Embracing Uncertainty  
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Dear <<First Name>>,

Some of the most innovative paintings that have come out of my workshops were done by students new to painting. It seems freedom was a treasure that came in the box of uncertainty that they accepted. 

The Rediscovered Room
Julie Bernstein Engelmann, 30"H x 40"W, acrylic on canvas. Available

In a recurring dream, I discover a new room that doubles my space: 
an empty studio waiting to be filled with the unknown. 

Meanwhile, artists may labor under the weight of our go-to techniques, methods, colors, expectations, and other tempting certainties. After all, our identity is invested in being good at art. This piece better work out. 

Yet, if we think about it, we're in it for the surprise. 

Uncertainty is simultaneously the most compelling and threatening aspect of painting abstract. Many of us specifically come to abstract painting seeking the unknown and never-before-seen, yet the state of uncertainty is so uncomfortable that we feel there's something wrong when we're in it.

Signs of Uncertainty Discomfort include:

  • Feeling frustrated, perhaps painting destructively, even painting over our work;
  • Going for what's pretty, imagery, things we've done successfully before, repetition, or other cool ideas that conveniently happen to be under our control; and
  • Avoiding painting altogether.

What if we could let ourselves off the hook and simply embrace uncertainty?

You know, we're good at embracing uncertainty when we have nothing to lose. Think: dancing when no one is watching. Can we paint like this?  

Here are some other ways I make friends with uncertainty:

  • Just purposely allow it - remain in suspended disbelief
  • Enjoy a doodling, childlike approach
  • Stay in the non-verbal 
  • Listen to music
  • Close my eyes while painting
  • Hold off on any opinion until the "beautiful mess" is all there 

Finally, I ask, "What do I have to gain and what do I have to lose by letting myself be uncertain during this time?" 

Yours in the joy of beauty and spirit,

Julie Bernstein Engelmann

P.S. I invite you to embrace the uncertainty of attending my free live webinar: Three Vital Keys to Powerful Abstract Painting.

It will be held over Zoom on Friday, June 4 at 11:00 AM AZ/Pacific Time.

There will be some lively audience interaction as we look at examples. Should be fun and eye-opening! Feel free to invite your interested friends.

See more info below. 

Three Vital Keys to Powerful Abstract Painting
Free live webinar with Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Held over Zoom, 11 am-12 noon AZ/PST
Friday, June 4, 2021

What makes an abstract painting powerful? Julie Bernstein Engelmann says three vital keys are: meaning, naturalness, and spatial depth & flow. Touring some of the abstract greats, Julie will help you discern these qualities for more appreciation and insight into the art you see or create.

Learn how you can set your painting up for success in all these vital ways. Finally, Julie will show how you can lean into these qualities to bring your mid-process "beautiful mess" home to completion with more ease, focus, and confidence. 

RSVP here to receive the Zoom link for this free live presentation on June 4.

"Your lecture and demo was a real eye opener for me.  As a self taught painter lacking formal art education, I found your insights into the abstract so clear and the examples were excellent!" 

Beautiful Mess Painting Clinic
Revitalize an unfinished artwork
1-day online workshop with Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Held over Zoom, 10 am-4 pm

June 11, 2021

Abstract and contemporary paintings can get stuck mid-process at a frustrating stage we call the “beautiful mess.” Don’t give up on them!

In this one-day online painting clinic, you’ll be amazed to discover that your unfinished piece is most likely only a few well-placed brushstrokes away from being fabulous. Starting with what you love in your piece, Julie will train your eye to see how to enhance the depth and flow, which is key. She will demonstrate relevant critique points to illuminate what is really happening in your painting so you can bring it home to fulfilled completion.

You'll focus on 1-2 pieces in any medium; acrylic is ideal. Attendance is limited to six for plenty of one-on-one attention.
   Learn More... 

"Julie's workshop was PACKED FULL of value. She was professional, knowledgeable and personable. I got so much out of her workshop."

The Inspired Abstract
Birth your beloved and mysterious artwork
4-day online workshop with Julie Bernstein Engelmann

Held over Zoom, 10 am-3:30 pm
Through the Sedona Arts Center
Two opportunities:

July 13-16, 2021
September 20-23, 2021 

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 and flow – qualities that lift an abstract painting from amateur to professional.    Learn More... 

"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..."

"Julie’s enthusiasm, well thought out lessons and materials were excellent."

"Julie is an excellent instructor.... Her passion for what she is doing is absolutely inspirational!"

Artist Mentoring with Julie
Beauty & Spirit Abstract Artist Circle Beauty & Spirit Abstract Artist Circle
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