Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Inspired by Brooklyn – Street Art

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in The Traveling Artist



A couple weeks ago I headed out to Brooklyn and strolled mostly around in Williamsburg. From my place it is a 45 min ride with public transportation- so not a biggie- and  what an inspirational stroll :


Besides the warehouses ….did I tell you, I have a big heart for old ware houses- I want one- LOL – this is such a cool and funny one – and I love it on the rusty brown background too.


These colors just popped and I love all the different details


Tehehe- that one made me smile by Goodandshiddy – as well as this one


I love how it is framed by the two houses and with the chimney in the background.


Love this “good cop- bad cop” stencil play very cool!


So many details- so much to look at – love the black background and the different surfaces giving texture – like the garage door and the brick wall…I also love the Mr Mushroom sign ;)


LOVE  - obviously because it is a close hit to home regarding my work – and I do love the colors, brushstrokes and paper textures coming through


Gotta love a cat on a mint green wall!



very cool doodle work and love the color combination with the different black line sizes.


So real and you get lost looking into this eye looking at the details – so much depth!


I saved my favorite for last- just the texture behind it made me gasp – the whole vanishing piece of art- the different building materials and the all in all very muted but dramatic feel – Don’t you want to touch that one? Well, you can – but you better hurry up before it is totally vanished!

This stroll itself was pretty inspiring but I did continue on to the Brooklyn Museum -which will be a different blog post :) Which one of the images inspires you the most?

Have a gorgeous and creative day





Back To School or…What I learned in my MoMA Class

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Art Of Living as an Artist



Back to School might be exaggerated but for six weeks I visited a class every monday at the Museum of Modern Art called The Modern Studio: Rauschenberg, Johns, Cage.



I knew the instructor Corey D’Augustine already from other classes and knew he would do a great job . Since my husband is an avid fan of John Cage and schlepped me once into a concert where the 4’33” piece was performed…I was really interested in this workshop. My husband and I discuss music and art and their connection and places in history a lot. You have to know the musician of 4’33” of whatever instrument is instructed to not play for the length of 4 minutes and 33 seconds. I can tell you this – when I watched/listened/attended/experienced the piano player in silence in concert  it made me extremely awkward. I remember thinking   “What the hay?” …”Am I missing something?” …”What are the others doing?” …”Am I stupid and just don’t get it?” …”Brilliant..and I paid for this” …”I wonder why?”

If you are interested in this- read about the exhibition at MoMA  “There will never be silence”.  John Cage influenced a huge variety of artists and still does and so I was really curious about the class.


In every session we began with an art history lecture, then we wandered around the empty gallery and talked about the artwork, and then we had some studio time. We mostly had to work in oil but also used some wax  and we were free to use whatever was available in the studio. I never really worked with oil so I was curious how I would like it. We also learned how to stretch a canvas- which I didn’t master until the end- my canvases are all saggy sad little buggers- but oh well- some day I will tackle it. The fun part about this class was visiting it with my friend Julie :) and it was a very cherished time together usually with a nice dinner before or after class.

Here is what I did after a Rauschenberg inspired Lesson:




While I was not unhappy with it – I felt bored…because somehow I did all the stuff I usually do. It was still very controlled and not really out of the box for my usual approach ….yes there is more personal hidden meaning in the whole thing- but from the outside it is just the usual textured stuff.

The next lesson was Jasper Johns inspired and we visited the new exhibition at MoMA called “Regrets” -amazing- I will go there a couple more times. I really tried to do something different from my style this time and in a non typical german behavior screwed up the order …on purpose…and I guess you figured and I will be honest…I also was tired of cleaning up the oil paint brushes …yes …it might not be my medium as the cleaning is soooo hideous- LOL





That was interesting and fun…but not quite me….

When we went to the current Sigmar Polke Exhibition: Alibis – which I already saw- I love Sigmar Polke and I love finding cultural references – It is a very “hard” exhibition for a non-German and even for a German to get some of the references- and yet still you do not understand fully. I appreciate the free-ness of his experimenting with colors, stencils and materials and  word plays. BTW- without meaning it disrespectful in regards to our wonderful and super knowledgeable teacher,  - it was the only lecture where I felt I had a slight advantage of knowing some of the references – because of the language and the icons used. Again- that doesn’t mean I know the meaning behind his work. I get it that Sigmar Polke would have liked the exhibition shown as is with no explanation and yes it puts it down to just looking at the materials and making your own connections but MEH – a little bit translation/explanation of the figures used so that people can then still make their own assumptions would be ok and still  leave lot’s of things open for interpretation.

