This Must Be the Place – Jennifer Gallagher


Happy Tuesday from the Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful and certainly inspirational art journal page from Jennifer Gallagher using my Grove Street ArtFoamies, my Kassel stencil, and my Adirondack Chairs and Numerals rubber stamps along with our monthly theme: This Must Be the Place –We’re all on a journey to somewhere or something. Sometimes we’re just making preparations for simple things like dinner or weekend plans. Other times we’re aiming for bigger goals, bigger places. Whether it’s a location or a state of mind, you’ll know when you get there. Where are you headed?

This month the Creative Squad is asking, “Where are you headed?” I am not exactly sure. I focus more on my state of mind and how I feel about my current state of being, rather than worrying over individual goals. Yes, I have goals I want to achieve, but I am more concerned with finding happiness in my personal life, family, and art than I am anything else. And so this month I am saying, “This must be the place.” There is a great amount of peace that comes with loving your life in this moment in time.

So, this month I want to share with you an entry in my art journal. I wanted this page to reflect the happiness I feel at this moment in my life. You will see this reflected in content and color. Starting off I chose Nat’s Kassel stencil. It’s the perfect design for a fun background. I went with an ink-blended background using my distress inks in twisted citron, carved pumpkin, wild honey, and picked raspberry. This is a very easy technique using your mini-blending tool.

Then, using seedless preserves and black soot, I blended in a dark section in the very center of the page.

I raided some of my gift wrapping supplies and pulled out a large sheet of plain white tissue paper. I applied some heavy body acrylic paint onto my Grove Street negative and positive ArtFoamies and pressed the designs onto my tissue paper.

While those were drying, I stamped Nat’s Adirondack Chairs stamp onto some watercolor paper and colored it in with my distress markers.

I chose a few of my Grove Street circles to fit across the center of my page (across the dark stripe). For my journal, I only needed three. Tear or cut the excess tissue paper from around the edges so they don’t overlap. Then using matte medium, fix the circles to your page. If you prefer not to have the dark background behind these circles you can skip that earlier step.

While the matte medium dries, stamp Nat’s Numerals stamp onto white tissue paper in a line.

Cut this strip out. Also, cut out some more of your grove street circles to apply to the top and bottom of the page. Use your matte medium once again to fix these down. Once the matte medium is dry, I used my Sakura gelly roll black pen to add doodling to the circles.

When I placed the stamped Adirondack image onto the page I really felt like the chairs needed to be separated. So I cut the stamped image in two. I added just a touch of handwritten journaling and glued down the chairs. I hope this page inspires you today. No matter your plans, or where you are headed, remember to enjoy your life now. Enjoy each moment.

Thank you Jennifer! I love the page and the idea of focusing on the happiness that we have at this moment :) Here are some of the supplies that Jennifer used:

Play along with us too: 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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Art Stroll: Anselm Kiefer at Met Breuer, NYC

While at the Met Breuer I also strolled through the small Anselm Kiefer exhibition because as some of you might know I admire his work so much, the themes, the materials …. Some of the pieces I had just recently seen on an Art Stroll at the Gagosian Gallery , so I am not posting those again, but there were many other pieces that I loved to study.

Broken Flowers and Grass, 1980 – Gouache, acrylic, watercolor and shellac on photograph.

During the 80s Kiefer began reusing earlier self-portraits to create new works. Dressed in a crocheted gown, the artist presented himself as if asleep , but the broken flowers and grass cover his body as if he were dead and buried, the ultimate state of transformation.

The mixture of the photo and the crude painting on top fascinates me.

Aziluth, 2004 – painted photograph and collage on paper

Stunning- and guess how much I wanted to touch this piece. I just love the interplay of photo, collage and painting!

No touching of the one below:

Heavy Cloud, 1985 – Lead and shellac on photograph, mounted on cardboard

Kiefer has often used lead to represent something usually thought to be weightless. Here the title is a pun on “heavy Water” a synonym for radiation in nuclear reactors. Kiefer has pointed out that even though lead is used to “seal radiation” his Heavy Clout has “a radiation leak” symbolized by the yellow shellac streaks seeping form the bottom of the cloud in the direction of the bleak landscape.

Brünnhilde/Grane 1982/93 – Woodcut and acrylic on cut and pasted papers, mounted on canvas

Woodcut is a traditional medium in German art. Kiefer began to experiment with woodblock printing in the early 1970s and returned to it in the late 70s focusing on subjects related to German history and myth. Fo all theGermanic tradition evoked in his turn to the woodcut, his practice was nontraditional in his choice of a larger format and a visibly seamed composition. One of the artist favorite themes at this time was Grane, the sacred steed ridden by Brünnhilde, when she sacrificed herself on Siegfried’s funeral pyre at the close of Wagner’s opera Götterdämmerung.

