General Announcements

No Vision – No Growth – Some Thoughts

If you are a newsletter subscriber of mine, you know that I start my monthly newsletters with some thoughts. Thoughts on creativity, making art, and being an artist – along with some other info about what is going on around here. Last month I shared the following. I hope you enjoy and you can sign up for my newsletter HERE for more of these :)

At the beginning of the year I chose the word “Vision” as my word to strive for in 2020. I chose the word because I was feeling a lack of vision for my work as an artist. For a long time my vision was “quit your job and become a full time artist”, then it was “make being a full time artist work”, “license designs”, and “write a book”… until I was just doing my work day in and out without a big vision.

The problem with that is: if you have no vision you cannot grow. So for the first 3 months of this year I tried searching really deep, writing each morning on where I saw myself going. While that was a good exercise in counting my blessings and getting ready for the day, it did not provide me with a clearer direction. Then the pandemic hit and everything that I felt about the future and the uncertainties of my art business was magnified. I thought, who needs a bigger vision – just be glad you have some work and shut up! And I just kept on going.

At the same time, as you may know, I joined a Roundtable with writers, actors and artists. We still meet once a week on zoom, talk about projects during this pandemic and hold each other accountable for the goals we set. We continue to share our work and give feedback and have recently decided to “perform” our arts to our family and friends via zoom, discussing the work with the audience afterwards. We also started collaborating: I sent some of my urban paintings to a writer in our group and he was inspired to write a monologue, which was then performed by one of the actors. We showed my paintings afterwards and talked about our collaboration with the audience.

I cannot even put into words how uplifting and amazing this collaborative work feels. Spending time with these storytellers has fed into my love for storytelling. I have always loved learning the stories behind the buildings in my paintings – especially since I am exploring the topic of gentrification. How deep could I go? I started to reach out to others and I connected with a city historian who was nice enough to let me come to his office (twice so far) – masked up and socially distanced – and let me go through his extensive archive. He showed me piles and piles of letters, photos, and scrapbooks dealing with the buildings, businesses and most importantly the people of this neighborhood. 

I am totally enthralled with this research right now. I want to reach out to the elderly members of this community and ask them about their life and the stories of the neighborhood. What was it like to live here as a child or young adult? How did it look? How did they experience the Urban Uprise of 1964? How do they feel about the changes in this city? I want to tell the story of the buildings not only from my standpoint, but also I want to connect them with the stories of the actual people that lived in or around the buildings.

How am I going to do that? I don*t know yet… I am still in my student modus – listening, researching, collecting and connecting the dots. But I feel I am one step closer to a new purpose and a new goal and a new vision for my business. And that my dear friends makes me so excited, I wanted to share it with you! I will keep you posted… but maybe you have an idea? I would love to hear :)

Comments (2)

  • Robin


    Nathalie, this sounds so cool!!! I’m excited for you and the path your vision seems to be taking you. I would like to introduce you to another artist in New Jersey. Her work is amazing. She is a dual citizen of the US and France and does quite a few collaborations. She did a project of portraits and interviewed each person before she painted them. I think she might give you some insights that could help you. Let me know if you would like me to make an introduction and I could check with her first.


  • Sue Clarke


    Oh, I am so excited for you…you could write a book (again)!
    It could have pics of the buildings, pics of your art work of the buildings, some of the history of the neighborhood and stories from the elderly and others!!!
    I love it already. The way you always talked about your Aunt on layouts and journal pages makes me think that you can do a fabulous job with this project! Keep us posted Nat.


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Pass the Brush begins Today!

I hope you tune into my Instagram today and tomorrow for a takeover from the super talented printmaker, book artist, and artfoamies designer Sarah Matthews!

Then tomorrow at 12noon EST Sarah and I are having a live chat on Instagram. 

All this is part of the “Pass the Brush” event! “Pass the Brush” is the artistic community’s version of “Share the Mic.” and our goal is to show solidarity within the mixed media community and to amplify black mixed media artists so their voices can be heard and art can be seen in a broader audience.

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Pass the Brush – Takeover Event with Sarah Matthews

So excited and honored to be participating in “Pass the Brush” here on my blog and on Instagram too!

“Pass the Brush” is the artistic community’s version of “Share the Mic.” The objective of this event is to show solidarity within the mixed media community and to amplify black mixed media artists so their voices can be heard and art can be seen in a broader audience.

On July 16th and 17th, the amazing Sarah Matthews will be taking over my Instagram feed, as well as my Creative Squad Instagram feed. Sarah is an incredible printmaker artist (and a fellow ArtFoamies designer!) and I am honored to “pass the brush” to her :) Please check her out here on her website too.

And then, also on July 17th, Sarah and I are doing an Insta Live broadcast together where we will talk with each other at 12 noon EST – so be sure to tune into that here on my Instagram.

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Last Day for Free US Shipping

Hurry into the Online Shop to save – If you spend more than $25 on physical products through TONIGHT, July 5th at 11:59pm EST in my online shop, you can get free shipping in the US. Just enter the coupon code BDAYFREE when you are checking out.

What counts towards the $25 minimum?

Foam Stamps:


Stencils do too:


And don’t forget about Rubber Stamps:


My Artwork is part of the deal too!


The sale ends tonight, Sunday July 5th at 11:59pm EST so NOW is the time to head over to the Online Shop to see what is there :)

Enjoy and hope you had a fun Weekend!

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FREE US Shipping Weekend!

