Stroll Through The Hood

Stroll Through the Hood – March 2020

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Well a lot of those photos were taken before we all were practicing social distancing. And the more these inspire me – a good reminder to enjoy the little things like meeting with friends in a cafe or a stroll through the hood. Speaking of a cafe – I love the “fence art” by Norman Kirby above that made its way into this new-ish restaurant.

St. John’s Church – a gorgeous gorgeous historic landmark church – which is falling apart. I am reading a lot about this church and it’s history in this neighborhood. I will def. write a separate post about it – it is so fascinating and I will def. do a painting of this church.

This made me smile. Bentley Avenue also has the nickname of “Doctor’s Row” – there are a ton of beautiful victorian Mansions on this street and they have become unaffordable in the recent years (if you find one you could buy you would have to pay a ton of money to bring it back to livable status) – so this tiny Bentley house is pretty much all we could afford hahahah

Speaking of Social Distancing- those guys have no clue and boy they are soo cute. Here is Bobby Pretzel on his foster blanket on my letterpress- he loves that spot.

While Mingus loves to perch on the Banister – he is such a riot.

Speaking of beautiful churches- I can not believe that I was never before in Grace Church downtown – I lived there for 6 years and somehow never made it in until now when a friend of mine was singing there. So colorful!

Another row of beautiful brownstones – I love the balcony on the left!

This former victorian mansion looks really sad

I wonder if the scaffolding means restoration or stripping it down from it’s last architectural elements. I would be surprised if that house could be saved but you never know.

I loooooveee this building – I am not sure yet what used to be in there back in the golden days- but it is sooo cute. It has been abandoned for a long time – I hope someone buys it and revives it. A friend of mine who is actually a real estate agent said that a lot of those abandoned buildings in the neighborhood have been bought a long time ago by investors and they are now waiting for the perfect timing to sell those for a hefty price. It makes me angry as to what this does to this neighborhood.

A little bit of a sad Hope sign but at least hope :)

This beautiful house was once built by one of the richest men in Jersey City in 1860 – he died impoverished and the building is now an apartment building. Some of you might recognize it in one of my paintings ;)

Same street- more gorgeous apartment buildings!

These are Dutch Queen Anne Houses Row Houses. And yes that is a style as well – and reminds me indeed of Amsterdam.

and this little street with the small town brick townhouses makes me just happy- it is super cute and I cannot wait for the trees to be in bloom.

Hope you enjoyed the Stroll through my Hood! Hope you are all well and stay safe and healthy! Loves!


Join me today, March 27th at 2pm EST for a LIVE chat on Facebook – Let’s catch up and see how everyone is doing!

Comments (1)

  • Jean Goza

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    Always enjoy your photos from the hood. I love the architecture of that area. So very different from my home state of California. I did live in New Jersey for awhile many years ago. Was fascinated by it then as well. Stay well and sane during this difficult time.

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Stroll Through the Hood – February 2020

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

This furniture store has been having “last sale” ever since I moved here 6 1/2 years ago-but now that they sell these paintings it looks real. LOL. I am amazed by the amount of stock of this painting and have even thought of buying one …could be a good surface and the frame is fun :)

our secret beach – clear statement- we do not need a bigger golf course for the people that can afford half a million dollars annually for their membership here.

What we need are rusty boxes that make our phantasy spin …hahah- I love this one it looks like a face sticking out it’s tongue.

It is just so beautiful out here- I really love coming to Liberty State park with my bike-

I love these red thingies (no idea what they are actually called)

I had some wallpaper made with my fan designs – which I really love. The one on top is at the entrance wall to my studio

And this one is one a wall in my studio bathroom – We didn’t renovate the bathrooms yet – that has to wait for some other time when we are recovered from our initial renovation but this was a cheapish way to oomph it up for now a little bit.

I am so happy to see this house in my neighborhood being renovated- This house was on the market many years ago and it was in the saddest state you can imagine ( I am sure i snapped a picture but couldn’t find it) and now it is back to it’s glory!!

Love the beautiful ceilings you find all over the neighborhood stores.

