The Traveling Artist

Different Kinda Art Stroll: Freeman Alley, NYC

Freeman Alley is a little …well alley  in the Lower East Side

you almost walk by and miss it. In 1909 people would line up in a so called “bread line” through the alley in the hope to receive some food from the Bowery Mission.

In a more and more polished looking part of the city …it is a refreshing to find some wheat pastes and graffiti – Lot’s of layers

At the end of the alley you find a restaurant -but I was more into the fire escapes !

Definitely have to come back and see what’s new when I am in the East Village next time. You find it off Rivington Street – don’t miss it ;)

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Inspired by Japanese Manholes

As many people I have an obsession with beautiful manholes … and so Japan did not disappoint, in fact …there were some of the most beautiful manholes I have ever seen and I thought I show just a couple

Almost every neighborhood has different manholes – depending also on what the neighborhood is known for.

this one was a “simple” one in Tokyo – sooo gorgeous!

OK- I am cheating LOL- I am sneaking in some pavement plates- because …excuse me …they are beautiful

This one is in Kyoto – I love the fans – and directions

And of course the most beautiful which I shared already – in Nara …I loved how colorful those little manholes and pavement covers were

No idea what this little Dude is …I assume a turtle …but mmhhhh – fun though!

And cherry blossom at Ueno Park.

Just for the Manholes I would go back – LOL. Which one of the selection here is your favorite?

Comments (4)

  • stephanie

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    the flower. That is SO cool that they make the covers into art.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      yeah -they are taking it a notch further with the manholes :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Cherry Blossom is my fav but they are all pretty cool.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      agreed – now I want to go back and take more pix of manholes- LOL

      Reply

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Inspired By: Japanese Food

For some it might sound weird to be inspired by food- but well … I am ..colors, smells, forms, presentation  and …let’s face it, it is easier to create art with a filled stomach as well. So here are some food related impressions from Japan :)

Daiwa Sushi at the Tsukiji fish market was the best sushi I have ever had totally worth the 45 minute wait. The tuna was the most intense red tuna …and a beautiful one for sure I have ever seen and eating Sushi at 7am in the morning was def. differently and set for a good mood :)

Imagine walking around and smelling fresh baked dough and seeing how Ningyo-yaki are being made. Each cookie made by the man with the mold revealed later on a beautiful design on the outside of the waffle representing the Seven Gods of Fortune and the inside sweet red bean taste was delicious. The cookies in the front are also tasty but different.

Ramen – oh man – we ate sooooo much Ramen – and I loved it. It isn’t your student food in a cup if that is what you have in mind – instead you get fresh veggies and meat if you wish in a wonderful Japanese stock with homemade noodles. The picture above shows one of the fun Ramen Counter Booth Seating Charts – crazy fun.

This is probably the most beautiful ice cream I have ever eaten! It was Matcha (green tea) ice cream and the waffle showing the messenger fox with a key were a great treat at one of the temples.

Pickled vegetables ….I loved the signs and the wooden buckets they were stored in at a market

And yes …I was intrigued – since most we had no idea what it was

But it was pretty like the one above ….

Yakitori- grilled chicken with veggies …it was not only amazingly tasteful but the presentation was beautiful too.

And of course all the different labels of those Sake bottles from a Sake tasting intrigued me. See the tag with the string on one of the bottles- what a cool label.

And of course I loved the beer label as well – which btw- American Craft Beer always has some amazing artsy labels- I need to do a blog post about that too :)

We stayed one night at a tradition Ryokan with traditional food served in the room and we changed into home Kimonos – it was fun and very comfy!

The food served there was so pretty and the all the little dishes were just insane.

Often we had no idea what we ate and to be honest some of the food was even for us foodies a tiny bit challenging but it was an experience I wouldn’t wanna miss.

 

The fish up top was delicious and I just was reminded of Marsha Valk’s wonderful video at Creative JumpStart where she showed a gorgeous project based on a Picasso inspired fish dish.

Here is the breakfast with some things staring back at me- LOL.