We had an all evening studio lecture where we finished our works and then we had kind of an art critic circle where we showed one piece and talked about what we liked/meant or what we didn’t like about the work and then it was open to the public opinion. I was amazed by some of the pieces-a lot of the students never painted, we had several musicians, graphic designers, performance artists, poets, an art dealer, and people just interested in doing something creative in our class.



It was really interesting to see and then hear what influenced everyone from the lectures and I loved seeing how much fun everyone had. This is my piece I showed- it was my first canvas – started in the John Cage Lecture – again very usual for me : texture, colors – the only difference to what I usually do was the oil paint – and then in the end I came back to it and stretched some plastic tarp over and screen printed on top and did some marks. It is a hard to see in the photograph but you might get an idea from the detail pictures.





I like it because I played with different materials and with the texture – non texture appearance – I find it pretty interesting. So ..

What did I learn in this class:

  • I don’t like not being in the know about my medium. It is not that I dislike oil- I  just hadn’t had the feeling I was mastering it – it mastered me.
  • Art can sometimes only be understood with the same cultural background as the artist – but you do not need to understand art completely and it can still speak to you.
  • Many great artists never studied art – so get over the fact you didn’t study art.
  • All artists we talked about learned craft or did craft work to  support their living and they all took something away from that right into their art.
  • In the 50s /60s there seemed to be way more cross inspiration between all fields of art going on – musicians, performance artists, calligraphy artists, dancers, painters, writers …they influenced each other and exchanged ideas

What I take away for the future:

  • I would like to reach out and meet up with other artists from different fields in my community – I think it can be only highly inspiring
  • I want to work more with different substrates and play more with texture – non-texture- push and pull in my art work
  • It is fine to stick to one concept for a while and work on it before moving away and do something different – you will see more city canvases for now ;)
  • Some things I do are just fine the way I do them…just because you taught them yourself doesn’t mean they are not good. Stop doubting.

So that was a long post- but I hope you enjoyed it a bit – it is what influences me in my artwork- and I am sure this class will have a share of influence in the future

Is there any class/workshop you took (doesn’t have to be art related) that influenced you a lot in the past?

Have a gorgeous day




Inspired and Bursting with Ideas or… Hanging out in the City

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Art Of Living as an Artist

The last couple weeks  I am taking off a lot of time and I have been doing a lot of stuff in the city …meaning New York City. I feel like super inspired and bursting with ideas – here are the reasons :

Art Work at MoMA

Julie and I taking an art class at MoMA and the possibility to see some of the artwork in the gallery upfront, almost alone after closing hours and with lot’s of explanations and pointed out details on how they developed and were created – is really inspiring. It makes me burst with ideas of things to try out or put a twist on something I have done so far.


Jackson Pollock – besides the texture, this sings to me .


Robert Rauschenberg’s Canyon – besides the story behind the meaning and the story of the bald eagle-tax problem I love the rawness, the composition and the hint of colors here and there.


Mark Rothko – ever since a great Rothko exhibition I visited in Hamburg in 2008 – I came to appreciate his work but learning how difficult it really is to achieve what he did in his paintings , I do even more so now. But truly the color combinations are what get me going.


Jasper Johns – White Numbers – swoon – I so love this on so many levels- too bad MoMA put this behind a glass frame – a lot get’s lost when viewing it this way. BTW – I highly recommend the the exhibition: Jasper Johns – Regrets at MoMA – it showcases the experimentation phases in one of his recent and from my understanding still ongoing artwork and I think it is an excellent way to get a look into his brain but to also understand that sometimes experimenting and pushing ideas in different directions over and over again are a great way to explore and find the right artistic voice.

Hedwig and The Angry Inch



A big highlight last weekend. 14 years ago we went with our friends  and saw the show in Jane Theatre in NYC – and it was so  much fun – I loved it. So this year we all went again …14 years older- sigh ;) but the show with Neil Patrick Harris was even better than last time…love the music still, loved the show, the message…and that from a person that is not a big musical fan…very inspired :)


 Hanging out with Julie a lot

I got to hang out with my friend Julie a lot- which is awesome (might change as we are spending a couple days together at CREATE NJ together too – LOL ;) )



In fact- we kind of turn into evil twins and we definitely have to check to make sure to dress differently in the future- LOL.


The best thing of course it creating art together – and talk about it – we usually stink in really using our time together for art making, since we talk to much about other stuff- but the last weeks we did it ;)



What can I say…I love to food …and I had a lot of good food the last couple weeks- ahem. Gotta doubling my workout sessions again I guess ;) But isn’t this color palette just beautiful? And yes…it was more than delicious :)



I hope you enjoy summer as much as I do, and take some time off ! What Inspires you as of lately?






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