Mixed Media Painting

Carriage House Painting

Last fall, in the craziness of planning CJS22 and moving, I received a commission for a painting from a student who I have known for quite some time. Her niece was marrying and the painting was to be of couple’s lovely home, a wedding gift :) She provided images of the home and it happens to be right here in Jersey City, where I live. It’s a super charming carriage house, tucked behind other buildings, with all the historic details that as you know, are my jam.

I don’t usually do commissions but this was a special case that had enough connections and interest that I agreed. Commissions are tricky and I’ll admit that getting started was a bit harder than usual – I didn’t know the couple (or their style) and you can’t actually see the building from the street so I couldn’t spend time taking it in, in person. Also a wedding gift is important and all that wrapped my head up with some real trepidation.

But, as is my ethos, I knew I just had to jump in, and do my thing. After all, that is why I got the commission in the first place :) So I approached the project from the emotions and happiness that come from starting a new life together, in an adorable old house, an oasis in a busy city, and went with those feelings.

In the end I love the painting and the happy energy that it has, and it was also a good exercise for me to step a wee bit out of my comfort zone.

Comments (2)

  • Robin

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    Nat, such a joyful painting. They are lucky to have such a wonderful thoughtful gift!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I love it (of course I love your style), and what a great wedding present for the happy couple!
    Good for you Nat…stepping out of your comfort zone.

    Reply

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Another One For the Ledger

For over a year now I have been painting my Stroll Through the Hood buildings not only on canvas but also into an old ledger from 1840. It looks like the giant ledger book was used for tax collections of a ward and given that my paintings are about changes and gentrification – it makes sense to me. If I will ever be able to fill the book? I don*t know but here are some of the little paintings in the ledger so far which some of you might have seen already on instagram

In the beginning I would add a lot of background patterns to the pages. 

But then this became less and less until I wanted to have the ledger just show and speak for itself. 

Almost all of the paintings on canvas I did with those buildings are sold and I love that I have a little record of the paintings in my Stroll Through the Hood Ledger. 

They are also part of a story of what happened in the world – pandemic, social injustice, my thoughts- each building has it’s story in the past and the now but also the story of my story with them. Going through those paintings  tell the story of lots of emotions in the past year. 

What happens with this ledger if I ever fill it up? It is not even filled up all the way  in regards to the initial collection record – will I make it to the blank pages? I don*t know …it is not important …I really just enjoy my time in this magnificent book. 

And maybe in another 180 years someone else will find this book and use it for another purpose and story …that would be cool …there is comfort in the thought …it would mean this planet made it …and that’s the story of “Another one in the Ledger” …there you have it :) 

Comments (2)

  • Robin

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    This is such a fantastic blog. I loved reading about your ongoing journey with this ledger. It’s so cool you gave it another life and perhaps another will do the same. The paintings are so lovely too! Yay! ❤️

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  • Sue Clarke

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    I wonder how the paper will hold up for another 180 years?
    Such a wonderful collection in one book!
    And I love the idea of someone coming across it in the future and they will be thrilled and wonder about the story of a ledger that is so well painted and created.

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Corner Store – New Painting

Corner Store is a new small painting inspired by my Strolls Through the Hood.

Corner Stores and Bodegas are often a lifeline in our communities- there are many people that depend on them. Whether it be to get some small grocery items, the newspaper, a cup of coffee, have packages delivered there or a listening owner to the worries of someone who lives in the neighborhood they are essential to every city neighborhood.

This particular corner store used to be a bakery selling bread and rolls , what is it about corner businesses that offer the most essential items?

Corner Store measures 8×8 inches on canvas board and would love to find a new home !

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love it!

    Reply

    • nathalie-kalbach

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      Thank you so much Sue – it feels good to finally be back a bit more to painting

      Reply

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The Lombard – New Painting

“The Lombard” is inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City.

It shows a street view of the oldest pawn shop in NJ – H. Schoenberg, founded in 1895. I was thinking about how while this is type of business is a lifeline for folks, it also conjures sad feelings when I pass it and see the things in the window. So many complex stories and circumstances are in plain sight.

My overarching mood however is one of hope, and better times ahead, and hopefully the souls who visited the shop will be able to return once again and claim their instruments and heirloom jewelry as their own.

This original painting was made with spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, ink, pencil, markers, pastel, and collage on canvas.

“The Lombard” is available in my Shop and would love to find a new home. 

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Up in the Hills – New Painting

“Up in the Hills” is a new painting inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City.

Moore’s Place, a bar and jazz club run by Mrs. Ruth, has been here for over 60 years as part of the neighborhood, and now during the pandemic has become a special, magical space with live jazz music outside every weekend to soothe our souls.