As I wrote earlier on my blog post about Tokyo I took a cooking class and wow- was that awesome! We went to the market beforehand and smelling, seeing, using different fresh ingredients was just awesome. Here you see the our instructor Yukari crushing black sesame seeds with a wooden Japanese pestle in a porcelain mortar which has grooves on the side. Needless to say that I had to hunt down this pestle and mortar and bring it back home – LOL

And then look at the table setting -it is a feast for the eye – and it makes you just happy to look at this. In the middle you see a Chirashi Sushi which I would describe as a Sushi Salad. DELICIOUS

Here is our cooking class group with two more from the States, one women from Singapore and one from Finland- so much fun. If you are in Tokyo take a class with Yukari-she is AMAZING!

Home made udon noodles …and I mean like right in front of me made udon noodles with vegetable tempura. Oh man – it was one of the best meals EVER. I am still dreaming of those Udon Noodles and my mouth is watering while I am writing this.

Well worth the hour wait in line alone (my husband was at a conference) – in fact – good food is a big thing in Japan and you just get a bit more patient (although living in the NYC metropolitan area waiting in line at a restaurant is not unusual for me)  and usually you get more than rewarded once you are inside. BTW- you get your menu and order while waiting and you pretty much get your food a minute after you sat down.

And yes –this is a pizza. Now I am picky as hell when it comes to pizza since I am a real half Italian but boy ….this was hands down one of the best Pizzas I have ever eaten …and it was in Tokyo at Pizza Studio Tamaki. It was a pretty crazy experience.

I hope you enjoyed this kind of different inspirational post ;) Are you hungry yet?

Comments (4)

  • JoAnn

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    Wow – love your photos and the food looks amazing. Such an amazing trip🌿

    Reply

  • Bonniemon

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    I loved your tale of eating in Japan! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Reply

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Inspired By: Nara, Japan

Nara was one of the super highlights of an already amazing trip! Nara was the capitol of Japan from 710 to 794 and it’s Buddhist Monuments are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We started off with walking around the Yoshikien Garden and I really loved the moss garden! So beautiful! The only weird thing about the garden was, that it had a sign that sketching wasn’t allowed. Mhhh – I was a good girl and left the sketchbook in but it did make me wonder.

While walking through the Nara Park you will encounter a ton of deers – who like to be fed. Deer are able to roam freely and are believed to be sacred messengers of the Shinto gods that inhabit the shrine and surrounding mountainous terrain. Some of the deer have learned to bow in order to receive a snack and some will butt you if you nibble on a cookie without sharing.

The Tōdai-ji Great Buddha Hall is the the world’s largest wooden building. It is STUNNING. This picture cannot do it justice- it is just breathtakingly beautiful and massive!

And while we were still catching our breath looking at the stunning doors and woodwork outside, we stepped in and gasped – again the pictures don’t do this justice. The Great Buddha statue in bronze is about 15 m/49ft tall .

It was originally cast in 752 but typhoons and earthquakes destroyed parts of it over the centuries and so some parts have been recasted.

Kokuzo-Bosatsu Statue but also look at the inside wood construction of the building !

One hell of a staircase ….

One of the wooden Nio Guardians who protect Buddha, carved in 1203. Komoku-ten is holding a writing brush and scroll.

I loved this gigantic butterfly a the lotus vase. We indulged in some delicious udon noodles and continued our walk.

Next we visited the Nigatsudo temple. The Nigatsudo is best known for Omizutori, a fire and water ceremony on March 12 every year, where huge flaming torches are held out from the temple balcony. The next day – the day we were actually there, sacred water is drawn from a well under the temple, which is said to have healing properties. The ceremony has been held here without a break since the temple’s founding in 752. Since it is a wooden structure it is a miracle that it still exists – The smell of the fire ceremony the night before was still lingering everywhere.

The temple tea room – I couldn’t stay in the room unfortunately because the burned smoke still in the building made me cough madly.

A beautiful view from the temple terrace while inside you heard monks chants. Beautiful and peaceful.

I loved all the little details

An old wooden plaque.

And then we had some Matcha tea sitting outside and I think I haven’t been as relaxed as in that moment for a long long time.

