Blog: Argentina

La Boca – Painting

This painting which is also part of my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media was inspired by the neighborhood of La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The instant I saw all those colorful houses, I knew I had to paint them some day.

This painting is 9″x12″ and I used acrylic paint, acrylic ink, marker, charcoal, and  collage elements on canvas.

I loved Argentina, it was such an inspiring trip – I would love to go back some day and discover a bit more of this huge country.

Wishing you a wonderful and colorful day!

Comments (4)

  • Karen Bearse


    Ok so I really love this piece! Love how bright the colors look creatin contrast and movement. Love the charcoal. Especially love the bench! I dont know why but it is perfect!! Great job!!!


  • Denise Spillane


    Oh Natalie I live this. Your work is so wonderful. Love your style


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Art Stroll: Malba – The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires

Art Stroll Malba Collage

It’s been a couple months after coming back from Buenos Aires, but I still would love to show you one the highlights of my trip, which was my Art Stroll through Malba the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires.

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The Malba is actually a really funky building…and someone laid an egg in the basement too ;) It is a beautiful museum – the permanent collection is small but wonderful – the running exhibitions were amazing, but are not part of this post. Let’s stroll through the permanent collection:

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Emilio Pettoruti, La cancion del Pueblo (The Song of the People), 1927 – Oil on wood

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I love this one – it reminds me a lot of Picasso’s Three Musicians which is from 1921- and I wonder if he saw Picasso’s painting while he was in Europe. I love the patterns and the colors -it makes me want to create my own version :)

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Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Calle de Nueva York (Street of New York) , 1920

MoMA has an exhibition with Torres-Garcia right now- which I will post about later – but I was happy to see more of his work after seeing these pieces in Buenos Aires.

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Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Compositon symetrique universelle en blanc et noir (Universal Symmetric Composition in Black and White), 1931

Isn’t this gorgeous? I love it – and it would be so much fun to do an art journal page in this style.

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Luis Ortiz Monasterio, El espiritu de la rey, 1933 – this bronze sculpture reminds me a bit of Fernand Leger’s Paintings –  I love it!


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Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Monkey and Parrot, 1942

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Maria Martins, O Impossivel (The Impossible9, 1945 “It is nearly impossible to make people understand each other,”

I found this one a bit disturbing and yes aggressive but also faszinating and for some reason it made me think of Magritte’s “The Lovers” – just evoking different feelings.

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Antonio Berni, Manifestacion (Public Demonstration), 1934 – Egg Tempera on Burlap

In the thirties art and politics were often a topic by artists. Artists engaged in collective work, political activism and debates. Images of rural and urban workers, as well as figures protesting or engaged in traditional celebrations, began to appear in often monumental pictorial works. The artwork made use of materials that gave artistic expression a social  dimension. Burlap from a potato sack or tempera paint of the sort used murals were often chosen by politicized artist.

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Maria Freire, Sudamerica N10, 1958

I love those polygonal forms – pretty amazing pattern.

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Lidy Prati, Serial Composition, 1948 (1946)

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Franz Krajcberg, Sin Titulo (Untitled), 1961 – burnt colored paper pulp on canvas

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I could not stop looking at this- I wanted to touch it..but I didn’t ;) – the texture – swoon!!!

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Kenneth Kemble, Suburban Landscape in Memoriam B.N., 1958  – Rusty metal sheet, oil and misc. on hardboard.

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I loved seeing all the artwork with supplies that were around and on hand.

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Luis Felipe Noe, Dos mujeres (Two Women) 1963 – Oil and Collage on Canvas


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Jorge De La Vega, Pruebe de nuevo (Try Again), 1963 – Oil, paper, glued fabric, and glass on canvas

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this is a rub off from the face on the right – so fascinating.

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Jorge De La Vega, El dia ilustrisimo (The Illustrious Day), 1965 – Oil, glued canvases, frottage with charcoal on cut-out canvas, synthetic plaster, jewelry, mirrors, glass and plastic on canvas.

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Nicolas Garcia Uriburu, Pastel on 4 Photographs, 1970

Beautiful Photo Alteration – I love to alter photos and of course the urban theme is dear to my heart.

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And now- I had to include this although it wasn’t in the permanent collection. Hello giant rubber stamp!!!!!

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Eduardo Navarro, The Mechanics of  the Alphabet, 2015

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It was a great museums visit- and if you ever go to Buenos Aires, definitely put Malba on your list.

