Blog: Jersey City

Sustainable Souls Project: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

The Sustainable Souls Project is a monthly artist collaboration inspired by sustainability issues, concerns, ideas, and thoughts.  Each month, they pick a sustainability topic and create awareness through art, using the monthly theme as inspiration.  Projects may include art-journaling, mixed media, assemblage and more. The idea is to create awareness around Sustainability through art, one paint stroke at a time! As this is a topic close to my heart I am happy to participate this month.

This month’s theme is: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

I repurposed an old canvas of mine for this theme

I didn’t like the acrylic painting that was originally underneath but I decided to “recycle” parts of the painting and cover other parts with trash and other texture making materials up.

My neighborhood is pretty much recycled – it was brand new and nice at some point, then people lost interest and treated it badly and now it is up and coming again. I am glad it wasn’t totally destroyed and wasted before it was discovered as love able again.

 

I stamped with some of my Stroll Through the Hood Stamp Sets onto painted cardboard and colored in some of the images with water color.

Can you imagine that this is how the area – about 10 minutes from my house –  that is now Liberty State Park looked like pre 1976 ?

(Photo from the Archives of the Friends of Liberty State Park)

We have come a long way – and then we haven’t. 

Recycling has always been a big topic during my upbringing in Germany. I learned about bringing bags to shops and not littering in the 80s in school and it has become such a norm to recycle everything, from glass – divided by brown and white glass, paper, cork, batteries, plastic garbage, compost. You are pretty much a frowned upon person if you do not recycle or do not bring bags to a shop. But then you have news and pictures like this:

Read about garbage patches in the ocean and what happens with our plastic garbage, how long it takes to “disappear” and the effects on the ocean life.

I think we need to make more choices in what we buy and how we buy  and then how we recycle/reuse/repurpose. I am not perfect myself and I am constantly catching myself not being responsible enough but here some small steps – I hope I don’t sound too preachy :

  • I bring bags and boxes when I do grocery shopping -instead of having someone stuff my shopping in double- or triple layered plastic bags – hey good reason to make some handmade cool looking artsy grocery bags ;)
  • I avoid buying plastic bottles – I don’t buy six packs which are held together by plastic rings – it is hard here to avoid it totally but keeping an eye open helps.
  • I have a fancy water glass bottle for the gym – it looks pretty cool and I can put it in the dishwasher when I need to
  • I try to buy as much at a farmer’s market or non packaged fruit and vegetables as possible – I mean – come on those bananas- they are protected already
  • Make your coffee at home – put it in a nice travel mug- it is cheaper but hey- do not use those single cup plastic coffee makers – then I’d rather suggest take you travel mug and buy your coffee at a coffee place to go.
  • Bring some fun silverware to work for lunch, instead of getting a pack of plastic flatware – it looks so much more classy anyway  ;)
  • Come on- you have a dishwasher and on a special occasion just put out the normal plates and silver flatware for a party and then throw them into the dishwasher. Or wash them by hand – nothing better then some bonding/gossiping time with a friend/spouse/sibling while doing some dishes – and if you do not wanna do that- put your kids to work …didn’t hurt us ;)
  • there is so much more- but this is a good start

Ahhh- there- I got preachy…sorry…but you know what….I feel so strongly about this – it should be something we all take care of …I hope you will understand: There is only Planet A !

Comments (12)

  • Christy Strickler

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    I love the way the canvas turned out! I will have to try this the next time I don’t like what I painted on the canvas.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Christy! I do this all the time- it is a great way to just reuse the canvases and often it makes some awesome texture :)

      Reply

  • Sandra L.

