Stroll Through The Hood

Stroll Through the Hood – November 2018

Happy Thanksgiving my Friends in the U.S. What a better day for a Stroll Through the Hood post :) . 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.

Dramatic fall backdrop for this cute Pretzel :)

And a dramatic sun set with our city and Manhattan as a backdrop

House Hunting is a fun way to explore a wider range of hoods in my city- and I came across this amazing church – wow. I love the wood facade and the little tower!

See we have nature in our city …and apparently Mario Bros fans :)

A beautiful bathroom window in an open house we saw – love the pattern!

Brownstone galore n the rain – I love the little bits and pieces of orange on the stoops

One of my favorite floors in an open house – gosh – looooveeee!

A Lord of the Rings deck with a mural underneath – also big love!!! It is really fun to see all those backyards- it is a hidden world in the hood.

A very cute and for this area cheap house …but then upon entering you know it is totally overpriced. Totally dangerous inside as it falls apart. But it must have been gorgeous in his hay-days .

Fun wall paper in that house in the kitchen …I bet there were more fun details but I was like “get me out of here” – I am adventurous but not THAT adventurous LOL.

Hope you have a wonderful day and for those of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving today- I wish you beautiful day- filled with family, friends and good food. Thank you for being part of my Artful Adventures – lots of love

Comments (7)

  • Donna Davis

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    I grew up in Jersey City! on Nevins street around the corner from Bergen and Montgomery! My college was St.Peters…

    Reply

  • Donna DiCorcia

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    Is that Jersey City ???? I grew up in JC. I went to college at Saint Peters!!! Small world!!!!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Donna, yes it is :) How fun!!! I live in the old Dixon Mills factory :)

      Reply

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    I forgot that Bobby Pretzel is YOUR cat. Thanks for sharing your photos–a pleasure, as always. I love your strolls through the ‘hood.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    That sunset, that background for Pretzel, those brownstones…WOW, just gorgeous photos Nat!
    That house look like it needs a ton of work for sure and that wall paper is just scary.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and I am thankful for the inspiration which you deliver to my inbox on a daily basis.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Sue, hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Oh man yeah that house was really hoarder-squatted-scary …I am not brave enough to take on that work LOL

      Reply

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Stroll Through The Hood – October 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.

I love sunny fall days- and when I step out of the house I love how the old pencil factory looks in the morning sun

This scene made me laugh hard when I was walking to pick up our CSA box. Hilarious!

We went to the library for some research and I love the stair case

also the cool iron gate with its track in the marble landing – so cool

Speaking of our building, I still wonder who and why those little faces were put into the column. I have never seen this anywhere else so far -any ideas? I wonder if it was kind of like a joke by the masons or if it was supposed to keep evil spirits away or something else- LOL

We had the annual Downtown Jersey City Market and my friends offered these really cool cookie jars. I am still sad I didn’t get them , but then …there is also only so much space in our apartment.

 

Speaking of our apartment -Bobby Pretzel is doing well – look how cute his little pink chin looks.

First pumpkin sighting of the month

And…my favorite Art Supply store around the corner moved …”Eat the Rich” is the message they left behind – I am sad. The building will be torn down and another “luxury” apartment building will go up in its place. At least the art supply store is staying in business but I loved walking by and buying my stuff there – support small business guys …preach it and do it.

Brownstone galore …also …see the sidewalk ..not good for your ankles …I sprained my ankle- oh well..

I do love all the iron work on those brownstones- this was just newly painted


Look at Bobby Pretzel seeing Sun Flowers for the first time of his life …Niles looks at me as if to say “This whipper snapper is soooooo ridiculous” hahahah.

Hope you enjoyed the Stroll Through the Hood- until next time :)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    I always enjoy your strolls through the hood Nat.
    I think that I saw little faces in a building like yours in a horror movie. It was something like the souls of the people who died when making the building “trapped” inside. Sorry but that’s how I remember it.
    Love the brownstones. They are my favorite part of visiting Boston.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      WAHHHHHH – Sue ….LOL- I really hope those are not the souls of people who died when making the building . What a Halloween story- LOL

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – September 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.

