41 … so what?

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in General Announcements

NatB Here we go – 41st Birthday today. Sounds so adultish… Did anything change? Besides that I am still making smart faces nowadays when photographed, I am truly enjoying that I am finally getting to a stage where I feel comfortable with who I am – it took me a long time to get here. I guess that is part of being adultish…but most of the time…I feel like this:


Love my life, love my job, love my family and my friends. Love you my blog readers … Thanks for joining my ride – you are awesome. On to the next year – - I am looking forward to it :)


Have a gorgeous one :)







Dixon Mills ArtShow

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in General Announcements


A couple weeks ago we had a little art show with artwork of the artists living at Dixon Mills and for the residents of Dixon Mills. It was a fun social event in our Social Club and I think there were about 60-70 people. It was not only awesome to be able to show some of my work, but also to connect with the other artists in our old factory buildings and to connect with neighbors. It wasn’t a public event- so I didn’t invite everyone I knew – but I had my sweet friend Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and my friend J. coming over. Hubs unfortunately had to travel.


Kim and Josh from Josh Urso Design showed some of their wonderful knoop (dutch for knots) tables and the gorgeous light below (WANT – I love their lamps too!). They create really awesome furniture and lamps with all kinds of awesome and sometimes unexpected materials and resin.


Also one of our Residence Artists is Donna Greenberg, a known polymer clay artist. She brought some of her jewelry and beautiful home decor items.



And here is us waving to our friend Anke: we found out that we both know Anke Humpert from Germany quite well. Anke and I have met several times doing Mixed Media things together and now she is super thriving in polymer clay art and knows Donna well. (The world is so small…it is not only a saying – remember- I met Maeghan at NAMTA in Pittsburgh- she was at the Artshow too- Loveee her – and when we talked it turned out she lives in the same building – CRAZY!)


There were also lot’s of wonderful photographs, glass painting art, mixed media collages and watercolor paintings – but I stink at taking photos when I talk so much- I always forget to take photos when I am talking with so many people. It was a great little show and a wonderful evening and I got a lot of positive reactions and inquiries about my work – including emails the next day. Yes there will be prints. These originals will not be sold yet as they are part of a bigger work theme. Thank you for all of those there and for being so supportive about my work! Here is my big fat happy grin at the end of the show :)


This would be the perfect time to stop this post…huh? Wait wait…you have not seen Julie, right? Well- kind of …she is standing behind the knoop table. But – Julie actually slept over and we had a VERY long night, talking and planning and laughing. And then this is how a joint fashionable jammie day looks like ;)


She wrote all about our Art Slumber Party here. I do love her- what a good friend she is – and how awesome , she lives so close now..It is 45 mins – btw- she is a true New Yorker whining, if they have to travel outside their little island, but over an hour traveling inside the city to Brooklyn is totally cool- LOL. It takes me as long to Downtown Manhattan as her = 20 mins ; tsss ;) But sorry, I was shifting away..here is Julie writing down our evil plans to take over the art world …


And here is me holding up a hostess gift she painted in my studio, trying out my beloved Liquitex Markers…pretty cool. She made sure I hold it up high enough to cover up my Yankees Hoodie – she as a true Red Sox Fan had a hard time looking at it – snigger (I am not even a fan…I am European – I have no clue about Baseball – it is just a nice cozy hoodie- LOL).



And that was it…amazing night, amazing day- I was so inspired and full of energy afterwards (despite the fact we slept about 3 hours and I had to teach Friday night ;) ) – I cannot wait until the next Artshow and Art Slumber Party ;)

Have a gorgeous day







Thoughts on Being a Full Time Artist after quitting my job 3 Years ago

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in General Announcements

This has been part of my March Newsletter but I feel it is important enough to also post it on my blog :) I cannot believe I missed my 3 year mark last month  - In fact I totally forgot I was something else before until I talked on the phone with someone about how I became an artist and then I remembered. Strange ;)

It has been 3 years this February since I quit my job as a paralegal and become a full time artist. I wrote a blog post if it was worth quitting a well paid job to become an artist about two years ago. When I initially quit my job I told myself to try it for three years and see what happens. If I would not be able to  sustain, survive, be happy with it, I would go back and work as a paralegal again. Well…now after three years, I guess it is time to reflect on this :)

1. Making my life as an artist work is not the main goal

It had been quite a journey. Funny enough the obstacles were and are different from what I thought they would be. I have been extremely lucky that I have an amazing support team behind me. My husband, my friends, my family, my readers and students and my artist friends are the best support ever, cheering me on, listening, helping with advice,  I have no idea how I would have been able to get further in this journey without them.

I posted already about the money part of being a full time artist- nothing has changed here. You are not getting rich (yeah- you won’t believe how many people and companies are just assuming artists love to work for nothing and store products in their fridge) but getting rich has never been my goal either. Making an income that makes you feel you can sustain your work and yourself…that is a goal.

The challenges I faced and face is getting in a routine and balancing creative time with paper work, consulting, traveling, photo editing, working out classes, making samples, writing blog posts, answering emails  etc etc. I am still working on this  -I am getting better in putting away time each week for doing something creative just for myself – wether it be creating nonstop the whole day or going to MoMA. I learned for myself that I get very unhappy if I do not fuel my arting time and just try to make my life as an artist work …making my life as an artist work is part of the journey but not the main goal!

2. My former career was not useless

I have never been one to look back and regret things I did in my life. I loved studying law (ok that is a lie) and working in the law offices I worked at (that is true – I chose pro bono law offices and I had a great time there!). I do not regret this also for other reasons. I wouldn’t be who I am as an artist if it wasn’t for those experiences at the law office. A lot of my art journaling or my canvases are part  of this. On top knowing how to deal with stress, deadlines, grumpy emails, paperwork and taxes comes pretty much in handy.

3. I can do it – bring it on!
Becoming a full time artist and quitting my safe job has been the biggest and scariest decision in my life…until….I moved to the States.
I have had many sleepless nights and discussions with close friends before I quit my job – I have had many sleepless nights afterwards wondering if that was a good move too …mostly anytime something big and cool is about to happen falls through like a coin into the street gutter.  I tend to question all when this happens instead of counting the coins that are still remaining in my hand.
But I learned some other , often times even way better opportunities will open up and that the best thing about life is…that it goes on ;) And so I think that this helped me with being cool with the decision of moving to a foreign country. I can do it, I will work it out and I will enjoy the journey. So far I have. enjoyed this journey a lot.
Becoming a full time artist has made me more fearless in bigger life decisions.

4, Make Art …not war
I learned a lot about creating art itself the last three years. I learned that creating art is an argument with the attempt to work it out and not with the attempt to battle.
It is a state of mind how I like my work,  and enjoy the process It is not about “tackling” the canvas – it is about making the canvas my friend, introducing it to other art supplies aka  friends  and have them have a nice civilized discussion.

4. I have never been happier 
I truly can say this! Every time I get in the zone working on a big canvas, with cranked up music and into my elbows in paint. Every time I see my students being inspired by something I showed. Every time I see art work by other artist friends or in a museum and it touches my heart because I am the lucky one who can see this. Every time I see something on a stroll in the hood or hear something that inspires me and makes me want to run home to my studio and create. Every time I take my second cup of coffee into my studio seeing my supplies and itching to get started.
I have never been happier – I never want to quit being a full time artist!

So, I guess the verdict after the three years is…I will keep on being a full time artist – it was a good decision and rock on- that was the best decision ever ;) I will work on making it work even better in the next three years :) Time to finish this post and introduce a new canvas to some of my friends. See you soon!

huge hugs






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