Blog: Jersey City

Corner Store – New Painting

Corner Store is a new small painting inspired by my Strolls Through the Hood.

Corner Stores and Bodegas are often a lifeline in our communities- there are many people that depend on them. Whether it be to get some small grocery items, the newspaper, a cup of coffee, have packages delivered there or a listening owner to the worries of someone who lives in the neighborhood they are essential to every city neighborhood.

This particular corner store used to be a bakery selling bread and rolls , what is it about corner businesses that offer the most essential items?

Corner Store measures 8×8 inches on canvas board and would love to find a new home !

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love it!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Sue – it feels good to finally be back a bit more to painting

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – January 2021

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.

Puzzling – was it a window and then covered up? And then there are elements missing …I like it :)

I love the sign – the font and the butterfly – for this flower store.

I am always intrigued by bright colors on brick ad I love those big eyes.

Def. a sign from a while ago.

This green little house intrigued me. Is it Santa’s Shop?

A hidden treasure of Art Deco – I walked past this building a million times, never realized the name on the building nor the top of the entrance.

I loooovee Cornices- – I have a little bit of a obsession for them – but this one is the coolest- look at the corner !

Love those bears peaking out from the closed windows and I love the brick work underneath some o f the windows.

This house makes me scream. Sometime in the 40s or 50s some guy must have walked around in Jersey City and told the citizens “hey guys, your house would look sooooo much better if you would just put some aluminum siding onto it” and 80 percent of the people did. I hate it – you know there is some beauty underneath those sidings!

Lot’s of signs down this week- probably from the storm .

Lovely Cardinal .

Interesting beautification of this lion LOL

Loved those hands in their rusty cans.

Great mural by Mr. Mustart and I like the blue painted brick building. I especially like that the trim is painted in a light color. I dislike the fashion fad right now where everyone seem to paint the old brick buildings in dark colors but without any distinction of the trim or roof and all those buildings look like shapeless blobs.

Not only was the house itself amazing- but this door was fun. We are actually getting a new door soon – maybe meanwhile I can have a go at the old one LOL.

Lovely view of Manhattan from Riverview Park.

Fairy house – actually the only house you could possibly afford on this street ;)

RIP John Lewis!!!

What a beautiful house – it is in bad shape but it looks as if there is some restoration starting soon.

Thanks for joining me on this stroll – I hope to see you next month again.

Comments (3)

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck

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    I always love strolling with you, Nathalie. Love that beautiful Victorian. I hope you’re right and someone shows it some love.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- glad you enjoyed the stroll Andrea- maybe some time later I can show the progress on the victorian house :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – December 2020

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 realized that I did not post a Stroll Through the Hood in November and so ..you get some travel back in time…which then is kind of a review isn’t it ?LOL. The picture above is from a stoop concert we attended …socially distanced and masked up …it was wonderful. I miss live music and those outside gigs were the best – alas in the colder weather now there is now way there will be much.

We did a Bicycle Halloween tour through the neighborhood. I loved this guy’s selfmade costume!!!

One of our wonderful neighbors gave us her orginal Eastlake door which in the same style used to grace this area in our living room. We had to buy the hardware for it and obviously I screwed up on the door handle – wrong side …and then we said …”yeah we kinda like it upside down” and also …2020. So if the house still stands in 100 years and the door is still in, they will wonder what was going on here hahahah.

And here is the door. The transom is orginal to our house and I am soooo stoked how the door completes this. What a wonderful gift this was. Every day I walk by I am super duper happy. The vestibul you see through the glass needs an update as well – some other project and one of the stained glass panels is missing- we will have that also replaced some time.

Look at the Bauhaus like stained glass light show I get now everyday on the livingroom floor- makes me want to paint this.

First snow storm of the winter – Pretzel was very interested in this. I love the light …the cable salad …crazy – one of the things still after 7 years in the US I shake my head at.

Opening the door the next morning – Never is snow more beautiful when at that stage and then …especially in a city -it goes down hill quick – LOL.

I played with a template and painting with acrylic markers on our garden door. It was super fun and I like it …but boy …it is not easy to do this through double glass hahaha- need more practice. I have some ideas for future ones …stay tuned.

Meet Thelonious, our Christmas Tree – best tree ever- we met friends at a Christmas Tree Farm and spent a fun day outside cutting our own tree. This will be for sure a new tradition and having the opportunity to see our friends …even though it was REALLY freezing – was amazing.

I think Mingus heard Santa – LOL. Our fireplace with some wonderful cards – all those cards made me happy.

Some festive decoration in the neighborhood. Actually goals for next year- those wreaths are so cool – and the garland looks a million bucks …versus our …kind of sad one hahaha.

Even the No Parking Signs were festive this year!

Although…this one not so much

And I loved seeing this wreath put up on the door of the abandoned warehouse I love so much. It made me think of hope ..here is hope for 2021.

