For Artists (that's you)

Freedom and confidence for the creative soul
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Workshops and Classes
Revitalize Your Abandoned Abstracts
Vital Abstracts - Ongoing Artist Mentoring

Dear Artist,

You've seen abstract paintings that thrill and inspire you. "I want some of THAT," your heart announces. When you paint abstract, you taste a burst of freedom and triumph that lifts your soul!

Yet, are you left wondering, "Is this good art? Could it be improved? Is there more?"

Your friends say, "Hey, that's great!" or "I don't get it," but this is as far as the conversation goes. They really don't understand the language you are trying to speak. Does anyone?

My name is Julie Bernstein Engelmann, and yes, I understand! I help creative souls like you to gain confidence, competence, freedom and fulfillment in abstract painting.

As an artist with many years of education, exhibitions, awards, and teaching, my mission is to raise the bar on joy, understanding, and meaning in abstract painting for creative souls.

I invite you to work with me through Workshops and Classes or Artist Mentoring.

Workshops and Classes

My workshops and classes give you the hands-on experience of creating an intriguing and successful abstract painting: one with meaning, naturalness, and spatial flow.
  • You become comfortable with the materials of painting. This is a huge step in the making of any painting, but especially an abstract one, because you can't lean on imagery. Paint is all you have, so it must be wonderful! How do you make it wonderful? By feeling wonderfully at home with your materials.

  • You learn to allow the paint to do much of the work for you. You create the painting organically - so the paint looks natural, happy accidents can help you, and the painting works as a whole. This naturalness is an important aspect of a good painting.

  • You'll use your own intuitive touch, so that your mark-making is personally meaningful and powerful.

  • After this luscious start, I'll help you see the spirit that is already present in your painting. You bring it out by making surprisingly small adjustments to your painting's spatial depth and flow!

  • Meanwhile, you gain a better understanding of color, composition, and what makes a good painting good.
Students come away with a deeper understanding of abstract painting that took me decades to attain.

Upcoming Classes and Workshops at the Sedona Arts Center

Luscious Abstractions!

Instructor: Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Location: Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336
Dates: Sat-Sun, February 4-5; or Sat-Sun, March 25-26; or Mon-Tue, April 17-18; or Mon-Tue, May 22-23, 2017
Dates in September and November 2017 to be announced
Time: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm each day with an hour for lunch

Abstraction can be rich with depth, drama, and discovery! Julie's layering technique gives you a powerful foundation for abstract painting and helps you develop ease and freedom with paint. Through intuitive mark-making, luscious "happy accident," and strong composition you will create exciting paintings that surprise and engage you. Meanwhile, you will learn important design and color skills.

Through group discussion, participants will see each painting more deeply and understand how to enhance its impact. You'll take home two acrylic paintings - a paper collage and an 18x24” canvas panel - that speak to the mystery!

All experience levels welcome. Come as you are; all supplies provided.

Tuition: Member: $118.00 / Non-member: $130 | All materials included

Information & Register

Q: What if I've taken the class before?
A: By all means, take it again! This class does stand alone, but truly you will get so much more out of it once you know where you are going. Plus, I am always tweaking the way I teach it. You can't help but learn and experience more each time.
"Julie is fun, sweet, kind, enthusiastic, and a great teacher! She has the ability to help us see our artwork with fresh eyes looking for the good instead of focussing on the bad. It was a wonderful experience and I will take another class with her one of these days!"

"Very encouraging style; even her critiques were uplifting rather than downcasting."

"Julie is an excellent instructor. Her feedback was honest and sought after by everyone in the class. Her style of teaching resonated with me and I was able to walk out of the class with all of my goals met. Her passion for what she is doing is absolutely inspirational!"

"Julie Engelmann is an excellent instructor - she's knowledgeable, fun and helpful!"

"Julie is very kind and relaxed. She shared several techniques that would serve as motivation to making a truly unique painting. Her use of colors is wonderful."

"Your art class was such a blast! It exceeded my expectations in every way! I'm glad you covered all that you did, and I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of it. Thanks so much for such a wonderful experience!"

Luscious Abstractions Private Class

Private classes give you flexibility to learn through a personalized, guided, hands-on process. These lessons can be held at the Sedona Arts Center or in your studio if transformation can be arranged. Click for an information sheet. Then email me with your interest.

Want abstraction for your art group?

I help art groups get a better grounding in abstract painting through workshops, demos, critiques, residencies, judging and jurying. Email me your interest.

