Art Stroll: Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan

Strolling through the Hakone Open Air Museum in Japan was so amazing- especially- because I did not expect this crazy collection! We spent only a day in Hakone as we stayed in a traditional Ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) and I had not really looked what was around there. But apparently my husband did and he had this planned as a little surprise for me :)

In this little resort town known for its hot springs you get to this museum by taking the slowest but most fun little train up the mountain.

Marcello Mascherini – Chimera con Ali – 1963 – Bronze

Auguste Rodin, Balzac 1891 – 98 – that is when I was like wowowowow- what is this Rodin doing here

Henry Moore – Reclinging Figure: Arch Leg 1969-70

Many pieces of Henry Moore.

Nicolas Schöffer, Spatiodynamique No. 22 – 1954-80

The weather was wonderful and it was great walking around and get some fresh air but also look at art at the same time.

Susumu Shingu – Never Ending Dialogue 1978

There are about 120 sculptures on permanent display across the huge park.

I love when people are interacting with art :)

Carl Milles, The Hand of God  1954

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure 1969-70

This tower was my absolute favorite- kind of unassuming but once you go inside the full beauty of the windows is revealed

There are a couple buildings with collections of sculptures- including one dedicated to Pablo Picasso with about 300 pieces of his work (no photography allowed- so no photos of that part)

 

Oh Max Ernst you always make me laugh!

Seiko Sawada, Maiko (Dancing Girl) 1974

So beautiful!

Francois Morellet, Spere-Trames 1862-63

Joan Miro, Personnage 1972  in front of this wooden construction

in which kids were playing in this colorful climbing thingi :)

Shin Yamamoto, Hey! 1992 – How can you not smile at this?

Isamu Noguchi – Rain Mountain 1982

Takao Tsuchida, Sound of Wind 1988 – I loved this!!!

and this ….

And …oh man …my husband…LOL – can’t bring him anywhere ;)

And a Dubuffet.

Hope you enjoyed this sculpture Art Stroll  in Japan. Which is your favorite sculpture I showed?

Comments (1)

  • Jill McDowell

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    What an awsome experience. I’m so impressed that your husband set this little side trip up.

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On my way – Art Journal

I am on the task for a major studio redo and part of it is going through piles of stuff – so I am using finally some things up that I have had forever. Including some old calendars which had prints of my paintings from a while ago.

I sketched the lady and made her some city clothing with my Stroll stamps and collaged the prints. I also stamped some windows into the left building to tie it more together with the rest of the page. I also used some of my hoarded washi tape…I mean …how much washi tape can you store forever? – LOL

The whole studio redo is a long process because I have been traveling so much- but a plan has surfaced and right now before I move furniture and get new furniture, the first step is to purge and to get a grip on how my work flow actually looks like. I will keep you updated on the whole process …I ‘m on my way ;)

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread


Comments (4)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Great page and words Nat.
    I too have tons of washi tape…why did I feel the need to save it???
    Crazy how we can be about supplies.
    Currently purging as well and much of the paper and embellies are going to the local elementary school where I work. The kids just love the items.

    Reply

  • W Evelyn

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    Be sure and take before and after photos to see how much you accomplished.

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  • Jean Goza

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    Really like this layout.

    A studio makeover can simultaneously be frustrating and invigorating. Have fun with it. It’s always an adventure!

    Reply

  • Janene

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    I am envious of your spring cleaning/purge effort. I have way too much stuff and it’s actually inhibiting my ability to work in my space. I’m cheering you on and I will be watching to see how your space transforms into something new!

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Artist Quote of The Week: Henry Moore

Comments (1)

  • Rhonda Mancini

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    Hi, we met at Salem Runaway art in class. Just wanted to thank you for such interesting post. That Japan one make me want to go! Thanks Nat. Hope to meet again in class. Have a great day.🤗

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Layers of Love – Jennifer Gallagher

  

Welcome to a post from the Creative Squad! Today we have a set of Artist Trading Cards from Jennifer Gallagher – little masterpieces of layered fun for sure! Jennifer uses my Batik and Kassel stencils along with this month’s theme: Layers of Love – We love layers and all the juicy yummy goodness they bring to mixed media. This month we’re layering it up and letting viewers discover all the different strata of our artistic mark making.


One of the great joys of working in mixed media is creating delicious layers of color and pattern. This month, I thought I would share with you a fun way to create the perfect layered background you can use for many different projects.

I am starting with a sheet of watercolor paper, 140 lb. I used painters tape to create a square grid on my paper and painted some watercolor squares. You can do circles or any type of watercolor wash. Remember to leave a little bit of white space here and there. It leaves places for your eyes to rest.

Next, I laid Nat’s Kassel stencil over my watercolor paper and chose places to put the cube designs. Using my distress markers I drew in the design. The Tim Holtz water brush is the perfect tool for filling in the designs for a watercolor look.  I also did a little mark making with my watercolors. You will notice little black dots here and there.

At this point I used my distress stains to add a few circular areas of color. Then I sprayed Dylusions ink spray through the Kassel stencil in a few select areas. Don’t forget to keep some white space! At this point I chose a special stencil as a focal point. Nat’s Batik stencil is the perfect one for this. I chose parts of the stencil I wanted to use and painted through with Dina Wakley Media paint in ruby and Dylusions black marble paint using a Tim Holtz mini blending tool.

Once the black paint dried I went back over the designs with a Ranger Letter It Metallic Marker and a Uni Posca Pen. I also added some more art marks on the background with the white Posca Pen.

