Blog: Jersey City

It’s a beautiful day in neighborhood!

“It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is a song from a show called Mr. Rogers, which I have never seen because it was not really running in Germany – but once in a while one of my friends sing it for fun – and so it got stuck with me and I love it. For those of you who do not know the lyrics:

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Won’t you please,
Won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?

I used my new RubberMoon Stamp Sets – Stroll Around the Block and My Home is My Castle with the journal spread. I used the small windows and doors and turned them into cassettes of the doors in – so much fun to play with this.

We do have a pretty cool neighborhood with lots of friends living close by and we do hang out a lot spontaneously – in the summer on the stoop – in the winter in one of our places.

I created a weathered background using some metallic acrylic glazes and acrylic paint, then stamped on top and colored the stamps in with acrylic paints.

I added the lyrics of the song with a pencil.

This spread makes me all happy and fuzzy and now I wanna see my friends who also happen to be neighbors.

Here are some of the supplies that I used for this neighborly spread :)


Wishing you a beautiful day in your neighborhood :)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Please don’t laugh…I had such a crush on Mr. Rogers when I was a kid. Just loved the land of make believe. He was such a gentle soul.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I can totally understand Sue- I think , I would have liked him a lot as a kid as well.

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – November 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

I bought this telephone glass insulator at an antique store and I am so in love with hit. I had now idea those existed- but now I am totally addicted. Love how the light from our window makes this beautiful color pop.

This funny pumpkin was sitting around in the hood and it made me laugh. Ken More …I guess now he is Ken No-More

This Mural around the corner- OMG- I soooo love this. It shows some iconic buildings of Jersey City like the Powerhouse and the Liberty State Park Train Station and some of you might know that I used those buildings for inspiration for my sketches for my Stroll Through the Hood stamps as well.

It never gets old- sunset over the city – so dramatic !

For Thanksgiving I bought a couple fun flowers at a new flower store Casa Mona in my neighborhood and set them into my little stamped vases. (you can see how Kim and I did that here) . Isn’t the mini pineapple just the cutest thing ever?

And of course Thanksgiving was wonderful as well- which we hosted and we had a ton of guests and lots of fun :)

And then I hosted our annual Friendsgiving – where we invite some friends. This time I made Mulled Wine (Glühwein) and got this old punch set I was giving by my great aunt to work. She would have loved Friendsgiving – she always loved hosting and her glasses, dishes etc. are always something I love to bring out to – it is like celebrating her a bit too during those events and thinking of her :)

And here is Niles our cat sleeping at the fire place – lucky him ;) Love this little guy – he is almost 18 years old – and he sleeps a lot. In my next life I want to be him- hahahah.

I hope you enjoyed the stroll! Wishing you a wonderful December!

Comments (4)

  • Janet

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    Great photo of Niles! He looks like my Katarina who is 17 and is such a queen! Pretty much lives on my bed with meals served there when she isn’t sleeping. And of course you are celebrating your aunt…in such a beautiful way! I love to use my relatives’ dishes and know that they are right there with me, enjoying the moment. Beautiful photos. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- they deserve to be queens and kings at that age :) Thank you for joining me on the stroll through the hood :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I love the fireplace and it’s hard to believe that Niles is almost 18.
    I especially like how the vases came out with the dark ink against the while background.
    Thanks for another stroll.
    Yeah for memories of your dear Aunt.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you Sue :) Yeah – I cannot believe it either- once in a while he becomes a little kitten again and runs around like crazy- LOL.

      Reply

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Photos of the Workshop at Nathalie’s Studio

Last Saturday I taught my Stroll Through the Hood workshop here at home in an intimate setting and it was so fun to have 7 wonderful ladies join me. I used to teach a lot of home-workshops in Germany and I would like to do some small ones once in a while here too- this was the first time I did it:)

Here is the morning view before they all came- I had set up everything in our dining room/kitchen area

 

and lot’s of supplies were waiting to be used :)

for some fun urban sceneries.

And then there we are already in full force creating. It was so wonderful to have lovely people from Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and New York!

