Pattern Lovers – Cheiron Brandon


Hello from the Creative Squad! Today Cheiron Brandon is sharing a beautiful and colorful art journal page using my Toledo stencil and my Embroidery stamp set. This month’s theme is: Pattern Lovers Love Patterns: We admit it – sometimes we go a little crazy over cool patterns. We see them everywhere and whether it’s in the human-made stuff all around us or in the designs by Mother Nature, we love them all. So this month we’re playing with pattern and giving it the attention it deserves!

Hi there! It’s Cheiron here to share a monthly project with you. For this month’s project I created a journal page. You may notice it’s not actually in a journal, but it will be! I like to create pages outside of my journal, especially when I am using the gelli plate, then tip them back into the journal I am working on. Let me walk you through how I created my page….

To begin my project, I painted some Matte Acrylic paints in various colors. I know it doesn’t look like much, but this will really make the next step pop.

I rolled out some titanium white paint onto my gelli plate, to give some added texture, I went through the paint with a comb tool. Then I laid my Toledo stencil on the gelli plate and pressed my already colored panel into the white paint that has been covered with the stencil.

This is what it will look like. That colorful background really makes the white pop!

I never like to waste paint, so I pulled off the stencil and placed another piece of paper into the paint that was left.

This will leave you with a nice textured piece of paper. Since it’s white paint, you could always use this as a resist with ink too.

To add even more pattern to my page, I stamped with the RunningStar Fish, and Grannies stamps from the Embroidery set all over the page in coordinating colors.

I cut a tag out of the 2nd white textured piece, and stamped on that too.

I added some letters and the Chain Link stamp from the Embroidery set in black to give the tag some contrast. I also inked around the edges.

I did the same thing on a piece of old ephemera.

I glued everything down with collage medium and added some butterfly dies.

When it was all done, I stamped a few more images from the Embroidery set over the entire page. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will try making some easy patterns with stencils on your own!

Thank you Cheiron! In addition to a piece of ephemera, Cheiron used the following supplies (some are affiliate links):

Play along with us this month and join the 30 day Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge! I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (1)

  • Stephanie


    Great project jump start technique! Thanks.


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Art Stroll: Making Space at MoMA

A couple weeks ago Natalya Aikens and I visited Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction is the title of a MoMA Exhibition open until August 2017. It features the work of female artists from 1945 to 1968 and shows artwork from MoMA’s collection from over 50 artists. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, textiles and ceramics.

Helen Frankenthaler “Trojan Gates” (1955) Oil and Enamel on Canvas

Frankenthaler thinned her pigments with turpentine so that they would soak directly into the canvas and stain it.

Louise Bourgeois “Self Portrait as Bird” (1945) Oil and Ink on cut board with rivets

Louise Nevelson “Big Black” (1963), Painted Wood

To create this sculpture, Nevelson stacked boxes against a wall and filled each compartment with found wooden scraps. She then covered the entire assemblage with black paint.

Bela Kolarova “Five by Four” (1967) Wood, paint, and metal paper fasteners

I loved this piece!


Left- Elaine de Kooning “Bullfight” (1960) Acrylic on Paper

Yayoi Kusama “No F” (1959)

Look at the detail of the piece – makes you want to touch it.

Anni Albers “Tapestry” (1948) Handwoven linen and cotton

Sarah Grilo “Add” (1965) Oil on Canvas

First time on view at MoMA. It was one of my favorite pieces and it made me sad to think that this would vanish again after the show in a storage space.

Lee Bonticou “Untitled” (1961)

Lee Bonticou lived in NY above a laundry and found the conveyer belt there. I love the organic yet mechanical piece and you cannot help yourself but look into the dark void.


Carol Rama “Spurting Out ” (1967) – Ink, Gouache, shellac  and plastic doll eyes on paper

This was interesting …and eerie at the same time.

