Stroll Through The Hood

Stroll Through the Hood – September 2022

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Lots of House pictures this month – as we are still working on a lot of stuff. Here is the bathroom floor – pretty much the only nice thing about our main bathroom which is a Frankenstein of DIY throughout the decades …and believe me…it is not good and not shown are the holes in the floor that I patched temporarily. I love the pattern though – I always think about which stamps I should take to recreate it – and maybe I should just tackle this ;)

And yes there are still boxes – but I am happy to report that they are now finally unpacked. Mingus was caught like this judging the mess …it was all fun for him on the ladder until he decided to jump down and the ladder tumbled …then it was a scaredy cat for a little bit …but don’t think he learned from this ;)

(no cats, windows, floors or else were harmed in the cat flight)

We finally got our wonderful home commission artwork by Natalya Khorover back from the framer and now it hangs in our dining room. I loooveee it.

Pretzel loves the Fainting Sofa

Always love this row of houses downtown! The iron work is so beautiful.

Wallpaper hung, walls painted and trim painting in progress.

I love our floors- it is simple but beautiful! I am actually thinking of using the border pattern for the bathroom when we redo it next year or so. Imagine a black tile border like the darker wood and the rest in white tiles …still adding to my little idea board.

My studio while filming the new Artful Adventures with Matisse Class – it was hot hot hot in that room- but I love my studio so much.

In the bathroom which will not be touched as long as we are in the house is this contraption which I think I never showed you. It is actually a common thing in old bathrooms on the east coast still – but we had no clue what it was when we bough the house, until we ran the water in the bathtub and we couldn’t figure out how to drain the water LOL. It is a Standing Waste and Drain Tub Tower – pull on the top or push it down …mystery solved.

Speaking of gorgeous floors, we had dinner at our friend’s house which is close by and look at this gorgeous pattern on the floor.

And I may have serious radiator envy …it is a thing …trust me.

They also still had this crazy antique breaker box in the hallway …

This made me laugh hard at our local music store

I leave you with a little wavy glass love – the reflections of our 130 year old window glass are just my favorite thing.

Hope you enjoyed this stroll- until next month! See you

Comments (2)

  • Jen

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    Thanks for sharing all the very interesting pics just proves there are cool things to see everywhere if one just looks!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I have never seen a standing tub tower and I’ve lived in the north east my whole life. Although I also haven’t been in many older homes.
    I love all the natural light in your studio. As always, thanks for the neighborhood stroll pics. It encourages me to see my own hood differently.

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Grow Wiser, Better – Art Journal

This study for a painting depicts a Synagogue that is now a Baptist Church in my neighborhood – a very intriguing building. I used spray paints, my new fav Caran D’ Ache water soluble pencil set, Art Graf water soluble tailor chalk, and a black fine Posca marker. I also used my Hydrant rubber stamp to help set the scene.

Stay tuned for the painting ;)

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • Vee

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    I love the history you share with your ‘strolls’ and your ART.
    Sharing what you see and what you have learned…things I would never see or know
    without you.
    THANKS

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Stroll Through the Hood – August 2022

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

It always amazes me ..and not necessarily in a good way…how the cable jungle transpires. On that note on my way home from the gym last week I saw a truck had snapped off low hanging cables and people came running out of the house because they lost power, internet, cable…who knows what. If you like for some line inspiration in your artwork …well there you go.

Sunset a gorgeous look of Jersey City, Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

My friends Dan and Alicia and their band -Forget the Whale had a great concert at Lincoln Park. it was a wonderful treat to see them there – they are really good.

A building that is abandoned and dear to my heart – you can see pieces of the floor – makes me really sad. No I wasn’t in the building but a friend did a tour where you could look through a side window. I am sure next time these pieces are gone – either broken or stolen – like the rest of the building.

Another gorgeous view of Manhattan – it is summer and so there is a lot of biking and hanging out in parks.

I was super excited that we finally got our custom made pocket shutters. They were missing in our front windows and they are so practical and amazing. they fold back into a pocket of the window trim and are hidden and look like part of the paneling. It was so sad that they were just open gaps. Little fun snippet: The company who made them for us also did some staging of shutters for The Gilded Age on HBO. Such a small company!

