A set of paints and a paintbrush is all it took to ignite Maria Luisa Engels’ passion for painting. It was her mother who gave Engels her first set of art supplies, and in doing so, inspired her to take up art. This born and bred Spaniard was still a student back then, but discovering her true talents was a long process for Engels. While she worked in Controlling at Opel until recently, the 48-year-old has since dedicated herself fully to her art. Now she helps other people to unleash their inner potential.
Engels finds inspiration for her paintings on trips around the world.
“My work is realistic, and I like to experiment with different materials,” the artist explains. This is why she tries out wood and acrylic panels, uses structure paste to give her motifs a three-dimensional effect, or paints over canvasses printed with photos, alongside painting in acrylics on canvas. Engels has had a series of exhibitions since 2013, and finds inspiration for her paintings on trips around the world. This is why she has given some of her works titles like ‘Argentina,’ ‘Cuba,’ and ‘Japan.’ While each of these paintings is different, they all create a positive atmosphere.
The artist has had motifs from her artworks printed on bags and umbrellas – not to mention her Opel ADAM.
But the artist doesn’t just work on creating her paintings – she is also involved in product design. She has had motifs from her artworks printed on bags and umbrellas, for example. On top of this, she transformed her Opel ADAM into an artwork in 2013 by having it wrapped in a jungle motif with bright, colorful parrots. Engels still drives this car. “People often take photos of the car when I drive it,” she says. The Opel ADAM looks good as new: “The wrapping still looks amazing,” Engels testifies.
She has been using another Opel model to transport her artwork as of late. At a photo shoot for the Combo Life accessory catalog, Engels shows us just how practical this allrounder is for transporting both large paintings and equipment for her studio from A to B. Even large paintings can be simply stowed away in the trunk and secured in place using clever accessories like load straps. As Engels herself says, “You can fit a whole lot into the Opel Combo.”
She put her creative work on the backburner for a long time, as her studies, and later her children and job at Opel, took center stage in her life. But in 2010, Engels, who has been living in Germany since 1994, started to paint again. As she began to dedicate more time to art and created her first great artworks, she was amazed to find that she harbored even more creativity within her than she ever thought she had. “I truly believe that every individual has a creative side.” She also considers the calming effects of painting to be very important.
You’re invited to the ArtParty
Since then, she has been helping other people to discover both of these experiences for themselves. Recently, Engels has been inviting people to her ‘ArtParties,’ where participants can realize their artistic visions on canvas within small groups. Engels provides them with the materials, and gives them advice on which colors to choose and how to improve their brushwork. “It gives me great joy to watch other people discover that they can try something new, and in doing so, unlock their hidden potential,” she says.
She organizes events at different locations, including F40 Las Brisas in Rüsselsheim, Germany, where you can get creative while also enjoying a delicious brunch. She has also facilitated these kinds of events at companies.
Another service that Engels offers is ‘intuitive painting.’ She trained to become a coach in 2014. At Opel, she also got the opportunity to teach other people relaxation techniques in a meditation workshop. There is no motive behind ‘intuitive painting’ as such. “It’s all about drawing on your intuition, which means that participants channel their creativity from their very core,” she says, explaining the concept.
Taking a break from ‘having to function’
Engels wants to create positive experiences with her art – not just for herself, but also for other people. “We all painted as children, but forgot how to do it as we grew up,” the artist points out. She considers painting to be a break from “having to function.” For her, it is a way of tapping into each individual’s most inner depths, and unlocking our hidden potential.
The joy of painting
Everyone at an ArtParty creates their own artwork. Maria Luisa Engels offers a space for creativity and fun, whether you come alone or with friends. You will get to know new people and can bring your painting home with you at the very end. “Plus, it’s a great experience,” says Engels. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge of painting, and the artist will provide everything that you need. You can find more information and book a session here.