Cathleen Engelsen is not your typical artist. The Surf City resident studied art in college and has paintings with the Public Service Electric and Gas Company. She was also commissioned by McDonalds to paint historical scenes for their local restaurants. Each year she participates in the “Open Studio Tour” on LBI – opening her historical house on 19th street to the public for tours. In addition, she volunteers for the Surf City Fire Department and was honored as the Grand Marshall in the Ship Bottom Christmas Parade.
And artist and mover & shaker! Let’s find out more about Cathleen Engelsen:
Ocean Happening: What motivates you every morning?
Cathleen Engelsen: My motivation is the love my my community here on LBI and my love of my family. Waking up in the historic home I was raised in here on beautiful LBI along with breathing in the ocean breeze ad feeling a great security living here in Ocean County.
OH: What inspires you the most and why?
CE: My inspiration is drawn from our breath taking coastal scenery and growing up to appreciate the natural beauty of our seashore. I’m inspired to preserve historical landmarks in my paintings to encourage conversations of our rich heritage here in Ocean County
OH: Who are some of your favorite artists?
CE:The exhibits with works I most enjoyed were Chagall, Van Gogh, Moses, Manet. I was inspired by their compositions and use of color.
OH: Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
CE: I would say painting historic murals for McDonald’s restaurants and later taking my grandchildren there. I’m proud my historic murals of the area are now in museums for the public to view and enjoy .
OH: What has been the biggest challenge that you have overcome?
CE: My biggest challenge was raising four daughters, especially in their teen years, to become successful happy talented women.
OH: What is the biggest accomplishment that you would like to achieve over the next 5 years?
CE: Keeping healthy, active and close to my family. I’d like to continue staying an active artist here on LBI. Write a book!
OH: How do you think your friends and co-workers would describe you?
CE: Woo hoo. Way to go mom! I always knew you were a mover & shaker!! – Liz Engelsen
I knew you were a mover and shaker the moment I met you – Karen Marlene Shoe Larkin
Yes indeed!! that is amazing– you are a beauty inside and out!! – Angela Contillo Andersen
Not just on the dance floor! – Matt Burton
Cathleen, I am so glad I stopped by to see it in person. The pictures just don’t do your artwork justice. The colors, the flow of the design and your ability to capture the best of Surf City will be enjoyed by everyone for years to come. Beautiful work, my friend. – Martha Kremer
OH: What is your favorite place to go in Ocean County?
CE: I love going to the beach and breathe in ocean air, feel the calm and take in the beauty of the ocean,
OH: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself ten years ago, what advice would you give?
CE: Enjoy each day, take care of your body, exercise and eat healthy, Share your stories and memories with those around you.