Born in western Michigan, Abigail Engstrand earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1988 at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), going on to obtain her Art Teaching certificate at SAIC in 1989. She has lived, worked and exhibited in Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, and has traveled all over the world. Engstrand moved to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin in 1999, where she now resides with her husband and three teen-aged children.
Engstrand’s art has been purchased by collectors across the United States. In addition to her watercolor, acrylic, and felt paintings, Engstrand has created numerous murals for private individuals, businesses and schools, as well as stage backdrops for theater groups within her community. As an independent art instructor, she works with students, young and old, teaching wet-on-wet watercolor painting, “painting” with wool felt, and figure drawing classes. As an “Artist in Residence” at Prairie Hill Waldorf School and “Resident Scenic Artist” for the Oconomowoc High School Drama Program, Engstrand has helped foster both artistic skill and art appreciation among countless students, while at the same time, creating unique works of art within these school communities. As a volunteer, Engstrand has offered her 5-minute charcoal portraits at annual fundraising events within her community, where she feels privileged to look into the eyes and study glimpses of the souls of her many subjects.
Engstrand’s artistic process is heavily influenced by music, scent, and her own quirky sense of humor. A recent breast cancer survivor, she enjoys yoga and tap dance, as well as dancing and singing along to music while painting or felting in her studio. Engstrand also loves to dig, weed, play and compose “organic pictures” in her garden.