Blog: Jersey City

Back to School: Drypoint Etching at JCAS

This winter I took a drypoint etching class with Bruno Nadalin, a fellow Jersey City artist at the Jersey City Art School. I have taken a Linocut Class with him before and he is an amazing teacher, so I knew it would be good. And I wasn’t disappointed. The class with 6 x 3hour lessons  was AWESOME.

In this class we did drypoint on acetate/plexi plates. Using a sharp needle and/or other tools you scratch an image into the plate. The plate above is the one I did in the first lesson after we practiced with some different applications and tools

The plate then is getting inked up and then the ink is wiped off again – the ink remains in the creases of your etching and that is where the magic happens.

Here is Bruno putting a sample onto the printing press at the JCAS.

and here is his amazing sample coming out of the press!

Above is the very first print I did with that plate.

For the second one I applied a bit of color to the jumper.

In the second lesson, Bruno showed us how to make multicolor prints with the technique called a la poupee.

And below is his sample

I started with a new plate which I had prepared at home- see I just couldn’t stop scratching at home- LOL

And here is the second one with the powerhouse – some of you might recognize this building :)

The third print came out the way I envisioned – I really love it. As Bruno says it is all in the wiping. Making the plates is actually not the work load, it is inking those plates up and then wiping them down again that makes up most of the technique and time.

The print above was an experiment. I did some mono prints at home with Akua Inks which I always wanted to try out on a gel plate and I used this interesting paper which I had gotten at a convention many years ago. It is made out of plastic but feels like cloth. I printed on top of the mono print and I really like the outcome.

Here is a another plate I made in different stages – a part of the factory building I live in.

Isn’t it cool how different the images look and the mood they convey based on the inking? So cool to experiment with that.

Here are a couple prints from the students in the class.

I don’t want to bore you , but here are a couple more- the Flatiron Building – as you know it is a reoccurring image in my work, so of course I had to make a plate with it as well.

And then some prints from the last lesson where we did some two plate printing. Basically you create a mono type and then print on top of it – there are different ways to approach this of course.

First one above as you can see I didn’t wipe that well – but I still love how the colors came out

Here I had way too much ink on the first plate so I didn’t print the second plate on top, but I actually love it as it is. I kept it and might do something else to it later – I will see.

Here is the second try – less ink now- basically the ghost print of plate one and now with the second plate printed on top.

Another one – I like that one a lot.

And last but not least one where I used once again one of those mono prints I did at home – the cloth-like paper had the ink of the skyline bleed a bit – I love this.

What I learned in this class:

  • It was first a bit hard for me to think I would not be able to do this all the time at home without a printing press but then that made me more focused and prepared for the lessons
  • The application of the ink and the wiping was a technique and whole process on it’s own and what a fascinating one it is
  • I loved the different ways one plate could be treated for different prints
  • I love the little time span where you just don’t know what is coming out of your press – when you lift up your print and see what happened. It reminded me of going to the photolab to finally get the vacation photos and seeing them for the first time.
  • There are art forms you just cannot get away with not being clean and organized …clean your space, clean your hands, clean the plates, clean the press …so much cleaning. LOL
  • I loved combining mono types with this class
  • There is only a certain amount of prints you can use the plates, and then that is it forever

What I take away for the future:

  • JCAS has print parties where you can use the printing press for a small fee- I def. will make up some new plates and join in the future to make some more prints
  • A way to take some of the mono prints on the gelli plate further – I want to explore this more
  • I enjoyed taking a class even though it was sometimes tough to go for 3 hours after a whole day of work- I need to do this more often again
  • I loved the pace of the class, I think I sometimes pack too much in my own classes and forget that it is also great for the students to just explore what they learned for a bit. Of course that is easier to do when you have a class that spans over several weeks but I def. look for a way to think about this in my multi-day-classes.

 

If you are in the area, I highly recommend taking a class with Bruno Nadalin or a class at the Jersey City Art School– it is a great place and they offer a lot of fun and different workshops and art events.

 

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Stroll Through The Hood – January 2018

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to 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.

Pretty cold her most of the days for strolling but still have some seen some fun stuff. The picture above shows part of a door I saw in Lower Manhattan -it is so cool!

