sunfire, inspired by my sunshiney red-headed daughter Amber.

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Can you see the resemblance?

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Ha, that’s a funny picture of Amber a few years ago, but it looks closer to the doll than most!

Here is some desert beauty from our hike: a field of prickly pear; ocotillo flowers in the deep blue sky; palo verde branches with a bird’s nest; and…a little prickly pear love!

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VailDesertPaloVerde+Nest VailDesertHeartCactus

 

Cross-country transition

We put in bid on a foreclosure home in Lake Montezuma, Arizona (20 miles south of Sedona), and set off across the country waiting to hear.

So did our movers!

Kirby and Sapphire were wary of the changes. Sapphire had to learn to use a kitty litter for the first time.

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Having longed to live in the southwest again after 28 years, I asked my daughter to take a photo of me crossing the “threshold” to the West, my new home.

MoveToAZJulieEnteringSouthwest

We found a place to stay until finally we were able to inspect our home and the contract came through. Here is my husband Chip (with hat) on the roof with the inspector, our ocotillo blooming in front.

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In the meantime we explored our new “back yard,” the gorgeous Oak Creek Canyon and Red Rock State Park.

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The red rocks of Sedona

I decided to take my husband Chip on a trip to see our future home in Cottonwood, Arizona. (Well, we hope it will be, anyway! Our house in PA has yet to sell.)

Here is the rosy glow of sunrise on the airplane.

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Here is the rosy glow of sunset on the red rocks of Red Rock State Park.

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This is the James Ratliff Gallery in Sedona, where my art is available.

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Here I am dropping some paintings off with Shirley at the James Ratliff Gallery, Sedona. (None of the paintings shown in the photo are mine, though. Mine are on the other side of the room!)

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My Museum Show is Open!

I had a great follow-up trip to Arizona in December. Incredibly, I was able to get into another fabulous Arizona gallery, this one in Sedona. I’ll give you details when my first artworks are on display there.

When I got back to Pennsylvania, I had just enough time in the studio to create the final, large diptych for my SAMA show.

It’s called, “No One Else Knows Better,” 48″H x 72″W.

Soon the truck came to pick up my 39 pieces. I can’t tell you how great that feeling is!

Here I am in the truck, beaming, with Scott Dimond, Curator for Visual Arts for the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

 

The show, called “Julie Bernstein Engelmann: Being Spirit,” is now open to the public at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona, Pennsylvania, through April 20, 2013. Here are a couple of shots.

Site Coordinator Barbara Jo Hollander did a beautiful job of hanging the show. It is sort of like swimming through a sea of vibration that keeps changing.

Here is Barbara with artist Steve Gilbert of Altoona, who coincidentally, is the only other artist I know in western Pennsylvania who, like me, studied with abstract expressionist Milton Resnick in New York City around 1980.

There will be two colorful public events for the show. One is Blue Monday, with the popular bluegrass music of Mountain City Grass. Totally by chance, it turns out that my fellow ArtsPath artist-in-residence Tom McCarty is in that band. This event, reputed to be raucous fun, costs $20 and will be held on Feb. 11, from 6PM-8PM.

The other, quieter event is Lunch a l’Art, where you get to munch at tables among the paintings and then listen to me tell stories about my artwork for about 15 minutes. That will be held Wed., March 13 at noon, and costs $13.

Find all details about the show and events, along with more pictures, here.
Oh yes, two pieces sold before the official opening!

I hope you will find a chance to see the show. If so, let me know what you think!

Magical Arizona

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!

With love,

Julie