I guess my husband is trying to figure out where the ground is of the tea pot ;)

OK – guys, I have to put this photo in there…CUTEST deer EVAAAAAHHHH. Every time I need a cute-dose now I am pulling up this photo -I get all squeaky when I look at it. I contained myself when I saw it in person right next to me so I wouldn’t scare it off – but please- tell me …isn’t it the cutest deer you have ever seen?

Next we went to to the Kasuga Grand Shrine. Bronze lanterns are hung everywhere.

And tons of stone lanterns lead the way to it.

Twice a year all those lanterns get lit at once – I can only imagine how magic this must look- but it was magic already just to walk around the park and temple, with deers roaming around. Unreal ! We had a second tea break, saw a turtle walking by (no kidding!) and had a yummy piece of persimmon cake. There are so many pictures of just that one day….I tried to keep it on a what I hope manageable amount LOL. But one more ;)

Here is a manhole in Nara – most beautiful manhole I have ever seen. I will show you a couple from the trip in an upcoming post but this one deserves to be shown twice ;) Hope you are inspired by Nara – more from my Japan trip to come soon.

Comments (16)

  • Catherine

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    Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  • Anna

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    I feel so lucky to see your photos and read your story.
    Thank you!

    Reply

  • Joanne Howard

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    Wow! What a trip! I could look at your pictures all day. It must have been so amazing just to wander around.

    The deer is the cutest thing I have ever seen! I don’t know how you contained yourself.

    Thank you for taking us along. I look forward to more pictures of your trip!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- I know I wanted to pack the deer into my pocket. Thank you for coming along Joanne!

      Reply

  • Janet

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    Dear Nat, Thank you so much for taking me to Nara! What a treat for the eyes (and other senses with a little imagination). All of that texture is intoxicating. Manhole covers are a photo topic of mine, and yes, that is the most beautiful one I have seen. Also, yes, the deer is adorable! Thank you again for all of the lovely photos and description. I’ll be anxiously awaiting more photos of your Japan experience.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you Janet for coming along :) More manhole covers coming soon – I wish I could have stayed longer just to get a whole collection together.

      Reply

  • Jill McDowell

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    Nat, that is absolutely the most adorable deer eva! I would have wanted to take him home with me. Those eyes!
    I’m blown away by all of these gorgeous pics. The moss and those lanterns.. and the manhole cover. Can’t wait to see more.
    I had to read the dates twice.. 710? That’s history. Thanks for sharing

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL – I know the deer was “killing” me :) I now the dates are making you aware how much history is out in the world!

      Reply

  • Sara jansen

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    That deer!!!! The rest of the pictures and stories are great but you are absolutely right about how cute that little guy is!!!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    That deer is THE cutest deer eva!!!
    How was the persimmon cake?
    I recently discovered persimmons and they are so hard to find. My local TJMaxx carries the dried ones which are very good for a snack.
    Thanks for your gorgeous pics…such history that we just don’t have in our young country here.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Sue, the persimmon cake was super yummie. We do have an Asian supermarket here and indeed as Joanne points out they are usually carrying them in the fall.

      Reply

    • Joanne Howard

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      Sue, I don’t know where you live but persimmons are a Fall fruit. In the fall season Fuyu persimmons are small and squaty . You can eat them when they are a little hard, peel and slice them like an apple .I think they are Korean. Not sure but I get them at my local Asian grocery store.

      There is another type of persimmon that is larger and more pointy. They need to ripen until really soft. They will be sweet and messy. If eaten too soon, they are bitter

      Reply

      • Nathalie Kalbach

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        We also get them at the Asian supermarket and I second what you said. It is so fun to discover unusual and different fruits and veggies from the Asian market.

        Reply

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Inspired By: Kyoto, Japan

After we spent a couple days in Tokyo, we took the Shinkansen to Kyoto.

I am spoiled with nice trains from Germany …the ICE is a pretty nice high-speed train- but the Shinkansen steps it up a notch – very pleasant traveling in it and 2 1/2 hours later you are in Kyoto.

This is a train station stamp from Kyoto. Almost every train station in Japan has a stamp that shows symbols and buildings around the location. I collected them in my travel journal – if you go to Japan bring a red ink pad with you as some of the station ink pads are a bit dried out.