What caught my attention was that there was actually quite some artwork by women- making it yet the more prominent how very few women are present in a lot of Museums throughout the world- naming MoMA for example – and it is not as if women in the 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s of the last century didn’t do wonderful and unique artwork.

The other fact that caught my eye was the variety of supplies that were used – my Mixed Media heart was beating a couple beats faster …in a happy way.

I hope you enjoyed this little art stroll! Which of the pieces I showed did you find most inspiring?

Comments (8)

  • Laura


    Love it Nat, thanks for sharing!


  • Susan Schultheis


    Wow, what fantastic art!! Thank you for sharing your visit to the museum. Since I wll probably never get there, this is the next best thing. I truly enjoyed.


  • Angie Winkler


    Hey Nat- thank you for sharing!!! I loved so many styles you captured, but Emilio Pettoruti’s was fab to me today! (I also thought of Picasso due to CJS16!!! -I am still in progress – maybe done when I see you in a few weeks!?!????) Buenos Aires is on my list of destinations now!


    • nathalie-kalbach


      Yeah that one is amazing, isn’t it? I cannot wait to see you in Oklahoma, it is going to be super fun!!!


  • cheryltoo


    Hi Nat,
    Thank you for this. I am so loving the two pieces by Joaquin Torres-Garcia. I want to do one for my city Toronto.
    Thanks again,


    • nathalie-kalbach


      that sounds wonderful cheryl – I hope you share when you are done!


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Inspired by… The La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires


It might sound weird to have a title that indicates that one was inspired by a cemetery, but if you have ever been to La Recoleta Cemetery, a serene and peaceful, as well as beautiful resting place in the middle of a hustling and bustling city of Buenos Aires, I think you agree with me. I was intrigued by the beauty of the mausoleums, the decay, the symbols, the shapes and forms, the doors, the signs, the light, the flowers at places you would not expect flowers, the texture and more.






















Overall all those details and unique resting places showed a deep love and appreciation for those that were lost and that was the most beautiful and inspiring thing about this place. I hope you liked this little- if a bit unusal – stroll through a cemetery.


How about a lively reminder to do something fun and creative for yourself in the upcoming year?


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have a wonderful day


Comments (5)

  • William Charlebois


    I’ve never seen a cemetery that was so full of mausoleums. They really are beautiful!


  • Joi@RR


    Totally Awed… what incredible photos you took Nat. Of course me fav is the lock with the webs on it – WOW – that photo should win a prize. Loved the green door but hey – it was all just sooooo incredible to see. Hubby loved it too…. what a treat. Thank you. j.


  • Jane LaFazio


    What an amazing place! It look huge! And beautiful. Great pics, Nat.


  • Sue Clarke


    Loved this stroll. The woman and the dog are very touching to me.
    I must say that the “snake”-like creature with the “spirit”-person coming out of its mouth is something that I need to look at more and try to figure out.
    As always, thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas Nat!


    • nathalie-kalbach


      Sue, I loved the woman and the dog one too. She apparently got killed in an avalanche while in Switzerland and then when her dog died,he was buried next to her and they put up the statue. As for the snake like creature-I have no idea what the meaning of it is- but I am intrigued. Have a merry christmas too my friend!


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Inspired by Street Art in Buenos Aires


One of my most favorite things about Buenos Aires was the sheer amount of Street Art EVERYWHERE. It was heaven for a street art fan like me. Street Art in Buenos Aires is mostly tolerated and accepted by the public because of a long tradition of self expression. A lot of house owners give street artists permission to use their houses as canvases. Street art is seen and received as art for the community. We took a really good tour by Graffiti Mundo explaining a lot of the artwork and some meaning behind it and saw lot’s of great street art on the tour but also on our own.


Teta y Salta is a mural created by the artist Franco Fasoli “Jaz” Franco , honoring two kids that were killed by the police in that neighborhood. Jaz studied scenography at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and works in blended mediums of latex paint, tar and gasoline, as well as in acrylic, aerosol and paper collage. Teta y Salta uses tar – which I thought to be amazing – it puts the street into street art ;) .


I love the background on this one- it was huge.



I love all the colors and patterns below- so much movement in it!


This one is a collaboration between Georgina Ciotti and  Sordi. Love the illustrations.



Unfortunately I forgot to jot down the names of the two artists here -one artist from Berlin depicting the Berlin Bear and some other iconic signs for Berlin


and the other from Argentina doing the same.