Now that we have this yummy layered paper, what can we do with it? I turned mine into Artist Trading Cards. You can use your background for a paper flag, bookmarks, or an art journal page. You are only limited by your imagination. Won’t you join the creative squad this month and try our techniques?


Thank you Jennifer! I love how you used my stencils to create so many interesting layers of shape and color in these! They are really fun ATCs! Here are some of the supplies that Jennifer used:



Feel inspired to get in on the layered action? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Comments (1)

  • Maura

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    Love how you created your layers on these awesome ATC’s, Jennifer!

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Painful Melancholy – Art Journal

Inspired by my trip to Japan I created this art journal spread. I used my new inkstone and inkstick to create some ink and sketch the woman as well as the markings.

I used my Embroidery stamps as well as the Stroll Around the Block stamps to create the pattern on the clothing and the rain in the background.

I painted the background with gesso and watercolor and the dress with a think layer of acrylic paint.

I like how this turned out. Here are some of the supplies I used.


Have a wonderful day!

Comments (1)

  • JoAnn

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    Lovely!

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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 (8)

  • Catherine

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    Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing!

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  • Anna

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

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  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

    • 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

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Fun with Furoshiki Wrapping

Furoshiki is the wonderful art and tradition of wrapping things in a nicely printed square cloth. When I was in Japan I saw specialized Furoshiki stores everywhere, selling not only the beautiful cloth but also showing how to wrap different gifts, books, and make bags etc. I totally fell in love with this and so Kim and I decided to have a little playdate to make our own wrapping cloth.

I dyed some white cloth beforehand so we would not just work with plain white and then gathered fabric paint, some foam stamps and brayers.

For one of of the pieces i used my Grove Foam Stamp Set and created a pattern leaving some white space as this seems to work the best for this purpose.

Kim created a pattern using the Broadway Foam Stamp Set.

And create a border using my Exchange Place Foam Stamp.

And Kim used for her second piece the Circle Drive Foam Stamp.

Then the wrapping part started. Our cloth was a tiny bit too stiff …it worked but when we do this again a thinner fabric would work even better.

Here is the close up

and wrapping a bottle

you can tell …the cat sneaked into the picture …but there you go- LOL ;)

Another method for boxes or books

And a simple but fun one

I love that these cloth can be used in so many ways by the recipients. Either reused for gifts yet again or as kitchen towels, or depending on the fabric as shawls etc. So many options and a great way to give a beautifully wrapped gift. I hope you liked our playdate and give Furoshiki a try.

Here are some of the supplies Kim and I used for this Furoshiki play date:


Comments (1)

  • Janene

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    Very beautiful! I would love to receive a gift (or even my lunch) wrapped in something so lovely. I don’t have any fabric paint (yet), but I’m seeing a trip to the store this weekend so that I can give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

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The Future is Now – Art Journal

An art journal page that I created after the marches last month happened. I love that Art Journaling can be a way of taking note of current events in a visual way – and as you know I am not much of a writer in my art journal because a lot of my thoughts and feelings are conveyed by the colors, paints and techniques I am using.

I spray painted the background in blue and then sprayed in red through my Santiago Stencil – I flipped it over while the paint on top was still wet to get a reverse pattern.

Some obstructed notes with a gold gesso and a thick brush and then I filled in all the areas with patterns using a white signo pen.

It was a nice and meditative time to fill in the page with white little patterns, marks and doodles :)

Here is what I used for this spread:


Comments (1)

  • Deb

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    Striking composition. Love the colors and the addition of the gold gesso. Different look for you to using block printing instead of cursive. Overall great art journal pages! Agree how meditative mark making can be. Inspired to go do some! Thanks.
    Deb

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Photos of my Workshop in Oklahoma

Last weekend I taught my 3-Day Splash of Color Workshop at My Heart’s Fancy in Oklahoma. We started out with blank papers, filled them with lot’s of pattern, and imagery and then bound them into art journals.

We did a lot of gelli printing/mono printing the first day- look at those colorful pages

Love all the texture – yummie!

We used tons of my stencils and stamps- always tickles me to see a wall of my designs :)

And we had a ton of fun – I love spending a whole weekend with a group of sweet talented students!

Look at Marcia colorful gelli plate :)

Time flies when you play with paint and colors – the three days went by in a breeze

Creating the covers was a big hit too  – happy faces

and thinking faces ;)

Now how can you not enjoy a weekend with all those smiling peeps :)

And it was so much fun to see how everyone loved their newly bound book on the second day and working in it.

 

yummie patterns with my ArtFoamies – I always love seeing the color combinations my students choose. So inspiring.

We also did some transfers and they looked fabulous!!!

And we created some funky clothing and city scapes with my RubberMoon stamps.

And here are all the beautiful bound art journals – 78 pages thick- such a happy colorful sight!

Thank you to all the wonderful students – I loved spending time with you, creating, laughing, chatting, eating …and eating delicious homemade cake (thank you Lynda!) and sharing supplies and ideas. Thank you also to Maura and Lisa for having me once again – I always love coming back.

If you would like to take an in-person class with me, I am teaching in May two classes in Kentucky at Ephemera Paducah which will be super fun. I will also teach in Toronto (Canada), San Jose (CA), Boltenhagen (Germany) and Coventry (UK) this year. For more information check my In-Person Workshop page I would love to see you.

Comments (3)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Looks like a fun class and an awesome store to shop in!

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  • Maura

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    I must say that this was such a wonderful workshop. Fun, inspiring…. in one word – delightful! Thank you Nathalie. You taught us such wonderful things and we enjoyed having you with us again!

    Reply

  • Donna B.

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    Looks like it was a wonderful class!!! I envy those lucky students!!

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