Blog: Challenge

ArtCollab – Episode 2 – Challenge Accepted

Our latest episode was such a fun time with my friend Sarah Matthews. We were talking about the topic of challenges and it was great to have the live audience along to ask questions and chime in with their experiences as well. Watch the recording:

ArtCollab – Episode 2 – In this live zoomcast we discuss why we do challenges, how to have fun with them (and not stress), and all the benefits we get out of them as artists. We share our latest collaboration – the April ArtFoamies Challenge (as we are both ArtFoamies stamp designers) that we put together for the month of April. We show you our artwork so far, explain some of our creative choices and the other challenges we encountered along the way, we talk about why we wanted to collaborate on a challenge in the first place, and why you don’t need a reason to create.

We also chat about thrifting, our love for vintage items, the enjoyment we get out of our artistic journey, and at the end we surprise each other with boxes we sent each other for the next ArtCollab ZoomCast.

Follow the April ArtFoamies Challenge on Nat’s Instagram and Sarah’s Instagram

Sign up for my Newsletter for info on the next episode – New episodes are LIVE so we hope you tune in :)

You can find info and watch past episodes of ArtCollab in the Community section of my website HERE.

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 13 & 14

We’re on Day 13 and Day 14 of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today! You can follow along on my Instagram feed daily with videos and photos, and I will post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. 

Day 13 – Fun – I decided to go to town, well literally LOL, using my Midtown and Midtown Mini foam stamp sets and just layering those babies up. I miss going to the city – it is only a 15 min subway ride for me to Manhattan – and after over a year of not really going there I could use some fun in the city. Soon – I am hopeful – and meanwhile… I am having fun in my ledger.

 

Here is a look at Day 13:

 

And the April 14 – Wow – As in “wow” lady you cannot stamp straight LOL- but oh well – that is what you get when you do not want to stick your grey hair under the camera …On another note it really wows me how repetition in color and stamps works …all the time – I like this pattern and on the ledger a lot. I used my Triple Play set and Santa Fe foam stamps.

 

Here is a look at Day 14:

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Everyone approaches Challenges differently. This ArtFoamies Challenge that Sarah Matthews and I came up with has had me thinking about how I want to approach it. In the past my Foam Stamplifier Challenge #foamstamplifierchallenge I used all kinds of different media, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. I also thought about how Sarah usually uses ArtFoamies with ink pads, while I use acrylic paints and the first parameter became clear: I will only use ink pads for the challenge. The other challenge is that I purchased an old ledger journal and I want to turn it into a pattern book. I usually make my own pattern books by binding loose printed papers into a book. This method has the advantage that if a print doesn’t turn out too great it can be discarded. By printing directly into this 125 year old ledger I have no out. So using my foam stamp designs to create patterns into a ledger book with ink pads is my challenge for this month.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Play along with us and our daily prompts:

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 12

We’re on Day 12 of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today! You can follow along on my Instagram feed daily with videos and photos, and I will post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. 

Day 12 and our prompt is Brilliant – Sparkly sparkly- well one of the stamps from this Mini Hex Set is called Diamond Hex – can you guess which one? Again it was a bit of a toughy to use the inks on those totally acrylic paint caked up foam stamps. I can’t stress enough how important it is to clean your foam stamps. Mine are used for years in classes so they show you exactly why if you want to use them with other paint media as well, you should really clean them after use. I could have cheated and opened a new package… but I am a frugal person… and I am not that brilliant ;)

 

Here is a look at that page too:

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 10 & 11

We’re recapping Day 10 and Day 11 of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today! You can follow along on my Instagram daily with videos and photos, and I will post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. 

April 10: Postcard – My Signals stamp reminds me of a morse code like pattern, and just screamed to be used for this prompt – I mean after all a postcard is a signal …of love, of hey I am here. And it made me also think that at the time of the ledger so many postcards were sent out. I love old postcards. Anyway I used three different colors to layer up the stamp to make a nice textured pattern background and I really like it. This one def wants to be used in an art journal and then used with something else. That is why I also love making pattern books: they are a great way to have a reference if you want a jumping off point for an art journal spread or design.

 

Here is a look at the April 10 page:

 

And then April 11: Lovely – I thought a kind of abstract Batik xoxo pattern would be great for this theme. So I used my Batik 1 in large and my Batik 2 in small for this pattern, layering up the Batik 1 on top of 2 – I mean you cannot have enough hugs and kisses, no? So here is my lovely pattern for you my friends- hugs and kisses!