Katie creating some wonderful sceneries –

Jill, Theresa and Linda fully immersed :)

And then there were Donuts …of course with a Halloween theme :)

Look at the gorgeous smile Linda gave me after I tortured here to look at me ;)

And here are her gorgeous pieces- look at all those patterns and colors- yummie!

Lea’s beautiful work in progress – i love the colors!

And Maria listening to Anne and creating magic!

And Anne’s beautiful work- I love her Flat Iron building so much!

It was a great day and so I will do a workshop again at my n*Studio :) Probably in February 2018.

If you want to join any of my In-Person Workshops a list of them is posted here. I will be this coming weekend at The Queen’s Ink in Maryland (Saturday is sold out but there are still a couple seats in my Mono Print Painting class open!)

I am also teaching my last workshop for this year in Salem, Oregon at Runaway Art and Craft Studio – December 2 -3 – which includes also the Stroll Through the Hood workshop I taught here at home :) I hope you can join me for any of those -I would love to see you!

Comments (6)

  • Linda Wyatt

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    It was a wonderful and creative workshop, and great to try out new techniques and materials. Also an easy trip across the Hudson so I would love to do it again 🎨🙏🤗❤️

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It was so good to have you Linda- and oh yea- you are soooo close :) I will keep you posted :)

      Reply

  • Jill

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    It was such a fun workshop, Nathalie! I had such a great time learning some new techniques and getting to know everyone. Such a great experience working in such a small group!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much for coming all the way! It was so much fun to have you! Hope to see you soon again!

      Reply

  • Jean Goza

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    The artwork that was produced in the class is stunning. Looks like everyone had a great time.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It was so much! Cannot wait to hopefully see you January when I am back in San Jose Jean! :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – October 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Love the fall – we did a lot of bicycle rides the last couple weeks – the views from Liberty State Park never cease to amaze me.

Secret Beach is open again – it is closed as a bird sanctuary during the summer months.

When you drive through this you really forget you are in a city :)

Little carving on the way that made me smile.

A lot of horseshoe crabs again-this one is so light – I wonder if the dark color comes when they are out of the water longer?

From the pier in front of Liberty Train Station – the pier is still damaged from Hurricane Sandy.

And after a day in the studio another beautiful view in this glowing light.

There are also a ton of Monarchs flying around in the park right now – it is amazing. They are so beautiful.

Lucky us: my friends and I got a seat in the busy path on the way home – never a dull moment in the path ;)

And the last night warm enough to have a spontaneous stoop hangout with our friends -It is a typical thing to do in the neighborhood – I love this so much. I know many people think that cities are super anonymous but we are living in a really fun area and we are super lucky that a lot of our friends live in walking distance.

An art installation in front of City Hall for the Jersey City Art and Studio tour, which sadly I had to miss this year because I went to the U.K to teach.

And watching beautiful sunsets with unreal clouds on our decks. What a great inspiring month it was – I hope yours was amazing as well!

Comments (2)

  • JoAnn

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    What a wonderful Stroll Through the Hood – loved it all.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thanks for joining JoAnn- have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

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The Sketchy History of Pencils

As some of you might know I live in the old Pencil #2 Factory in Jersey City. While there are no more pencils being made in my building, there is still the General Pencil Company which still operates here in Jersey City. I try to buy a lot of pencils (and also brush cleaner) from General Pencil Company because I love that they are right here and produce locally. No wonder I was totally happy to see this video by NPR’s Skunk Bear “A Sketchy History of Pencils” .


I love seeing how art supplies are being made. What art manufacturer would you like to visit to see how they make things?

 

Comments (2)

  • Sharyle

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    Enjoyed this video! Fascinating to see how pencils are made. I’d love to visit the Golden paint factory and see how they make all those fabulous colors.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Oh I would love to go there too Sharyle! Thanks for checking in :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through The Hood – September 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

You never know where you spot Dylan Egons black and white paste ups …

my godson sketching our deck on our deck  and writing in his travel journal – mmmmyyyy boyyyy LOL

Love this in Jersey City’s Little India

We took a trip to  the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. I have been here probably 10 years or longer ago when it wasn’t a NHP yet and boy has this been cleaned up. You might remember this if you watched the Sopranos

or if you watched Paterson a Jim Jarmusch movie ( I just love Jim Jarmusch movies and I had just watched Paterson on the plane a couple days before we went there. It is a beautiful movie!) Anyway- it is a very cool place.