If you remember Ken-No-More – the pumpkin I showed in one of my former strolls this fellow has replaced Ken on a neighboring window. I start to think the guys in that house have a really fun humor :)

On New Year’s Day my husband and I walked down the Liberty State Park- booooyy it soo cold and nobody was out there- but it was a beautiful walk. Never getting tired of the view of the city from the park.

Not all glory and shine the day after a snow day – pretty hard to cross the street as a pedestrian btw – and yeah …you see right …some snow is yellow ;)

but the view from my studio window was quite nice – I love the untouched snow blanket.

I saw the mural above by Seth Globepainter on my way to my art class – I cannot believe I have missed it so far- I guess I haven’t been a while in that particular area of my hood. Love this so much!

Speaking of Art Class- I am currently taking a Drypoint Etching class and I love it so much. Above is a plate I was working on in my first lesson.

And here we are with a friend eating the first ice cream of the year …it really was a bit too cold- but the guys wanted to do it- so why not ;)

I hope you enjoyed this little cold stroll -see you next month – I hope you will join me on my February Stroll.

Comments (4)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Love the stroll!! That girl mural is crazy amazing so realistic!!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Karen! :) Yeah- it is so cool- I love seeing it when I go to my class!

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Of course I love your strolls Nat.
    We eat ice cream here in NH every season so it’s never the first one of the year. LOL
    Your deck is sweet…and a nice view from your studio for sure.
    Your view of the city is gorgeous…I tend to forget just how close to NYC you really are.
    Enjoy your day,
    Sue

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- I love this “it’s never the first one of the year” . Enjoy your day as well Sue and have an awesome start into the week!

      Reply

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It’s a beautiful day in neighborhood!

“It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is a song from a show called Mr. Rogers, which I have never seen because it was not really running in Germany – but once in a while one of my friends sing it for fun – and so it got stuck with me and I love it. For those of you who do not know the lyrics:

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Won’t you please,
Won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?

I used my new RubberMoon Stamp Sets – Stroll Around the Block and My Home is My Castle with the journal spread. I used the small windows and doors and turned them into cassettes of the doors in – so much fun to play with this.

We do have a pretty cool neighborhood with lots of friends living close by and we do hang out a lot spontaneously – in the summer on the stoop – in the winter in one of our places.

I created a weathered background using some metallic acrylic glazes and acrylic paint, then stamped on top and colored the stamps in with acrylic paints.

I added the lyrics of the song with a pencil.

This spread makes me all happy and fuzzy and now I wanna see my friends who also happen to be neighbors.

Here are some of the supplies that I used for this neighborly spread :)


Wishing you a beautiful day in your neighborhood :)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Please don’t laugh…I had such a crush on Mr. Rogers when I was a kid. Just loved the land of make believe. He was such a gentle soul.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I can totally understand Sue- I think , I would have liked him a lot as a kid as well.

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – November 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to 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 bought this telephone glass insulator at an antique store and I am so in love with hit. I had now idea those existed- but now I am totally addicted. Love how the light from our window makes this beautiful color pop.

This funny pumpkin was sitting around in the hood and it made me laugh. Ken More …I guess now he is Ken No-More

This Mural around the corner- OMG- I soooo love this. It shows some iconic buildings of Jersey City like the Powerhouse and the Liberty State Park Train Station and some of you might know that I used those buildings for inspiration for my sketches for my Stroll Through the Hood stamps as well.

It never gets old- sunset over the city – so dramatic !

For Thanksgiving I bought a couple fun flowers at a new flower store Casa Mona in my neighborhood and set them into my little stamped vases. (you can see how Kim and I did that here) . Isn’t the mini pineapple just the cutest thing ever?

And of course Thanksgiving was wonderful as well- which we hosted and we had a ton of guests and lots of fun :)

And then I hosted our annual Friendsgiving – where we invite some friends. This time I made Mulled Wine (Glühwein) and got this old punch set I was giving by my great aunt to work. She would have loved Friendsgiving – she always loved hosting and her glasses, dishes etc. are always something I love to bring out to – it is like celebrating her a bit too during those events and thinking of her :)

And here is Niles our cat sleeping at the fire place – lucky him ;) Love this little guy – he is almost 18 years old – and he sleeps a lot. In my next life I want to be him- hahahah.

I hope you enjoyed the stroll! Wishing you a wonderful December!