Several thoughts :

  • It was so prominent that a lot of the female artists were spouses of  “famous” and permanently displayed male artists – in a way it must have been an exciting time to be a female artist- but also so hard to break through and be heard.
  • Who inspired whom btw?
  • Mostly only one piece of artwork was displayed by the artists making it seem as that is all the space there is for their amazing work to be displayed
  • MoMA, why not making real space for those artists instead of just a temporary exhibition space. Just display more of this artwork in your permanent collection galleries.
  • More Female Solo Exhibitions would be great – a lot of those artists have quite some scope of work – “Where Are All the Women” by Jerry Saltz is still good and valid read.

I will definitely go back and see it more in depth but I had a great time with Natalya and enjoyed looking at some of the artwork with different eyes, given the different medium she works with .

Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction is on show until August 13, 2017 at MoMA


Comments (8)

  • Sue Clarke


    I just love “Add”…such a delightful piece. Maybe it can hang in my living room in between being out in the gallery?


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Wouldn’t that be awesome to have? It should rather hang in our living rooms when vanish in the museum storage again.


  • Stephanie


    I heard about the exhibit on NPR. Looks like it was fab!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Oh I bet that was interesting -might have to see if I can still find it on NPR


  • Seth


    Thanks for taking us along on the ride!


  • Diane


    Thank you for this post. Most interesting. Also like your observations about women artists.


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Oklahoma Workshops Coming Up!

There are still a couple seats left in my workshops this coming week June 16-18 at My Heart’s Fancy in Edmond, Oklahoma.

I am looking to so forward coming back – the store and the students are always so much fun to be around. Maura, the owner also ordered some copies of my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media , so you can get your own there or bring yours if you have it already and I will sign it :) – Come and join the fun!!!

June 16, 20172:30 pm – 6:00 pmStroll Through the Hood – Mixed Media Wall Hanging

Let’s create a beautiful little wall hanging for your home, office, or beyond! We will begin by creating a colorful, patterned background. Then we’ll take it further by adding scenery using stamps, graphite, paints and other supplies. Finally we will add detail and highlights to pull the landscape together. We will be working on Ampersand Clayboard which offers a special and exciting surface to create your Mixed Media work on.

Register here or call to register 405-509-6788

June 17, 201710:00 am – 5:00 pmThe Magic of Acrylics – Technique & Abstract Painting Class

Join me for a full-day class exploring all kinds of different Acrylic Media – from Dumbledore to Merlin, from Acrylic Paints to Acrylic Inks, from String Gel to Pouring Medium, from Modeling Past to Black Lava and other fun stuff!

Learn their magic – and put an end to the mystery of how to use these amazing helpers in your Mixed Media and/or Art Journaling projects. The first half of the class will be technique based and in the second half you will put your own spell onto 3 abstract canvas paintings. After this class you will have a lot of fun waving your new magic acrylic wand whenever you create!

Register here or call to register 405-509-6788

June 18, 201710:00 am – 5:00 pmWhat’s Cooking – Art Journal Class

What makes an Art Journal spread, or for that matter a work of art, work?

Let’s explore in a playful and creative way the Principles and Elements of Art, using Mixed Media tools and supplies. Think of the principles as you might think of a recipe: a starting point to which we add the right ingredients – the elements – to make your art journal pages more interesting. Develop your individual recipes, which will result in your very own style. – LET’S GET COOKING!

Register here or call to register 405-509-6788

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NEW Mini ArtFoamies !!!


I am super excited about my new Mini versions of my ArtFoamies Foam Stamp Designs- let me show them to you

New Mini ArtFoamies by n*Studio from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.

Want to see more videos regarding those foam stamps? Here is a video showing you how I created the last art journal page in the video above,  3Ways to use positive and negative foam stamps, and an Art Tapas Video where I explain how you can clean them.