Enjoying the gorgeous light and skylights in the evening while sitting on the deck – we love eating outside and do so almost everyday for dinner when weather allows.

Some fun little dog hedges I saw when walking through the hood.

I love brick – there is something so cool and rough about it -but I also love how this old green sprinkler alarm looks on the brick wall. And the font mix is pretty pretty cool too.

The amazing boarded houses you discover while taking a bike tour through the city- such a pretty house – I wonder if it will ever restored or just torn down.

Also loved finding this old fashioned sign – so fun!

On the way home after a nice night out with my girlfriends.

The pedestrian area in Jersey City all painted for the Pride Week- so much fun!

Some people know Jersey City only from its most ugly side- the street to the Holland Tunnel to go into NYC …but at least there is a gigantic mural there now …a glimpse of color.

And sorry …LOL- cannot help myself – I have a hard time leaving the house lately because Bobby Pretzel (check him out on instagram) is just so adorable.


He loves to discover new places and play fetch – and makes me laugh a LOT :) Very inspiring. But I will be in trouble as soon as he can hop onto my workbench in the studio :)
That was it from the Hood – I hope you enjoyed it – see you next month

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nat, you will need a plan for incorporating Bobby Pretzels’s paw prints onto your art. LOL

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This Too Shall Pass – Painting

Just finished this painting last week. This scene is inspired by the scene upon exiting the Grove Street PATH train station in my Jersey City hood.

Tidy rows of shops and apartment buildings set the stage for a massive Shepard Fairey mural titled “The Jersey City Wave”, striking a pose above the bustle of the town.

The meaning of the subject and title is up to the viewer to decide.

I used acrylic paint, ink, marker and graphite on this 10″x8″ canvas. “This too shall pass” is available  here and would love to find a loving home.

 

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Back to School: Watercolor Class at JCAS

Last Sunday was the last lesson of six in a Watercolor class with John Duval at the Jersey City Art School. As some of you might know I have taken two printmaking classes already there and I really love being able to do something different over several weeks, and just being able to walk there.

This was the first time I took a Sunday morning class and I have to say, despite my first hesitance of getting up early on a Sunday it was really awesome – having my friend Mary join helped ;)

What drew me in taking the class were several factors – I really suck in painting with watercolors and I love John’s loose expressionistic style depicting urban landscapes. Here are three gorgeous samples of John’s work- check out his website for more or follow him on instagram!

John started with explaining and showing the different applications of watercolor he uses for his watercolor paintings- from very wet application (wash), to medium wet and sticky watercolor application, to dry brush application.

He talked about the importance of planning a painting and how to not shift your plan. You can imagine that was a tough one for me ;)

Above one of my first attempts …gosh …sigh …but hey- it was fun and I learned a lot

One of my favorite aspects of the class was his usage of a limited color palette (yeah I know guys- awkward right?) and how to play with alternating warm and then cool colors and vice versa in the layers.

Me trying out the one tone approach – there are areas that I like and some I am like “WTH”?

I loved seeing his demos of painting from start to finish and talking through his process as well as how he chooses a subject to paint. At first I was really itchy to get back to the easel and paint myself, but I realized very soon that a lot of what he talked about and went through sticked in my head and was helpful for my own process. Very dear to my heart was his approach of not being afraid of changing up the scene so that it looks interesting or reflects how you feel rather than the actual depiction of the place.

John about to start after sketching a rough scene from a photo.

John’s finished piece piece from one of the demos- you can actually see a bit of the original photo on the left.

As we progressed in the class we picked our own images and I loved seeing what everyone was doing and talk through it.

I focused on the house and the water …as you can tell trees and foliage …not so much ;)

Love the beach scene of one of the fellow students- especially her shadows.

Such a great water texture here and I love the color scheme.

And I really loved the mood in this one- so gorgeous!

John is a great teacher, he is very good in explaining what he does and why he does it and he is good showing students why and where things work and where not. I loved taking a class from him and I will def. do so again …yes in watercolor —gasp ;)

If you are in the Jersey City – NYC area- take a class with John Duval – I am sure he sends out class informations through his newsletter !