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    Love your recycled project. No apology needed for being preachy….nothing wrong with speaking your mind for a cause. I am the queen of recycling in my family. I always think twice before I put something in the trash or the recycling bins. Much to the dismay of my family I have even picked up discarded items to bring home for a project. For example bottle caps….have a jar of those. I use glass spaghetti sauce jars in my cupboards and in my craft room. I paint the lids and you have a free glass jar instead of going out any buying something.
    I hate plastic anything and wish companies would go back to glass jars for juices and soda (though I rarely drink soda). I recycle tea bags…the tea goes in the flowers on my balcony and the coffee grounds goes in the garbage disposer and the filers are air dried for projects. Love “recycle shame”….I am guilty of that and on more than one occasion but then again maybe it’s the German in me. lol.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      totally agree with you- and yes to the plastic containers- I hate them too. LOL- maybe since I am German I have a bit of the recycle shame in me too ;)

      Reply

  • Tina Walker

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    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for sharing your art with us again this month! I love your recycled piece – I personally think the recycled projects always turn out better than the originals…so many more layers, stories, and history. Interesting facts and images too – such an important topic and one I will definitely be focusing on more in the future. ♥

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Thanks for the post. I take items home from work to recycle but I can’t take it all. I work in a school kitchen and my recycle bin is only picked up every other week here. The school only recycles cardboard. Drives me nuts to throw large cans away.
    Hard to believe that pic of the park with the dignified Lady.
    We do have one of those filters for the Keurig and then you can use any coffee that you want to without throwing away tons of little pods. I was told that they were planning a pod that can be recylced but my guess is that folks won’t want to rinse it out (the convenience of the Keurig is key).

    Reply

  • Stephanie

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    Hi Nat – you are not preachy at all. I am such a green freak that I pick out cans and glass from the office trash and put them in the recycling container, the same with paper from the trash into the recycling bin. However, I do not “recycle shame” my co-workers, that would be preachy – lol!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- recycle-shame- I loooove that. Germans do that a lot btw- LOL.

      Reply

  • karen

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    Very good read. We were on vacay in Germany a few years ago & read that it is one of the greenest countries in the world. I do pretty well but realize from reading this I can tweek a few things & do better. Although I love my Keurig. We have a filter for it & will start using that instead of the pods.

    The painting is also really great!!!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      oh that is so cool that they do have a filter for the Keurig! I didn’t know that. As said Karen- I can do a lot better myself- I have to constantly remind myself on some things.

      Reply

  • Tracy Krueger

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    I love it Nathalie! The texture is amazing

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – May 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. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks. BTW, I hope you have joined me so far in the Artful Adventures: Stroll Through the Hood Challenge and Free Class – it is so much fun! Come and celebrate my new book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media with me!

I am sneaking in the photo above- this is from a Federal building in Newark ….kind of my hood ….you can see Jersey City and Manhattan – isn’t that a cool view?

Now …what have I been doing in this building?

well…along with 57 other people from 20 different countries I became an American :)

My friends and I also spent a day together in Branch Brook Park close to Newark which has apparently the largest collection of Cherry Trees in the United States …4300 …unfortunately not all on one spot- LOL – so we were quite on a hunt on this trip to find the best spots – but it was worth it and soooo beautiful.

I love cherry trees – too bad it is almost over with the blossoms.

This is part of a ship on the dry dock at Liberty State Park  – I love the colors and the texture- yummie!

Little picnic waving over to Manhattan

enjoying the flowers

thinking about this sign and taking it as a message to Earth …because seriously this looks like we do not love earth at all on this particular spot

and loving once more the many different man holes in Jersey City. Love the star with the pattern around it.

Now these photos are not part of the Stroll Through The Hood Challenge– but I told you – I do this regularly :) You can find all my former strolls here if you wanna see more about where I live.

 

Comments (12)

  • Barb

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    Awesome, Nathalie!! Congratulations on your American Citizenship!!!

    Reply

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    Congratulations on your citizenship, Nathalie!
    I used to live in New Jersey. Your photos made me nostalgic.

    Reply

  • Leap Year Baby

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    Just want to join all the others in congratulating you on becoming an American citizen.
    Love your strolls through the hood and the cherry blossoms are awesome!
    Can’t wait to get your book very happy for you!

    Reply

  • Sherry

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    Congrats on becoming an American citizen. Enjoyed your stroll … especially the Cherry Blossoms.