Fun Mural with cat :)

Hope you enjoyed this little stroll – let’s see what I discover for next month :)

Comments (10)

  • Marsha

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    I love your strolls through the hood! They seem so much more interesting than strolls through my hood. Which probably isn’t true. And, I do miss taking random photos. I should probably take this as a cue to pick it up again! <3

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      yes- I would love to see your strolls through the hood!!!

      Reply

  • Cathy

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    I love your strolls through the neighborhood! Thanks for sharing all the interesting things that catch your eye.

    Reply

  • Caroline Mach

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    The “red thingies” are the “fruit” of staghorn sumac – it is very common in southern Ontario where I live.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Oh thank you so much Caroline- Now I learned something!!!

      Reply

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    When I was growing up, I went to Catholic school, and almost all the families had The Last Supper in their dining rooms.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I remember my grandmother in Italy having one up too in her bedroom. But Dining Room makes perfect sense!

      Reply

  • Robin Seiz

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    I love the gratefulness you feel for the little things.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you Robin – I think I have always felt that it makes life just go easier if you embrace the little good things :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – January 2020

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Mingus is still hanging out with me when I work at my computer -he is a total rascal and he and Bobby Pretzel are ganging up on us and they steal ANYTHING that has remotely to do with food.

I just discovered this house in the neighborhood and I think it is really cool – all the different textures and materials -it does look like it should be in a forrest though, don’t you think?

super cool and colorful Mural –

I love the photographic quality of the people with the colorful shapes and patterns.

On an unusally warm day we did a little bike ride to Caven Point – I love this beach at the park – which the stupid golf course wants to turn into 3 additional holes. I hope it doesn’t go through and the rally and more to come will prevent this.

It is so beautiful out here- makes you almost forget that you are in a city.

We need spaces like these.

Oh brother- hahaha- I am not a fan of those blow up holiday “decorations” – and this one makes me every year especially snort …

The Wave – always love this one !

Comments (4)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    Hi Nathalie! I always love these strolls. Thank you for sharing your photographs.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Yes to open spaces (and that’s from someone who lives in a rural area).
    I highly suggest getting people to speak loudly about keeping that space. The golf course will have money on their side.
    Love love Love that house. It reminds me of the ones that I enjoy taking pics of in Boston.

    Reply

  • JoAnn

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    Enjoyed the stroll. Thank you for sharing. And I am loving CJS2020 – every one is special.

    Reply

  • Diane T

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    Love each and every picture. Thanks for sharing.
    And, a happy and healthy new year to you and yours.

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – December 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Our first tree in the new house – I am sad to see it go soon.

And I had to buy this stick of butter ornament- it made me laugh !

I know technically this is not yet a stroll through the hood but hey.. it is really cold outside. I love decorating in wintertime – I always wanted a garland down a stair case. Well – while I love how it looks like I learned my lesson – dries out super quick…and makes a real mess and attracts cats ;)

I love the different facades and materials of those buildings and while the balcony needs some love I find this stunning.

I walked by this house number on an art deco apartment complex a lot of time but just now realized the tiles – I love this!

And … meet Mingus- the newest addition to our family. He is adorable …and a handful!

He makes us laugh

and he and Pretzel became friends very quick. They both sleep on me at night …it is kind of nice and really uncomfortable hahahaha.

Yours truly played two songs at a Holiday party with her music school …very fun -well for us not the listeners hahahaha.

December is the month of holiday parties and this food spread at a friend’s house made me swoon – the colors, the decor- oh my. I think she should do this for my parties :)

Kind of crazy cool and opulent  the lamps around our main post office in JC. I hope you enjoyed this semi-stroll through my hood and glimpse into my home this month. Until next month – well if weather permits ;) 

Comments (2)

  • Jean Goza

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    Always enjoy your strolls.

    Reply

  • Rebecca Buchanan

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    Beautiful photos! I meant to send, when I commented on yesterday’s (?) post,
    my condolensces for your loss of sweet Niles. It is so difficult to say goodbye to these furry members of our families. So very difficult. Minges and Pretzel will help to soothe your soul. Cheers to 2020!