The texture, the details, and then the size- just amazing!


His gigantic paintings are just breath taking- the texture – omg – I could sit in front of this forever. Unfortunately the hallway as the entrance to the exhibition where this was hung was so narrow that it was hard to take the painting in in total. Plus the museum was super crowded …even if not as crowded as in other galleries of the Met Breuer.

It was a very inspiring Art Stroll that let me think about more and different ways to integrate photos, collage and painting …printing …texture …all of it in my work. Hope you enjoyed the stroll as well :)

Comments (4)

  • Seth


    What? Wait? Kiefer is at the Met Breuer? Who knew? Oh yeah – Nat did. Will have to get there too see this. Thanks!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      LOL maybe I will ping you next time and we go together ;) It is a small but fine little exhibition – combine it with the MET to make the day worthwhile ;)


  • Kathryn Gallanis


    I too love Anselm Kiefer. Many years ago there was an exhibit of Kiefer’s large works at the Art Institute of Chicago. I was in awe of the scale and texture. There was hay and dirt in one of the works! I had never seen anything like it. The principle that art maybe isn’t supposed to last was also new to me. I went back several times and loved it. Thank you for the great visit.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      I agree- I love how he is working so much with the concept of transforming art! It must be such an liberating feeling to do art with that concept- I wish I was there yet :) Thank you for joining me on the stroll Kathryn!


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Not in this Century – Art Journal

“She knew the world was hers….She also knew not in this century”

My great-grandmother as a cut out image transfer. She was a city girl all her life hence the city background.

I layered my Grove Street Stamp in pink over the Circle Drive Stamp – – I like the outcome- I need to play a bit more with layering the different circle designs on top of each other and will make sure to share.

I masked her off with post its to stamp the buildings around her and I like the look of combining the bold Midtown Foam stamps with the finer building stamps with my rubber stamps.

Do you use vintage photos in your art journals?

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Love is in the Air – Art Journal Page

I was playing with some transfers and used the engagement photo of my great-aunt Margot and my great-uncle Hans. I love this photo.

She turned all pink layered over this ares :) All in all a bit too pink for me- so you can see I needed to grunge this all up a bit with some stamping but it was fun!

Love stamping with manufactured stamps but also with lids and other bits and pieces I find on my work bench to break it up a bit.

It was fun to try some different colors – and go crazy pink- LOL . Valentine’s Day is not a huge thing in Germany to be honest so the whole concept around this is kind of fascinating for me, but of course I do enjoy the wonderful flowers and gifts from my US-born husband ;)

Hope your day is filled with Love!

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread

Comments (2)

  • pam hansen




  • Sue Clarke


    Always nice to see Margot on a layout or art journal page.
    My favorite items to use on paint are lids from plastic jars I have at home.


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This Must Be the Place – Josefine Fouarge


Hello from my Creative Squad! Today Josefine Fouarge is showing us how just playing around can loosen up your creativity and yield some beautiful results. Her tag uses stamps from my My Home is My Castle set, including the Adirondack Chairs and Windows and Door stamps, along with our February theme: This Must Be the Place –We’re all on a journey to somewhere or something. Sometimes we’re just making preparations for simple things like dinner or weekend plans. Other times we’re aiming for bigger goals, bigger places. Whether it’s a location or a state of mind, you’ll know when you get there. Where are you headed?

Even small pieces of art can tell a big story. I love working on tags and playing with the smaller real estate. This one was the perfect size to create some dimension without it looking too busy.

Do you want to hear the story of this tag? Then read till the end ;)

I started with a mono printed background. I used a 5×7 Gel Press and added several colors of PaperArtsy paint on top. The second layer uses the same technique, but in a slightly different way. This time I used one of the Petite Gel Press plates and added the paint through Nat’s Kassel and the Hamburg stencils. First the round one and then again with a square plate. While I was at it, I created a few more backgrounds on sandwich paper, some of them which I used for this project later on.

So far, I was “just playing around”. That’s what I like about mono printing – you don’t need a goal. But here I started to see what I wanted my project to look like. I was envisioning a porch with other houses and a scenery in the background. I didn’t want to stamp actual houses, so I created the idea of them by stamping the Windows and Door from the My Home is My Castle set.

I needed something in the background though. After looking at all the houses and buildings from Nathalie’s stamp sets, I picked Lady Liberty. I stamped her with black ink and colored her lightly with Pitt pens in grey and green.

Then I cut out a few circles from the other backgrounds and stamped Nat’s Adirondack Chairs on two of them. I adhered both to the bottom of the tag and colored the chairs with Liquitex Paint pens.