This year was a tough one for sure- for many of us! But I am also grateful for many things – like my father -in-law who contracted Covid19 in the hospital being well again and finally home after 7 months in the hospital and for many – even if only on zoom- wonderful hours with family and friends. I am grateful for my husband, and our dopey food stealing kitties , our home and that I was able to paint a lot this year in my studio.  I am grateful for you, my dear readers and students for all your support and your comments. It meant a lot to me this year, you kept me going and gave me purpose. I hope I have brought you a little bit of light and joy as well in 2020 and I am determined to be here for you in 2021 as well either on the blog here, in my classes or on FB in Nat’s Creative Hood.

Farewell 2020 …don’t let the door hit you in the face …or maybe actually why not – you deserve it ;) 

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Acrylic makers with the template on the door looks so festive.
    I never tire of seeing the warehouse…all the curves on that brick!
    Happy New Year Nat.

    Reply

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The Lombard – New Painting

“The Lombard” is inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City.

It shows a street view of the oldest pawn shop in NJ – H. Schoenberg, founded in 1895. I was thinking about how while this is type of business is a lifeline for folks, it also conjures sad feelings when I pass it and see the things in the window. So many complex stories and circumstances are in plain sight.

My overarching mood however is one of hope, and better times ahead, and hopefully the souls who visited the shop will be able to return once again and claim their instruments and heirloom jewelry as their own.

This original painting was made with spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, ink, pencil, markers, pastel, and collage on canvas.

“The Lombard” is available in my Shop and would love to find a new home. 

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Up in the Hills – New Painting

“Up in the Hills” is a new painting inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City.

Moore’s Place, a bar and jazz club run by Mrs. Ruth, has been here for over 60 years as part of the neighborhood, and now during the pandemic has become a special, magical space with live jazz music outside every weekend to soothe our souls.

The building itself used to have a different life long before the music arrived – there is still machinery in the basement.

I have yet to uncover the history of this building – one day I will ask Mrs Ruth, but right now I let her hustle and bustle around us lucky happy faces when we are here to listen to the music and see the people of the neighborhood, while eating Mrs Ruth delicious fish fry.

For this painting I used spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, and markers on canvas. Give Moore’s Place a new home – and purchase it here in my storeedited: So stoked this painting found a new home at home here in Jersey City !!!

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Stroll Through the Hood – October 2020

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.

hehehe what can I say? Mingus is the worst thief ever- here he is after we caught him stealing frothed milk ….but he is pretty funny no?

I loved this picture at the Secret Beach – the Family was running around in the sun and I thought it was cute how they had lined up their shoes on those tiny horseshoe crab shells.

this view from the beach to Lady Liberty gets never old for me.

Funny flying critters :) I love how all construction plywood is always instantly turned into something colorful in this city.

Weird orange car- I wonder what this was …like a little electric car or so? I feel this car could be a model for a comic and should speak :)

We got a mini portable fire pit and have been enjoying it in our little garden on the cooler nights already.

A new bakery opened in my neighborhood and I love their decoration and the baked goods are also very good :)

I voted. And I am not actually giving you a stink eye (not sure what is going on there) but if you haven’t voted yet I might ;) This is my first presidential election as a U.S. citizen.

This house looks like it should be in some Bavarian forest LOL.

These are the judging faces of cats when you left the house for a long period and they are not used to you being outside for a long time anymore. I wonder how they look if we travel some day again.

Still enjoying the weekend jam sessions – and this little guy is the cutest. He was so fascinated by the drums and could not stop looking at them. I think he will ask for a drum set. I saw him again two weekends later and he is still as entranced.

I must have walked past this little window on the side of a corner a couple times but never noticed it until now- I also love the brick inlay – so cool!

We got a new handrail and I am so excited about the little rosettes we picked out as they are very similar to the ones that are in our banister

Comments (4)

  • Harriet

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    ah, I know how that little boy feels about the drums. I’ve always had rhythm and even played the middle eastern Dumbec for a few years (during my Belly Dance years). When I met a guy who played guitar, I knew I wanted to play rock and roll drums, so one day I got out the pots and pans and started playing them. When he came home and heard what I was doing, he said ‘you need a drum set’. Sure enough, we went out and bought a set; I was thrilled. (I was in my 40’s) Now I’m 75 and need a hip replacement, but I bet I could still play a mean beat if I still had the drums!!
    Love your walks around the hood….my neighborhood isn’t so interesting! Keep up the good work. (oh, are you doing Creative Jumpstart for 2021? I really enjoy those workshops)

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Love that you played drums!!! maybe you need a small set? and yes…watch this place soon for CJS :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Is Mingus AKA Bobby Pretzel or is that a different cat?
    Love the pic of the shoes at the beach.
    Gorgeous view of Lady Liberty from your beach.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Sue, that is a different cat- Mingus came to us in December and is Bobby Pretzel’s little nightmare and playmate LOL

      Reply

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Art Stroll: Distort – “Reaching for the Steal”

Last weekend we went to a really amazing art show by Distort – a mural artist I really admire at the Deep Space Gallery.