A bit outside of Kyoto is the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. A reoccurring theme at the shrine are foxes – some fox statues carrying a key in their mouth.  The fox is the messenger of Inari, as well as the shrine guardian. You often see shrine guardians wearing a red bib added by worshippers out of respect.

Every shrine seems to have their own individual Ema – a wooden wishing plaque. You can purchase them and the fox plates at this shrine are actually made so that you can fill and draw in your own fox face design. On the back of the plaque you write your wish and then hang it up.

Look at all the different faces.

Another Shrine guardian – a lion dog.

Such a beautiful walk up the mountain to the shrine.

through a little Bamboo forrest

and thousands of Torii Gates- that was so beautiful and of course a lot of us remember the scene of Memoirs of a Geisha.

First signs of Cherry Blossom in Kyoto – so beautiful!

But also interesting signs in Gion – I cannot believe that you actually have to tell people to not touch a Geisha- seriously? What is wrong with people?

And then all of a sudden I was standing at an alley way – this beautiful stunning Maiko appeared with a huge entourage of photographers following her. I cannot really describe it but the way she moved and looked was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. A Maiko is a trainee  before she becomes a Geisha (and no Geishas are not prostitutes! )Maiko are trained and constantly training in traditional Japanese arts, such as dancing, singing, classical Japanese instruments and the tea ceremony.  I asked one of the photographers why they were following her all and he told me that this was a very special day and something you would not see often, as for this Maiko it was her Misedashi – basically her graduation day where she turns into a Maiko and gets introduced into the neighborhood. This Maiko’s name is Nanoha as I found out later.

I loved the Gion neighborhood with it’s traditional wooden houses and a lot of people walking around in traditional kimonos.

A dotted pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama also in Gion.

I had seen a documentary at home on how these beautiful traditional candles often used in temples are being made. They are made with handcrafted vegetable wax and burn a long time. When I did some research I found this little store in Kyoto where they are sold and we went and bought some.Tanji Renshodo sells mostly to Buddhist temples. It was such a wonderful little store and you can actually see where they are made.  If you are in Kyoto- step by and buy some – they make wonderful gifts!

We stayed in a really nice Kyoto guesthouse – sleeping on traditional tatami mats on a futon and you have to take your shoes out upon entering your room – here is the slipper shelf – loved that.

And here is Mount Fuji as seen from the Shinkansen on the way to Hakone. I will show some pictures from Nara next. I hope you enjoyed this post from our stop in Kyoto.

 

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Loved this post and the streets are so clean!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      the streets truly are crazy clean – the more amazing as there are almost no garbage cans out on the streets …people just take their garbage home. It was one of the things I noticed right away.

      Reply

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Inspired by: Tokyo, Japan

Japan was so so amazing – I am back now for a couple weeks and still so full of all the inspiration and impressions of this trip. I want to share some with you in a couple upcoming posts- this one is from our time in Tokyo. We were there a couple days in the beginning of our trip and a couple of days at the end.

This is a corner of the area where the Imperial Palace is located -you can only get into the palace if you apply for tickets way in advance for a certain day and time -but just walking through the park surrounding it was just beautiful.

Love those trees!

Koi everywhere – gigantic buggers- and to be honest, I am not actually a fish-person- LOL- I love their marks and colors- very cool!

Beautiful bridge iron work.

We were a couple days too early for a full cherry blossom bloom – Sakura -but some cherry blossoms and also as above magnolia were already out -so beautiful!

One of the many beautiful temple we saw. This one is the Hie Temple in Akasaka – I love the colors and all the details- the beautiful roofs.

Subway art – so beautiful!

Little electric cars zipping around at the Tsukiji Fish Market, which is one  of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. Watching those cars cruising around at the market is watching like a little ballet – it was fun …btw at 6am in the morning because jet lag said- hey- just get up and going ;)

The Meiji Shrine is located in a beautiful forest – the Torii (gate above) is leading to the Shrine.

Colorful Sake Barrels on the way to the shrine, which are offered every year to the enshrined deities by nationwide brewers.