Looks so good!!! The wood will darken a bit of course. It took a whole day to fit them in because nothing is straight in an old house – and that’s why we love it ;)

Little street art action in Jersey City

I took my friend Sandra to see some of the murals

Amazing, isn’t it?

Speaking of my friend Sandra, she came from Germany for 10 days – a trip that had been postponed for the past two years and it was such a great time. And because she is rocks wallpapering …we wallpapered a wall in her guest room. It was super fun…and super hard…again …no wall in our house is straight. LOL. But the result is awesome.

Do you see the hidden message? “Be a better human and spread love”

Awesome exhibition at Deep Space Gallery- we called up and were all by ourselves seeing some really cool artwork including those gems by Citty Kitty who finds the always super confusing NYC Metro Service posters and creates commentary art on them …sometimes even hangs them back LOL.

We bought 5 for our long hallway and are still laughing – it is hard to grasp I think if you do not see them close up but here are some.

The one on the right that says Update was just an empty poster and the cats say “Uhh…There’s no Update” and ” I hate Updates” . Check his instagram out – love the humor.

That was it for this month – see you next month again for another stroll through the hood.

Comments (3)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    The shutters are beautiful! And so is the wallpaper!

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  • Sue Clarke

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    I loved The Gilded Age and those shutters look wonderful!
    Those murals are incredible as well.

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  • Rae Missigman

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    I’m in love with all of this. I want to come visit and take this tour 😂🥰

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Stroll Through the Hood – July 2022

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

We found this astounding instrument made in our neighbor city Hoboken in an Antique Store – it is a Ukelin – a mixture of violin and a ukulele. “Ukelins were sold to people under the impression that the instrument was easy to play, but this was not the case.” (No joke man.. I can tell from just looking at it LOL) “They were also quite limited as to what they were capable of playing because they were designed as diatonic instruments. As a result, many instruments were returned to the manufacturers, who ended up with piles of instruments that they couldn’t sell. Salesmen misrepresented the instruments to customers, who felt as if they had been tricked into buying a worthless instrument.”

Well – we give it a home …it is fun to look at

When you sit on your stoop you sometimes have to look up

I found this cute little glass bottle on the right in our yard it is from around 1890-1900 and was a glue bottle – so interesting LOL- and of course…also a keeper.

succulents …this red one is so pretty- let’s hope it will survive me

My friend Chelsea and I got lucky recently and got a private tour of this Historic Cemetery. The Speer Cemetery is tucked away in a side street and there is no access to the public as it is taken care for decades now by private groups. It was established as a Burial Ground in 1850 but used as a cemetery extension of the oldest Church in the City since the 1640s.

Wherever you look you find some little treasures.

And this sign made me really laugh “They earned eternity in a little hour and are not dead” TROLL…I mean, if this is not the original troll I do not know.

This is one of the few know remaining gas street lanterns now on a private property. Very cool.

We found a really nice art deco spice jar set for our old possum belly bakers cabinet in the kitchen- love it.

And I finish with the obligatory view from Liberty State Park. Until next month for a new Stroll my friends!

Comments (1)

  • Barbara

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    Very nice, great finds this episode. Never heard of the Ukelin, very interesting history. And the spice jar set? Priceless. Who needs that much space to store prunes? I love cemeteries. Must stop and look when we visit small towns. Thank you again for sharing.

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Gritty – New Painting

Gritty” is a new painting of mine that I’m happy to share with you today. The name refers to both a physical state AND a mental/emotional one, and is very appropriate for this piece that is a montage of buildings in my neighborhood in Jersey City.

As you know, the history of buildings and their occupants is a fascination of mine and drives a lot of my work on canvas. Sure I love the architecture of older buildings and all those cool design details, but learning the stories behind all that is what really inspires my artwork.

In this painting I used layering in the background with both patterns, letters and numbers to suggest the passage of time and the history that could be uncovered. It’s kind of misty and murky and you have to take some time looking to see everything that’s there.

Buildings come into focus like memories, some of the details are there but others fade out.

There’s a bit of heavy texture – grit – to the painting because hey, my neighborhood has grit, and the more I learn about it, the more I fall in love with the persistence of its residents, both past and present.