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – November 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

What a couple weeks this has been so far! just shortly after we moved in I had the film crew of Sketchbook Skool come over to shoot my part of Mixed Media Journaling – an amazing class with Seth Apter, Kecia Deveney , Mary Beth Shaw and yours truly. Check it out if you haven’t yet. It was so much fun and also weird to see this still new to me studio transformed into a filming studio …As you can see I was just my own goofy self ;)

We are also slowly putting artwork up and I love this piece we bought at the Art and Studio tour in Maplewood NJ. It is encaustic and by Kathy Cantwell. I loved seeing her process and also her transition from her older pieces like this to her newer pieces.

Bobby Pretzel also loves the house -his favorite is a new blanket – especially under the blanket spot ;)

As we are new garden owners we slowly adapt to the chores of having a garden – plus during the construction it was terribly abandoned and the parking ground for all kinds of debris and construction stuff. I like this little oasis a lot and since it is right off my studio I think it will provide me with some inspiration in the warmer months :)

I never get tired of this view from Liberty State Park – each time of the day and season change it ever so slightly.

Those views always make me realize how lucky I am to be able to see this every day if I want to – we often take things for granted after a while and it is good to hold on and think about the blessings in our life.

I love this massive sign on this store. Also …Cosmetics and Drugs ..I mean LOL- common!

I know I have been posting so many houses around my new neighborhood. There are all these little cute places …well some are massive – and it is funny how just a couple blocks away everything is quite calm all of a sudden and it is still a city but feels less like a city.

I love the facade of this apartment building and I actually already turned the arched brick part into a stamp. I have been carving a ton of stamps lately inspired by all kinds of little architectural elements in my neighborhood. It feels good to have more time in the studio again and to be able to turn some of the inspiration from my strolls through the hood into art. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this stroll through the hood and I hope I see you next month for the next one :) Have a gorgeous day

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Stroll Through the Hood – October 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Wow – the last couple weeks have been really crazy. Moving as you probably all know is not fun – and with having still contractors in the new house the day of the move and painting some parts of the house ourselves – I have been really exhausted to be honest. But it is all worth it :) Here is Pretzel telling me that this box is def. too small to pack all of his belongings.

Lamps were a big issue the last couple weeks- European lamps which were rewired but due to different mounting systems a challenge for our Electricians, lamp shades that were crushed accidentally by ladders. This gem above is an antique Halophane lampshade from around 1910 which an amazing lamp store owner around the corner found on his shelf and gave me for a wonderful price. It looks way better when the shade that was broken und boy do I love the grid and light it makes. I am obsessed

Nonetheless sometimes we made it with our bikes through the park to enjoy some of the fall weather – you need to breathe- don’t you think?

Art? LOL I loved how the movers packed our furniture. I am happy to report that besides one little piece of a lamp that went missing (did I mention that lamps were our little Nemesis the last weeks- LOL) , nothing was broken – they did a great job.

The last sunset from our apartment window even though I am super stoked about our new place, I will miss this view a bit. I can see a tiny bit of NYC skyline from our bedroom window but it is not the same :)

Our new kitchen ready for move in. I am so happy about the colors. We always wanted this retro mint colored fridge and we are so stoked to have it now being a colorful element in our kitchen.

I am still not done setting up my studio but as you can see I am getting there. Although I have about 3 1/2 times more space than before, I have less storage space as my old studio had a gigantic closet. Now to figure out where to store everything. As we still have contractors working and using the laundry room in the back for their tools- I have not successfully stored everything away. but I love it so far- I love that I have the fireplace and a sitting area in my studio as well – and once I can move my bike into the back – I will make use of it for sure. I also cannot wait for workshops in this new space- coming my friends – stay tuned :)

My favorite new addition to my studio is this wall easel – I am sooooo excited about it and boy – I cannot wait to start painting again.

We also tested our re-instated wood burning fireplace in the living room area – works like a charm. Very happy about it and ohhhh I see many warm and cozy evenings coming up in front of it.

The hallway down to my studio is now also finished. My husband and I exposed the brick wall and we are so happy we did. To lighten up the narrow space I had our contractors put in a stripe light along the stringer and it looks so cool. They made a nice molding to block off the light a bit and then we painted the stair threads the same color as the kitchen. That was a longer affair …let’s just say Bobby Pretzel has been quite the Houdini since we moved and fresh paint and cats do not go along ;)

Loved seeing Doug Madill painting in my neighborhood – I love his street paintings. 