    Reply

  • scrapinsue

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    The texture on that ship is awesome. I would love to have it be the background for patterned paper.
    Congratulations on becoming a citizen of the U.S. It’s a great country with some interesting politics going on at the moment (as I’m sure that you noticed).

    Reply

  • Gloria

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    CONGRATULATIONS on becoming an American Citizen.

    Reply

  • Susan

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    congratulations!!! becoming an american is a lot of hard work. thanks for sharing your stroll, too. it is always fun to have a staycation … i really enjoy all that you post!

    Reply

  • CJ Henderson

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    Yay you!! Congrats and such a beautiful stroll through “the hood”💖

    Reply

  • Frieda

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    The views in your hood are spectacular from both close-up and afar! Specially in that glorious weather. Love strolling with you.

    Reply

  • DK in AZ

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    CONGRATULATIONS on becoming an American citizen! And on your new book too!

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – April 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.

Still loving this mural by Pixel Pancho.

I never realized this old sign – probably some historic building marker. Love the patina and the form of it.

On the side of our supermarket-  I rarely walk down this way- so I am not sure if I missed it so far or if it is new.

Tape art by Norman Kirby – love it!

Never showed it finished- the Shepard Fairey Mural at Grove in Jersey City. It feels as if it has a different meaning nowadays.

I love spring and the opportunity to get out of the house more and explore and stroll the hood :) Cannot wait to venture further in the coming weeks .

Comments (4)

  • Lil

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    OMG!!! That sign!! The rust, the peeling paint. Mouthwatering!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      :) I love it too – it is really cool – glad you liked it. have a wonderful week, nat

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love strolls through your neighborhood Nat!
    Happy Easter and Happy Spring…

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Happy Easter and Spring to you you too Sue!!! hugs, Nat

      Reply

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Gritty City – Art Journal Spread

“Who would have thought I’d call you home you weird gritty little fun city across the Big Apple.”

This spread started out as a demo page in a workshop to show how to use two patterns of the Santa Fe Positive and Negative Foam Stamp set and it was very busy as you can imagine.

So I covered a middle put up with white gesso so that the pattern was still visible but in a very subtle way. I stamped a city scene with my Stroll Through The Hood 1 and Stroll Through the Hood 2 stamps onto the white gessoed areas.

Using fluid acrylics I colored the stamped images in. I dipped the Derwent Inktense Pencil into water for the journaling.

It is a bit crazy but fun. Here are the supplies I used for this spread – some links are affiliate links.


Wishing you a wonderful day!

Comments (2)

  • Joi@RR

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    To me… this is the epitome of YOU Nat. The city, the colors, the ambience, and the statue of libery… if I were to see this in an art gallery – I would know it was YOU. LOVE THIS. Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Joi! Hope you have a wonderful start into the week! Happy Monday

      Reply

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Stationery Workshop at Kanibal & Co in Jersey City, NJ

 

Join me in my home neighborhood of Jersey City, at one of my favorite local boutiques – Kanibal & Co, for an evening stationery class utilizing stamping and watercolor techniques. Participants will use my new custom Jersey City + NYC stamps to create handmade cards with watercolor accents. Included in the class cost: all the materials to create 10 custom cards + envelopes. Refreshments will be served.

Register here

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Stroll Through The Hood – March 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.

I loved the pattern and texture the melting snow created on our deck …I do not care for the snow so much though …I am glad when it is really spring weather again :)

I love the row of brown stones on our street – the beautiful stairways and all those windows and differently colored stones – and soon the trees will be green too – wohoo

This made me laugh – I am not a big fan of those blow up figures – especially around the winter holidays (sorry!) and I was glad it was over…but nope- should have know there is one for St. Patrick’s Day too – LOL.

Loving this mural by Alice Pasquini – the colors but especially also the lettering!

 

And this one on a construction fence made me laugh !

