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
EngelmannOnline-Face-2020-04-28 at 5.40.12 PM


The Inspired Abstract

with Julie Bernstein Engelmann

Acrylic / All Levels of Experience

March 9 – 11, 2022  | Wednesday – Friday
Wednesday: 10 am – 5 pm | Thursday – Friday:  9 am – 5 pm

**Covid Protocol Note: Masks are required to be worn inside the Sedona Arts Center buildings until further notice.  Masks must cover the nose and mouth, face shields are not adequate. Paper masks are available for no charge.


This workshop gives you a powerful foundation for abstract painting. You’ll be guided to enter the painting process naturally, use layers to develop a deep and luscious visual space, and weave into it brush-marks that grow from a personally meaningful inspiration. You’ll learn to see the spirit in your painting and help it shine powerfully.

A focus of the workshop is to find ease in bringing your mid-process “beautiful mess” to fulfilled completion. You’ll create two acrylic paintings that embody meaning, naturalness, and spatial depth & flow – qualities that lift an abstract painting from amateur to professional.

You will also:
• Understand the distinct roles of background, middle ground, and foreground in abstraction, and use each to advantage.
• Learn ways to dramatically deepen your painting’s visual space.
• Discover how small changes to the flow of your painting can stunningly bring it into focus.

Whether you’re a longtime artist or new to painting, you’ll gain discernment and an abundance of secrets to turn inspiration into soul-satisfying abstract paintings.

See Julie’s video HERE.


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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, CV, and sign up for her free eye-opening ebook, How to Bring Your Abstract Art to Life, at

·PAPER or CANVAS (or one of each)
2 smooth surfaces 18” x 24”. If canvas, please add an extra layer of gesso ahead of time (generously applied, using curvy random motions rather than straight ones). If paper, I recommend smooth, good-quality drawing paper or hot-pressed (smooth) watercolor paper. Alternatively, if your paper is thin, recycled, or cold-pressed (textured), please paint a layer or two of gesso on it ahead of time (using curvy motions).

Suggested colors (at minimum): White, Cadmium yellow medium (or better, instead get both Cadmium yellow light and Cadmium yellow deep), Cadmium red light, Quinacridone magenta, Phthalocyanine blue, Red oxide. Also helpful: Cerulean blue, purple (e.g. Prism violet), green (e.g. Hookers), and whatever you have on hand. Liquitex Basics brand is fine for most colors, but for the Cadmiums I recommend a better brand like Utrecht. Regular acrylic is better for our purposes than heavy body or fluid.

Soft, synthetic. Suggested sizes: 1” wide filbert (rounded
); 5/8” wide bright (flat). Helpful: a 1½ to 2″ brush (can be cheap). And whatever you have on hand.

…or similar. Slightly dilute to approx. 16 parts medium to 1 part water.

…for keeping paint moist (see photo).

…e.g. pie tin

Soft, absorbent like VIVA

2 colors Sharpie markers. Spray bottle (to keep paint moist). Palette knife for scraping palette. Apron. 

Cancellation Policy

Registration and Cancellation Policies


  • Each student must enroll individually
  • Students may register 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

In-Person and Online Workshops

  • A student may pay in full or place a $125 non-refundable deposit to save a space in the workshop
  • Any unpaid balance is due at least 30 days prior to first day of class
  • If a student cancels before the 30-day cut-off, the balance is refunded (or cancelled if not already paid) – the deposit is non-refundable
  • If a student cancels within the 30-days prior to class, no refund is given and both deposit and balance are forfeited
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full

Important Message

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. There are absolutely no refunds after the cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.

"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!"

"I absolutely loved Julie’s workshop. I learned so much that I will revisit time and again on all of my future paintings. I’m thankful for all of the resources she provided and the sharing of her rich experience. Julie is a gifted teacher in bringing out the kid, heart and spirit of a person and a group. She sees, simultaneously, the beauty and the areas for improvement in a huge range of works, styles and experience levels. The critiques of my work and of my fellow students were incredibly helpful. I can’t put into words how magical this experience was for me and it seems for the others as well. And I love the paintings I created in her workshop. I look forward to my next workshop and/or mentoring with Julie, and feel like it’s my great good fortune to have had this special experience! Thank you!"

"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.”