Hope you like the new Minis :)

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Artful Adventures in Mixed Media is Out and Giveaway


My book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media is now officially out and being sent out all over the world. PINCH Me! It is so much fun to see it arrive at different locations and it makes me just giddy to see all those photos. If you ordered a copy- tag me on instagram so I can see it :)))

To celebrate the official release day today I am giving away two copies of my book: one here on the Blog and one during a Facebook Live Event today- check it out:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS Now CLOSED – Edited June 12th, 2017

Blog Giveaway: I will give away one signed copy of my book to a randomly drawn person, just leave a comment on this blog post below and let me know why you think this would be just the right book for YOU :) You can do so until June 8th, midnight EST.

The Winner of a signed copy of my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media is :

Congratulations Julie, I sent you an email- Nat


I will also give away a signed copy of my book during my Facebook Live Kaffeeklatsch this afternoon, June 8th, 2017 at 4pm. – check it out on my FB page 


Thank you for all your support and for celebrating with me! You are amazing!!! My heart is full today – lots of Love


Comments (62)

  • Sue LD


    I am new to mixed media and would love to have this book.


  • Brenda Ryan


    Who wouldn’t want to win your book. The colors on the front cover are enough to draw you in. Congratulations on your book!


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Art Stroll: Rauschenberg Among Friends Part 2

As promised Part 2 of my visit of the Rauschenberg Among Friends Exhibition – you can read about Part 1 here. When you are reading this I have been already back to the show and have scheduled another visit next week …I am obsessed- HELP – LOL

“Ace”(1962) , Oil, paper, cardboard, paint-can label, umbrella, doorknob, fabric, wood, nails, and metal on canvas – on five panels

I love how reading the signage becomes the start of a scavenger hunt trying to find all elements mentioned on the panels.

“Black Market” (1961), Oil, watercolor, pencil, paper, fabric, newspaper, printed paper, printed reproductions, wood, metal, tin, street sign, license plate and four metal clipboards on canvas with rope, chain and wood suitcase containing rubber stamps, ink pad and typed instructions regarding objects to be given and taken by viewers

Black Market was first on view in Amsterdam in 1961 and viewers were invited to take out an object from the suitcase and replace it with their own and then make a drawing of their contribution on one of the clipboards. Unfortunately people were mostly just stealing the objects in the suitcase and so Rauschenberg withdrew his invitation. – I just love the concept and thought -so sad it didn’t work out!

“Pilgrim” (1960), Oil, graphite, printed paper and fabric on canvas with painted wood chair.

If you look closely you can see that Rauschenberg actually used the chair as a painting tool to drag down the paint in the canvas and then attached the chair as an collage element. It looks as if you are invited to take a seat to be part of the painting- but Natalya and I refrained from doing so – LOL.

Marcel Duchamp “Bottle Rack” 1960

Rauschenberg purchased this work for three dollars after he saw it in an exhibition, and then asked Duchamp to sign the work. Duchamp agreed and signed and left an inscription saying “Impossible for me to recall the original phrase” . Jokesters- LOL- I wonder how much this readymade art piece is worth nowadays.

I loved how the exhibition was laid out – and of course early morning hours are the best to ensure a more empty space.

“scanning” (1963) Oil and silkscreen -ink print on canvas

the canvas includes a photo of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company with Steve Paxton how lived with Rauschenberg when the piece was made.

The paw prints here were added by Sweetie, Rauschenberg’s pet kinkajou who strolled across the canvas while Rauschenberg was making it on the floor of his studio. He simply embraced the accident as part of the work. HA YES!

“Overdrive” (1963) Oil and silkscreen -ink print on canvas

I am so in love with this piece and the one below

“Estate” (1963) Oil and silkscreen -ink print on canvas

Rauschenberg started in the early 60s to use more and more readymade images into his paintings and visited Andy Warhol in the studio in 1962 to get an intro into the silkscreen technique. He had a friend destroy his stock of screens to avoid the pressure of repeating himself in his artwork.

I could look at them forever- and as you can see below the paintings are actually quite big.

“Volon” (1971)

Come on- admit…this makes you look at your boxes in a whole different way, no?

