Blog: Jersey City

All Fur Coat and No Knickers – New Painting

“All Fur Coat and No Knickers” is new painting made with spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, and markers on canvas.

I was inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City for this mixed media painting, and specifically a building that was used to cold store fur coats in the summer months for the people in the neighborhood (glad that’s not needed anymore).

Nowadays there is a restaurant in the building but the story intrigued so I researched a bit. I found that a 1932 issue of The Jewish Standard featured an advertisement for a company called Kriegel Furriers offering “cold fur storage” at the address, with a storage rate of 1% of the value of each item with a minimum charge of $2. Those were different times for sure.

The painting is available in my store and would love to find a new home.

Comments (1)

  • lala

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    what fun who’da thunk it?! a place to store ur furs ladida! love the title and ur yummy pallette! the presence of the car a little wonky in my book, but luckily it does blend in nicely 😁 thnx for sharing! 🙏🙋💃(funny fur story… my ex was wearing his mum’s full length?! raccoon?! (sigh, poor animales! but i do eat them so can’t get tooo indignant 😖) when he and his 3 bros plus dad rolled their open jeep in river… it was thanksgiving (we the sensible.were waiting at home.for them) so what did they think?! (re depth/strength of water….) the coat survived! tho i wouldn’t want.to smell it at the time… wet racoon, yum! 😖

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Stroll Through the Hood – July 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 – as New Jersey and New York are slowly going to Phase 4 after the lockdown.

What a heat wave week – wowsers. Early mornings are the best for bike rides and stroll through the hood right now for sure :) The picture above is showing an old Cigar Factory – the Parodi Company. The Parodi’s were a brand of cigars made in Jersey City up until 1929. The company was started in 1913 in New York City, in the Village by three Italian immigrants who came from a wealthy family in Northern Italy. In 1916, they built this factory here in Jersey City.  

We spent a nice time at the Deep Space Gallery– now open again – appointments only. The painting above by Rebecca Johnson was very touching.

If I Die Too Young , or the Gunmen Come, I’m Full of Love, 2020

Acrylic, lime wash and mirror on linen

Mazunte – also by Rebecca Johnson – this is a close up of a wonderful painting. Love the usage of little mirror pieces.

Interesting facade – the little balconies are funny- and nothing seems to fit together.

A wild style of architectural fun back then :)

X-actly. Dog Poop is after parking the most discussed issue in this neighborhood.

This was a walk bye poster project with artwork and poems written by school kids in Jersey City.

Very powerful – and it seems as if it is now moving from park to park throughout Jersey City.

Oh my oh my- I cannot stop taking photos of this magnificent Art Deco Entrance …Swoon.

Speaking of ..I love those Art Deco Fire Escapes – It is funny because the building itself is a bit plain and boring but those curved escapes – so awesome.

Another Stunning Art Deco Building in my neighborhood.

I see this sign every time I go to drop of packages at the postoffice and it makes me laugh ! I think this neighborhood is boom box free since 1983 …LOL.

This guy visited me one afternoon on the deck – pretty pretty big and apparently had a little fight in his live as the right wing shows. Made my day.

I hope you are all well – sending you Love!!! Until next month with hopefully more strolls through the hood.

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Stroll Through the Hood – June 2020

DISCLAIMER: This Blog Post contains images that will show you that I am a supporter of the Black Lives Matter Movement.  Some might think of it as totally inappropriate to post, hate me for it, think this has no place on an art related blog or social media. If you have a problem with this, you might be better off looking at something else . Don’t email me to complain, don’t visit my blog or facebook anymore because I might post things like this again and that might get you in a grumpy mood..

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 – as New Jersey and New York are slowly going to Phase one and now to Phase 2 after the lockdown.

The first time I walked from uptown to downtown again after months of lockdown was weird and felt as if I would see things anew. I noticed all those “Give Up” graffitis and love how different versions of “never” appeared on top of them.

This spoke “untold story” to me.

I love all those little messages on the stoops – I wish we had a stoop – our house apparently used to have one as we could see from old tax pictures but in the 40s it was taken down from most of the houses in our streets.

On our bike rides during the lockdown my friends Cindy, Paula and I had discussed how going back to using the Path and Subway to go to NYC for work and other things made us quite nervous and so we decided to actually do it while things were still very quiet to ease ourselves back into it. It was good to figure out how much you actually touch etc. before everything is cramped again. It took about half an hour before I could find my subway card as I had totally forgotten which bag I had carried 3 months ago when I last rode the subway.

This is the WTC station – which is usually packed on a Monday at 10 am …pretty eerie. Now I am sure it is way fuller again as Phase 2 is of the reopening in NYC started and a lot of people from Jersey City as well are going back to work. I am not using the Path or subway unless I absolutely have to …like for a doctor’s appointment but at least I have thought about how to tackle this.