What I learned in this class:

  • Watercolor is fun and sometimes you just need it to let it do it’s own thing
  • “Never say die until it’s dry” – John Duval – meaning once it is dry you cannot fix things so be quick
  • think about warm and cool colors more and how this can create visual interest and contrast
  • The watercolor consistency is defined by the water in the brush not on the palette – so don’t dip your paint brush all the time into the water (I only learned this so far in theory- still working on it)
  • Don’t give too much visual information – our little brains do a lot to fill in the gaps

What I take away for the future:

  • Why not add some “people” into a painting to make the scene more lively
  • Change scenes up – you can take a photo if you are going for reality
  • Have the wash or underpainting in my acrylic paintings look through a bit more often
  • Work with a limited color palette or even just one color and play with the tones, tints and shades for a study
  • Why not paint a bit more in watercolor – it is quick and it is just paper and I can actually only improve ;)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    What a fun post! I love the limited colors that you used in that first piece that you did (I do bet that it killed you to use limited colors).
    The beach piece is delightful.
    He really is talented and I just don’t know how artists can do so much with watercolors.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      ha. you know me well -yes it was really challenging to only use a limited palate but it was really good to do so . :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – August 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.

Well- first of all meet Bobby Pretzel- our new cat. Bobby is adorable and just 13 weeks old now -he also has his own instagram account @bobbypretzel . He is an awesome studio kitten, super cuddly, and very adventurous – makes me laugh – so that is good :)

What Niles thinks about this? “What the Fluff” sums it up – LOL. He is very curious, sniffs and plays with the kitten, they have also slept two time for five minutes cuddled together but most of the time Niles looks at me like he looks at this weird Marshmallow stuff in a jar.

I was out and about in the city last week – for a wedding of a very good friend of mine from Germany – and saw the fun mural above at the WTC station. Good, the area needed some color and I love the contrast.

Here is the gorgeous couple- so happy for them – they are adorable and it was a wonderful day! I still cannot believe how they managed in the clothing in this insane heat that day -I looked like a wet towel- they looked gorgeous!

Spent some nice time at DUMBO and took the ferry from DUMBO to 33rd street which was really nice – for 2.75 Dollars you have a cool ferry ride – on my list for future visitors.

I never saw the sign above – also kind of funky- LOL- two days later I saw an article with that sign in the New York Times and learned that “Brad’s Drink” as it was called first 120 years ago was advertised as a medicinal drink …go figure! LOL

Speaking of friends

I also got to spent some time with my wonderful friend Birgit Koopsen – who I was lucky to see twice during her family vacation in the States. I always love seeing her ! We took one photo together …guess we had too much fun to think about photos :)

Looking around at open houses is also super interesting and inspiring -love the old fire place and the grate – the pattern intrigues me but then of course also how original this is.

and be still my heart- look at the stenciling on the stairs – I am wondering where those designs came from and how common that was in the 1880s and a bit later -anyone has an idea?

Part of a back yard of a house- love the man made old wall – so cool!

Also getting around a lot to see more murals –

Always love Rubin415 geometric shapes but I also dig the colors he used here

and of course pixelpancho – fun!

Meanwhile Lady Liberty in our parking lot in front of the apartment building is still suffering -I hear you Lady- I am with you!

And someone tied up their lego dog in front of Hamilton Park.

I hope you enjoyed my monthly Stroll Through the Hood – I hope to see you next month again!

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Congrats and welcome to Bobby. Niles…be the big brother and try to be kind.
    The Lady Liberty is stunning yet so sad (reflecting towards concerns for many of us).

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Stroll Through The Hood – July 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.

This above actually taken in NYC – love it! Love how the heart is part of the figure.

YESSS – thats what I say- LOL: Love the lettering and the colors inside the individual letters.

Van Hook Cheese – is one of my favorite stores in the hood …not only do they have delicious cheese – they also have always the best window display. Look at those painted houses made from cardboard – LOOOOOVEEEE

4th July Jersey City firework over the Hudson – pretty :)

Near the Holland Tunnel there are tons of murals -I don’t go there often with my bike but I had to run some errands at Home Depot and I took the time to check those out. I like the perspective here.

