Three reasons to love your painting (not criticize it)
Beauty & Spirit Note from the Studio 
News & muse from abstract artist Julie Bernstein Engelmann
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Dear <<First Name>>,

Often it seems like students feel it is their responsibility to find the faults in their artwork. Heaven forbid! The focus must be on what you love.  

Make It Count
Julie Bernstein Engelmann, 40"H x 40"W, Acrylic and latex on canvas. Available

This painting was one that tempted my frustration. But I kept coming back to loving the bottom half. Finally I put it where I couldn't see it for a few months, then hung it on my wall to see if I could figure out what to do - and discovered I loved it just as it was! 

Criticism can mean assessment - critique - which is appropriate as your painting gets close to being done. 

What I'm talking about here is the other kind of criticism: that frustrated, fault-finding left brain that pops up and thinks it had better take over your painting because the right brain clearly failed.

Are you with me? 

Here are three reasons why looking for what you love is much more valuable and productive than being critical of your work.  

1. First of all, whatever it is that you love while you're painting is the wayshower for how to get to a painting you love. The parts of your painting that you love are your True North. The other parts are "on their way." Listen to the painting spirit; you're closer than you think.

This process is part of my workshop, The Inspired Abstract

2. Second, the left brain has got nothing on the right brain when it comes to brilliance. Left-brain ideas come from the pool of the known - good at analysis, but an uninventive resource when you want creative brilliance.

By analogy, if you're building a beautiful home, you might call on an engineer or construction crew to solve a problem with the current structure, but you wouldn't want them hacking up your architect's plans.

Sometimes a frustrated student thinks hacking up their painting will lead to a breakthrough. It might, if the hacking is limited to the problem area. But when it escalates to destruction, they are actually starting a new painting.  


3. A third reason to pay attention to what you love rather than find fault with your painting is that artwork transmits the vibration of the artist's consciousness. Do you know what I mean? When you view an artwork, you can feel where the artist was coming from when they made it. 

This is one of the most exciting aspects of going to a museum, for me. You can practically reach out and touch the artist's hand and mind. It is time and space travel!

So...guess what people will reach out and touch and receive from your artwork if you paint while feeling critical and frustrated?

Stay with what you love - let it continue to inspire you, even through the tough spots! 

Come do this with me in The Inspired Abstract, May 3-5 at the Sedona Arts Center! 

Yours in the joy of beauty and spirit,

P.S. I'm so happy! I've been wanting to create a video about my Inspired Abstract workshop, and thanks to help from my wonderful hubby, it's now on YouTube! Here it is:

It's just 2:38 minutes. Let me know if this video helps you (or not) to get a better idea of whether you'd like to take my workshop :) 

P.P.S. If you happen to be in the video, thank you for being an inspiration! 

The Inspired Abstract
Birthing your beloved and mysterious artwork
3-day workshop with Julie Bernstein Engelmann

May 3-5 (Fri-Sun), 2019  Sedona, Arizona

Inspiration shifts you from the visible to your invisible relationship with something that you love. You help it come into being and it helps you unfold the mystery of who you are.

This workshop gives you a powerful foundation for abstract painting. You will:

  • 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.
  • Learn how to find the spirit in your painting and gently enhance its drama so it can shine powerfully.
You'll also:
  • Discover the helpful relationship between imagination and the raw beauty of paint and gesture.
  • Learn ways to vastly deepen your painting's visual space.
  • Use the full power of background, middle ground, and foreground in abstraction by understanding the proper role of each.
  • Learn More...
Beauty & Spirit Abstract Artist Circle
Copyright © 2019 Julie Bernstein Engelmann, Artist, All rights reserved.

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