I hope you like taking a closer look and seeing how I look at my local environment :)

“Gritty” is available here in my shop. The painting measures 24″x36″ and is created using acrylic paint, acrylic ink, graphite, markers, gesso, and spray paint on canvas.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Oh Nat, this is beautiful!
    The background pulled me in and I’m searching for the flowers, letters and details.
    It definitely makes me think of the layers of physical structures in your hood as well as the human stories that overlap.
    I enjoy making up life stories when I see places and people. I sometimes drive my hubby crazy when I share the story of the people eating at the table near us in a restaurant. Of course it’s my version of their life. I imagine it might be what writing a fictional book must be like.

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Stroll Through the Hood – June 2022

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

I love my new art deco floor lamp – the colors just make me happy – also green and yellow- a combination to use a bit more often for me.

We found an overmantel that fits great onto our fire place and I love it.

This is one of the oldest houses here in Jersey City – it is from 1740 – it is a little gem.

Lovely view of Manhattan from Riverview Park – we went up their for the Farmers Market and I always love having a little bite for lunch while sitting on a bunch and taking in the view and then do some veggie shopping.

Look at this magnificent facade!!!

Love this little colorful house – the muted green, pink, rost red, and yellow is a fun combination.

Of course Liberty State Park is back on the after-work-bike-ride

As you can tell Lady Liberty is exhausted and needs a bit of a rest – I cannot blame her

This street is just lovely with all it’s brick buildings but I also really love the blue stone-brick sidewalk!

Old Cigar manufacturing building with some graffiti.

Bobby Pretzel and Mingus enjoying our new stair runner. We had this one made by a small company in Pennsylvania – Family Herloom Weavers . What an amazing company! From dying the yarn to the yarn entered into the loom and then being woven, we received videos and photos along the process. The family owned business is doing all kinds of period carpets for museums (for example the Emily Dickinson Museum) and has done work for a lot of TV shows too (think The Guilded Age). I cannot overstate how amazing the quality and customer service was and the price was more than reasonable.

We joined 4000 other bicyclists for the annual Ward tour through Jersey City. It was super fun!

Picked up some art work at Mana Contemporary- always love this building.

And attended an Open House at the Apple Tree House – also from 1740 – which is hopefully becoming the new Jersey City Museum. Look at the amazing medallion! The house may have been the site of a meeting between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette in 1779 and has been used for decades as a funeral home, then fell almost apart and finally was restored in 2006. I really hope the Mayor will keep his promise and we will have a City Museum again and in this building.

That was it until next month – hope you enjoyed the little stroll :)

Comments (7)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    I love the new mantel, and the mirror is gorgeous. I, too, am a fan of all your strolls. I used to live in New Jersey, but only passed through Jersey City, never really got to see all the beautiful spots except Liberty Park.

    Reply

  • Pat

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    The Ward tour looks great! A way to return and visit my hometown at a pace to take it all in. Thanks for the photos of lovely old buildings.

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  • Jenny Sawyer

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    What great photos – so much history & that view of Manhattan! Thanks from the other side of the world.

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  • Robin

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    Such a very cool town. I really need Tom one and see for myself!!!!

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  • Barbara

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    Thank you for another stroll. I love every photo and the lamp is so cool. R ppl using that 1700 house? Does someone live there. Here in the Bay Area stately homes have been saved and r now offices of lawyers.

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  • Sue

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    Always love your strolls. I enjoy everything and yes, even the graffiti pieces, it’s the tags that I don’t like, but the artwork they can do out of a spray can! Your fireplace looks amazing as does the rest of your amazing house. The stairway, just lovely. I am very partial to the old woodwork and sometimes I cringe when people paint over it. Enjoy your day!

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  • Sue Clarke

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    The resting Lady Liberty is super funny. The first little house you posted is wonderful. Green and yellow are colors that I never use, I’ll have to try them out. Your cats are just too funny. Thanks for another fun stroll in your hood Nat.

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Art Stroll: Mana Spring Open House, Jersey City

It has been a while since Mana Contemporary in Jersey City had an open house…or let me say…since I felt comfortable attending one :) It is always such a treat to visit this local museum and see exhibitions, open studios and resident artists.

Sculptures by John Chamberlain. They are made of auto parts and they are petty impressive.

One thing that is amazing about Mana is that the space is just huge and seeing a huge white room with just two sculptures is definitely a treat.

Another exhibition is dedicated to Andy Warhol’s original screen prints.

Again the size of the rooms allow to have the artwork grouped next to each other and that is pretty neat.