"Julie - what can I say! you were great! you did everything one could expect from a work shop: good demo showing your step by step technique, wonderful personal contact & critiques, sharing completed works & the feelings one can get from the paint colors & shapes - AND THE WONDERFUL HANDOUT - I enjoyed it immensely as I am sure everyone did - Thank you so much - sincerely,"

- Patti Giordano, artist and Programs & Classes Coordinator, East Suburban Artists League, Murrysville, PA

"Thank you for such a fun workshop! As you already know, I really enjoyed myself. Your ability in critiquing is outstanding. You are gifted in tuning into the artist and the painting. It is very impressive."

- Marva Harvey, artist and Program Coordinator, Contemporary Artists of Southern Arizona, Tucson, AZ

"I told you how beneficial the demo was. I neglected to say how much I enjoyed the lecture portion of your presentation and found the comparisons between a wow painting and a not so wow one particularly valuable. I could instantly see the difference in the paintings."

- Carolyn Starbuck, Contemporary Artists of Southern Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Artist Mentoring

Do you resonate with my work or feel like possibilities are opening up for you in abstraction? Artist mentoring is the quickest way for you to get direct, incisive feedback from me that can save you so much time going around in circles with your paintings.

I offer two types of mentoring: Revitalize Your Abandoned Abstracts and Vital Abstracts - Ongoing Artist Mentoring, below.

Revitalize Your Abandoned Abstracts

An artist mentoring intensive by web/phone to bring unhappy abstracts back to life

Are some of your paintings sitting around unfinished, because you got stuck or disappointed with the direction they took? Or maybe you thought your painting was finished, but then realized you didn't like it?

These unresolved pieces can drain our creative energy, the longer they sit there. I invite you to pull them out into the light of day. May I look at them with you, with fresh eyes?

I would love to help you bring these paintings back to life!

Most paintings get stalled because of blockages in the way the space flows. Your painting is so much closer to being fabulous than you realize – if only you could see the mystery waiting to come to light in your painting - and give it room to breathe.

That's where I can help. My superpower is to help you see the spirit in your painting and understand how to enhance it. Starting with what you love, we'll talk about which factors are at play in your painting and how it can come into its own. Like a surgeon, I honor your painting's life force and make only the most precise cuts and sutures to bring health to the system!

Let's rescue your paintings from the unfinished stack, revitalize their spirit, and restore your confidence!

  • We'll be able to discuss approximately six paintings in detail, but feel free to send more images for context and general discussion.
  • I'll demonstrate by using a paint program on top of your photos. We'll do this online - or if you prefer to speak by phone I'll send you screenshots ahead of time.
  • Any style or experience level is welcome.
  • We'll take whatever time it takes; perhaps allow 1.5 hours.
  • How does this intensive differ from my regular mentoring sessions? Mainly, it is a one-time consultation involving more time, focus and preparation. For ongoing mentoring, see Vital Abstracts, below.
In addition to your session, you'll receive:
  • Screenshots of annotations to your paintings;
  • An audio recording of the session if possible;
  • PLUS: a bonus Super valuable reference checklist - “Vital-Signs Critique for Abstract Painting.” This is an emergency first-aid kit for your paintings! You'll want to print it out and keep it handy in your studio.
Your artist mentoring session is done by web or phone, conveniently and effectively. Questions? Email me.

$180 Revitalize Your Abandoned Abstracts - artist mentoring intensive with Julie:

After payment, wait to be redirected to a Thank You page. From there, you'll click to:
  1. My calendar to schedule your session,
  2. "Here's How It Works," which gives important information, and
  3. "Vital Signs Critique for Abstract Painting," your bonus cheat sheet! I may refer to this during your session.

Thank you!

Vital Abstracts - Ongoing Artist Mentoring

Artists who continue with mentoring discover that the momentum of always working toward a session builds unprecedented productivity and transforms them as an artist. I invite you to experience this support and the difference it makes.

In your session, I will:
  • shine light on your strengths;
  • open your eyes to the spirit in your paintings (especially when you're stuck);
  • show you how to enhance this spirit by tweaking the spatial flow;
  • and help you understand how to dramatically make your painting come alive.
You will:
  • have the chance to freely discuss your artwork, be heard, ask questions;
  • get each painting thoughtfully critiqued, with insight and appreciation;
  • become confident in your strengths (and stop undermining yourself);
  • and find renewed energy to take the next step.
Artist mentoring is done by phone and web, conveniently and effectively. Questions? Email me.

