Currently Digging

Currently Digging – Creative Squad Edition with Jennifer Gallagher

It’s time for a special edition of Currently Digging – with my Creative Squad! Once in a while I like to share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration that got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging. Today we asked Jennifer Gallagher from my Creative Squad what SHE is Currently Digging :) Hope you enjoy this.


Nat often shares with us current inspirations, artists of interest, and new things she has discovered. In that spirit, I am excited to share with you a few things I am currently “digging”.

First, I’d like to introduce an artist, local to my community, that I am very inspired by. His name is Aaron Dennison. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Aaron and viewing his work at a local art show. His pieces speak to his passion of creative reuse, many of which include bold and expressive illustrations on wood mountings or upcycled assemblages. Each and every piece tells a compelling story. Visit www.aarondennison.com to see more of his work.

Photo Credit: www.aarondennison.com

 

I am a huge fan of indigenous art from cultures around the world. lately, I’ve been very inspired by aboriginal art. It differs in style, depending upon which region of Australia the artist is from, and it is centered around storytelling. Their stories are portrayed by symbols throughout their artwork. There is something about this type of art that speaks to me as an artist. Each painting is telling a story that has been passed down through generations. Visit www.aboriginalart.com.au to learn more.

Photo Credit “Papunya Tjupi Arts” at www.tjupiarts.com.au

 

Having been so inspired by the art of the aboriginal people, I recently purchased a set of dotting tools. These acrylic rods, available in a variety of sizes, are perfect for dipping in acrylic paint. Their smooth surface is easy to clean and paints perfect round dots.


Thank you Jennifer! I hope you all enjoyed hearing a bit more about what inspires Jennifer as an artist. Stay tuned for the next Currently Digging Creative Squad edition for more from our other members :)

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Currently Digging – Holiday Edition Wish List December 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds that have caught my eye or got my creative juices flowing, and products I am currently digging. And since it is the Holiday Season this is the perfect time to have for you an ultimate list of cool stuff for the holidays. Maybe you add this stuff to your list for Santa or you block out some time to check out an inspiring movie or book. I love everything on this list and I hope you do too!

 

I just watched this documentary about Beltracchi, a German master forger on Netflix. Beltracchi, together with his wife Helene, sold forgeries of original works by famous artists, including Max Ernst, Heinrich Campendonk, Fernand Léger and Kees van Dongen. What I find interesting is the way how he was able to fool the art work. Rather than copying existing works, he made new paintings in the style of particular artists, creating the illusion of important and logical historical finds. I found this documentary interesting and even if I do not approve of forgery – I found it fascinating how he was able to create paintings so close to those painters’ style but creating something new.

A Model for Matisse is a documentary I watched a while ago and I still think about once in a while. “In 1941, Sister Jacques-Marie – then Monique Bourgeois – was a 21-year-old nursing student and amateur artist living in Nice. She answered an ad placed by Matisse seeking “a young and pretty night nurse,” and from this humble beginning a beautiful friendship developed. This lovely film documents the story’s personal and historic aspects, presenting Matisse’s never-before filmed hand-painted gouaches and fabrics as well as a rich collection of photographs and archival footage of the aged Matisse working on the Chapel’s ceramics.”

 

Finding Vivian Maier – another documentary on Netflix. Ever since I read a news article about her a couple years ago, I wanted to watch this movie and I loved it. “Now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier spent her life as a nanny, secretly taking over 100,000 photographs. Hidden during her lifetime, Maier’s work was discovered by pure chance when amateur historian John Maloof ended up with a stash of her photos at an auction. Fascinated, he searched for more—and for the story behind the woman. Now, this unsung art- ist’s strange and riveting life and work are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.”

 

 

Belonging- A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug – totally hit home with me. The author, who is about the same age as I am moved to the U.S. after growing up in Germany and asking the questions of Germany’s past and how our own family was involved in this dark and horrible time of history. “In her late thirties, after twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare to as a child and young adult. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier in Italy. Her extraordinary quest, spanning continents and generations, pieces together her family’s troubling story and reflects on what it means to be a German of her generation.” Just like Krug I did some research in my 30s and collected a lot of document and asked my relatives questions.

“Belonging wrestles with the idea of Heimat, the German word for the place that first forms us, where the sensibilities and identity of one generation pass on to the next. In this highly inventive visual memoir—equal parts graphic novel, family scrapbook, and investigative narrative—Nora Krug draws on letters, archival material, flea market finds, and photographs to attempt to understand what it means to belong to one’s country and one’s family. A wholly original record of a German woman’s struggle with the weight of catastrophic history, Belonging is also a reflection on the responsibility that we all have as inheritors of our countries’ pasts.” And so I might add our responsibility to make sure that something like this never happens again!