Coming back into JC it is always wonderful to be greeted by David

and see other murals along the way

in the dingy weird industrial side streets close to the entrance of the Holland Tunnel – maybe what visiting people see as the ugly NJ …and where I see grungy beauty

and thinking to myself- you guys just have no clue how beautiful NJ actually is ;)

And last pic- this little pop-up- poetry store in the pedestrian area -that was fun and the poem he wrote for my godson and me was:

hands are heavy

bones made to break

hearts born to stop

and still we toss them all

rugged and raw toward…infinity

we are strange adventurers

always moving forward

bold and full of love.


Love it- yes we are strange adventurers !!! Hope you are having a wonderful day and enjoyed this stroll- see you soon in the hood.

Comments (4)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Gotta love Bowie (as Aladdin Sane here).
    The poet on the street is great fun as well.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So true Sue- so sad he passed away! Hope you have a gorgeous weekend!

      Reply

  • Karen Bearse

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    Great read! Love the pics such a cool neighborhood

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Karen – I do love living here a lot – it is always changing and there is always something I haven*t seen.

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – August 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

I know I have posted photos of this view from Liberty State Park several times- but for me it just doesn’t get old!

Here is a newly painted tower at the edge of the park by Mr Mustart.

Kind of in the hood – a little stroll on the Highline early in the morning – what a great time to be there – and seing a little glimpse of a mural by PixelPancho.

And on the walk to the subway a mural by Osgemeos – I love the pants- they are made off all kinds of different flags.

In the East Village this awesome door – love the patterns, the hair, the writing :)

 

Close by the former Adath Jeshurun of Jassy Synagogue, which I believe now has artist studios in it – I hope it is not just abandoned. What a great building.

In the Bowery a Shepard Fairey – I love how the wall is decaying and the purple paint underneath is crackling through again.

And in Jersey City this mural by Nychos

On a construction wall around the corner a paste up by Dylon Egon

And of course…as I am such a dork for elephants …and btw- this has been a block from my place for a long time – how did I miss it so far – by Mr. Prvrt

And last but not least my new fire red bike with which I am strolling through the hood a lot this summer. As you can see I found a piece of drift wood on the water side on that tour, so of course that had to come with me ;)

Hope you enjoyed this stroll and that you had a great time strolling around in your own hood for some inspiration as well.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    As always it was nice to see what you discovered on your stroll.
    I love older buildings and especially like the photo Adath Jeshurun of Jassy Synagogue.
    BTW, I started to read your book while on vacation and took lots of pics looking at sculptures on an outdoor tour and went back to the cottage and did a mixed media page based on the inspiration that I got from one of them.
    I don’t think that the art based on a specific inspiration “clicked” for me before reading your book.
    So thanks!

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Art Stroll: Murals in Jersey City Part 1

Lots of times my husband and I do a little bicycle tour in Jersey City, either through the neighborhood or Liberty State Park. Recently we set out on the hunt for some murals we haven’t seen yet.

I like this one by Sam Pullin aka Bed Bugs in Love. It shows the Golden Record aboard the Voyager. Sam is a JC local and I am always excited when I see work by him because I know him :)

Emilio Florentine created this mural called “Turnt Up” . On his website it says “His paintings are based on the belief that natural beauty is heightened during chaos. By using impressionist and surrealist techniques, he exploits, tortures, and then paints his subject – the flower – at its tipping point”

This mural was huge and impressive and also on a really amazing building. The Peach Tree War by Distort. While we were looking at the mural we met another couple also checking out the mural and we agreed that all those different murals in Jersey City are an amazing reason for a bike ride . It is so much fun to go on the hunt for them.

This cool lion is by Davel who is from Miami. Check out his cool prints!