Just a couple days after the horrible the murder of George Floyd by Policemen this mural popped up in my neighborhood. It is really powerful.

I have thought long about breaking with the lockdown to go to the protests here in Jersey City, but I have made up my mind that and decided I would make sure to stay on the edges, distanced, with a mask and go if it would get too crowded.

After the protests I made sure to get tested each time and stay home until I received the test results.

The protests in Jersey City and all over New Jersey were peaceful and businesses would hand out masks, hand sanitizer and water. One of the protests to which 4000 people came, was organized by a local High School. It was amazing to hear the young organizers speak for hours about the issues. It made me hopeful for our future.

And they have a lot of humor too ;)

One of our little cafes , Crema, in the neighborhood created this clever booth in front of their window. It makes it easy to order and receive pastries, ice cream and coffee contactless . So clever. We are hoping that most of the small businesses here will make it …what a tough time this was and still is.

New Kicks – I thought I would have some custom made with my painting for my Stroll through the Hoods :)

Mingus has a new hangout spot …lol- he cracks us up.

Loved this message and the font on the plywood of a construction side.

Two beautiful houses – the one on the left beautifully restored, the one on the right falling apart and abandoned.

I love this building – it is also empty.

This is the original wallpaper in a dessert place that just opened up , all these storefronts that haven*t been used for ages, have amazing hidden treasures. I am so happy that the new place kept this.

Detail of a beautiful Art Deco Entrance – love the weathered colors that are still visible and isn’t it just amazing?

Little bike ride along this mural.

I hope you are all well – sending you Love!!! Until next month with hopefully more strolls through the hood.

Comments (5)

  • susan

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    Nathalie,
    i always enjoy your strolls and it is great that you share them with us. some of us don’t get much scenery on our own strolls. i adore your brutally honest disclaimer! the birthday balloons and flowers made me tear up … great grief comes from great love. i love the chalk messages on the steps. someone has chalked loving and supportive messages in our grocery store parking lot. i enjoy your architecture and kitty pictures. your shoes! your shoes!!! i do believe this is my favorite stroll yet.
    many thanks!!!

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  • Vee Zellers

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    I love your strolls through your hood. you have made me much more aware
    of the beautiful architecture around in ‘my hood’. Your view of the surrounding is
    so interesting and makes me THINK!

    LOVE you shoes!!

    Please continue being safe and keep STROLLING.

    Reply

  • Rebecca

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    I always enjoy your ‘stroll through the hood’ photos, but today’s post really touched my heart. Thank you for marching! And thank you for your care to test, etc. after each one (a testament to your care for others)–it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, too, for sharing about the UnMuted series on Instagram–still checking out all of those amazing artists. Last, but not least, always love seeing pictures of sweet Mingus. Wishing you many, many more happy and safe strolls!

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  • Sue Clarke

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    Great new kicks!
    The “we can’t breathe” is incredible and beyond sad into angry for sure!
    The pics of the two houses is sad, yet hopeful. I wish that the house on the right would get redone as well.
    I wonder if it was hard for the owners of the house on
    the left to make the decision to fix their home when the one next door is falling down? I wonder if that reflects on humankind.
    Peace and wishing you well Nat.

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  • Deb

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    Loved your post. Really poignant. Really enjoyed the photos. Loved Mingus and your new shoes are Amazing! Enjoy many more strolls in them!
    Deb

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Where is Tiffany – New Painting

“Where is Tiffany” is another Mixed Media painting inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City.

The magnificently dilapidated St. John’s Church was once a showpiece of the community and diocese, lavishly decorated with Tiffany stained glass, Italian marble, and numerous decorations of the highest craft, the church was decommissioned in the 1990’s, stripped of it’s decoration, and left to disrepair and ruin.

The church played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement of the 60s under Reverend Castle and was especially important for the Black Community in our city.

Castle was a a social activist and also actor, you might have seen him in movies like Philadelphia and other movies directed by his cousin Jonathan Demme.

One of the crowning features of the church, the Tiffany windows, were auctioned off long ago and have strangely found their way to a historical museum in Chicago. I am still doing some research on the history of the church and I would love to find out more about the time during the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s …just the fact that there is not a lot of information easily to get shows how important it is to make sure the history is not forgotten.

This original painting was made with spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, and markers on a 10×10” canvas. It is available here

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Unheard – Art Journal

St. John’s church has played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement here in Jersey City and is a  historic landmark boarded up and falling apart. I couldn’t think of a better symbol to paint in my art journal while thinking about the events of the last week and present. 