The Shrine – very empty as it was again early in the morning – see jet lag has some perks- ;)

We were actually witnesses a traditional Japanese wedding. At a Shinto reception, the bride will get married in a long white kimono. Then she may come to the reception in a colorful, embroidered kimono, then change into a Western-style white wedding dress, and then into an evening gown or a party dress. phew I get tired just reading all this- but hey it was sure really beautiful to look at.

Such a beautiful door at the Shrine! We visited even more Shrines and Temples- but hey- before you get Temple Fatigue I am saving more pictures of those for my special post from Nara for later :)

Did I mention that jet lag was a real troublemaker this time? Well 14 hours time difference were just not easy to deal with…but …well…you can actually see the busiest pedestrian crossing  of the world – Shibuya Crossing –  from a cafe window without ANY people on a Sunday morning- LOL. You might know it also from a scene in “Lost in Translation” – and boy I experienced the totally crowded crossing during rush hour in the middle of the week- woot what an adrenalin kick :)

There is actually a life camera of the crossing- check out if you are watching at actual rush hour- LOL otherwise it is boring ;)

Total nuts- telling you ;)

My husband was at a conference for a couple days and on one of the days I was on my own I actually took a Japanese Cooking Class. It was so much fun! I will tell you more about it in a different post- but I can highly recommend doing it through Airbnb Experiences with Yukari- From Market to Meal . It was a highlight of the trip and I already cooked several of the things I learned back home.

This man making water drawings was so cool – I loved this – he would ask people what their favorite animal is and then start drawing. And no…he did not want any money although he deserved it – he just did it for fun …so delightful!!!

a little walk over to the Asahi Brewery – not really for the beer but for the view and definitely a cheaper view than from the sky tree. The brewery building with the golden thing on top designed by Philippe Starck is supposed to be a flame. Well…it  is also know as “Golden Turd” or the “Poo Building” …go figure- lol

And I cannot resist showing those signs  – when do you usually see a “NO Rickshaws” sign?

It was awesome in Tokyo -I am still trying to get a grip of all the inspiration. I am sure some of it will resurface in one form of the other in the future ;) Next stop is Kyoto, I hope you will join me :)

Comments (6)

  • Judi Vreeland

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    I love the photos of your trip to Japan. In less than 30 days we will be in Tokyo for one night before getting on the NCL Jewel. Did you have any problems obtaining cash, yen? Did you have any problems using a credit card. Thanks for your help. We are staying at the Keio Hotel just one night.
    Judi Vreeland

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Judi, you will have such a great time :) There are ATM’s at the airport for the first money change and throughout the city of course as well. Credit cards were accepted in big department stores but cash is a better option for most restaurants etc. So I would advice getting a yen at the airport when you arrive to be save. Have a great time.

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    The door at the Shrine!!! The trees! Awesome inspiration all around you in Japan for sure.

    Reply

  • Jean Goza

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    Loved your photos. The sights and colors look amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    Jean

    Reply

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Art-On-The-Go Kit

I am so excited, because I am going to Japan and I thought I would bring a little Art-On-The-Go Kit and I hope I will be doing a lot of sketching, and that I will also write a bit about my adventures. We will see how much I used it when I am back ;) But I thought I would share with you what I packed.

The bag was a gift from a friend many years ago and I use it a lot- some of you might have seen it in as part of my bags I bring supplies with me to workshops. The bag is waterproof and is made from one of those old maps the used to used in school – anyone remember those being carried in with a stand by the teacher? Here is what it is packed with

