Art Of Living as an Artist

Inspired by my Summer Vacation


After sending in my final manuscript for my book and being done with loads of “secret” stuff I will share in the next months with you, I needed a little break and I took a week off to recharge.


My husband and I went for a couple of days down the Jersey Shore and spent some time with our family close to Sea Isle City. You see my awesome niece and nephew in the photo above. We had a really relaxing time, celebrated big birthdays and anniversaries and the beach was just so beautiful! Love my family!


On our anniversary we stopped on the way back to Jersey City at Ashbury Park. I love the old convention building and there is a lot of awesome street art around there.



Including the above by Dylan Egon a Jersey City artist.



What an inspiring walk down the boardwalk.


And a Shepard Fairey also not too shabby -love it!

I spend one day at home and then headed out to Boston to visit my friend Julie Fei-Fan Balzer . We had a crazy fun time. We went to the Museum of Fine Art – and finished the Art Stroll with some sketching (the art stroll is coming later)


Here is our model and our friend Jen on the left and Julie’s sketching on the right bottom.


I bought a Picasso – Top and was totally stoked about it – this is my fancy modeling pose – always great when you crack yourself up


We spent some time in the beautiful Boston Common Garden


We had an insane amount of food ….yes that is my kind of vacation and so yummie-. High Tea – chatting, laughing and having a good girlfriend time- now if that is not vacation *wink


Can you tell how much in love I was with the food? I was like “common Julie, hurry up with the photo, I cannot wait any longer”


We took a stroll through the Greenway – and admired Ai Weiwei‘s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads



and other art installations and parts



And ended the day with some bowling – oh man…I really stink at bowling- so here is Julie- she did really well and looked good doing it


We ate even more – here I am in a fancy bib and two new shells -and hey – I don’t care- eating lobster is super duper expensive in Europe – so this is special and funny in a plastic bib – LOL


And this was pretty funny in a cafe in the morning.


Essentially I could have summed up the days with Julie in the collage below – hehehe.


Now I am back in the n*Studio and recharged for new fun things to come! There was so much inspiration in the museum, the chats, the sightseeing, the beach, the food. It feels good to have a brush in the hand again and let see where the inspiration from my summer vacation leads me.

What did you do for your summer vacation this year and what did inspire you on your vacation?

Comments (10)

  • Jackie P Neal


    So great to see you out and about having fun Nat!! I would love to hang with you and Julie- what great companions you would be!
    Thanks so much for sharing hugs,Jackie


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      We are a bit crazy- LOL- but overall tame ;) Have a wonderful weekend and huge hugs back!


  • SAM


    N., loved the art walks, and I have another small world — I was raised on a chicken farm in Vineland, New Jersey — In the back of everybodys’ farms, for miles and miles around; Campbell Soup Company rented our land to raise tomatoes for their famous tomatoe soup — I absolutely started salivating as soon as you mentioned eating South Jersey tomatoes– I still have mouth sores for eating millions of tomatoes every summer — Nat, thanks for the memories !!! love this vacation of yours —SAM


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      How fun – I loooooveee Jersey tomatoes- they are the best :) Have a wonderful weekend!


  • Joi@RR


    As always – I just loved seeing you having some free time Nat. And seeing you and Julie always makes me smile big. You are both so darned cute!!! LOVE YOUR PICASSO – for sure! Someday – I believe we will see YOUR art up on one of those walls. It just seems like it should be there. Glad your book is done and can’t wait to hear the secrets soon!!! Xj.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Awe- thank you Joi! I will spill some beans …well the first set of beans very soon …I think …in about two weeks :) Cannot wait. Have a wonderful day!!!


  • Sandra L.