I know that some of my readers will criticize the usage of  Martin Luther King jun. quote because they will point out, that the destroying of property has to stop. To those I would like to answer in anticipation of this reaction, that yes, it is sad and horrible that property is being destroyed – it is not right, but the killing of innocent black men and the systematic racism in the U.S. and the world has to stop. Let’s set the priorities right. 

I am – as hopefully a lot of you – still trying to listen and learn. I want to hear the voices …and this much is clear for me: I want change! 

Comments (3)

  • Debbie in AZ

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    I’m so glad you are speaking up/standing up for what is the ethical, moral, human thing to do. Thank you for amplifying our voices for justice, compassion and change!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nice page and quote. Seems hard for folks to hear that the rioting may be wrong, but the protesting is so right.
    I don’t have any easy answers, just hoping for some change.

    Reply

  • VIVIAN ZELLERS

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    THANK YOU for speaking out. We ALL need to consider the WHY not just the WHAT that is happening! We must
    demand the change that is needed. THANK YOU

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Piece of the Pie – New Painting

“A Piece of Pie” was inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City, and specifically an abandoned warehouse building in my hood.

The building looks like a piece of pie when you look at the satellite view. The history of this building is unbeknownst to me, although real estate records indicate that it is sold every few years for not too much money. Someone gets a piece of gentrification pie when that happens.

I used spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, and markers on the 10×10” canvas.

The building is for sure an interesting landmark and I really would love to know more about the history of this building. It would make an amazing art and community center as well.

“A Piece of Pie” is available in my store and I would love to give this painting a new home.

Comments (2)

  • g z

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    I love the building paintings that you have been doing! I love the whole look, but look at a smaller part and try to figure out how you do it. The colors are wonderful and refreshing.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Another gorgeous one Nat!
    I need more wall space.

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Going Dutch – New Painting

In my neighborhood is a row of four beautiful Dutch Queen Anne style houses.

They were built around 1889 by Garret van Horne who was a descendent of one of the first Dutch families in the city.

They reflect houses you can find in Amsterdam. I love these houses and the beautiful old park that is right next to it.

The background is created with collage elements and I used spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, and markers on this 10×10” canvas.

Going Dutch is available for sale and would love to have a new home :)

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Stroll Through the Hood – May 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 – while we are still on lock down, I started on some nicer days to venture out very early in the morning on my bike and with a mask. Not the most pleasant task but it feels good to get some fresh air and exercise.

This warehouse has been abandoned for as long I as I live here- I am not sure what is going to happen here. It is an interesting building for sure.

This made me laugh – in the middle of marina at Liberty State park . Love the rust and the font.

So glad I caught a glimpse – even though at the end of the cherry blossom – so pretty.

There was a sense of grieve and joy upon seeing the so familiar scenery … for an hour I felt as if everything will be ok … we all need a little bit of social distanced escape once in a while

A paste up by Dylon Egon at the Jersey City Medical Center. It was weird to have no cars and no people around on those intersections that are usually bustling.

Definitely kept my distance from those very protective parents taking their cute kids out for a stroll.

At Lincoln Park – they reopened the parks and it has been such a nice way to get out. Walking in the city with people has not been fun- but the bike really gives a sense of freedom and normality and the possibility to get away from people.

These gorgeous daisies that open up in the morning and close in the evening make me very happy.

I painted these pots a while ago and finally put them up- a nice little colorful spread on the fence.

Kim gave me a bunch of Allium bulbs last fall as a gift and since I am such a sucker for those gorgeous flowers – I am super super excited to see them grow. This one is going up to my chest now.

Another early morning bike ride.

Went all the way to Hoboken and went through the usually totally crowded train station. No -one there – the waiting room is closed off and while there are still trains leaving there were maybe two people in the traing station waiting. The positive thing about this was that for the first time I was able to take some pictures without being elbowed out of the way.

It is an impressive and beautiful building.

Another view from Lincoln park – I think this factory used to be a paint factory but I am not sure. I think I might want to paint this one day.

Still baking bread …What a science LOL. I am not a big baker but something about tending to the dough and smelling fresh baked bread through the house gives a really nice and comforting feeling. Do you have a smell that makes you feel homey and feel comforted?

I hope you are all well – sending you Love!!! Until next month with hopefully more strolls through the hood.

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We Shall Overcome – New Painting

Another painting with the gorgeous mural in my neighborhood “We Shall Overcome”

I added some texture to this one by adding heavy buddy paint through my Signal Stencil – some added actual texture.

Painting a motif on different substrates has been a lot of fun – I love to explore different backgrounds and changing things up.

We shall Overcome is available in my store and looking for a new loving home.

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