The next mural was just amazing – you start with looking at the details



and then take in the whole picture- sooo cool!


The one below is again by Jaz  and shows rivaling hooligans fighting each other- beast and mean.


Below is a mural by Pum Pum – another female artist- yeah


I do not know who did the background of this one below- which I sooo love- I want to do something similar in my art journal. But the cycling giraffes on top are by Stencil Land- a group of 6 artists.


I love the really elaborate lettering style of Nerf. He paints this free hand – no masking tape or else- INSANE


I liked this little dude!


and a hidden gem


And I recognized the one on the right right away as a piece by pixelpancho who also did a mural here in Jersey City (wah- I never posted it! – will do soon).


I love the bear with all the different colors so much :) Another thing that I would love to practice in my art journal.


this made me laugh


as well as this:


Did I mention street art everywhere?




And last but not least this one by Fintan Magee who did a mural in Jersey City as well.


Can you tell I loved it! There was so much more … ! I felt on an inspiration-high after walking through the streets. I hope you enjoyed these photos – you think that was all from Buenos Aires? Nope I take you to the next beautiful cemetery I have ever been to (yes sounds morbid- but I promise it was beautiful!).

Have a gorgeous creative day



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Comments (6)

  • William Charlebois


    I love street art! I wish every city could be full of art. Where I live, you get arrested if you are caught painting on a building. Oh well. Your photos are wonderful!


  • Joi@RR


    Just can’t imagine seeing this in person because it is sooo incredibly wonderful to see right here online that it must be mind boggling there. Wow. Nat – sure hope you can take some of these ideas and put your own spin on them for some stamps/stencils!!! Some of these look totally your style. WHAT a trip you had! Soooo happy happy happy to see these incredible photos…. thank you so much. j.


  • Sue Clarke


    What a wonderful post Nat. I can only imagine what kind of ladders and such are needed to create those HUGE murals and drawings.
    Sadly, I will not be joining CJS 2016 as I never made it through all the videos for CJS 2015. I know that it will be another awesome January of inspiration! I continue to enjoy your posts with special interest in your neighborhood walks that you share. Happy Holidays!


    • nathalie-kalbach


      Glad you liked it Sue! They do use those little crane waggons – I forgot what they are called in English – it is like a crane that has a basket and you can stand in it and control it yourself to get high up and paint. It is pretty amazing. No worries about CJS – I know your life is busy- but if you can still join during next year if you change your mind :) happy holidays to you too! Nat


  • Linda on the Prairie


    I think I need a trip to Buenos Aires if I can’t make it to your studio!


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Inspired by Buenos Aires, Argentina


About a week ago I came back from a wonderful trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. My husband had to work there and decided to take me with him for a short holiday over Thanksgiving. He is the best!!!


The flight itself was long – with a change in Houston we traveled almost 24 hours – but on the plus side – there is only  a two hour difference to the East Coast at this time of the year, so the jet lag wasn’t as bad as going to Europe. I fell instantly in Love with the City!


Right now it is summer in Argentina – and the city is not only amazingly green …it is also purple as this tree, which I just learned from my friend Jane, is called Jacaranda Tree. And the one day it rained, the purple reflected on the streets ….did I say magical yet?


I think “shabby chic” was the word I used most often while describing what I saw :) The city is full of beautiful but also decayed buildings and a huge amount of street art – which I will dedicate a whole extra blog post to (oh yeah- you thought you would be spared of this, didn’t you ? ;) )


A former student of mine, Ceci and her husband Javier, were so wonderful to spent a day with us and show us around. It was so much fun! One of our stops was La Boca, a neighborhood in Buenos Aires. There are a couple of streets in the neighborhood that are well known for their colorful houses .


I totally enjoyed – the colors – loooveee! And of course the Argentines are very proud of their pope.


To not make this sound too romantic …this neighborhood is a very poor neighborhood and while there a two streets that are very touristy – which are the streets you should stick to on foot, it is pretty obvious that the colors and materials are not necessarily used as an artistic choice but rather to beautify what they have.


Nonetheless my heart rate went a bit up upon those sights and I was craving a sketchbook!



“Republica” La Boca is also very famous for it’s soccer team – to name only one famous player coming out of there: Diego Maradona.


Javier is a fan of the rivaling team …so he wasn’t very comfortable in the area- LOL


And of course what would be Argentina without Tango music and dance? Every time we took a cab with an older taxista, he had Tango playing …LOVE


And here are Ceci and Javier! Thank you two so much for a wonderful day! You are amazing and I am happy for our friendship!