$90 Vital Abstracts - artist mentoring session with Julie:

After payment, wait to be redirected to a Thank You page. From there, you'll click to:
  1. "Here's How It Works," which gives important information, and
  2. my calendar to schedule your session.

Thank you!

Questions? Email me.

In the love of your beautiful and unique expression,


Julie Bernstein Engelmann

Julie, I am amazed by how much I learn in each of our sessions!!! I love our telephone sessions and how you are able to teach me and guide my painting, despite the fact that you are across the country. The recordings are so helpful and I refer back to them frequently. My time in the studio is so much more fun because I have new direction and I am not just guessing at what to paint. I have gone from not painting at all, to spending several hours a day painting and loving it!

I can't thank you enough for helping me submit and be accepted to my first juried art show!! I look forward to our continued sessions and hope I will get the opportunity to attend more of your workshops.

I love your painting and the title 'Is it Really Okay to Feel this Good?' and I ask myself that often when I am painting!

- Sandy Duckett, Phoenix, Arizona

Julie, you are such a powerful presence in my life. As a painter, I have such a strong desire to express myself. I love to revel in the freedom of making marks with paint and ink that I am deeply drawn to make, and to powerfully feel the mystery and energy of my Being made manifest. As my mentor, I feel like you have literally helped me look, and as a result, see what I am doing from a visual perspective. What a gift! Something that is so personal is something that I can more easily share now.

Having a consistent connection with you over time has allowed me to mark the evolution of my enjoyment and awareness as a painter and art creator. Your specific awareness of abstract art is helpful and grounding. With you at my side I feel like I have the support to go as far and as deep as I want to with my art. Thank you.

- Katie Harrington, Burlington, Vermont

Before I met Julie Engelmann my art work consisted of sporadic, realistic watercolours. Julie’s classes and mentoring opened up a whole new avenue for me; I had not previously been exposed to abstract/expressionist painting. I love the freedom, creativity and new color sense that I feel when I paint in this “new” style.

I have continued along this new path, incorporating abstract expressionism with my realistic tendencies. Julie’s mentoring has motivated me to produce more paintings than I ever thought I would do on my own.

Even though her own style is very abstract, Julie has a broad background of art knowledge and experience to bring to any style of painting. Her critiques are always honest, insightful and positive which makes them all the more helpful. I believe she has enabled me to take really big stride in my growth as an artist.

As a result of Julie’s mentoring, I have won several awards in local art shows. My latest was a first place in the non-professional category. I have sold several paintings through our local art gallery.

- Julie Knox, Indiana, Pennsylvania

In her critiques, Julie has a gift for getting to the heart of the matter. She sees at once where positive changes can be introduced and how any composition can be made stronger. She pulls no punches, but even the faintest of hearts will feel well-supported, as she conveys a genuine sense of believing in the artist and his or her potential.

As an "artist's artist," Julie knows how to develop that potential and how to help anyone chart a believable course toward artistic fulfillment. I see not only rapid improvement in my work, but new possibilities for showing and marketing it. Thanks to Julie's remarkable encouragement and mentorship, I'm well on my way, and I give her my highest recommendation as I go!
- Scott Dimond, Topsham, Maine

Beauty & Spirit Abstract Artist Circle

Visit and "like" my Facebook page:

Beauty & Spirit Abstract Artist Circle

Click back up to:
Workshops and Classes
Artist Mentoring
Revitalize Your Abandoned Abstracts
Vital Abstracts - Ongoing Artist Mentoring

See Also:
Abstract Painting Spirit 9-minute video
CV including teaching

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© 2017 Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Photo of Julie's East Suburban Artists League workshop, Murrysville, PA, by Minda Bernstein © 2013
Video still of Julie's Indiana Art Association workshop, Indiana, PA, by Scott Dimond © 2013
Video still of Julie's Indiana Art Association workshop, Indiana, PA, by Chip Engelmann © 2013
Photo of Julie's demo at El Valle Artists Association, Cottonwood, AZ, by Elaine Bomkamp © 2015
Video still of Julie painting at Indiana Art Association workshop, Indiana, PA, by Julie Bernstein Engelmann © 2014
Photo of lone painter, Community Arts Center of Cambria County, Johnstown, PA, by Julie Bernstein Engelmann © 2014
Portrait of Julie in grass by Minda Bernstein © 2013
Photos of mentoring clients submitted by each respectively, except Scott Dimond, by Chip Engelmann © 2013
All paintings are © by Julie Bernstein Engelmann