    I couldn’t help but laugh when I read about your vacation. What a small world we live in. When I first moved to NJ I lived in Sea Isle with my sister and her family and then moved to Cape May where I live now. Sea Isle was nice but barren and CM is just gorgeous. Sounds like you had a fantastic vacation and then you headed to one of my favorite places..Boston. My daughter went to Boston University of the Arts and I loved going to visit. Sadly not much of a vacation for me this year as health is a issue.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Hi Sandra, fun – hope you were safe and sound this weekend with the storm at Cape May! I wish you all the best with your health !!!! have a wonderful week!,nat


  • Sue Clarke


    Love your new top Nat!
    High Tea is always fun with cucumber sandwiches and desserts.
    I had a wonderful summer with 2 camping trips and one week in a cabin on a lake. Inspired by nature I made a painting of birch trees when a painter at the campground gave me a one on one class.
    Now back to school for my son and I (lunch lady with a hair net) and the fall with pumpkin muffins and cooler days ahead with (hopefully) some pretty leaves to draw inspiration from.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      thank you , Sue! That sounds like a wonderful summer camping time and I love that you had a one on one with a painter and made a birch tree painting. So cool!!! Have a wonderful start at school again – I am not ready yet for pumpkin and fall – LOL :)


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Photoshoot at F+W in Cincinnati, Ohio


This June I went to Cincinnati for the photo shoot for my book. It was such a fun week and I loved learning yet another step on how an art & craft book gets put together.


Christine is the awesome photographer for F+W and here she is taking photos of some of my artwork for the book. What takes me ages to do took her about 2 seconds per painting.


The interesting part was how the step-outs for the book are being photographed. There was an insane amount of pre work involved. Basically each step needs to be prepared so it can be photographed without stopping and waiting for paint to dry or layers to be applied. So I had to replicate certain projects about 10 times, just so I could show the different stages of a technique. Which …admittedly while preparing wasn’t my favorite part- but it made the photo shoot a breeze!


We also did some video shooting for the promo video of the book …yeah baby – hair frizz is my name on a hot and humid day – LOL.


We filmed some footage on a train track – yes for a different reason when just getting rid of me *Wink


Aaron below was looking out for me and that there is no train coming …well in this pic he is being shooshed away by me so I can take a picture, but for the rest of the shoot he was either protective or attaching clothes pins secretly onto us.


Justin filming me doing “weird” stuff


And Christine taking pictures of Justin filming me doing “weird” stuff


Oh – and Aaron on hour 3 walking around with the clothes pin that I attached onto him unnoticed. Take that – LOL- I can play the game too ;)


And for the rest of the week I was Ellie …because …you know certain coffee places like to give you new names – hehehe


It was a lot of fun and I am so grateful that I get to work with such an awesome team on something that is so dear to my heart. The book is going soon to copy editing, so I have a bit of a breather time before I get it back. Oh man this is really not for the impatient one- hehehehe.

Have a wonderful day my friends .. yours truly


Comments (10)

  • Maura


    Ellie….. cuz you are, of course, Nat-ellie! lol…. I feel your pain… uh I mean joy! XOXOX


  • Joi@RR


    Sooooooooooooo excited for you Nat. This was so fun to see! XXj.


  • JoAnn Campisi


    It is so fascinating to go behind the scenes….thank you for sharing. It will be fabulous because you are!


  • Lea Fritts


    Looks like you had a blast, even with all the hard work! Love your fun style, as always. You always brighten my day! Hugs!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Awe -thank you lea- for brighten my day with your sweet comment!!! hugs


  • Rae


    What a fun post to read. I loved seeing the behind the scenes shots and the train track looked like a super fun photo shoot. You are so adorable. AND you are wearing my favorite sneakers! I live in mine and they look like it haha! Love ya!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      heheeh- Rae- mine are newer ones- the old sneakers fell apart after many years. Sometimes I look at them and think “boy …you like really new” LOL. have a wonderful weekend my friend!