Comments (4)

  • Janet

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    Great photo of Niles! He looks like my Katarina who is 17 and is such a queen! Pretty much lives on my bed with meals served there when she isn’t sleeping. And of course you are celebrating your aunt…in such a beautiful way! I love to use my relatives’ dishes and know that they are right there with me, enjoying the moment. Beautiful photos. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- they deserve to be queens and kings at that age :) Thank you for joining me on the stroll through the hood :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I love the fireplace and it’s hard to believe that Niles is almost 18.
    I especially like how the vases came out with the dark ink against the while background.
    Thanks for another stroll.
    Yeah for memories of your dear Aunt.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you Sue :) Yeah – I cannot believe it either- once in a while he becomes a little kitten again and runs around like crazy- LOL.

      Reply

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Photos of the Workshop at Nathalie’s Studio

Last Saturday I taught my Stroll Through the Hood workshop here at home in an intimate setting and it was so fun to have 7 wonderful ladies join me. I used to teach a lot of home-workshops in Germany and I would like to do some small ones once in a while here too- this was the first time I did it:)

Here is the morning view before they all came- I had set up everything in our dining room/kitchen area

 

and lot’s of supplies were waiting to be used :)

for some fun urban sceneries.

And then there we are already in full force creating. It was so wonderful to have lovely people from Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and New York!

Katie creating some wonderful sceneries –

Jill, Theresa and Linda fully immersed :)

And then there were Donuts …of course with a Halloween theme :)

Look at the gorgeous smile Linda gave me after I tortured here to look at me ;)

And here are her gorgeous pieces- look at all those patterns and colors- yummie!

Lea’s beautiful work in progress – i love the colors!

And Maria listening to Anne and creating magic!

And Anne’s beautiful work- I love her Flat Iron building so much!

It was a great day and so I will do a workshop again at my n*Studio :) Probably in February 2018.

If you want to join any of my In-Person Workshops a list of them is posted here. I will be this coming weekend at The Queen’s Ink in Maryland (Saturday is sold out but there are still a couple seats in my Mono Print Painting class open!)

I am also teaching my last workshop for this year in Salem, Oregon at Runaway Art and Craft Studio – December 2 -3 – which includes also the Stroll Through the Hood workshop I taught here at home :) I hope you can join me for any of those -I would love to see you!

Comments (6)

  • Linda Wyatt

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    It was a wonderful and creative workshop, and great to try out new techniques and materials. Also an easy trip across the Hudson so I would love to do it again 🎨🙏🤗❤️

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It was so good to have you Linda- and oh yea- you are soooo close :) I will keep you posted :)

      Reply

  • Jill

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    It was such a fun workshop, Nathalie! I had such a great time learning some new techniques and getting to know everyone. Such a great experience working in such a small group!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much for coming all the way! It was so much fun to have you! Hope to see you soon again!

      Reply

  • Jean Goza

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    The artwork that was produced in the class is stunning. Looks like everyone had a great time.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It was so much! Cannot wait to hopefully see you January when I am back in San Jose Jean! :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – October 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to 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.

Love the fall – we did a lot of bicycle rides the last couple weeks – the views from Liberty State Park never cease to amaze me.

Secret Beach is open again – it is closed as a bird sanctuary during the summer months.

When you drive through this you really forget you are in a city :)

Little carving on the way that made me smile.

A lot of horseshoe crabs again-this one is so light – I wonder if the dark color comes when they are out of the water longer?

From the pier in front of Liberty Train Station – the pier is still damaged from Hurricane Sandy.

And after a day in the studio another beautiful view in this glowing light.

There are also a ton of Monarchs flying around in the park right now – it is amazing. They are so beautiful.

Lucky us: my friends and I got a seat in the busy path on the way home – never a dull moment in the path ;)

And the last night warm enough to have a spontaneous stoop hangout with our friends -It is a typical thing to do in the neighborhood – I love this so much. I know many people think that cities are super anonymous but we are living in a really fun area and we are super lucky that a lot of our friends live in walking distance.

An art installation in front of City Hall for the Jersey City Art and Studio tour, which sadly I had to miss this year because I went to the U.K to teach.

And watching beautiful sunsets with unreal clouds on our decks. What a great inspiring month it was – I hope yours was amazing as well!

