Blog: Chicago

Go ahead, underestimate me! – sassy Art Journal Spread ;)

I thought it was funny :) And I love Lupita Nyong’o and I wanted to use her image from a magazine.

I used my new Chicago Stencil and sprayed over it with acrylic spray paint.

I used different markers to paint over the magazine image. When I applied the magazine image, it crinkled up a bit, which I add to “oops, oh – good now it has some wrinkles and texture- good”

I added the journaling with a red and pink marker and traced the outside of the letters in black. I like the page- even though it is a pretty simple one in terms of layering

Here are the supplies I used – some links are affiliate links:

Wishing you a gorgeous day!!!!

Comments (6)

  • Julie B


    Love this (and even better in person)……can’t wait for the stencil; love how clean the image from this stencil is with spray paint and the quote cracks me up. Thank you!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Thank you Julie! HA and now that you played with spray paint in my class…maybe you are on it yourself ;)


  • LauraB


    yaaaassss, Queen, yaaaaasssss!


  • Barb Charlotte, NC


    Very creative. Thanks for sharing.


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Dream a New Dream – Tina Walker

Happy first Tuesday of 2017! My Creative Squad is starting the New Year with a new theme and a fresh batch of inspiring projects. Today Tina Walker is sharing 2 uplifting art journal spreads using my Chicago Positive and Negative Foam Stamp set and this month’s theme: Dream a New Dream. Let’s start the New Year with a focus on all the possibilities of a fresh start.  What are your dreams for this year?  Whether it’s art-making, family, travel, or work related, January is a great time to dream about what the future could hold.

Hi! Tina Walker here today with my take on this month’s theme, ‘Dream a New Dream’. There is something about the freshness of each new year that kicks my mind into overdrive. I think of all of the possibilities, dreams, and wishes for the next 365 days and what I can/will accomplish. 2016 left us with uncertainty and sadness, so my dream for 2017 is for everyone to live a healthy, happy, and joyous year. May all your wishes and dreams come true and that you plant the seeds of kindness and hope for many years to come.

I created two art journal spreads that includes words to remember for 2017.

For spread #1, I used ‘Chicago’, positive/negative Art Foamies for a fun and colorful background. This is about as simple as it gets as a starting point. I alternated the color for more interest.

I hand-drew three body silhouettes and painted around the shapes so that they were highlighted on the page. Yes, I painted over the super cool background I stamped, but it’s all about layers. Layers make art journal pages special.

I painted each shape with white paint then added my journaling inside. Done! How’s that for quick?

For my second spread, I randomly painted blocks of color. Over the blocks of color, I painted 2 girls who would be the highlight of my page. I embellished the girls with a quick stamp of the ‘Chicago’ stamp. In addition, I wanted to ‘frame’ the girls and journaling, so I stenciled over the color blocks, using the ‘Crackle’ stencil. It adds the perfect punch of black.

Do you have creative dreams for 2017? If yes, I wish that all your dreams come true!

Thank you for taking time today to visit us today. See you next month.

Thank you Tina! I love the subtlety of the backgrounds she created and the figures! In addition to semigloss Art-C paints in Blue, Bright Red, Yellow, Lime, Orange, and Black, Tina used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:


Play along with us! 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Stepping Up The Game or … In my Art Journal Today


“Be the kind of girl that makes other girls step their game up”

I started this page in one of my classes with the middle pattern showing one of the Versailles Foam Stamps stamped with acrylic paint.


and then kept on going at home adding more patterns using the Buenos Aires Border Stamp and the Buenos Aires Tile Stamp on top.


On the bottom I used one of the Chicago Stamps. To finish it up I layered some acrylic ink on top which was mostly resisted by the stamped images. This is a good way to add some color to the background after you stamped.


But it looked also very good without the colored backgrounds – next time I guess *wink.

Here are some of the supplies I used for this journal spread – some links are affiliate links:


Hope you are having a wonderful day

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Inspired by Chicago Architecture


As you might know, a couple of weeks ago, I meet some dear old friends in Chicago and we had a fun weekend. One of the repeated recommendations to do in Chicago had been the Architecture River Cruise and since this is one of the few “touristy” things that even my friend A. who lives in Chicago loves – we were in!


It was pretty pretty awesome! I am interested in architecture but there is a lot of mid century and more modern building where I am a bit at loss as to the initial appeal. Hearing a lot of background motivations and ideas for buildings was a total eyeopener. It started with this building which was in my “love it without much explanation” range. The Wrigley Building built in 1924 shining in it’s white terra cotta facade inspired by Seville’s Cathedral.


333 West Wacker built in 1983 – I love the reflection and the fact that the curved facade is mimicking the curve of the river as well as it’s color. That I can see and it made me kind of like it more :)



Chicago Avenue Bridge Tender House- can I have my art studio in there? Love this!!!


One of the many draw bridges


Lake Point Tower – 1968 – by John Heinrich and George Schipporeit, two students of Mies van der Rohe. It looks elegant with it’s curves. It probably has the most stunning views in all directions -but I still wouldn’t wanna live there, I think.