I loved those floral paintings called Fileteado that you could spot on signs, or walls or busses all over the city.




Now ….may I ask all vegetarians to skip this picture? This country is definitely a heaven for the Steak lover. As my husband puts it after a very popular German book “Meat is my vegetable” . I enjoyed it a lot, but I am also on a meat diet since back :)


On Thursday we spent a couple hours downtown. This is the famous Casa Rosada, well …the back of it, which is most famous outside of Argentina, I guess, because of Eva Peron.


We went to the Plaza de Mayo at around 3.30 pm , not being aware that every Thursday  around that time the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Disappeared march there. During the dictatorship in the 70s an estimate of 30,000 activists, students and journalists were “made to disappear” by the regime and the mothers of those children started marching in silent protest with the pictures of their children in front of the Casa Rosada every Thursday. I had just recently read and watched a documentary by the New York Times about the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and I was very very touched by this, it is very emotional. I recommend to watch it, but be aware it might make you cry as well!


And even though this picture is a bit dark …can you count the lines of cars? I counted 13 lines while trying to get over the street before the light turned red – no island in the middle – just saying – and this is just in one direction. So believe me, when I say the streets in Buenos Aires are wide …although this one was by far the widest, I have seen :)


And how about Thanksgiving? We spent Thanksgiving with loads of friends from the States and from Argentina and managed to create a decent ….kind of ….Thanksgiving dinner for our argentine friends …instead of Turkey we had 3 pre-roasted chicken, the stuffing had a little south-american twist, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies (yeah for pie filling cans ;) ) as well as cornbread. There was a lot of singing , guitar playing and eating …and as you see even a little sign for everyone to add their thankful thoughts too. A Thanksgiving that I won’t forget- it was amazing!!!


There is more coming …but I think you need a little break :) Have a gorgeous day my friends – hope the pictures did inspire you a little bit!

Comments (6)

  • William Charlebois


    I love the colorful buildings! The buildings here in Michigan are boring!


  • joi


    Oh no – SPARE ME NOTHING… want to see it all Nat! This was a wonderful post. Wow. Only you could describe a place by saying – green and purple!!!! Love it!!! The fileteado flowers look like YOU – makes me think of your stamps. Good idea for your next stamp set???!!!!!!! :) As I was looking at the colorful buildings, I thought how much I would love to live in a neighborhood where everyone just painted their homes any way they wanted to with all sorts of decor railings, shutters, and graffiti. I love bright and bold so I would be a happy camper in such a neighborhood. When I was a little girl – our house was bright pink!!!! What a fabulous way to spend Thanksgiving. I loved seeing your list at the end… you are right – that will be a valued memory forever. j


  • Teresa


    How beautiful to see my country through your eyes! Thank you for sharing that! I will be pending when you post more!
    I’ll Wanderlust as a student in 2016, so I will learn from you!


  • Barb J


    Thanks for sharing this interesting and colorful city with your readers.
    I envy all the fantastic places you get to visit. You are so lucky to be able to travel with your career and when you husband goes on business trips.
    Enjoy the Christmas holiday.


  • Arlene Baker


    Hi, Nathalie. My boyfriend of 17 years and counting , took me to Argentina for 3 months a few years ago (aren’t I a lucky one!). We spent 1-1/2 mos in Buenos Aires. If you should ever go back, here are a few additional things to entice you:
    Xul Solar (a little jewel of a museum dedicated to Xul Solar’s art, Laprida 1212, );
    an unbelievable pastry shop–I believe it’s called La Burdalesa, Av. Santa Fe and Fray Justo Sta. Maria de Oro; Museo del Patrimonio, Riobamba 750 – 1 Piso;
    our favorite restaurant (we went there six times, I think), Eh! Santino, Baez 194–try the lomo panceta and the seafood pasta (might have to ask the owner to make you this one–it’s not always on the menu).;
    Los 36 Billares, Av. de Mayo 1271–a small, local (no tourists) tango bar with great food and a pool hall in the back that’s just for men (no women allowed).
    Eh! Santino isn’t getting rave reviews right now (my boyfriend just checked), so it may have changed since we were there, but the area has many great restaurants.
    I would go back to Buenos Aires any time!


  • Karen D


    Great pics Nathalie, Buenos Aires looks like a very interesting, and colourful city. I loved seeing all the art work on the buildings.


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