Top and bottom are by Kaos & Klive

wow- the lettering and colors are so amazeballs!

Aqualand was created by Catherine Hart.

On the left by Jerkface and on the right by Zimer. Love those two together :)

It’s Your World by Chris Stain and Billy Mode. This is one of my favorites!

I hope you had fun on this Art Stroll to see some Murals in Jersey City. I hope to show you another part soon …but since my husband’s bike just got stolen, that will have to wait a little bit (sniff).

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Turnt Up is amazing and I could look at it for a long time!
    So sorry to hear about your hubby’s bike and I hope it somehow “finds” its way home.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Sue – i love that one too! The bike did not find it’s way home …unfortunately it has been a big thing recently in our neighborhood. Hope you have a wonderful weekend

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Stroll Through the Hood – July 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

When I had to go to get an MRI after hurting my shoulder playing table tennis (yes…you heard right) – I had to walk underneath the turnpike – ugly ugly- but there was a bit of Norman Kirby Fence Art to make the feel better. The funniest thing – the tongue on the right moved in the wind :)

I love how the color bands come out of the R and the movement in this mural.

This is the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery again – they had an Oddity Market there one weekend and ha- that is a great location for this. I loved seeing the Before I die… Wall there. I thought it was so clever to have it at a cemetery what a fitting place for this public art project. I did a painting a long time ago called “Before I die, I want to become the person that I am ” – but I think it is time to do this again in my art journal and think about it :)

I also found humor in seeing those to guys in sitting in the grass in between the headstones typing on their cellphones ;)

Ok – this one is a bit cheated- as it wasn’t in my walkable hood – but close enough – I went to a U2 concert and our General Admission spot was spot on ;) Well…it pays when you go with friends who are die-hard U2 fans and know the ins and outs of where to stand at the tour- LOL. Love the swirls- the whole concert was a feast for the eyes.

Of course there was 4th July celebration – we had a small party on our deck and saw several fireworks at the same time -here to the left the NYC Macy’s firework on and on the right at the same time the Jersey City firework.

And this one was apparently a “personal” one  – in the neighborhood – but I take it-as the next day was my birthday- so basically I get free fireworks for my birthday- not too shabby, right? This reminded me of ink/paint splatters.

And those here are also a bit cheated- but hey- I am the boss of my hood- LOL- and this month Manhattan belonged to it too- I mean…I can basically just spit over the river from my hood. We went to the Freedom Tower with family as part of a family day. What a view. Look at the reflection in the skyscraper – I love that- I want to do something with this in one of my paintings.

And oh man ….amazing. It never ceases to amaze me to look at Manhattan from that perspective – it looks all so unreal and orderly and cool. It made me really itch to continue my big Manhattan painting, I am working on for a while now.

And – just because- Jersey City from the Manhattan side- HA  – at Battery Park. I love the juxtaposition between plants and garden and skyscrapers.

And just for fun – I am sure my sister in law at a different idea when she wanted a photo of the girls- but here we are, my niece and I being goofy and my sis in law being her awesome self ;)

Hope you enjoyed this stroll through the hood – until next time!

Comments (6)

  • Jackie P Neal

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    Great stroll Nathalie!
    And happy birthday to you and America! This is your first 4th of July being an actual citizen of the US -right? I hope it was special for you! Congrats!
    hugs,Jackie

    Reply

  • Robin S.

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    I truly enjoy your strolls through the ‘hood. I may have made a comment like this before, but I am a country girl through and through and am amazed by how much beauty there is to be found if a person is willing to look for it with an open mind; you are a constant source of inspiration to me. LOVE that reflection in the skyscraper!! Keep up your creativity, imagination, and free spirit!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe – thank you so much Robin! Have a wonderful and creative week!

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the reflection in the side of the building and what a view of the city!
    I totally enjoy strolls through your hood especially since they are so different from mine.
    I see wildlife and no street art (bummer).
    Happy belated birthday and keep that inspiration coming.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you sue! Yeah – wildlife is pretty cool too – that is what I am missing here ;)

      Reply

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