Lot’s of time to take them all in and check out the differences.

The downside may be that by the time you finished this exhibition your step ticker is way up and as it is on the first floor, you have only glanced the tip of the iceberg of the museum.

My husband pointed out that the Chicken Noodle Soup text is straight and not curved like on the others…mhhh interesting!

This is such an amazing piece!

Next up were Sculptures by Fred Sandback. The sculptures are made with either elastic rods or stretched yarn.

They really mess with you …making you think you look at a mirror or the room is divided. I had also a little “Severance” moment here.

We then made it to the Richard Meier Model Museum…I had seen it before and was reluctant to go in ..but alas the husband hadn’t seen it yet and has a lot of interest for architecture so we stepped in.

It is an impressive collection for sure.

Below Meier’s entry to the World Trade Center Memorial Square Competition.

It is interesting to see it now that the Memorial is built – and as we know someone else won.

Shelves and shelves with models- amazing.

Then we finally made it to the floor I was most interested in …the artists in residence.

Probably not a surprise that I was especially drawn to Fabio Esteban’s work. Fabio was talking to another person – who hopefully bought some of his artwork – and I overheard that this piece with the A-Train was made on an old school desk plate

A lot of the other residents were not in the studio and when I tried to see more of the work I was blocked by one person who just stood in the narrow walkthrough to the studio chewing someone’s ear off …you can tell I was starting to get fatigued. And so…I guess I have to come back :)

There will be another open studio event in July and I hope I can be back then and we can start on the third floor ;) All in all I still enjoyed this a lot – even though I didn’t get to see what I wanted to see.

On a side note- there was a shuttle bus from Manhattan to the open studio- and it was pretty full. I know people from the City are all snobby that they never have to leave the city as they have a lot of amazing art there…but hey …maybe you wanna make it over the river one day – LOL- we got some stuff here ;)

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    I enjoyed seeing your art stroll and the Andy Warhol items especially.
    I’ve never been a big fan of his art, but I have a new appreciation for it after watching Andy Warhol Diaries on Netflix.
    Thanks for sharing art that I wouldn’t usually see in NH.
    I hope you have a fantastic summer enjoying your new yard.

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Carriage House Painting

Last fall, in the craziness of planning CJS22 and moving, I received a commission for a painting from a student who I have known for quite some time. Her niece was marrying and the painting was to be of couple’s lovely home, a wedding gift :) She provided images of the home and it happens to be right here in Jersey City, where I live. It’s a super charming carriage house, tucked behind other buildings, with all the historic details that as you know, are my jam.

I don’t usually do commissions but this was a special case that had enough connections and interest that I agreed. Commissions are tricky and I’ll admit that getting started was a bit harder than usual – I didn’t know the couple (or their style) and you can’t actually see the building from the street so I couldn’t spend time taking it in, in person. Also a wedding gift is important and all that wrapped my head up with some real trepidation.

But, as is my ethos, I knew I just had to jump in, and do my thing. After all, that is why I got the commission in the first place :) So I approached the project from the emotions and happiness that come from starting a new life together, in an adorable old house, an oasis in a busy city, and went with those feelings.

In the end I love the painting and the happy energy that it has, and it was also a good exercise for me to step a wee bit out of my comfort zone.

Comments (2)

  • Robin

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    Nat, such a joyful painting. They are lucky to have such a wonderful thoughtful gift!

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  • Sue Clarke

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    I love it (of course I love your style), and what a great wedding present for the happy couple!
    Good for you Nat…stepping out of your comfort zone.

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Soaring High – Art Journal

“No bird soars too high if she soars with her own wings.”

This page started with one of those little calendar pages from the sold out Artists Almanac calendars. The calendar is all gone but the original painting for this page is still available here (or a nice giclee print here) and it always brings me back to when I first moved to Jersey City. Crazy where life can take you :)

I used acrylic paint and acrylic spray paint for my background, in colors to compliment the original painting and build a bigger skyline. The original painting has the Jersey City skyline in the background from back when I first painted it, and it’s definitely gotten much BIGGER since I first moved here. All the tall buildings by the waterfront and beyond.

To add detail and definition to the skyline I used Neocolor II from Caran d’Ache – love how saturated those water soluble sticks are.

I added my journaling with a Signo ball pen. Are you soaring anywhere these days?

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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