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Scenes from the n*Studio & New Class at The Ink Pad, NYC


A little peek into my studio this month:

top row: Close up of Texture for a project for my book, Filming Rule of 3, Favorite color combination at the moment in my art journal

middle row: Playing with new things to come *wink, Underpainting done for a new piece

bottom row: Remains of a Day- Palette pull-off, RIP my trusted Video Camera

I am super excited to teach

October 8-9, 2016 in NYC at The Ink Pad  in NYC, NY


Let’s explore several master artists and get inspired by their artwork and techniques to create wonderful and unique art journal pages. Whether it be the Impressionist’s amazing color combinations or some of the Surrealist’s fun collage techniques, there are many different Master Artists whose skills can serve as a starting point for your own artwork. Find out what you like and what works for you. Learn about opacity and layering, colors, troubleshooting, mixing materials, making your own tools, creating backgrounds and patterns. We will work with acrylic paints, inks, markers, wax bars and other paint media to create dimension and texture. We will make the most of stencils, stamps, mono printing plates and generic tools to make our own mark. Get ready to Rule Your Art Journal!

Registration open now

Hope you enjoyed the peek – wishing you an amazing day!

Comments (2)

  • sherri scott


    I was the first person to sign for your class at the Ink Pad!


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Scenes from the n*Studio and Demo at The InkPad


A little peek into my studio

top row: Berlin Tacheles Painting, Embroidery Sampler, Beginning of a new Flatiron Building Painting

middle row: gathering and sorting the supplies for my book photo shoot, playing with paint and stamps and deli paper

bottom row: 4th July card with a hand carved stamp, packing up my artwork for my book for the photoshoot

And I hope you will join us either in person or on facebook !


Come on down to The Ink Pad in New York City to meet me on
Tuesday July 19, 2016 from 4pm – 7 pm
I will do a free demo with my Rubber & Foam “Stamp and Stencil Sets” from Stampendous!. And I will sign my new DVD’s with And …if you cannot make it to the shop, join us for a Live Facebook Peek into the fun around 5pm from my Nathalie Kalbach n*Studio facebook page !

Have a wonderful day

Comments (2)

  • Joi@RR


    Loved seeing the ‘scenes’ from your studio Nat. The paintings look wonderful – love your city paintings – always! Congratulations on the fun things you are doing ie: book, dvd etc. Sooooo excited for you and so enjoy watching you climbing towards your dreams. XXj.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Awe- thank you Joi – you always write the sweetest and encouraging comments. Thank you for your support <3


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Art Stroll: Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia

Art Stroll MCA Sydney

A couple of months ago, I was in Australia and visited a couple museums but I wanted to spread out the posts for you a bit- so finally I would like to take you on an art stroll through the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia.


Isn’t this an amazing piece? It was quite big – Noah Eshkol, Window to the Sea, 1975, Cotton, pique, satin


Noa Eshkol, Window to the Night, 1981 – cotton, cotton lawn, flannelette, twill, cretonne, jersey, percale, pique, poplin, satin, taffeta, repp with lurex threads, crepe fabric.

The material list reads like a “Who is Who of Fabric”, don’t you think? These pieces made me wish I was a sewer …I am not, but I would like to include more fabric and sewing into my work.


Daniel Boyd, Untitled, 2016 – oil, charcoal and archival glue on linen.

The details are just so amazing and I love the combination of classic charcoal drawing on top of aboriginal art.


Daniel Boyd, Untitled, 2016, oil, digital print and archival glue on canvas



Daniel Boyd, Untitled, 2016, oil, charcoal and archival glue on linen

Boyd translates and re-contextualizes historical images and explores ideas of strength, spirit and aboriginal resistance while at the same time commenting on science, evolution and Darwinism.

“He uses dots as a veil to create scenes that appear incomplete, leaving space for the viewer to complete the story, and mirroring how history is partial and completed through memory and myth.” – Signage at MCAA


Nina Beier, Allegory of Charity, 2015 – ceramic cups, coffee beens, resin, wood, metal

Look at the crackle texture!!!