  1. 1. small 4×6.5 inch Sketchbook – it is the right format for me to do sketches and at some days just take it by itself with a pencil to fit in a small handbag but still big enough to also do some travel journaling in it.
  2. 2. a Travel watercolor box -this one is actually filled with colors I love to use but I just love the format of this old box I bought a long time ago in Germany. They are a wild variety of different company’s colors.
  3. 3. a Fude pen – I love to sketch with it but I also love writing with it. I am actually hoping to buy a lot more of those in Japan :)
  4. 4. a Micron fine pen for sketching
  5. 5. a technical pencil that also has a small eraster
  6. 6. my Bamboo Sketching Pen – I don’t usually bring it but I am so into it right now and somehow I feel there might be a lot of inspiration on sketching with it in Japan
  7. 7. a bigger Travel Watercolor Brush and
  8. 8. a small Watercolor Brush . I used to only bring a brush with a water tank but I love those little brushes and also bring a small 1oz cup with a lid which I can easily use with water or the ink if I need to.
  9. 9. a Stamp Pad – there is so much that can be turned into stamps, but I also heard that a lot of temples and train stations in Japan have their own stamps called Eki and that it is a good idea to have an ink pad with you as those at the location might be dried out. I hope to fill some beautiful stamp images to go along with my sketches and journaling.
  10. 10. a small container with ink. I like that this one is super small and it will go well with my Bamboo Sketching Pen.
  11. 11. not pictured a small piece of a rag and a glue stick

Here is a little glimpse at my colors in my watercolor set and the travel brushes being screwed together. Now cross your fingers I am a good girl and use all items while traveling ;) I will share of course share with you


Comments (4)

  • stephanie

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    Lucky you! Have a great time. Can’t wait to see your posts.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Have fun in Japan.
    I’ve never seen travel brushes…super compact.
    I love FUDE pens and order them in bulk on Amazon.

    Reply

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Inspired By: Coventry, England

When Birgit Koopsen and I taught our Workshop in Coventry, we took a little trip to the city center to check it out.

The city was founded in 1043 with some beautiful medieval houses still intact.

Love the lines and those beautiful windows.

And I love old doors and door knobs- aren’t those cool?

And the timber wood house facades.

The crest of Coventry shows an elephant carrying the castle- as you can imagine I love that :)

You can find the Elephant everywhere

Coventry was devastatingly destroyed during the German Blitz in 1940 during World War II and many people died during the attacks and many lost their homes. Coventry Cathedral was destroyed as well and remains as a ruin in the middle of the city.

It is a haunting experience and yet there is so much beauty in this place!

“Coventry Cathedral is one of the world’s oldest religious-based centres for reconciliation. Following the destruction of the Cathedral in 1940, Provost Howard made a commitment not to revenge, but to forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible.

Using a national radio broadcast from the cathedral ruins on Christmas Day 1940 he declared that when the war was over he would work with those who had been enemies “to build a kinder, more Christ-child-like world.”

 

“Today the medieval ruins of Coventry Cathedral continue to remind us of our human capacity both to destroy and to reach out to our enemies in friendship and reconciliation. In 2011, the ruins were designated as a memorial to all civilians killed, injured or traumatized by war and violent conflict world-wide.” (from the Coventry Cathedral Website)

“The Charred Cross and the Cross of Nails were created after the cathedral was bombed. The cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, saw two wooden beams lying in the shape of a cross and tied them together.

It has become a symbol of peace and reconciliation across the world. There are over 330 Cross of Nails Centres all over the world, all of them bearing a cross made of three nails from the ruins, similar to the original one. When there were no more of these nails, a continuing supply have come from a prison in Germany. They are co-ordinated by the International Centre for Reconciliation.”

Shadow and Light and a lot of amazing and touching statues.

The artist Josefina de Vasconcellos about her statue above: “The sculpture was originally conceived in the aftermath of the War. Europe was in shock, people were stunned. I read in a newspaper about a woman who crossed Europe on foot to find her husband, and I was so moved that I made the sculpture. Then I thought that it wasn’t only about the reunion of two people but hopefully a reunion of nations which had been fighting.”

For someone born in Germany visiting places like these are always very emotional and a reminder that anyone in our country – and actually in any country is responsible to work towards that none of this can happen again !

Birgit and I also visited the Herbert Art & Gallery next to the Cathedral – the painting below was created after the painter visited the ruins a day after it got destroyed.

It was a beautiful yet solemn time and yet again there is something so soothing knowing that 70 years later a German with a Dutch friend visits this place and talks about all that happened and all that hopefully never happens. To see that Coventry after all this became a city of reconciliation is inspiring.

I hope that despite the sad topic this post was inspiring to you too. My blog is about my creative journey and life as an artist, and this is part of it. Peace and Love to all of you!