 

Here is a look at the April 11 page:

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Everyone approaches Challenges differently. This ArtFoamies Challenge that Sarah Matthews and I came up with has had me thinking about how I want to approach it. In the past my Foam Stamplifier Challenge #foamstamplifierchallenge I used all kinds of different media, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. I also thought about how Sarah usually uses ArtFoamies with ink pads, while I use acrylic paints and the first parameter became clear: I will only use ink pads for the challenge. The other challenge is that I purchased an old ledger journal and I want to turn it into a pattern book. I usually make my own pattern books by binding loose printed papers into a book. This method has the advantage that if a print doesn’t turn out too great it can be discarded. By printing directly into this 125 year old ledger I have no out. So using my foam stamp designs to create patterns into a ledger book with ink pads is my challenge for this month.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 08 & 09

We’re recapping Day 08 and Day 09 of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today! You can follow along on my Instagram daily with videos and photos, and I will post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. 

April 8: Antique – Having two foam stamps that are already called Antique- the big one Antique Tile and the small one as a part of the Mini Tile stamp set I knew I had to use those and layer them up. I also sneaked a rubber stamp in again – from my Fan-fare set – because the design made sense here and I used a pinkish red that went with the red print from the Ledger already. A pretty modern antique print, no?

Here is a look at the April 08 page:

 

And then April 09: Bubble – The Van Vorst Fan positive and negative stamps kind of remind me of little bubbles when stamped in a pattern like this. I should have poked my head under the camera so that I actually evenly spaced my stamping – but there is a lot of vanity right now not to put my roots under the camera LOL. It still turned out well and I dig the teal with the brown ink. The empty space with the ledger background makes up it’s own element – definitely a plus.

Here is a look at the April 09 page:

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Everyone approaches Challenges differently. This ArtFoamies Challenge that Sarah Matthews and I came up with has had me thinking about how I want to approach it. In the past my Foam Stamplifier Challenge #foamstamplifierchallenge I used all kinds of different media, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. I also thought about how Sarah usually uses ArtFoamies with ink pads, while I use acrylic paints and the first parameter became clear: I will only use ink pads for the challenge. The other challenge is that I purchased an old ledger journal and I want to turn it into a pattern book. I usually make my own pattern books by binding loose printed papers into a book. This method has the advantage that if a print doesn’t turn out too great it can be discarded. By printing directly into this 125 year old ledger I have no out. So using my foam stamp designs to create patterns into a ledger book with ink pads is my challenge for this month.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 05, 06, 07

We’re recapping Day 05, 06, and 07 of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today! You can follow along on my Instagram daily with videos and photos, and I will post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. 

Let’s get started!

April 5: Peace – Flowers always give me peace and this stamp with its tulips is called Amsterdam – very fitting no? This stamp called to be inked up with two different colors alternating and while it was a fast and quick spread, it was fun and a good reminder to do this more often, the ink pads give a good chance to do a multicolor print quick.

 

Here is a look at the April 05 page:

 

April 06: Hydrate – I used my Weave stamp because the pattern looks a bit like waves and as Sarah and I are meeting today to talk about Challenges and also about this Challenge I thought I should rock it out and do it like Sarah the Queen of Layers does. Oh boy …it worked well until I added the third color, crooked, not inked up well. What was I thinking? But then I kept going and I like part of it. I learned my lesson and I apologized to my ledger. So I am keeping up, the ledger is 125 years old, no way I am stopping now in this book.

 

Here is a look at the April 06 page:

 

April 07: Repeat – Definitely repeating what I know with my Versailles positive and negative stamp. I love the faint stamping on the ledger as it lets the ledger peek out more but to be honest it is a good reminder for everyone that you should absolutely clean your foam stamps – especially when you use them with acrylic paint. If you do not they harden up with a thin layer of plastic – acrylic paint is essentially plastic – on top and it makes it hard with a non absorbent slick surface to use other paint media for example ink pads. So while in my workshops it is sometimes just not possible to have every student scrub their foam stamps, I really urge you to do this with the ones you purchase …unless you want to repeat your purchase with me ;) which I wouldn’t mind but I’d rather have you happy :)

 

Here is a look at the April 07 page:

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 03 & 04

We’re recapping Day 03 and Day 04 of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today! You can follow along on my Instagram daily with videos and photos, and I will post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. 