Dramatic. Still thinking what the reference might be. Any ideas?

Looking at Open Houses is interesting. This bathroom wallpaper was in a beautiful Brownstone which had a lot of time capsule features. I love the bright paisley (well…I wouldn’t in my bathroom hahahah) and the lamp is so cool- look at the pattern in it)

In my newly embroidered dress -in front of the pencil factory where I live. I love this little street, every time I go out of our building or come back I think about how cool it is that this is preserved.

This mural shows all kinds of known landmarks for Jersey City, the Colgate Clock, the Liberty State train station, the Mana Watertower, the Loew Theatre and more. Fun! Makes me want to grab my Stroll stamps.

And …I showed this before on my Instagram and FB – OMG – this painted wooden floor …my heart was going like a million beats a second LOOOOVEEE. Unfortunately the flooring didn’t justify the rest of the house…but hahahahaha almost ;)

Hope you enjoyed the Stroll Through the Hood-  join me next month again!

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Sounds like you’re house hunting Nat…have fun and don’t rush (find the most perfect place for you).
    Love the strolls photos as always. Not sure about that one with the two women, but my first impression was how the establishment has been holding Latinas down (not as many opportunities in employment and maybe even the immigration issues that are in the forefront these days)???

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      No rush at all Sue- I agree about the most perfect place :) But it is fun nonetheless to see all the different options.
      Interesting thought about the graffiti ! I should find out who made it and see if there is a connection.

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Stroll Through The Hood – June 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.

Niles demanded that I post him as part of the Stroll through the hood…when he doesn’t just relax he is patrolling his hood a lot  LOL

Those amazing flowers “torch lilies”  were just in bloom in our Van Vorst Park. Kim and I got some lunch and sat in the park on this very beautiful day and it reminded me that I should take my sketchbook into the park and go there more often.

Bicycle Ride to Liberty State Park – Look at the best office view ever!

Oh brother…what can I say- LOL – someone is blocking my view of Manhattan but ok…laughing also triggers your creative muse ;)

Work on a new mural – I have to go back now that it is finished. I love watching murals in progress and man – just the scale is so insane!

We are scouting out some other neighborhoods in the city and there are so many more murals of course.

A new distillery opened – Corgi Distillery – hence the outside stenciling of their facilities -fun! I like the color scheme too.

Technically my hood- since it is only 15 mins away ;) Always amazing when you walk around in Manhattan and then you look up and you are like “oooooohhhhh” . Also …maybe that could be a scene for a painting. I am intrigued by it.

Hope you enjoyed strolling with me through my hood always fun to discover new things and this monthly blogpost actually also pushes me to look for new things and fun things :)

Comments (2)

  • Shasta

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    I haven’t heard of torch lilies but those are amazing! Thanks for the tour of your neighborhood!

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Stroll Through the Hood May 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.

This view gets never old for me.

The inside of the Liberty State Train Station – I love the ironwork and woodwork

A different view of Lady Liberty

shown before but still always making me happy. It depicts many buildings I love and sketched – the Lady Liberty train station , the powerhouse…

Come on- that is the cutest free library EVER – in our Hamilton Park

So Van Vorst Park competes with some beautiful peonies :)

A little bit of progress in my studio reorganization – I moved the letterpress to the other side of the wall and arranged my stackable industrial drawer next to it , instead of on top of the letterpress.

new spray painted drain …interesting.

New hairdo …hey …you don’t see me much so I thought I sneak this one in ;)

And this is how I felt when I came from the vet – happy the cat was doing well ….kind of going nuts that the bill was crazy :) LOL.

Hope you enjoyed this little stroll through my hood – thank you for strolling along

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the ironwork also.
    Nice do and lighter color for a change. I want to do eggplant to dye my grays and maybe it will show up better than on my dark brown hair?
    Sewer drain painting…who does that? Gorgeous.
    Have a nice creative weekend Nat.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      That sounds like a cool color choice- go and try it! Have a wonderful creative rest of the week , Sue!

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