Gordon Bennett, Abstraction (City dweller), 2013, acrylic on linen


Gordon Bennett, Abstraction (Ntive), 2013, acrylic on linen

“These two paintings are part of a larger series that superimpose the faces of contemporary Australians over earth-toned figures bearing similarities to representations of primitivist figures in the paintings of late American Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat”.  What a wonderful example on how an artist got inspired by a different artist, and translated the inspiration into his own cultural background and style – into something entirely new that only a little hint off the inspiration is left. I love this!!!!



Gordon Bennett, Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss), 1989, oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Bennett is interested in the power of language and the way it shapes culture and identity.


Newell Harry, As Veneral Theists Rest/The Natives Are Restless, 2008, letraset, black and white gesso and ink on craft paper backed with interfacing, lights, beads, rubber, wool, wood, ceramic, plant fibres, metal, string, cotton, shell, transformer

This was such an amazing piece to explore visually – I did restrain from touching it- but it was very very tempting. BTW- this was the first museum where I actually saw two different people touching paintings and being told off by the guard. I had never seen this before but heard that this happens quite often from one of the Conservators at MoMA and I am just astonished. Tempting – yes – but big no no!






Tim Johnson Four elders, 1986, oil on canvas.


again so amazing to see the painting from further away and from a very close distance.



Wait…who is this goof ball in my pic? Awe- my sweet friend Julie- LOL. We had such a good time :)

These pieces on bark were just so amazing- I would love to have some of those hanging in my living room!







I hope you enjoyed the stroll and those images and materials inspired you :) have a wonderful creative day!

Comments (4)

  • Gayle Kush


    I am a fiber artist and work almost exclusively in fabric and sewing. I follow your blog because very much of what you do on paper transfers over onto fabric wonderfully! I find a lot of the tips and ideas you have to be useful in my work. Especially your stamps and stencils!!! I paint on fabric all the time. You should try your techniques on fabric (with fabric paints if you plan on sewing anything) once. You just might like it!!!!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Gayle- how wonderful to hear that you are actually work with fabric and sewing! You made me totally tempted to try out some new things with fabric- thank you :)


  • Sue Clarke


    Hello Nat,
    Yes, I did enjoy the stroll.
    I would love to be around when you and Julie hang out…I can just tell that you’re both having some crazy fun!
    The dot painting are my favorites.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      We would love to have you :) Have a wonderful 4th July weekend, Sue! big hugs,nat


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Scenes from the n*Studio


I cannot share everything I have been doing last month but I thought I share a little peek into my studio :)

Top Row: Hamburg Harbour Painting, Texture Play, Painting of my Uncle Walter

Middle: Working on two new paintings, working on a fast forward Creative Ice Breaker Video

Bottom Row: Cleaned brushes after a day in the studio, Art Bars and Neo Color II explosion

Also …this is coming up soon – in case you want to join us :)


My part of the class is up first in the morning:

Nathalie Kalbach: Art Journaling In Depth

Learn how to add interest and an important spark to your art journal with textures and layers. Nathalie Kalbach shows how to create visual and actual texture using paint, gesso, and tools, plus techniques such as sgraffito and collage layering. Texture and layers are important design elements that are easy to produce, and they can communicate a variety of messages, emotions, thoughts, and perspectives. Let Nathalie show you how to go in depth!

Sign up here

It was so much fun last year and my co-teachers are amazing – you will love it. It is a jam packed Art Journaling workshop day! I hope to see you in Arlington Texas.

Have a gorgeous day my sweet friends!

Comments (1)

  • Joi @RR


    YEAH – you are coming to Texas Nat. Wish I could be there for your class! You are only about 6 hours from me!!! HAVE FUN! I know they will all love you to pieces. Xj.


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Inspired by New South Wales, Australia


After our time in Melbourne we went on a road trip and drove about ten hours to Sydney which is located in New South Wales  which is a pretty big state…bigger than Texas, sorry Texas ;)  And on this long long ride the “Wombat” Signs here and there were quite the most exciting view …if you do not count the radio news that a dingo tried to steal a baby in the Western Territory (and that is no joke- it happened! )


I loved those road signs.