April 3: Jump – Still timid in my ledger but getting used to the thought of printing right into it -using my Buenos Aires and Mini Toledo stamp both inspired by traveling to those cities (Toledo Spain) I thought having the tilted stamp in the end adds the jump effect. Hey a challenge is a prompt …I do not have to make this literally jumpy!

Here is a look at the April 03 page:

And then April 04: Inspired – The Triple Play stamp is actually a stamp created by my friends Birgit Koopsen, Marsha Valk and me specifically for our Beyond the Paper workshop which starts today. You can sign up any time but it is on Sale right now- so if you want a good deal and get inspired …come and check it out. The stamp is so inspiring to me because it contains designs by my friends and mixing the designs or using each by itself is really a lot of fun. Inspiration is often time found in playing with other people! 

And a look at April 04:

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Everyone approaches Challenges differently. This ArtFoamies Challenge that Sarah Matthews and I came up with has had me thinking about how I want to approach it. In the past my Foam Stamplifier Challenge #foamstamplifierchallenge I used all kinds of different media, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. I also thought about how Sarah usually uses ArtFoamies with ink pads, while I use acrylic paints and the first parameter became clear: I will only use ink pads for the challenge. The other challenge is that I purchased an old ledger journal and I want to turn it into a pattern book. I usually make my own pattern books by binding loose printed papers into a book. This method has the advantage that if a print doesn’t turn out too great it can be discarded. By printing directly into this 125 year old ledger I have no out. So using my foam stamp designs to create patterns into a ledger book with ink pads is my challenge for this month.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Leave a comment

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 24 – Challenges

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at different Challenges I’ve created. On April 1st I started Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge so I hope you check that out on Instagram and here on the blog too throughout April, but that’s not the only challenge I’ve ever dreamed up. Read on for more!

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


Deck of Cards Challenge – In November 2019 I created a challenge to explore 30 different card making ideas. I focused on different themes: Holiday, Thank You, Just Because etc. and also different design motifs like patterns, lines, shapes and others. I made enough to have a Deck of Cards, ready to go to whenever I needed to reach out to someone with a little note. You can see the posts here on the blog.

 

Stencilbop Challenge – In August 2019 I came up with a challenge to really push the way I thought about using my stencils. Different paint and markers and pens of course but I also went in some new directions like woodburning and even an ice cream cake! You can check that out here on the website.

 

Foam Stamplifier Challenge – In March 2019 it was all about foam stamps and 31 ways to use those. I’m really passionate about my ArtFoamies stamp designs and as they are a relatively new type of product, I thought it would be fun to figure out different ways to use them in my artmaking and art journaling. See what I came up with here on the website.

 

Nat’s April Patterns – In April 2019 I created a book full of patterns using my rubber stamps. I didn’t use prompts, but each day I created a new pattern for the book and then in the end I posted a flip through video too. Check out all those April Patterns here.

Challenges are the perfect fix if you need some inspiration or new ideas. I hope this Look Back inspired you and I hope you join us for Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge #artcollabchallengeaccepted

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ArtCollab – Next Monthly Zoomcast with Sarah Matthews

Join us for the next ArtCollab LIVE zoomcast with artists Nathalie Kalbach and Sarah Matthews on Tuesday, April 6 at 12noon EDT (NYC time). Register to attend. 

ArtCollab Episode 2: Challenge Accepted – In this second episode we will focus our conversation on the topic of challenges.

Tune in for the live zoomcast as we discuss why we do challenges and all the benefits we get out of them as artists. We’ll share our latest collaboration – our April ArtFoamies Challenge that we designed and are each participating in for the month of April. We’ll show you our artwork so far, explain some of our creative choices, and talk about why we wanted to collaborate on a challenge in the first place.

We would love to have you collaborate with us too with questions or by adding to our conversation – register here to attend. If you cannot make the live event, a recording will be available for viewing HERE afterwards.

ArtCollab is a monthly zoomcast with the two of us: Sarah Matthews and Nathalie Kalbach (and occasionally other special guests too). Each episode we get together, collaborate on all sorts of unique artsy projects, share our process and offer updates and sneak peeks along the way, and of course we chat about all stuff art-related (and topics that go way beyond that too). ArtCollab is a real life look into the process of creating, collaborating, and the ins and outs of living an artistic life that is touched by others.

New ArtCollab zoomcasts will be live and happen every first Tuesday of the month. Sign up for my newsletter HERE or Sarah’s newsletter HERE to get all the details for upcoming zoomcasts.

Join in for an entertaining and inspiring interlude into the world of two artists who are working together in conversation and practice!

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