Comments (2)

  • JoAnn

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    What a wonderful Stroll Through the Hood – loved it all.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thanks for joining JoAnn- have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

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The Sketchy History of Pencils

As some of you might know I live in the old Pencil #2 Factory in Jersey City. While there are no more pencils being made in my building, there is still the General Pencil Company which still operates here in Jersey City. I try to buy a lot of pencils (and also brush cleaner) from General Pencil Company because I love that they are right here and produce locally. No wonder I was totally happy to see this video by NPR’s Skunk Bear “A Sketchy History of Pencils” .


I love seeing how art supplies are being made. What art manufacturer would you like to visit to see how they make things?

 

Comments (2)

  • Sharyle

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    Enjoyed this video! Fascinating to see how pencils are made. I’d love to visit the Golden paint factory and see how they make all those fabulous colors.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Oh I would love to go there too Sharyle! Thanks for checking in :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through The Hood – September 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to 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.

You never know where you spot Dylan Egons black and white paste ups …

my godson sketching our deck on our deck  and writing in his travel journal – mmmmyyyy boyyyy LOL

Love this in Jersey City’s Little India

We took a trip to  the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. I have been here probably 10 years or longer ago when it wasn’t a NHP yet and boy has this been cleaned up. You might remember this if you watched the Sopranos

or if you watched Paterson a Jim Jarmusch movie ( I just love Jim Jarmusch movies and I had just watched Paterson on the plane a couple days before we went there. It is a beautiful movie!) Anyway- it is a very cool place.

Coming back into JC it is always wonderful to be greeted by David

and see other murals along the way

in the dingy weird industrial side streets close to the entrance of the Holland Tunnel – maybe what visiting people see as the ugly NJ …and where I see grungy beauty

and thinking to myself- you guys just have no clue how beautiful NJ actually is ;)

And last pic- this little pop-up- poetry store in the pedestrian area -that was fun and the poem he wrote for my godson and me was:

hands are heavy

bones made to break

hearts born to stop

and still we toss them all

rugged and raw toward…infinity

we are strange adventurers

always moving forward

bold and full of love.


Love it- yes we are strange adventurers !!! Hope you are having a wonderful day and enjoyed this stroll- see you soon in the hood.

Comments (4)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Gotta love Bowie (as Aladdin Sane here).
    The poet on the street is great fun as well.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So true Sue- so sad he passed away! Hope you have a gorgeous weekend!

      Reply

  • Karen Bearse

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    Great read! Love the pics such a cool neighborhood

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Karen – I do love living here a lot – it is always changing and there is always something I haven*t seen.

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – August 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to 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 know I have posted photos of this view from Liberty State Park several times- but for me it just doesn’t get old!

Here is a newly painted tower at the edge of the park by Mr Mustart.

Kind of in the hood – a little stroll on the Highline early in the morning – what a great time to be there – and seing a little glimpse of a mural by PixelPancho.

And on the walk to the subway a mural by Osgemeos – I love the pants- they are made off all kinds of different flags.

In the East Village this awesome door – love the patterns, the hair, the writing :)

 

Close by the former Adath Jeshurun of Jassy Synagogue, which I believe now has artist studios in it – I hope it is not just abandoned. What a great building.

In the Bowery a Shepard Fairey – I love how the wall is decaying and the purple paint underneath is crackling through again.

And in Jersey City this mural by Nychos

On a construction wall around the corner a paste up by Dylon Egon

And of course…as I am such a dork for elephants …and btw- this has been a block from my place for a long time – how did I miss it so far – by Mr. Prvrt

And last but not least my new fire red bike with which I am strolling through the hood a lot this summer. As you can see I found a piece of drift wood on the water side on that tour, so of course that had to come with me ;)

Hope you enjoyed this stroll and that you had a great time strolling around in your own hood for some inspiration as well.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    As always it was nice to see what you discovered on your stroll.
    I love older buildings and especially like the photo Adath Jeshurun of Jassy Synagogue.
    BTW, I started to read your book while on vacation and took lots of pics looking at sculptures on an outdoor tour and went back to the cottage and did a mixed media page based on the inspiration that I got from one of them.
    I don’t think that the art based on a specific inspiration “clicked” for me before reading your book.
    So thanks!

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