I added some shadows around the chairs and the circles and scribbled a love poem from Shakespeare around the circles as well.

Now that I had my porch with the two Adirondack chairs I needed a sentiment. I imagined an old couple sitting on that porch, enjoying their lives together. They have seen everything they wanted and are now spending the rest of their days together, just the two of them. “This must be the place.” Yes, the Love sentiment was the perfect finishing touch.

Here is the finished project. Can you see them sitting there, smiling?

Thanks for stopping by. See you next month  :)

Thank you Josefine – your story made us feel very warm and fuzzy! Josefine used the following supplies in her project:

Play along with us too: 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“.

Follow our new Creative Squad page on Instagram @NatsCreativeSquad and see even more projects from our awesome team of artists!

Comments (7)

  • Seth


    Thanks for choosing my colors here Josefine. The tag looks mighty fine!


  • Maura


    Great tag and love the story you wove in to it Josefine! Maura


  • Clavell


    I love the ‘story’ you wove into this tag…very sweet and very clever!♥


    • Josefine Fouarge


      Thanks :) that’s what I imagined while creating the tag ;)


  • Sue Clarke


    LOVE these colors together Josefine!


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Splash of Color – Art Journaling Workshop in Oklahoma in April

Splash of Color at My Heart’s Fancy in Oklahoma

Join me for a 2 1/2 day Art Journaling Class with a big focus on technique and color.  This is a start-to-finish class where you will build a unique and colorful art journal from scratch and bind it all together in the end.  Starting with blank white paper, we will fill those pages using a variety of mixed media techniques including mono printing, image transfers, mixing stencils and stamps, collage and the creation of colorful backgrounds.  We will add vibrant splashes of color throughout using acrylic paints, markers, wax bars, watercolor and inks.  I will show you my favorite tips and tricks to finish up art journal pages and finally an easy way to bind your art journal together to complete the creation.  Embrace your personal style and let’s make a splash!

Friday, April 6th – Sunday, April 8th, 2018

Enroll HERE and join me for a weekend of creativity and FUN

Early Bird Price $300 if you enroll by February 15th, 2018!

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Art Stroll Edvard Munch at Met Breuer, NYC

We spend Super Bowl Sunday at the Met Breuer to see “Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed”. Munch  was a young boy when his mother died of tuberculosis; his beloved older sister, Sophie, succumbed to the same disease. He suffered from asthmatic bronchitis and other frequent illnesses, was haunted by depression, and drank and smoked too much. Even without knowing all this his paintings do tell the story.

Death in the Sick-Room, prob. 1893

“I paint not what I see, but what I saw,” Munch once said about his works.

Death Struggle, 1915

Model by the Wicker Chair, 1919 – 1921

Weeping Nude, 19413-14

Jealousy, ca. 1907, oil on canvas

In the doorway at the back of a green wallpapered room, a couple is seen in embrace. The man in the foreground with a whitened face appaears consumed with jealousy in response to the scene behind him. He is presumed to be the poet Stanislaw Przybyszewski and the woman in the background, his wife.



Despair, 1892


Despair, 1894

I loved seeing how in just one year his painting style of the same theme changed- look at the sky, the bridge!

On The Veranda Stairs, 1922 -1924

Veranda views and window views are a reoccurring theme as well .

Starry Night, 1893, oil on canvas

Starry Night, 1922 – 24, oil on canvas

this work belongs to a group of winter views from Munch’s veranda in Ekely. Light from the house creates shadows of the two figures who look out over the dark, snowy landscape.

By the way, both Starry Night paintings weren’t the only ones that left me thinking of Van Gogh, and when I did a little research I realized that wasn’t too far fetched.

“Researchers found, that van Gogh may never have been aware of the Norwegian artist, but that Munch was a great admirer of van Gogh’s work and often tried to emulate his approach.

Seen together, the works show that the artists took similar paths to developing their technical approaches to painting, and also indicate strong thematic affinities. It is also clear that each artist found his own distinct style.”

Sleepless Night, Self Portrait in Inner Turmoil, 1920

Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed” (1940-43).

Man with Bronchitis,1920

“Self Portrait With Bottles,” circa 1938.

By the Window, 1940

I liked this exhibition a lot. An emotional exhibition – you feel the pain conveyed by color and brushstrokes almost physically.

Thanks for joining me on this Art Stroll – I hope you enjoyed it. BTW- you can find all the past Art Strolls here.

Comments (2)

  • Yvonne B.


    We saw this exhibition in San Francisco last summer–it was fascinating. Loved his self portrait with bottles. Glad you got to enjoy it, too!


  • Sue Clarke


    Sleepless Night is my favorite.
    Having suffered from depression in the past, I can say that he has nailed it in his paintings.


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