Untitled (1972) – Tape and cardboard boxes with rubber hose.

and so something that some people call trash becomes a piece of artwork – I love it!

“Sor Aqua” (1973) Wood and metal suspended with rope over water-filled bathtub with glass jug.

Rauschenberg found the inspiration for this piece in Venice – where he gathered found materials for a series of assemblages. The water- filled bathtub evokes the Venetian canals, the suspended tangle of rusted metal refers to aging, deteriorated surfaces throughout the city.

“Mirthday Man” (1997) Water-soluble inkjet dye and pigment transfer on plylaminate

You can find an x-ray of Rauschenberg which he called “self-portrait of inner man” and surrounded it with photographs he had taken over the year. Rauschenberg created this piece in one day on his 72nd birthday.

“Bible Bike” (1991) Tarnishes on brass, bronze and copper

The imagery and coloration in the metal painting series, Borealis, was produced through chemical reactions (which Rauschenberg called “corrosions”), sometimes with the addition of acrylic paint. Tarnishing agents, such as acetic acid and ammonium salts, are brushed or silkscreened onto brass, copper, or bronze surfaces, resulting in a muted range of colors: green, brown, or black, depending on the type of metal support. By painting or drawing with a tarnish-resistant medium before applying the tarnishing agent, the artist could create coloristic variations by contrasting the tarnished and untarnished metal.

I hope you enjoyed the Art Stroll- you can find all Art Strolls here on my website. But seriously if you are in NYC visit this exhibition – it is open until September 17, 2017.

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Pattern Lovers – Tina Walker


Happy Tuesday from the Creative Squad! Today Tina Walker is starting us off on a new theme for June with a super cool canvas and a fun art journal spread using my Hamburg stencil and my Cardboard stamp set. This month’s theme is: Pattern Lovers Love Patterns: We admit it – sometimes we go a little crazy over cool patterns. We see them everywhere and whether it’s in the human-made stuff all around us or in the designs by Mother Nature, we love them all. So this month we’re playing with pattern and giving it the attention it deserves!

Hi! Tina Walker here today with a new month and a new theme. June’s theme is a theme that I am super excited about – Patterns!

Patterns and repeating images are some of the best ways to create interesting and eye-catching art. I am always looking for patterns in nature and for ways to create patterns out of patterns. My main project this month uses 1 stencil and 1 stamp to create an interesting piece full of pattern on pattern. Not only was it fun to make, it was quick and easy.

Place your favorite Nat StencilGirl stencil over a primed canvas, I used Hamburg. Using spray-mist, acrylic paint, or inks, paint over the entire canvas. I used Marabu Acrylic Art sprays that are permanent. Once they dry, you can layer one spritz over another without creating a muddy brown color. Love!

Randomly stamp canvas. Here I used Pie Top from Nat’s Cardboard stamp set.

Repeat this step, rotating the stencil 90 degrees so that the stenciled image overlaps the previous layer.

Repeat until you have a base that is full of yummy layers and pattern on pattern.

Place several widths of artist or masking tape over your stenciled/stamped canvas to create a pattern. I trimmed the edge for an interesting look.

Make sure the tape is securly adhered to the canvas.

Using your favorite spray paint, spray entire canvas in contrasting or coordinating color, I chose white. Then allow to dry completely. Remove tape.

Reveal the magic of pattern on pattern. This project took approximately 30-45 minutes, from start to finish! My kind of art.

As I was adding my stenciled layers to my canvas, I didn’t want to waste the gorgeous paint on the surface of the Hamburg stencil, so I ‘stamped’ the stencil to an art journal page. Not only did my patterned canvas create a super easy and fun piece, I had an instant background started on an art journal spread.

Here’s the spread I created with ‘stamp off’.

I love it when one project creates another. And pattern on pattern…be still my heart! ♥

I hope you enjoyed my projects today. Have a great day!

Thank you Tina for two projects that definitely celebrate PATTERN! Tina used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:

Play along with us this month and join the 30 day Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge! I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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