The Inspired Abstract

Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Julie Engelmann


The Inspired Abstract

Turn your life’s inspiring moments into richly beautiful abstract paintings. In this workshop you’ll gain a powerful foundation for abstract painting. Using layers, Julie will guide you to enter the painting process naturally, develop a deep and luscious visual space, and weave exquisite personal marks and forms that grow from your seed inspiration. You’ll discover the spirit in your painting and learn to gently enhance its drama, so it can shine powerfully. You’ll leave with two acrylic paintings that embody meaning, naturalness, and spatial depth and flow – qualities that lift an abstract painting from amateur to professional. Along the way, you’ll gain discernment and come to understand abstract painting much more deeply. Julie will give demonstrations, enlightening discussion, group critique, and plenty of one-on-one time. You’ll receive Julie’s valuable checklist: “Critique Points for Abstract Painting,” an essential painting-rescue kit to keep handy in your studio. All experience levels are welcome.

You’ll also develop the freedom and skills to:
• Use the full power of background, middle ground, and foreground in abstraction by understanding the proper role of each.
• Vastly deepen your painting’s visual space.
• More easily approach color mixing and color harmony.
• Replace criticism with supporting what you love about your painting.
• Make “surgical” changes to the flow of a painting that can stunningly transform it from disappointing to great.
• Distinguish what kind of finishing touches are needed to bring your painting into focus (without losing freshness).

Whether you’re a longtime artist or new to painting, you’ll gain the insight to transform your inspiration into endlessly interesting, soul-satisfying abstract paintings.

See Julie’s video HERE.


Payment Options: Students may pay in full or choose the payment-plan option during registration. The payment plan requires a non-refundable $125 deposit with the balance due 30 days before the first day of the workshop. There are no refunds after 30 days before the first day of the workshop. However if the Arts Center needs to cancel a workshop all funds will be returned.

Julie Bernstein Engelmann

Julie Bernstein Engelmann

Artist Julie Bernstein Engelmann creates abstract art that speaks to the heart and spirit. Her luscious acrylic paintings have won many awards and were featured in a retrospective solo exhibition at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Pennsylvania. Educated on both coasts, Julie holds an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA from Barnard College in New York City, where she studied with Milton Resnick, first-generation Abstract Expressionist. Julie is passionate about teaching artists how to understand their mid-process “beautiful mess” and bring it to life through three vital qualities of powerful abstract painting: meaning, naturalness, and spatial depth and flow. In addition, Julie shares valuable expertise in color mixing to enhance visual depth. See Julie’s art and sign up for her free eye-opening ebook, How to Bring Your Abstract Art to Life, at


    One sheet of heavy smooth paper, size 18x24” (for example: Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper block, hot press, 140 lb, 18x24 from #10143-1020). This paper will be available for purchase at the workshop.
  • Canvas
    One 18” x 24” stretched canvas. Please apply an extra layer of gesso. Optional: If you prefer, instead of the canvas you may bring a second sheet of paper.
    Acrylic paints. Suggested colors (at minimum): White, Cadmium yellow light, Cadmium yellow deep, Cadmium red light, Quinacridone magenta, Phthalocyanine blue, Red oxide. Also helpful: cerulean, purple, green, cadmium red medium. Liquitex Basics is fine for most colors, but for the Cadmiums I recommend a better brand like Utrecht.
    Soft, synthetic. Suggested sizes: #12 filbert (rounded 1"); #8 bright (flat 5/8"); plus a 1½ to 2" brush.
    ...or similar. Slightly dilute to approx. 9 parts medium to 1 part water
    e.g. pie tin
    Soft absorbent like VIVA
  • Low Plastic Container
    For keeping paint moist (see photo in gallery on this web page)
  • ALSO
    You may bring an experience/dream/goal that's currently meaningful for you (e.g. from your journal). If a photo or object inspires you with its colors and forms, you are welcome to bring it.

Cancellation Policy

Registration Information:

Each student must register individually.

Students may enroll online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Administrative Offices in the Art Barn toll-free at 888-954-4442 or locally at 928-282-3809. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn (M-F, 9-5).

Cancellation Policy:
The $125 deposit is non-refundable; the balance is due one month before the first day of the workshop. No refunds after the one-month cut-off date. If paying in full upon registration, $125 of the total tuition fee is non-refundable. There are absolutely no refunds after the 30 day cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all monies paid will be refunded in full.

The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. Students will receive a full tuition refund only in the event that Sedona Arts Center cancels the course.

"This art class was such a blast! It exceeded my expectations in every way! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learned so much! I’m glad Julie covered all the information/strategies/abstract painting techniques that she did, and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss any of it. Julie also gave plenty of individual guidance and attention. She has a very pleasant, kind, thoughtful, non-judgmental, and upbeat style. We had both beginners and advanced artists in our group, including a professional artist, and the class seemed totally relevant and helpful for all of us. I'm hoping to take the class again to further develop my painting skills and creativity. Thanks for offering such a wonderful class!"

"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."

"As an experienced artist trying a new direction, I really appreciated that she gave us an sufficiently broad, but detailed overview of the techniques with personal guidance as we tried them. I wanted to see all the techniques she used being done, and am already using them to create more fun in my landscapes.... Loved the demo on the small touches to bring about big changes by really taking the time to 'see' the painting first."

"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 wonderful experience"

"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!"

“Julie is a terrific teacher and a real asset to the teaching staff at SAC.”

“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 lovely instructor. She was sensitive to each student. Well organized. Had an excellent hand out. And her class was most valuable And a great value.”

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