Upon entering the showroom you see one of a many absolutely awesome wall installations in brick and plaster also done by Distort.

Most of this work was on engraved metal plates and oil paints. Photos can not really show you the depth and dimension Distort creates in his work and boy – It is awesome!

Above Against the Current, 2020

Style Warriors, 2020

Watching Machines, 2020

This wall installation was sooo dope- when you look inside you see a train track vanishing into the plane – Amazing.

Distort had a zine at the exhibition that would show the collage work he did as prep work before painting the work. It was amazing to see the magazine clippings and imagery and then see the actual work resulting from the “draft”

Mountain Dew, 2020

such an awesome reference to his graffiti and mural background

Reaching for the Steal, 2020
The Pentagon, 2020
Supreme Court, 2020

Supreme Court hit me …it was my favorite piece of the show!

Must Come Down, 2020
Venison, 2020

Love Story, 2020

I love how abandoned buildings, the theme of nature taking back areas of architecture and human artifacts are woven over and over into his work.

Father and Son, 2020

Another favorite of mine – this one was actually created on a mirror! Distort is mirrored talking to someone else in the background …I did not talk to him …I am always very shy when I am a groupie hahahaha.

It was such a cool exhibition! If you are in Jersey City or close to it – make an appointment this month with Deep Space Gallery and see it. I love the work that Deep Space Gallery shows but this exhibition was my favorite so far. And really …nothing beats seeing art than seeing art in person!

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    TFS Nat, Supreme Court called out to me (as well)!
    Not to copy you. LOL

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Till the Curtain Comes Down – New Painting

“Till the Curtain Comes Down” is another painting on canvas inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City . I love this beautiful brick building from 1887.

I used spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, wax bars, and markers. The house was built by a descendant of one of the oldest Dutch familes of Jersey City, Wilhelm Brinkerhoff. He was a state senator who died in 1931. After his death, the building was a christian mission with a radio station on the roof.

It has a bit of a Rapunzel Tower feel for me as the building is a little bit overgrown by plants and even though someone lives here it seems to be mysterious. I picked up some piano player roll paper and the first thing that happened was I saw the wording “till the curtain comes down” and that my friends is how the title was born ….I mean …it was just meant to be .

Till the Curtain comes down is looking for a new home. You can find it here. The canvas measures 10×10″.

Comments (1)

  • Christine Kiehl

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    WOW! This is truly amazing work!!! LOVE IT!

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Stroll Through the Hood – August 2020

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.

This is a gorgeous statue on the waterfront of Jersey City.

For the first time in a long time the train station on Liberty State Park was open again . This is where the immigrants that came through Ellis Island would set out to their new homes all over the U.S. Unfortunately this historic landmark has been hit hard by Sandy – but I still love all the lines and shadows when I walk through.

Low tide and a wonderful view of Jersey City to the left, Manhattan and Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty – it was a wonderful early morning bike ride with my hubs.

Lady Liberty and some really big Hibiscus flowers – gosh red and green – speaking of natures color scream :)

I still love love love this gorgeous sign of this old store front in Jersey City’s little India – I put this building on my list of “paint some day”

Fabulous mural!

Got a new mirror for the entrance which also leads to my studio. Love the cool shape. I think it is time to repaint our old radiators. The things you notice when you take pictures LOL- Old houses – never a dull moment.

Mural down town – it is one of the things I love most about street art and murals – how they are a reflections of the time we live.

This guy showed up recently on relay boxes.

Big storm knocked out a lot of trees and branches in New Jersey – we also lost power for about 6 hours which is nothing in comparison to some other areas of New Jersey. Of course my nifty husband took the opportunity to get some fire wood – LOL- we just bought a little fire pit for the garden and I cannot wait to sit in front of it in the fall.

I looooovee this brick cornice- usually the cornices around in my neighborhood are made of wood and it is the first time I noticed on those houses that they are made with brick- and how beautiful it looks.

you might remember from a former stroll this really cool building that I also painted – now it is right next to a Black Lives Matter Street Mural. I have to go back now that the artists are finished with it .

Definitely tomato season – I am loving it. Lots of roasted tomatoes, tomato sandwiches, tomato salads …well …they call Jersey City the Garden State and we do have for sure amazing tomatoes.

Love our city coming a little bit back to live. One section of this street has been closed off to traffic on Saturday afternoons and there is a jam session with a lot of amazing jazz musicians. Mary, who is in the red t-shirt singing, is a Jersey City institution and boy it was so wonderful listening to music an seeing them all.

This last shot is a weird one- it is an old power plant and we drove by on a bike tour – I had never really noticed this place- took a picture and two days later I – along with thousands of other Jersey City peeps woke up at 5.30 am because of a huge implosion of the place. A little warning for us would have been nice. Anyway- it is gone now – not really a loss- although the structure was interesting.

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll through the hood. Until next month :)

Comments (1)

  • Diane

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    I always love these strolls. Thank you so much for providing a peak into your neighborhood.

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