Cannot wait for warmer weather and more strolling around -it always help me get unstuck and get new ideas or process ideas :)

Have a beautiful day

Comments (6)

  • Sandi

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    Hi, Nat, love strolling with you. This month was wonderful. See ya next month on the hood

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thanks for joining me Sandi :) See you next month in the hood ;)

      Reply

  • Joi@RR

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    I always love your walks almost BEST of all Nat. The brownstones are WONDERFUL. I see things like that sometimes on TV but seeing your photos just makes them really real. They are soooooo pretty. Love the black on the stairs. And the street art is just so amazing to me. You don’t see much of that around here at all… if ever. Loved this post – thank you! Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- so glad you like the strolls Joi! Thank you for taking a walk with me :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I just love brownstones and take pics of them when we go into Boston.
    That snow pattern is pretty cool as well.
    I always enjoy your strolls.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thanks for strolling with me Sue! My big dream is to live in a Brownstone some day- but I guess I keep on dreaming for now ;)

      Reply

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1.25.2016 – Painting

 

2016

I haven’t shown this painting yet which I did last year. It depicts a moment at the beginning of the big snow blizzard in January 2016. I stept outside the door to take a quick photo. The light was just amazing and I had to capture that moment in a painting. I used acrylic paints, markers and charcoal. It is one of my favorite paintings I did last year – the only way I like winter …in a painting ;)

Comments (6)

  • Cheryl

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    Ohhhh, I love this painting! Awesome work.

    Reply

  • Barb Charlotte, NC

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    I don’t say it enough but, I enjoy your site. You always have fresh ideas.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Barb! have a gorgeous day and thank you for visiting me :)

      Reply

  • Joi@RR

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    Oh Oh OH OHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – It’s INCREDIBLE Nat. Those colors… and those buildings…. AMAZING. The snow is perfect too. I agree – the only way to have snow is in a painting!!! This is a MASTERPIECE…. in my eyes!! You made my week – thanks so much for sharing. Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe. Joi- you are the super sweetest. thank you so much !!! have a beautiful weekend!

      Reply

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Art Stroll: JCAST Flagship Gallery, New Jersey

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In October the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour 2016 – JCAST – took place and this was the third time I participated since I moved to the States. The flagship gallery in an old warehouse in JC was hopping and bopping with fun artwork and I was stoked to be part the group show.

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I had thirteen paintings displayed – a series called “Urbanomics” and it was fun to see my family and friends coming out for the show

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There was a lot of beautiful and inspiring artwork around – and I love getting to know more local artists and their work – there is so much talent here- it is mind blowing.

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Unfortunately I forgot to jot down the name of the artist above. I loved it- the colors are actually different colored lights projected on the wall – the black lines of the geometric shapes are duct tape.

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The paintings and the mural are by Blair Urban.

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Lot’s of beautiful artwork in every corner.

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Nupur Nishith, Panchtatva, acrylic and ink on canvas . Loved how intricate and colorful this was and Nupur explained to me the different elements of the painting.

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Susan George, Ink on paper. Susan is my neighbor and I love how she made those paintings with ink on paper- inspired by zentangle and traditional mandala – every detail of these paintings were so perfect- it was amazing.

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Tom Wilson, Blue Room, acrylic, enamel, speaker cones, epoxy – loved the use of material and lines and colors.

 

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Juan-Ramiro Torres, Elan Vital, acrylic on canvas – I always love Juan’s paintings – the texture and forms – beautiful.

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Dylan Egon with an installation of his iconic imagery.

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Lina Hsaio, Mutant 1, Mixed Media on Wood – I love Lina’s work- her mix of materials and play with visual and actual dimension is stunning.

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Monique Sarfity, Pushing Buttons, Keyboard Mosaic – this was really fun  !

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Monique Sarfity, Brown Bird on My Shoulder, Scrabble Mosaic – as well as that.

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Meghan McKee – this encaustic piece was my absolute favorite of the show – I so want to own it. Meghan does beautiful artwork and I definitely will source her out more :)

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It was a great show and I am already looking forward to next year.

Do you have a local Art and Studio Tour where you live?