 A Place For Us  by Fatima Farheen Mirza is hands down my favorite book of 2018 – the one I cried while reading and held my breath! It is the story of a family, about immigration, misunderstandings, unsaid things that should have been said and said things that should have been unsaid in a family.

 

My friends at Liquitex sent me the Primary set of their new Acrylic Gouache to try out and I loved playing with it. You know I am a sucker for new art materials especially when they are new paint mediums. These paints are neither really acrylic paints nor real gouache and there is a bit of a curve to get used to them. You have to really treat them as a brand new paint medium in your stash. They dry super fast, why makes them great to use on paper but a bit tough to use on foam stamps for example. They are super matte which makes them great to use in an art journal with an unbelievable vibrancy through their rich pigments which matte acrylic paints often lack.  I also love the new packaging with a nozzle which Liquitex now introduced also to their Soft Body Paints (you can keep those apart as the SB Paint has a white cap).

 

I couldn’t resist to buy the Florescent Acrylic Gouache Set which I love even more – the colors are screamingly awesome. I still have to play more with those paints to give a total review about them but I can say that they def. are not going to replace my acrylic paint- they are a fun addition in my paint stash and if you are like me in love with color and trying out new things- I recommend putting it on your wish list :)

 

RubberMoon came out a while ago with new ink pads called Moonlight Duo which have a divided ink pad – the color aka Hue and then a white pad which gives you the opportunity to create tints. The White pad itself is amazing to use on it’s own by the way and once the ink is dried it is permanent. I absolutely love the new fall colors as you can see them on top – a wonderful way to create pattern and backgrounds with stamps and stencils using those inkpads. The Fall colors are Aurora Teal, Space Moos and Nebula Rust.

 

I bought a ton of the Itoya Doubelheader Calligraphy Pen in Japan and I am so happy they are available here as well. Most of my writing in my art journals is done nowadays with this pen. If you like thicker tipped pens with different options, that are a bit sturdy but still write smooth – I recommend putting this on your wish list …it is a good stocking stuffer :)

 

I hope you enjoyed the special Edition of Currently Digging. What should I put on my wishlist for the Holidays? Let me know your nifty finds this year in the comments- I would love to check them out …and maybe wish for ;)

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Currently Digging – November 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration or the what, when and where that caught my eye and got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging like a new way to use a material or an application that I’m taking away. Hope you enjoy this.

Ok by now everyone has seen it- but hey- I need to say it again – BANKSY – come on – this is brilliant!

After the painting was auctioned at Christie’s it went to shred itself under the eyes of auctioneers and bidders – art history – boom

What do you think about it?

I loved reading this book by Brian Rutenberg: Clear Seeing Place.

Little nuggets of wisdom of his live as an artist. One of my favorite paragraph from the book:

“There is nothing more ancient and intimate than making a mark with your hand to show another human being. It says “Hey, I love you , and I made this for you to see.” Brian Rutenberg in Clear Seeing Place

I have mentioned those really cool Moonlight Duo Inkpads by Rubber Moon before- but …seriously – every time I use them I fall in love again

Those Inkpads come in gorgeous color with a split ink pad -one is the color you see and the other is white which lets you a) stamp in white and b) mix the white with the original color to create a tint. But wait …that is not all …it is also archival and waterproof once dried. Excuse me WHAT? Yes- you heard right.The ink is hybrid ink which is quick drying like a dye but with the permanence of a pigment. I love love love those- I am using them more and more and having a white ink pad that dries waterproof -best thing on top of it all. I just ordered their brand new colors and cannot wait to play with them.


What do you think of this month’s Currently Digging stuff?

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Currently Digging – October 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration or the what, when and where that caught my eye and got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging like a new way to use a material or an application that I’m taking away. Hope you enjoy this.

Recently I saw the work of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint at the Whitney Museum and took notice of her unique style. She was painting abstractly before almost anyone else was and I was actually shocked by the dates on her paintings.

“Group IV, No 7. The Ten Largest, Adulthood”, 1907

“Primordial Chaos, No. 16, Group I”, 1906-7

I am looking forward to her upcoming show soon at MoMA to learn more. She was a pioneer in the art world and someone that I am excited to know more about.

This month my inspiration is… Building Cornices! Yup, the kind on houses and buildings :) I am always checking out the old buildings in my hood and noticing the architecture. I love the details and once you start looking up, you will see all the ways they topped them off way back when.

