For Artists

Turn inspiration into fascinating abstract paintings

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Workshops and Classes
- The Inspired Abstract Workshop
- Luscious Abstractions
Artist Mentoring
- Revitalize Your Abandoned Abstracts
- Vital Abstracts

Dear Artist,

When you see abstract paintings that thrill and inspire you, the possibilities seem endless. "I want some of that!" you exclaim. Yet in the studio your own abstract paintings can be hit or miss, leaving you wondering "Can this be improved? Is there more?"

Does anyone really understand what you are trying to do in abstract painting?

My name is Julie Bernstein Engelmann, and yes, I understand! I help artists like you gain the skills and insight to turn your inspiration into paintings you really care about: paintings with beauty, depth, and fascination.

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 three key components: meaning, naturalness, and spatial depth and flow.

Upcoming Workshops

The Inspired Abstract

3-day workshop with Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Two opportunities:

Dates: July 20-22, 2018
Times: Fri-Sat 9:30-4:30, Sun 9:30-3:30 (with an hour for lunch)
Location: Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336
Level: All experience levels welcome

Dates: November 2-4, 2018
Times: Fri 10-5, Sat-Sun 9-4 (with an hour for lunch)
Location: Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336
Level: All experience levels welcome

Turn moments of inspiration into fascinating abstract paintings!

The treasures of inspiration can be found all around you – in a vivid experience, a dream, a desire, a photograph, and even the pattern of a napkin. In this workshop, you'll mine such beloved treasures and transmute them into unique, intriguing abstract paintings.

Using Julie's layering technique, you will enter the painting process naturally, ease into personal intuitive marks and forms reflecting your inspiration, and weave exquisite depth and beauty. Then, Julie will help you see the spirit of your painting and gently enhance its drama and spatial flow so it can shine powerfully.

You'll leave with two acrylic paintings that each embody three vital keys to powerful and successful abstract painting: meaning, naturalness, and spatial depth and flow. Along the way, you'll gain discernment, refine your composition and color skills, and come to see and understand abstract painting more deeply.

Julie will give demonstrations, group critique, discussion, and plenty of one-on-one time. You'll also receive Julie's valuable checklist: “Critique Points for Abstract Painting,” an essential painting-rescue kit to keep handy in your studio.

For registration and supplies, click "Show more" below.

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Upcoming Classes in Sedona, Arizona

Luscious Abstractions

2-Day Crash Course with Julie Bernstein Engelmann

Location: Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336
Dates: August 6-7, 2018 (Mon-Tue); or September 8-9, 2018 (Sat-Sun)
Time: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm each day with an hour for lunch

Explore abstraction rich with depth and meaning! Julie's layering technique gives you a powerful foundation that helps you enter the painting process naturally, develop beautiful complexity, bring out the spirit of your piece, and enhance its visual flow. You'll gain discernment and appreciation for abstract painting.

Through intuitive mark-making, luscious "happy accident," and strong composition, you will come away with two acrylic paintings - a paper collage and an 18x24" canvas panel - that surprise and intrigue you!

For registration and more info, click "Show more" below.

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"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!"

"I love Julie: Her art, her teaching style, and as a human being. She always makes a workshop a delightful experience."

"I had been hoping to get some insight into painting abstractions, and possibly learn to 'free up' my style. Julie provided both, and so much more. Not only did she provide ways to 'tap into' and express our own individual uniqueness, she also shared the keys to making good abstractions, including color theory and mixing, composition, layering techniques, and other fundamentals of art. I learned so much! Her teaching style and personality gave us students the confidence to move forward, and her critiques were brilliant as she shared her experience about just what we needed to bring our paintings 'over the top.' I would take other classes from her and I recommend her highly."

"Julie was fantastic! I so appreciated her patience and kindness."

"Your art class was such a blast! It exceeded my expectations in every way!"

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!

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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.

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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

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Click back up to:
Workshops and Classes
- Meaningful Abstracts Workshop
- Luscious Abstractions
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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© 2013-2018 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