Lots to celebrate this weekend: July 4th and my Birthday! Woohoo! Are those fireworks for me? LOL ;)

And how about we celebrate with Free US Shipping this weekend? If you spend more than $25 on physical products through July 5th in my online shop, you can get free shipping in the US. Just enter the coupon code BDAYFREE when you are checking out and all those goodies will get shipped to you for free! Who doesn’t like something for free?

It’s a great time to buy foam stamps like my Mini Toledo stamp:


Or how about a few of those rubber stamp sets like my Triangle Love set for making tons of cool patterns:


And of course my stencils are part of the deal too…


…And ALL my Artwork too like my Yas Queen mixed media painting…


…or my giclee prints


Shop around and see what there is – all physical products are part of the deal and the offer ends at 11:59pmEST this Sunday, July 5th. Just use the coupon code BDAYFREE when you check out :)

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 17 – Acrylic Spray Paint

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at one of my favorite mixed media supplies – Acrylic Spray Paint. I particularly love how you can layer and apply a veil of color with it, and it is so perfect with using stencils too. Below are 5 ways to experiment with Acrylic Spray Paint in this Look Back.

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First up we are going back (way back) to 2013 and this post about some of my essential supplies – as you can see I have been a fan of acrylic spray paint for a long time now :) I list a bunch of ways I loved using it back then – many of which I still do!


From 2016 you can watch this Creative Ice Breaker video and see me in action with my Lily Wallpaper Stencil and some white liquitex spray paint. I love how spray paint can make a super crisp design or a soft focus one with a stencil.


Next up is this post from 2017 where I use Montana spray paint for the first time – a favorite brand of water-based spray paints with a cool matte finish. Here I use my popular Versailles stencil:


In this post from 2017 I show how to layer up 3 different stencils with spray paint and make it work. Here I get nice results from using my Mesa Verde, Granada, and Santa Fe stencils that all work well together.


Finally, here is a post from 2019 when I was doing the Stencilfied Challenge. It’s a really nice example of what look you can get from blending just a couple colors of spray paint with one single stencil – in this case my Buenos Aires stencil. This is one of my favorite ways to use acrylic spray paints for a background.

I hope you enjoyed this look back and maybe it inspired you to give something new a try :)

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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LAST DAY – Foam Stamp Sale

Today is the LAST DAY for my Foam Stamp Sale in my Online Shop! All my foam stamps are 20% off through tonight, June 14th at 11:59pm EST. 

Just use the coupon code FOAM20 when you check out to save. 

You’ll find lots of old favorites like…

Grove Street Positive Negative set – love these two bold circle patterns, apart or together :)


Space Oddity – a hex shape that pulses with energy…

…and Far Out – your new favorite stamp for mark making or visual texture!


Also in there are 2 NEW sizes for my Midtown stamp set. This 4 piece set of buildings is my go to for a funky cityscape. The Midtown Set is now in a new size and I’m happy to also announce there is now a Midtown Mini set too!!! Super cute little buildings. Check it out below:

Both sizes are going to be a lot of fun to play with.

Hurry into the Online Shop and use the coupon code FOAM20 to save 20% off your foam stamp order. Sale ends tonight, June 14th at 11:59pm EST.

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Foam Stamp SALE in the Shop

ArtFoamies are Back and I’m having a big sale in my Online Shop! All my foam stamps are 20% off now through June 14th at 11:59pm EST. 

Just use the coupon code FOAM20 when you check out to save. 

Besides using them in my Art Journal, I love artfoamies for all kinds of projects and with so many techniques. Check out some fun inspiration for how to use them here in my Foam Stamplifier challenge

Here are some of my favorite foam stamps:

I love my Batik foam stamps (shown here using acrylic paint) – don’t forget you can stamp the back side for a solid block of color too! These are nice for fabric projects like clothing or kitchen linens.

Foam stamps look pretty awesome used with embossing powder – here’s my Park Blvd positive and negative set. Great for cards or maybe even a paper garland.

Foam stamps and watercolor paint? You bet! This is some hot pink with my Mid Century Squared foam stamp. Pretty juicy.

Here I pressed my Jazzed, Far Out, and Groovy foam stamps into paper clay with Moonlight Duo ink for some sweet decorative bowls. 

Head over to the Online Shop and get stamping on some fun Summer projects of your own. Hurry hurry, stock is limited and the sale ends June 14th at 11:59pm.

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NEW Online Workshop: Artful Adventures with Paul Klee

Today my newest online workshop Artful Adventures with Paul Klee goes on sale on my website!

Get ready to go on another exciting Artful Adventure with us! Through 5 lessons you’ll learn a variety of fun and innovative ways to translate elements of Klee’s playful signature style into your own unique art journaling and artwork.

Sign up NOW to enjoy great pricing: Early Bird pricing – 25% off the regular price of $39, so just $29.25!!! – now through April 27th.

Check out the promo video:


Sign up now through Monday, April 27th and get the workshop for just $29.25. Throughout the workshop I show you ways to pull off Klee style elements that are fun to experiment with and can add a touch of whimsy and individuality to your own artwork. We’ll learn an image transfer technique, ways to build backgrounds with color and pattern, and discover the freedom of letting loose and even covering things up, all inspired by the artwork and techniques of Paul Klee.

Class begins on Monday April 27th. If you are ready for another Artful Adventure, Sign up TODAY.

This workshop is the fourth in the series so far. The Artful Adventures workshop series introduces you to master artists from around the world and throughout history, and through their techniques and style inspires YOUR art journaling and artmaking. Check out Artful Adventures with Gustav KlimtArtful Adventures with Joan Miró and Artful Adventures with Andy Warhol in this series.

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