The building itself used to have a different life long before the music arrived – there is still machinery in the basement.

I have yet to uncover the history of this building – one day I will ask Mrs Ruth, but right now I let her hustle and bustle around us lucky happy faces when we are here to listen to the music and see the people of the neighborhood, while eating Mrs Ruth delicious fish fry.

For this painting I used spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, and markers on canvas. Give Moore’s Place a new home – and purchase it here in my storeedited: So stoked this painting found a new home at home here in Jersey City !!!

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Till the Curtain Comes Down – New Painting

“Till the Curtain Comes Down” is another painting on canvas inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City . I love this beautiful brick building from 1887.

I used spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, wax bars, and markers. The house was built by a descendant of one of the oldest Dutch familes of Jersey City, Wilhelm Brinkerhoff. He was a state senator who died in 1931. After his death, the building was a christian mission with a radio station on the roof.

It has a bit of a Rapunzel Tower feel for me as the building is a little bit overgrown by plants and even though someone lives here it seems to be mysterious. I picked up some piano player roll paper and the first thing that happened was I saw the wording “till the curtain comes down” and that my friends is how the title was born ….I mean …it was just meant to be .

Till the Curtain comes down is looking for a new home. You can find it here. The canvas measures 10×10″.

Comments (1)

  • Christine Kiehl

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    WOW! This is truly amazing work!!! LOVE IT!

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Dressed to the 9s – New Painting

“Dressed to the 9s” is a new painting I made using spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, markers, pastels, and oil pastels on canvas.

Dressed to the 9s” is a new painting I made using spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, markers, pastels, and oil pastels on canvas.

the image shows a charming historic firehouse and a line of elegant row houses in a Jersey City neighborhood.

I was inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City for this mixed media painting, and specifically a charming historic firehouse and line of elegant row houses in my neighborhood. I love seeing the firemen of Ladder 9 taking the trucks out once in a while and cleaning them – there is something really fascinating for me about American Firetrucks :)

The background is collaged - using some player  piano paper.

I used some long treasured vintage player piano paper- I always waited for the perfect piece to use it for and when I was thinking of this street scene I knew I had to use it as part of the collage elements.

the painting is available in my store

Dressed to the 9s measures 10×10″ and is available in the store. It would love to find a new home.   found a wonderful home in Wisconsin!

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All Fur Coat and No Knickers – New Painting

“All Fur Coat and No Knickers” is new painting made with spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, and markers on canvas.

I was inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City for this mixed media painting, and specifically a building that was used to cold store fur coats in the summer months for the people in the neighborhood (glad that’s not needed anymore).

Nowadays there is a restaurant in the building but the story intrigued so I researched a bit. I found that a 1932 issue of The Jewish Standard featured an advertisement for a company called Kriegel Furriers offering “cold fur storage” at the address, with a storage rate of 1% of the value of each item with a minimum charge of $2. Those were different times for sure.

The painting is available in my store and would love to find a new home.

Comments (1)

  • lala

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    what fun who’da thunk it?! a place to store ur furs ladida! love the title and ur yummy pallette! the presence of the car a little wonky in my book, but luckily it does blend in nicely ? thnx for sharing! ???(funny fur story… my ex was wearing his mum’s full length?! raccoon?! (sigh, poor animales! but i do eat them so can’t get tooo indignant ?) when he and his 3 bros plus dad rolled their open jeep in river… it was thanksgiving (we the sensible.were waiting at home.for them) so what did they think?! (re depth/strength of water….) the coat survived! tho i wouldn’t want.to smell it at the time… wet racoon, yum! ?

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Where is Tiffany – New Painting

“Where is Tiffany” is another Mixed Media painting inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City.

The magnificently dilapidated St. John’s Church was once a showpiece of the community and diocese, lavishly decorated with Tiffany stained glass, Italian marble, and numerous decorations of the highest craft, the church was decommissioned in the 1990’s, stripped of it’s decoration, and left to disrepair and ruin.

The church played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement of the 60s under Reverend Castle and was especially important for the Black Community in our city.

Castle was a a social activist and also actor, you might have seen him in movies like Philadelphia and other movies directed by his cousin Jonathan Demme.

One of the crowning features of the church, the Tiffany windows, were auctioned off long ago and have strangely found their way to a historical museum in Chicago. I am still doing some research on the history of the church and I would love to find out more about the time during the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s …just the fact that there is not a lot of information easily to get shows how important it is to make sure the history is not forgotten.

This original painting was made with spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, and markers on a 10×10” canvas. It is available here

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