Comments (4)

  • Zoe Gregg

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    Did you have time to go into the new cathedral as well. There are some incredible pieces of art in there too.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Zoe- I wil go def. next year when I am back- we didn’t manage this time but this sounds wonderful! Thank you for the tip!

      Reply

  • Deb

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    Kudos to you Natalie for yet another touching, inspiring and thoughtful post with amazing photography. Blessings to you. Keep doing all that you do with your sense of Love and Artful Adventure. Now that you are American….Happy Thanksgiving!
    Deb

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you Deb- I am glad you liked the article. Have a wonderful and special weekend!

      Reply

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Inspired by: Birmingham, England Part 2

Now- are you ready for my favorite part of the trip with Birgit Koopsen to Birmingham? Well ….lemme show you :)

this awesome fox put together with different parts of plywood was around the corner of our AirBnB. We went one of the two days we spent in Birmingham to explore the neighborhood of Digbeth, which we had heard was fun.

We entered Streetart and Graffiti Heaven – we couldn’t believe the many many awesome and different inspiring walls !

Loving the colors here and the lettering

Look at Birgit going :)

Wherever we turned there was something

This one was ne of my favorites – the colors the background- LOOOOOVEEEE

The patchwork fish – such a great inspiration to use collage paper

The colors again!

Look at the amazing giant stencil below

beautiful

More awesome stencil work!

And this one …another patchwork- so so so amazing!!!!

Funky stuff – also very inspiring colorwise

I mean come on…..stooooooopppp it

This one in different grey tones and pink and magenta- LOVE

weird attempt of a selfie- but there you go ;)

old warehouses and parking lots

This one is funny

These were everywhere

Loe the color blocking and the face

Hilarious with the open door

Can you tell we already had fun …but wait

We found this little graffiti store and they offered workshops – so we went in and asked how long in advance you have to book to take a graffiti workshop. The answer was one week. We made a very sad face and told them we were leaving the next day …and so they took pity on us and arranged for us to come back a couple hours later and we slipped into these painting overalls and learned lettering with a spray can ….

Look at me…I look like a bumble bee hahahaahaha- it was hilarious and so much fun!

We learned a lot- including that we need a LOOOOOOOOTTT of practice – and that working on a large scale with your spray paint can and trying to control it makes your hands hurt.

Our teacher had us battle too – we had to both write color in 10 Minutes – we almost lost it laughing because he would yell out “POLICE” every couple minutes. Be assured though, this wasn’t an illegal action, we were in a little outside shop that belongs to the store.

OH man – look how sad this looks LOL

But I still love it

BTW …Birgit cheated she sprayed with two cans – -hahahha- just kidding.

It was such a fun and great afternoon with this spontaneous workshop – I will never forget it. I think you can easily see why this was my favorite day in Birmingham.

Thanks so much for joining me on this little Inspiration trip- hope you enjoyed it :)

Comments (6)

  • Textile Ranger

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    Last year I got to go to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and they are starting to build up a collection of murals. I think they want to be Birmingham when they grow up! :) I was sad this wasn’t about Birmingham, Alabama, because that would be easier for me to visit. But I was glad to see so much great art. Thanks for putting them together in this post.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the tie one as it made me smile. How fun to get to do the workshop at the last minute. POLICE!
    The Native American one is my favorite as well. I can reach in and feel the rocks.

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  • Jill

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    Wow! So much fun. Looks like the two of you had a great time. Amazing place.

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  • Joanne Howard

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    Wow! So much to look at! The two of you were hilarious! Nat you look like a gansta with your arms folded in your red coveralls! So cute!

    I have to go back and look at the pictures again since there was so much to see in the details. Thanks for posting these!

    Reply

  • Laura Weed

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    WOW! There are some serious artists in Birmingham! Some of those just blew me away! This has definitely become a “must see” vacation spot now! The graffiti class looks like the MOST fun! That writing style is so unique and those pieces just always look like so much work. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pieces with us!

    Reply

  • Bea

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    I enjoyed this a lot. Creepy, hairy hand spider…

    Reply

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