And of course when you spend time in Sydney you have to see the opera house -which btw- several years ago when I was in Sydney before, I visited for a concert. Last row seats – amazing sound- I can totally recommend this!!!


We visited to the Botanical Garden which I love so much. I wanted to show Julie the Flying Foxes that I had seen there a couple years ago, but they were gone. I was told that they were not good for the trees and plants in the garden and were therefore relocated. Here is the blog post with a photo from several years ago . I think Julie was kind of relieved ;)



Awesome flower bud sculpture



And more giant trees – where is Julie?



This was the entrance to our apartment in Sydney- we referred to it as the jungle. Unfortunately it was so humid and full of mold in the apartment that it felt a bit like a jungle too. I wasn’t sad when we left since I have a terrible mold allergy and I could not stand being in the place for a long time. Too bad- it was a beautiful place.


So was this house – ohhh – I so want a house that is painted orange and has a turquoise iron work balcony – I mean…helloooo – this is beautiful!


Oh wait …who are those people again …yep …goof balls ;)


No idea what is growing out of my head but I love the picture of the two of us. We were just sitting there, relaxing and chatting and enjoying some warm sun rays.


On our way to Berkeley Vale where we taught our second workshop at Darkroom Door, we stopped at a reptile zoo.


These little critters sleeping in the sun spreading out their legs (lol- it makes me laugh) are Echidnas – they are ant eaters and the only living mammals that lay eggs.


ANNDNNNDDDDDD – Squealllll – a Wallaby – – ohhh – yeah- I so love them – they are so cute.


They were just hopping around with us and they were super fluffy. I know they look as if their fur is kind of scruffy but no no- they are so soft and these were very cute. BTW- do not try to touch one in the wilderness …they can get quite vicious, but these are used to people.


And a little snoring Koala ….this didn’t look so comfortable to me but on the other hand …if you do not have anything else you even fall asleep on an economy class seat on a plane, right?


The horror on the side of the path …oh man ….spiders big like houses- my nightmare….


better look at the next koala.


or at this Tasmanian Devil … yeah not quite like the one from Bugs Bunny …but …I saw one with it’s mouth open …also not one you want to touch – LOL


This one was just passing by and ….


Sorry- gotta go back to this little wallaby – did I tell you they were super cute?


On our last day in Berkeley Vale, our friend Rachel took us for a little tour on the coast. It was beautiful.




And because Anzac Day was coming up, there was this beautiful red poppy arrangement . Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance of all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in war and on operational service.


It was a wonderful time in New South Wales- the flora and fauna, the animals, the landscape and the amazing blue sky are so remarkable and inspiring, I am sure some of this will be part of my artwork in the future in one way or another.


I hope you like this little trip :) I wish you a wonderful day!

Comments (8)

  • Jan T Baillie


    Where I live, Natalie, in midwest New South Wales, we see roos, wombats, echidnas and platypus every day in the paddocks, and in our river which runs through town. Glad you loved NSW. Sorry the apartment was bad.


  • Seth


    What an amazing adventure you had Nat. Just so exciting.


  • Denise


    Did you get to hold or pet a koala? They are the softest fur ever. I just love Australia. So beautiful and such wonderful people.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Not this time Denise, but last time I was in Australia- it was really cute and fluffy as you said :)


  • Rob Keogh


    Wonderful photos Natalie, it looks like you had a wonderful time in our little corner of the world. I really love the orange terrace house too. How beautiful it is.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      I really did have a wonderful time in your neck of the woods again, Rob! I hope I can come back some time and I would love to travel around a bit more too :)


  • Gayle


    WOW and WOW again! Amazing travelogue – your pictures and comments transported me to that wondrous corner of the world. Definitely an artist’s paradise – How does one take it all in without the mind exploding with so many possibilities. That turquoise house…what can I say….I want one too! Thank you Nathalie and regards to Julie as well. Your classes must be so much fun.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Awe- thank you so much Gayle :) I know …I am still dreaming of this beautiful house – i think it would look really good here in New Jersey :)


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Mixed Media Circus Workshop at Darkroom Door in Berkeley Vale, Australia


After the workshop in Melbourne, Julie and I taught in Berkeley Vale at Darkroom Door, about 1 1/2 hours North of Sydney. My wonderful friend and awesome manufacturer Rachel Greig hosted us in her warehouse and classroom and it a great group rocking out the paint, art supplies and art journals!


