Blog: Painting

Broken – Painting

This painting named Broken, which is part of my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media was inspired by one of my favorite books called “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara . The book is about friendship and trauma and at parts are really hard read to go through as it is emotionally very upsetting, but at the same time it is beautiful. It is one of the books that grabbed me so much that I had to go and paint after reading it.

Broken is 9×12 on Canvas using acrylic paint, media and charcoal.

I am looking forward to be inspired like this again by another book. Have you read something lately that really really made you think about the story more than usual?

Have a wonderful day

Comments (4)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Yes, Someone Knows My Name was incredible.

    Reply

  • stephanie

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    Beautiful painting

    Reply

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La Boca – Painting

This painting which is also part of my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media was inspired by the neighborhood of La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The instant I saw all those colorful houses, I knew I had to paint them some day.

This painting is 9″x12″ and I used acrylic paint, acrylic ink, marker, charcoal, and  collage elements on canvas.

I loved Argentina, it was such an inspiring trip – I would love to go back some day and discover a bit more of this huge country.

Wishing you a wonderful and colorful day!

Comments (4)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Ok so I really love this piece! Love how bright the colors look creatin contrast and movement. Love the charcoal. Especially love the bench! I dont know why but it is perfect!! Great job!!!

    Reply

  • Denise Spillane

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    Oh Natalie I live this. Your work is so wonderful. Love your style

    Reply

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Der Himmel über Berlin (Sky over Berlin)

This painting which also appears in my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media was inspired by the city of Berlin and also a Wim Wenders Movie (Wings of Desire). Berlin is just a 1 1/2 hour train  ride from my home city Hamburg and I always love going there. If you do not know Wings of Desire- I highly recommend it. The movie is about invisible, immortal angels who populate densely populated Berlin and listen to the thoughts of the human inhabitants and comfort those who are in distress that feel alone and isolated.

Throughout the history of Berlin there are many thoughts angels could have heard and many that needed comfort – that is what I had in mind when I made this painting.

It is 9×12″  in size and I used acrylic paint, acrylic ink, spray paint, marker and charcoal on canvas. It is available for purchase- like some of my other paintings- so if you are interested, send me an email

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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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Gone Destination – Painting

I wanted share with you my painting “Gone Destination” which I had painted for one of the chapters of my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media. The painting shows “Pearl Paint,  an art supply store, I used to visit often in NYC when I was still living in Germany and once in a while visit my family in the States. I loved this place and I loved the building. I was very sad when it closed down.  The paining is part of one of my chapters in my book where I show how and why I created the background – and what it was inspired by. I was pleasantly surprised that this was picked as the cover image for my book by the publisher (you see as an author you do not have a lot of say on that ;) ) . A student of mine, Julie B., really wanted it and so it is now on it’s way to California. I am so happy to know this painting that is so special to me will have a new loving home.

Speaking of Artful Adventures- are you playing along in the Stroll Through the Hood Challenge and Free Classroom? It is so much fun and I love seeing all the different “hoods” of those participating from all over the world, from all kinds of different neighborhoods- rural, urban …It is like an inspiring mini-vacation! Check it out if you haven’t yet and join the fun!

Have a wonderful day!

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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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New Mixed Media Painting – Suburbia

SuburbiaCanvas01

This painting (12×12″ – acrylic paint, ink, spray paint, charcoal on canvas)  is a bit unusual because it is actually not an urban theme – but I loved creating it nonetheless :) My brother in law is super supportive of my artwork and he has commented on quite a few of my paintings when he was over that he would love to own this or that piece. So I thought…maybe I paint something more personal for him…which would be his home – and so this was a birthday present, which put me a bit in a pickle. You know …I usually do not do artwork with other people in mind or as a commission…and it was a bit hard for me to really let go and just do my thing without thinking of what he might think or how he might like it.

Here is a little montage on how the painting evolved over the weeks

suburbiacollage

Started with the underpainting, added the sky, added one layer after the other glazing over and over for the facade which gave a lot of texture and dimension and lastly added details, plants and other fun stuff

SuburbiaCanvas02

Here you see some of the close ups

SuburbiaCanvas03

SuburbiaCanvas04

I love this house – so many wonderful memories are connected with it and I hope my brother in law likes the painting as well and it speaks to him

Now…off to the next painting

Comments (8)

  • Joi@RR

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    Oh what fun to see the progress pictures. It’s much less busy and bold than I’m used to seeing in your art Nat but as Barbara said – it’s still YOU. My personal description of you is “rustic contemporary”!!! And this painting for you BIL is a perfect example. It’s abstract with a earthy fair – rustic contemporary – ehehehheeh!!!! LOVE the colors and the textures you achieved. So fun seeing this – you did GREAT. Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Joi, so happy to hear you liked the progress photos. Rustic Contemporary- oh I like that :) Thank you for your wonderful comment and have a great weekend!