Marina City 1967 – by Goldberg (another Mies van der Rohe student) who believed since no right angles exist in nature, none should exist in architecture. I looked at some floor plans of those corncobs and found them super intriguing. Think living in flower petals.


Finished in the 80s is this River City building also by Goldberg. While I found the windows fascinating and they reminded me of some Gaudi buildings in Barcelona – this one looked like a nightmare to live in especially upon coming closer with the boat. I don’t know – but the shapes – intriguing again and inspiring.


Gorgeous reflection – I would love to paint this!


And more gorgeous reflections- the reflection that changes everyday is making the building interesting for me.


This was actually the view from our hotel room.


After the river tour we walked to The Rookery 1888/1907  – Frank Lloyd Wright – which was unfortunately closed already -but boy did I love all the details on the facade. It contains decorative elements reminiscent of late Roman, Venetian, Moorish and medieval-European architecture




I see border stamps ….


This building is the Chicago Board of Trade – 1930 – a breathtaking art deco building which makes me think of old Chicago Gangster Movies and Gotham City :)


My favorite door – can I take this home, please?




And the famous Chicago Theatre built in 1921.

All in all I felt pretty inspired by the architecture of Chicago – the shapes, patterns, reflections and I am sure some of them will move into future artwork :) Time to get into the studio. I hope you enjoyed the little tour. Have a gorgeous day!



My friend Julie Fei Fan Balzer and her Mom and I had a conversation about

At the Museum With a Friend

tune in and listen to the podcast –

I hope you enjoy it. Do you like going to a museum with a friend?

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Art Stroll: The Art Institute of Chicago


Disclaimer: This post includes artwork with abstract or not so abstract nudity – it is not called Sodom and Gomorrah – it is called ART . If you have a problem with art, all I can say ” so sorry for you!” . Don’t email me to complain, don’t visit my blog anymore because I might post things like this again and, farewell!

A couple of weeks ago I met two of my old friends in Chicago for a girl’s weekend. It was wonderful and a long due time together. And not only did I get to spend time with good friends …we also sneaked an Art Stroll in and went to the Art Institute of Chicago. I had visited the Art Institute a couple years ago but somehow forgot that the museum is mooohasive. So here is just a couple of the things that I was able to see and that caught my eyes :)


Roy Lichtenstein, George Washington- 1962 – an early Lichtenstein  – I love seeing how he developed from there.


Jasper Johns, Numbers – 2005 – the texture makes me swoon – and I love that Jasper Johns repeated his known design in white bronze. He says “I like to repeat an image in another medium to observe the play between the two”


Another Jasper Johns – False Start – 1959 – which I have only seen in books so far – stunning!


Joan Miró, The Kerosine Lamp – 1924 – love the lines and the little clues and marks


This Miró – Two Personages in Love with a Woman – 1936 – made me smile !


And another Miró – Portrait of Juanita Obrador – 1918 – all three paintings not in chronological order here- are so different and it is interesting to see how Miró changed his style throughout the years.


Ohhh Jean Dubuffet – you make me happy! It is as if his visual idea of “Supervielle, Large Banner Portrait” – 1945 – was processed through his body and then came unrefined through his hands onto this canvas !


Georges Braque, Ajax – 1949-1954 – I love the int of color, the line work and the figure. It is a painting I would have not associated with him.


I am always excited when I see a Max Ernst Painting- his texture work is just unreal ! This appears 3 dimensional but is all painted – The Blue Forest , 1925.


And this painting by Max Ernst made me smile  – well more the title actually – Human Figure with Two Birds – 1925 and 1929 .


Max Beckmann – Self Portrait – 1937 – I am always fascinated by Max Beckmann’s hands.


Pablo Picasso – The Red Armchair – 1931 – Love the colors and it totally reminded me of his “Girl before a Mirror” painting at MoMA – alas – no wonder – it is the same mistress Marie Therese in both paintings.

I also took a peak at the Hiratsuka Un’ichi Print Exhibition


Girl with Calico Patterned Background -1948 – Woodblock Print. The details-the patterns – swoon!


Angel Dreaming Room – 1971 – Woodblock Print.


Kingfisher – 1928 – Woodcut Print


I did not take note of the name of this one -but I love it so much – I had to include it.


Mount Aso in Kyushu, 1935 – Color woodblock print – amazing – look a the cloud- it has texture and all those different colors – beautiful!

That was it from the Art Institute in Chicago Art Stroll. I really enjoyed being there – I saw so much more but it was such an overload – I hope to come back soon and revisit some areas more leisurely. Hope you enjoyed the stroll! More coming soon :)

Comments (4)

  • Barb J


    Thanks for sharing these priceless pieces of art.


  • Gayle


    I absolutely love your disclaimer!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      :) Thanks Gayle- unfortunately it has become necessary due to emails or comments regarding showing art containing nudity or swear words


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