We are so happy with our new house- most of the boxes are unpacked but there is still so much to do . Our contractors are hopefully finishing up all work this week – They rock but I would love to truly have the house for ourselves now – LOL. I feel like all my creative energy the last couple months was soaked up in the house reno and planning and I so cannot wait to get back to “normal” and have a real studio artist live again. Until then …see you next month! 

Comments (4)

  • Dee spillane

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    The house is beautiful. Love it and your strolls. I even do them now when it’s not 100 degrees

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you Dee! Yeah when it is super hot or super cold it is indeed a challenge!

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Such wonderful space Nat!
    Bobby Pretzel looks like he could get into trouble. LOL
    Love the exposed brick…nice to have kept it.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Sue!! hahaha- yeah- Bobby Pretzel is sure trying to get into trouble ;) LOL.

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – September 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

I am having a lot of fun exploring my new neighborhood. As you might have seen already in some of the previous posts there are a ton of gorgeous old houses. I do love the colors and intricate details on this Victorian house.

Don’t you love when Nature fights back? This parking side has some amazing patina and I do love the colors and texture of the tree as well.

Loving the scallop shingles and lines – these house are so adorable.

It is so interesting to see how about 3-5 houses are built the same way – probably formerly one lot belonging to one person and then broken up over the years.

This door is just so awesome- it a gorgeous art-deco house and I don’t know why I actually never photographed it- I walk by often.

Speaking of new hood- by the time you are reading it- I should be actually moving into my new home- cross fingers- but here is a picture from in between – the wall is gone in our middle section and we a floor :)

My husband’s office has a little formerly bed nook in the room -and I love the details of the molding. It has been painted a million time- maybe some day we strip it -but I am a bit over painting right now LOL- can you blame me?

Oh and look at this smiley face- that is how I looked when I harvested my first two tomatoes and one pepper. Stop laughing LOL- this is pretty awesome for this brown-thumb-city-lady :)

I “needed” a second Ukulele – yes I am obsessed LOL. Isn’t this wonderful – spalted maple has these gorgeous black lines -I am in love!

A progress of our new kitchen- again – by the time you read this- this is hopefully a finished kitchen :)

Tons of graffiti every where. I love that the fence says “Be A Better Human And Spread Love”

I wonder what will happen to those warehouses in the next couple years .

Hi Kitty!!! Loving the font and the colors- I want to be able to do this!

I hope you enjoyed this little excursion into my new hood and cannot wait to see you next month !

Comments (2)

  • Janet

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    Wonderful post Nat! Congrats on your new home! There is so much inspiration in this group of photos…I may take some ideas, if you don’t mind! I am in the mountains for the week to winterize the cabin, but I brought some art supplies and will take advantage of my current mind frame. Thanks again for the wonderful images! Cheers!

    Reply

    • Janet

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      P.S. Congrats on your harvest also! I can relate! I get all excited about and am grateful for my puny harvests…

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – August 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

The past couple weeks were a whirlwind of emotions and things happening. We had a surprise good bye party for some very close friends who are moving to Texas -very sad and fun at the same time.

We made T-Shirts with a drawing I made of their house and to commemorated all the parties we had on that stoop. The back of the t-shirt had all the “famous” stoop sayings and we even had strangers asking us for t-shirts LOL. Maybe this could be a side business – Stoop Shirts – LOL.

By far the saddest moment though was when we had to say good bye to our wonderful little man Niles. He was with us for 19 1/2 years and he brought us so much joy and laughter over the years, he is truly missed. It is hard to not think of him during our daily routine because he was such a big part of it. I am sure anyone who ever had a pet can relate.

This fire hydrant is such an iconic American picture for me – LOL . I still wonder is that something that just happens or does someone open it up? It would be an even better picture with some kids jumping through the water.

Look at this wonderful color combination – we get these flowers at a farmers stand in NJ along with corn and tomatoes . Oh I am in love with Jersey tomatoes!

Our house is slowly progressing -the wall is out in the first floor – it is such a huge difference in space and light. This is going to be our living room, dining room area and in the back will be the kitchen.

One of our iron cast radiators – we had to remove one – but will keep the others. This thing is HEAVY!

