Australian Artist Joy Engelman
I love the earth, the sky, the land, the light and colours of Australia, but most of all, I love rocks!


From 2009, I spent a lot of time travelling to the remote outback in search of inspiration for my paintings. What I found along the way, broke my heart and brought me to painting the mining sites that pockmark our beautiful landscape. Mining companies should be ashamed of the devestation and litter they leave across the land. Great gaping wounds in the earth, failed restoration, rusting machinery and miles of pipeline everywhere.... they treat the country like a garbage site as they know few people take the time to go out and look. It is depressing to an artist to see their lack of care for the land and the dirty ponds that are poisonous to life. Birds fly quite often into tailing dams as a result often die horrible long deaths.

But along the way, I found indigenous communities that are caring for country and restoring the land through love and sheer hard work. Many tourist destinations have visitor centres, signage and tours to help us reconnect to 'place'. These are run by wonderful people whose love of country is amazing. They restored my faith in humanity and our ability to one day, remember who we truly are and that this place is our home.

So I came home inspired to paint not only the devestation, but also the beauty that I saw, the colours and shapes, the energy lines and wide open spaces, the fabulous skies, sunsets, shapes and wondrous forms that make up Australia. If I can inspire in the viewer a 'love of landscape' through my art, then I feel my work is done and I will feel complete as an artist.

I formed the "Wild Women of Arkaroola PLUS" and then "the Wilderists" from the many students and fellow artists that I encouraged to explore this great country of ours with me. We have taken over 17 art journeys over the years, and built some wonderful friendships along the way. We stay in touch with each other and form a wide ranging but unique group. It has been a fantastic ten years! May you be inspired to also take the journey into the outback from my paintings and photos!

On the Ridge Top Tour at Arkaroola - Siller's Lookout - The top of the world (or is it the bottom?)

Jane Tonks - Australian Artist - Jane's blog & photos - On her return, Jane had this to say about the experience "My trip to Arkaroola wilderness sanctuary was one of those life changing and unforgettable experiences. I will never look at landscape the same way after being completely immersed in such an ancient, spiritual landscape! I want to thank artist, Joy Engelman for her outstanding organisational skills, the enormous effort that she has put into the trip to Arkaroola and her generosity, sharing with us her very knowledgeable artistic tuition. I had a fabulous time and really enjoyed being able to share this experience with this wonderful bunch of artists."

Jacqueline Wilson - new to painting has said "Words to describe my experience are difficult to find to do it justice. Superb, spectacular, phenomenal, magic are good but don't quite tell it all. The ambience that soaked right into my soul and blocked out the worries I'd left behind gave me a peace and feeling of tranquillity whilst surrounded by those mountains and rocks and colour. I'm sure you all know what I mean."

Rozzi Smith - artist & writer says "I am much more confident with my art work since Arkaroola - and looking forward to taking part in exhibition - looking over our photos I started to miss those fab. orange colours, hills, gorges, creek beds, and the purple mountains in the distance - I think the whole area and the little towns below (like Hawker, my favourite) get into one's mind and heart

John Cahill - watercolourist says This is just a short note to say a big thanks for all the dedication ,energy, skill, caring you used in making the past week such a memorable one for both Jane and I. We were wondering if the road is closed now that the rain has arrived in force. Hopefully there will be a whole string of masterpieces churned out over the next few weeks. Once again a BIG THANK YOU!"

Cherelynne Carden - aspiring artist says "Arkaroola and Joy Engelman are an energetic fusion of a raw and impressive landscape with an inspirational and motivated artist not to be missed! I cannot promise that that you will know where to start painting this wonderful place however, I can guarantee you will laugh yourself silly… too much fun!"

Bev Duncan - artist says "for me the whole trip was a wonderful trouble-free experience. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The studio and proximity of accommodation was very good. The excursions were truly marvellous. Your tuition was wonderful and it was very interesting to watch you paint. As always it is excellent to observe fellow artists as they create and grow. I think I could have done with an extra day or two to actually get more done."