Author Archives: Fran Meneley

The Lovely Camilla Engman

The Lovely Camilla Engman

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Last May I made a sojourn to Sweden to take a workshop with the very talented and lovely, Camilla Engman…that’s her in her studio, smiling next to one of her paintings. The workshop was organized by world traveler and adventurer, Angela Ritchie. Her workshop offerings are always unique and a little offbeat and you can check them out here. She’s in India right now with Lotta Jansdotter…how fun would THAT be???


Seven of us gathered from around the globe…me (the only American), two Aussies, one Swiss, one Italian, one German and one Argentinian – lovely, smart and talented women all. On our first day we wandered from the hotel in Goteborg’s city center to Camilla’s studio in the Konstepedemin artist’s community, getting to know each other along the way.

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We gathered up some traditional Swedish pastry and sat outside enjoying the May sunshine and each other’s new company.

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Camilla’s studio is light and beautiful (like her) and filled with not only her amazing paitings and illustrations…

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…but little installations…

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…and vignettes…

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…and moments…

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…and collections…

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…and works on cardboard…

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…that make the heart inspired and the mind curious.

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She shared her work with us…wonderful paintings…dreamlike and questioning.

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This world and yet another world; familar yet strange.

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Being an American, and wanting to probably overanalyze everything, I tried a couple of times to ask Camilla about the motivations and inspirations for her work. She would smile and shrug. Or say she doesn’t know. Or turn the questions around and ask, “What do you think”. The more I thought about her answers the more I think she’s onto something. Our work doesn’t need to be explained. It can just be. Images swirl and surface and if we are wise we accept them. We can simply be a conduit for them, letting them be whatever they are. Beautiful and mysterious and unexplainable.

Please go to her website here and her blog here to see her beautiful paintings and work in high resolution. These photos barely do them justice. I only used my iPhone on this trip…while handy and convenient, it certainly doesn’t replace a real camera.

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A generous teacher, she took time to walk us through her painting process from sketch to finished painting. It was a glimpse into the way she works (which is always fascinating), but not an explanation of why or what the images mean to her. We are watching on a tiny iPad…as the little projector in the background on the table was having technical difficulties.

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Thoughtful, approachable, intelligent and lovely with a keen sense of humor…

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…Camilla opened her studio and her heart to us for a lovley Swedish week.

Next time…more about the arist’s community that Camilla is a part of and some of the workshop work.




Clearing The Cobwebs

Clearing The Cobwebs

Hello? Anybody out there? I know I’ve been gone a terribly long time, the place has grown moss and cobwebs. My life took over and my time wasn’t my own. It was The Summer Of Healing. So here are a few hightlights: My 15 year old son had scoliosis surgery…that’s his new titanium rodded backContinue Reading

The Makerie

The Makerie

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of attending the third annual Makerie Creative Retreat, right here in my home town of Boulder, Colorado. The brain child of the darling uber-event-organizer, Ali DeJohn, it was a fun filled crafting/art weekend at the lovely Chautauqua Park.  Being a local I opted to bunk at home,Continue Reading

Spring. Really?

Spring. Really?

Springtime in Colorado…I’m wanting Spring to spring, and have made my spring alter, just waiting for warmer, greener days … …but what I have is this. A little more snow and cold. Patience. Always patience as we wait for spring to really arrive here. I love the spring food holidays and this year combined theContinue Reading

Inspiration Monday

Inspiration Monday

  Well…the month of February was consumed with illness. This season’s cooties took me out, one right after the other. Lots of Vietnamese penicillin…AKA Pho, helped nourish my weakened corporeal existence. I did get in a quick trip to Seattle with my son…love that city and it was fun to take my traveling companion toContinue Reading

A Stitch In Time…

A Stitch In Time…

It all started on the most unlikely of days…Superbowl Sunday. I got it in my mind that my bag of embroidery thread needed organizing. Don’t know why this happened. But I will tell you… …it’s a great way to “watch the game.” It helped that my brother made me cocktails and cooked gumbo from scratch.Continue Reading

A Paris Lunch

A Paris Lunch

2013 is off to a very good start! I am working my way through The Artist’s Way with 3 wonderful women friends and fellow artists. I’ve done it twice before over the years, but always on my own. This time we’ve formed a group, a sacred circle, and are getting together once a week to checkContinue Reading

Architectural Gems

Way back in December…what seems like forever ago now..I ventured to the big city to take Judith Cassel-Mamet's wonderful Architectural Gems drawing class. For three Mondays we gathered to learn about perspective drawing and had the chance to explore some great Denver landmarks. This is a keyhole view from inside the State Capitol Building looking outContinue Reading

An Atlas of Unsettling Vision – Sketchbook Project 2013

Well.. I got my Sketchbook Project finished and mailed just in the nick of time yesterday! I'm not sure why I procrastinated, it was a joy to work on. My theme this year was "Almanac" but I made it into a kind of dream Atlas. I came across this wonderful quote from the movie, Here,Continue Reading