How the kitchen looks right now …new electric stuff and since we passed the rough electric inspection it will soon be drywalled.

Big opening in the kitchen which will soon have a door going out on the new deck.

And here is our little Bobby Pretzel – he really misses Niles as well – and for the first couple days didn’t eat. He is very cuddly and I enjoy hanging out with him right now …maybe I should sketch this little guy :)

As you can see a lot of the strolls are simply to our house – LOL – we are on pins and needles at the moment but it looks as if we can move in at the end next month – wish us luck!

I hope you enjoyed the little stroll – until next month!


And check it out: my Exchange Place foam stamp is now just $4 in the shop! Love this stamp!

Comments (3)

  • Silvana Medina

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    I just happened to be looking thru your website & came across the pics of your home and your fur babies – I’m so sorry for your loss, and you’re absolutely right. You think about them throughout the day, it’s really tough, they become part of the family & when they’re gone, there’s a void. We waited 8 months before adopting again. I imagine your remodeling has come a long way since it’s now Dec, good luck with everything. Regards, Silvana

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    RIP Niles…so sorry for your loss Nat.
    The tees are wonderful.
    The deck looks like it’s boxing for gardens right now (looking through the openings).
    Is that your yard?
    Your home is quite the work in progress and it will be just what you want once done (well worth the wait)!

    Reply

  • Diane

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    Thank you for sharing your house renovations. I am sure you will enjoy.
    Sorry about your kitty. Little one is cute too. Hope he helps fill the void.
    All the best.

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – July 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

July is my favorite month of the year – well first of all it is SUMMER and then its my birthday and I am one of those dorks who like birthday and then you can sit outside all the time and just enjoy life :) Loving the view from our terrace ..and will enjoy it of the last couple months.

I am also very inspired by my new instrument …A Ukulele. Well – I have no musical bone in me and I tried learning the guitar when I was a teenager (any German here who remember Peter Bursch’s Gitarrenbuch?” hahaha). I failed miserably and mind you, no internet back then, no youtube etc. But for a while I had on my bucket list to learn an instrument and so my very musical husband gave me one for my birthday and I loooovee it! I have been playing every day since I got it and signed up for in person classes.

This wouldn’t be a stroll through the hood post without a picture from one of the bike rides through the park- here is Manhattan on an extremely hot and humid day …it was 87% humidity – blech.

Our house reno is coming along -and I learned this beautiful ceiling reveals the typical Balloon Framing invented in the States. I love it and almost wish we could expose the ceiling in one of the rooms- but you know you cannot have everything in such a small house LOL

Some street art at the back of a building down town which I actually rarely pass.

Some under the bridge street art.

Our deck coming along …I love all those lines- I also feel strongly inclined to sketch this as I feel it helps me understand painting buildings better seeing all those raw structures.

When they started taking down the reclined ceiling in one of the rooms (Why the heck do people do that?) we discovered some of the original crown molding. Keep your fingers cross we can keep it. The rosette of the ceiling already came crumbling down.

I love all those old houses in my hood. This one with the cute onion tower is saying – sketch me, sketch me!

And then you have this gorgeous house on the brink of falling down. It looks like there is a permit in the window so it will be interesting to see if someone can bring it back to its old glory of if it is going …sniff.

I love this graffiti also in our new hood! Impressive!

And then one day I decided to check out this church -it is a pretty impressing brick church but I didn’t expect it to be so quite beautiful inside- I didn’t go in as there was a service going on and I didn’t feel it was the moment to take pictures- but I will def. check again one other time.

I hope you enjoyed the little stroll – until next month!

Comments (2)

  • Sheryl

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    I go around my neighborhood almost every day and find so many things inspiring. My husband walks me around and gets a little impatient because I stop so much to take pics. I put a dogs of Richmond on my Instagram and FB. People love it when you ask if you can take a pic of their dog. I just find so many beautiful things . I want to sketch them later but I think ….what’s the point if you already have a pic? Do you feel that way?

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Sheryl- love that you are feeling the same about your neighborhood. I know what you mean about taking pictures and then not feeling the urge to sketch anymore – I do however sometimes sketch little details I see in the photo that I find inspiring for stamps or patterns – it is fun and I discover often even more in the picture than I saw at first glance in real life.

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