In my neighborhood green seems to be a popular paint color.

I am joining everyone who is already a fan of Stabilo Woody Pencils :) Recently I made a card using my new Central Ave stencil.

I used a wet brush to blend the colors.

I like the built up texture that they left behind and how easy it was to get different hues with just a few colors.

Also I’m discovering that they’re fun to use with foam and rubber stamps too, or just to scribble! Sometimes a chunky tool is just the thing you need to loosen up.

What do you think of this month’s Currently Digging stuff?

 

 

 

Comments (2)

  • Denise Spillane

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    Hi, you always inspire me and introduce me to new artists. I love your style and art

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you Denise! thank you for being such a support – I always love “seeing” you :)

      Reply

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Currently Digging – September 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration or the what, when and where that caught my eye and got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging like a new way to use a material or an application that I’m taking away. Hope you enjoy this.

In the book, I talk below as Inspiration, I was pointed to Ben Shahn.

“Liberation”

“Unemployment”

Illustrations above and below

I was especially curious to learn that Ben Shahn was a huge inspiration for Andy Warhol – and if you look at Warhols dotted line drawings you can actually see that. I always find it interesting to learn or see which other artist have been an inspiration for some well known artist.

I did enjoy reading “Old in Art School” by artist Nell Irvin Painter.

Painter, who is a Princeton historian, writes about her view and experience of going to art school at the age of 64 to become an artist. I enjoyed reading about her experiences in school, her challenges of seeing art with 20th century eyes and of letting go of the idea that if she follows her dream to be an artist, something she truly loves and wants to do, it doesn’t mean she has to be as good and successful in this new adventure as she was in her profession as an historian. “Old In Art School” challenges you to think about the role of race in the art world as well as the role of women but …on top of it all…the role of age as well. There were some areas in the book which I didn’t like that much as I felt she was getting a bit too much on about how accomplished and successful she is as an historian but I tried to get over that and also thought -well – why should she not brag about it, it is pretty cool. The book is a thought provoking read with passages that truly resonated as well with some references to artists which I enjoyed learning about.

A couple weeks ago I bought some new acrylic paint colors by Golden and I cannot get enough of them!

It is a pretty unusual color combo for me and yet I cannot stop using them:

You might recognize me using them in this art journal spread

and in this painting “Behind the Museum

and more…I love mixing them with other colors or making tints, tones and shades with them. Especially the Titan paints are a bit challenging but I enjoy just getting it to a point where I like the mixture. I think I would like to do this more often -going into the store to buy certain colors that look great as a palette and then just roll with it for a while and make a lot of stuff in the same scheme.

What do you think about these Currently Digging finds?

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Currently Digging – August 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration or the what, when and where that caught my eye and got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging like a new way to use a material or an application that I’m taking away. Hope you enjoy this.

I am taking a watercolor class and my teacher told us in the first lesson to check out John Singer Sargent’s watercolor paintings.

John Singer Sargent, The Bridge of Sighs, c. 1903–04

I loved his work before but looking closer of his works with watercolors just made me swoon. Look at the wonderful light and the movement in his figures. Check out his watercolors – Gorgeous!

YOU :) I love showing some old finds on my instagram story while decluttering my studio and asking you what I should do with certain things I have been storing forever. Recently I showed an old silver cigarette case and you came up with so many fun ideas.

A lot of them were art supply storing ideas and I will show you soon which art supply I will actually store in it. Tip…it won’t be what is in the picture- LOL

As I am working on different Pattern Books for my stencils I have rediscovered my love for spray paints yet again.

I do have some low odor acrylic spray paints and it is such an easy and fast way to create patterns with stencils. Now that I have a bit more space again on my workbench and right in front of the window it is the perfect time to get those yummie spray cans out again.

What are you currently digging? See you soon again with some new finds!

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Comments (2)

  • Robin S

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    I love it when you post this kind of info; it opens new areas for us to explore. Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Robin, I am so glad you enjoy this series. thank you!!!

      Reply

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Currently Digging – July 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration or the what, when and where that caught my eye and got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging like a new way to use a material or an application that I’m taking away. Hope you enjoy this.

Here we go for this month:

HuskMitNavn – yep …not a typo. I love his artwork! He is Danish, he is from Copenhagen and I found him on Instagram and ever since I am looking forward to his posts.

They are witty, they are fun , they make me smile and they are so good!

Go and follow him on instagram!!!

Traveling is such an inspiration – recently I have been to Amsterdam and walking around, taking pictures and just embracing everything that is different from what you know inspires me. As you might know I am a big advertiser of this kind of inspiration – and …shameless reminder – LOL- I wrote a book about it ;) Artful Adventures in Mixed Media. So when I came back from my trip I made sure to start painting right away. Below is the work in progress of a painting – only the underpainting is applied.