Comments (8)

  • Nupur Nishith

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    Hey Nathalie, I happened to see this post today. It was great meeting you at JCAST. You are very talented. i loved your site. Its really beautifully presented. Thanks for including me in your JCAST story. Hope to be in touch in future.
    Nupur

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Nupur, it was wonderful meeting you! Hope to see you again in JC :) Love your work!!! Nat

      Reply

  • Peg Hewitt

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    Wow, what a fabulous art space! I love all the booths and the variety of art is so broad. Lots of ideas and inspiration there!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So glad you enjoyed it Peg! good to hear from you too – hope all is well in Australia :) Nat

      Reply

  • Nancy Faulls

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    Hi Nat!
    Thanks for sharing. Maybe I will drive up from Delaware next year. I am in South Carolina for Thanksgiving so I missed the 22nd Southeastern Delaware art studio tour. It would have been so cool to see our local artists in their own creative spaces.
    Nancy

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      That would be amazing Nancy! And yeah- hope you will see your local tour in 2017 – but hey- Thanksgiving in South Carolina sounds like a great place to be too :)hugs, nat

      Reply

  • Judith

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    Thanks Nathalie for this lovely little art exhibit — it cheered up my morning after 2 weeks of feeling sad about the election. Art does heal, in many ways! Please keep them coming, always a joy to experience the work of others and honor their efforts across cultures, styles, and materials!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      HI Judith, I am so glad I could cheer you up a little bit! Big hugs to you! Yes art does heal- I have been doing a lot o art the last couple weeks! Have a wonderful sunday!!! Nat

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – September 2016

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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.

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The area around the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City is not really the most beautiful area- in fact …it is really really ugly and unfortunately often all that people see when they drive to or from New Jersey. So I love that there is some street art popping up here and there on the walls of ugly concrete. The above has some cool drippings and I love the monochromatic color scheme.

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Love the stencil work in this one with all the different layering.

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And this one just makes me happy because of the colors.

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this one made me laugh – I think there was a time where we had cards that you could exchange with those- kind of like trading cards? Anyone remember – maybe only in Germany – I guess I am getting old I only have a vague idea of this.

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Oh my- nature is the best painter …or maybe air pollution but let’s not think about this right now *Wink .

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This time is truly amazing regarding sunsets viewed from our deck.

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This one are the remains of a boardwalk at Liberty State Park – I assume it got destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. I love the texture and the pattern with the different materials- wouldn’t that be cool as a textured stamp?

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Here is a view of Manhattan from Liberty State Park – the historic landing pier here in the front of the picture was also heavily damaged in Sandy and has not been restored yet.

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The beautiful historic Liberty State Park train station, where the immigrants that came through Ellis Island headed out to all over America to start a new live. I love the building. It is talking to me *Wink. I need to make a painting of it some time.

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Last week some of our friends hung out at my wonderful friend’s from Beekman Lane – who had a booth with their awesome vintage and antique stuff at the Historic All About Downtown Market. As you can see we are amazing helpers and made sure people came in and bought things ;)

I had to get this hilarious Valentines Card- probably from the 40s – it made me laugh.

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and you see …we helped placing things at the right places too …the policemen on this Valentine’s Card actually has no pants on ….so …we needed to make sure he was covered – LOL . but joking aside the graphics of the box and the cards, and the red lunch box you see peeking underneath are just beautiful.

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And last but not least …another sunset picture. I wish I could make such a nice color swirl into one of my paintings. Maybe by using Pouring Medium.

I hope you had fun with this stroll through my hood – take a walk next time you feel stuck when you are creating something or need a spark – it always helps me to get new ideas!

Comments (4)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    Beautiful sights. I didn’t realize you live in Jersey City. My husband and I both grew up in NJ, but moved to Arizona 28 years ago. Greg used to work for a bank (forget which one) in Jersey City, and would take the tubes over to the World Trade Center during his lunch break.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the swirl of the clouds in that last sunset photo.
    I always enjoy strolls through your various hoods Nat!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Sue – yeah that swirl was pretty cool ! Nature is really amazing!

      Reply

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