      Reply

  • Kathy Gledsdale

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    How lovely, beautiful colour choices.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Kathy -yeah I start to really love the bright yellow and pink at the moment :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    What a nice and thoughtful present.
    Thanks for showing us how it progressed.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Sue- good to hear you liked the progress photos :)

      Reply

  • Barbara Poe

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    This is so charming! It’s still you, but a little different. I love it. I’m sure he will too.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe thank you Barbara, glad you like it :) I think my BIL did too- He was looking right away where it could be hanged – so I take it as a good sign- LOL

      Reply

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New Mixed Media Painting – Flat Iron Building

FlatIron01

I finished this new painting of the Flat Iron Building in NYC which is 12″x16″. I had a good time with it, especially trying to get a bit into a different color scheme and using pastels. I was definitely inspired by the Art Stroll through the Degas Exhibition at MoMA.

ProgressFlatIron

This is a little photo collage showing the progress of the painting from underpainting, to adding more details, to changing things, over staring it down to finishing it up :) .

FlatIron012

Besides Acrylic Inks, Acrylic Paints and Acrylic Markers, I also used Charcoal Marker and Graphite.

FlatIron013

I added some finishing touches with PanPastels. It was fun – and I am very drawn to this color palette.

For those of you who want to know what I used specifically – as always a supply list- some links are affiliate links.

SuppliesCJS

 


Let me know if you find the process of a painting interesting to see- if so I will incorporate those collages more often !

Don’t forget that I have a Blogiversary SALE right now going on with 20% off of online workshops (like Creative Jumpstart 2016), DVDs, and select items (including all the stampsandstencils) from the n*Store online.  The sale prices are reflected in the store now.It ends tomorrow night!

Happy Blogiversary sale

Have a beautiful day!

Comments (4)

  • Rae

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    This might be my favorite one yet Nathalie. The colors are amazing and there is just something very real and alive in it! LOVE it! xx

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you so much Rae ! Hope you have a gorgeous weekend!

      Reply

  • Brenda

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    I like the color palette as well. I also enjoyed seeing the pictures of the different stages of the painting. Do you usually take pictures of the different stages for reference when working on a painting? Great painting!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you Brenda! Yes I do take photos in between to see the evolvement of it and also where I might have taken a different turn- but also to check on color values and because it is just a different view to see it through the camera.

      Reply

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The American Dream – Mixed Media Painting

TheAmericanDream_01

I finished a new painting inspired by a street here in Jersey City that I heard being referred to as the New Orleans Row.

I used a acrylic paints, spray paints, markers, acrylic media as well as some pastels and wax bars for highlights – I had a good time :)

TheAmericanDream_02

This painting took quite some time – I had to let it sit longer periods of times to see if I would still think it was done and it was even hanging on the wall for a while to see how I would like it then. When do you know a painting is done? Well…when I stop dropping the vacuum cleaner when passing by because I need to change or add something ;)

SuppliesCJS



Comments (5)

  • Gina Sismilich

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    I love that painting. Your city scenes just get better and better.

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  • Joi@RR

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    Totally laughed out loud when I read your dropping the vacuum statement – you are so cute!!! Well – you already know that I ADORE this painting. YOU – dear Nat – just are THE BEST at this type of city scape work. I honestly believe you could go down as an “old master” someday for doing these. They are so unique and intriguing. Looking at this one… I feel like I can see inside…. and I want to put my foot on those steps right NOW. It just CALLS to me – asking me to come inside. The colors are just STUNNING… so perfect in every way. And I know in my mind that the yellow strokes are supposed to be reflections of the sky/sun but they add such a magical and happy aura to the painting. And the yellow lights high up on the porch could also be hanging flower baskets – in my mind!!! There is nothing dark about this building – to me – it is warm and bright and full of life. JUST LIKE YOU!!!! Ok – I will stop rambling but I truly think this is a WORK OF ART that will someday be NOTICED. Hugs. j.

    Reply

  • Rebecca Buchanan

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    Depth and complexity and yet such a wonderful ethereal quality to this. Beautiful painting–love it!

    Reply

  • Jean Marmo

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    I love this! The buildings are wonderful!

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  • Deborah A. Pierro

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    Hi Nat–I love the painting. I especially love your paintings of buildings and cityscapes. I do exactly what you do to decide if a painting is finished. I think that’s what most artists do. Best to you!

    Reply

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