I am excited that I went to the studio right away and cannot wait to share with you some time the finished painting. BTW- am I the only one who sometimes finds the underpainting quite striking (or is this just procrastination talking out of me- hahahaha)

Ever since I took a denim mending course last year at the Textile Institute and also released my Embroidery Stamps – I am hooked on embroidery :) It is one of my favorite things now to do in the evening.

I love that you do not need much – some fabric, some pretty embroidery thread or simple thread, some scissors (mine are foldable -best gift EVER- thanks Val!), a hoop  and a needle– bang there you go :) I am not really good at it and every person who is good in embroidery will shake their head, but who cares. I have fun and this is not something I do to have as a heirloom forever. I have a couple fun ideas planned for the next couple weeks and will show you soon – maybe I get you hooked up on this as well !

Hope you found the things I am currently digging interesting and see you soon again with some new finds!

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Currently Digging – June 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration or the what, when and where that caught my eye and got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging like a new way to use a material or an application that I’m taking away. Hope you enjoy this.

Here we go for this month:

Last Wednesday my friends and I went to a MoMA opening which I will tell in a later posts about. They had opened another Gallery and my friend Adam pointed out this painting by Alice Neel.

To be honest, I had never heard about her but Adam talked in such a passion and with so much love about her work that I knew I had to check her out.

Her portraits strike something in me – they let you stop and feel with the person in the painting. Her life sounds interesting and I cannot wait to watch the movie about her. I hope you check her work out as well :)

With the better weather daily bike rides are back and on top of that my husband and I are also scouting out some other neighborhoods in the city. As most of you know I am always intrigued by old buildings especially if they also show a lot of patina like this one

I love this one so much with all the patina and also because you can see on the left and the right how it looks like when painted (restored?). All the intricate patterns in the tin, the lacy curtain -I wonder how this building looks like inside and who lived in this building, what stories could it tell.  I find this so inspiring and def. want to paint it some time.

As I have relentlessly mentioned (for the purpose of holding myself accountable to it- LOL), I am reorganizing my studio and while I was getting through one of my drawers I found one of my super super favorite tools again a woodgrain making tool.

I bought it about 15 years ago and have used it like a mad woman with modeling paste, heavy body paint, heavy gesso – oh man …anything that is a thicker paint medium. But then I kind of lost it in the move and when I found it again I jumped up and down and took it to town with my Gelli plate to make collage paper:

Twist, turn, drag …many options- oh Woodgrain tool – thank you for coming back into my life :) Now I am really excited about organizing my studio- who knows what else I re-discover- LOL

See you soon again with some new finds that I am currently digging !

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Currently Digging – May 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration or the what, when and where that caught my eye and got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging like a new way to use a material or an application that I’m taking away. Hope you enjoy this.

Here we go for this month:

I am a huge fan of Cy Twombly and not only did I see some amazing paintings of his just recently, I was also at the Gagosian Gallery with Kim and another friend to see a collection of his drawings. No photos allowed there though – the following is from MoMA.

His vivid colors, scratching, dripping, writing – fascinating and so tactile. I especially loved his work in handmade books also shown at the gallery. Makes me want to grab my art journal and get loose :)

I have two words for you…Babylon Berlin

It is a German TV Series- which you can watch on Netflix which plays 1929 in Berlin during the Weimarer Republic. It is not for the faint hard – nor for someone who might have a problem with explicit pictures or language …

It is amazing! Not only is the criminal story great and the interweaving of historic facts and fiction, but the visual inspiration is so GOOD! Alone all the different scenes in rooms with the most amazing wallpaper, the clothing, the pattern , the colors. I could not stop watching and I def. would love to go back and now that I know how the story goes ;) I would love to look at some of the decoration again. I hope the English dubbed version is ok – I know that is sometimes a problem with those shows and I personally could not stand it …but then…LOL- lucky for me once …I didn’t have to ;)

Ok….ready? You gonna laugh but I am totally digging USING Washi paper and Washi tape.

Before I was just COLLECTING it but now that I am off to reorganize my studio once again and am therefore using tons of stuff …I am actually totally hooked using it ;)

Since I have been hoarding it for such a long time and also because the adhesive is not the best anyway – I apply some gel medium under the tape and paper and over it. Now …if you are a collector of Washi tape and paper …hopefully I made you wanna use it as well with this post ;)

See you soon again with some new nifty finds that I am currently digging !

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