Everyone was working for three day, creating covers, painting, stamping, stenciling, book binding – getting messy fingers and tables:) It was so much fun! I loved the class room with high tables and high top chairs, making it possible for everyone to choose to work standing up or sitting. Since I work standing up- this was a dream :)










Look at all the beautiful colorful pages …with Birds, and Elephants, and other stamp sets :)



Birds mixed with Julies Stamps and Stencils.


and more elephants :)







the Urban Scribble – love the staggered city look!


And lot’s of stencil patterns for background papers



I loved how everyone embraced having two different teachers and stencils and stamps from two different persons as well.


Love the look of the Fashion Dame Stencil used in different colors for pattern


And the Lilly Wallpaper stenciled with black gesso


and the Arabesque Stencils used with white over black gesso




one of Julie`s Face Stencils used with my Ornament Stencil for hair


Another hybrid page with Julie’s stencil on the left and my Art Deco Wallpaper Stencil on the right



And this is so true – :) If all fails, join the circus :)


I think this one did? Love the girl taking a ride on the Elephant Stencil!


So much creative energy and colors in the classroom


And here is Julie explaining something – it was really fun teaching together again :)


And here are some photos of me teaching …which usually- you know…there aren’t any :)




Thank you so much Rachel for having us- you are the best!!!!


And here we are :) Bound and colorful finished art journals!!!


And thank you Amanda and Amanda, Belinda, Rachel, Robyn and Robyn, Paula, Kristy Lee (mmmmhhh did I butcher your name again???? please forgive me with your super cute smile, ok?), Lorraine, Genevieve, Vesna and Vesna! We will always have “I pet a kangaroo”, the dog on the tucker box, create you own at mäccas, don’t hesitate to mess up the table, fire alarms, Lemingtons, Anzac Biscuits and lot’s of laughter together. It was wonderful to spend those three days with you!!!


I will post some photos from Melbourne and Sydney, street art and kangaroos in the next weeks – it was such a fun trip :)



Comments (16)

  • Tracy Moloney


    F U N times :)
    I thoroughly enjoy watching Rachel in action on ScrapIt tv as well!!!


  • Jackie P Neal


    Looks like everyone had a blast and the creativity was flowing!!


  • Becca Yahrling


    Oh what fun and creativity at it’s best.


  • Teresa Godines


    Wonderful projects. Looks like everyone had a great time.


  • Karen Petitt


    Lucky ladies! Looks like everyone had lots of fun and enjoyed it too. So wish I could do classes but being disabled is a real issue for me and getting to and back from one I just can’t right now. Lucky, lucky ladies Karen x


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Winding Down The Year: Best Nine of Instagram 2015


According to #bestnine2015 these are my most liked photos of 2015 on instagram. I loved seeing this.

Top Row – left to right: 1. Julie while we prepare our Australia Workshop, 2. Bags I had printed with one of my paintings, 3. My self bound new Art Journal

Middle Row – left to right: 4. Painting of the Stanley Theatre in Jersey City, 5. The 2 Tallest Painting in Progress, 6. Water tower Painting and Water towers – kinda geeking out here ;)

Bottom Row – left to right: 7. Art Journal Spread in Progress, 8. Shipping some of my paintings to a show, 9. Playing with a baster in my art journal

If you want to do this too on your instagram account just go here to – be patient -it takes a long time until it loads- and don’t go to the other stuff they pop up- that was a little bit annoying- but in the end – it is fun to see the collage :)

Have a wonderful day


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