Blog: United Kingdom

Inspired By: Coventry, England

When Birgit Koopsen and I taught our Workshop in Coventry, we took a little trip to the city center to check it out.

The city was founded in 1043 with some beautiful medieval houses still intact.

Love the lines and those beautiful windows.

And I love old doors and door knobs- aren’t those cool?

And the timber wood house facades.

The crest of Coventry shows an elephant carrying the castle- as you can imagine I love that :)

You can find the Elephant everywhere

Coventry was devastatingly destroyed during the German Blitz in 1940 during World War II and many people died during the attacks and many lost their homes. Coventry Cathedral was destroyed as well and remains as a ruin in the middle of the city.

It is a haunting experience and yet there is so much beauty in this place!

“Coventry Cathedral is one of the world’s oldest religious-based centres for reconciliation. Following the destruction of the Cathedral in 1940, Provost Howard made a commitment not to revenge, but to forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible.

Using a national radio broadcast from the cathedral ruins on Christmas Day 1940 he declared that when the war was over he would work with those who had been enemies “to build a kinder, more Christ-child-like world.”

 

“Today the medieval ruins of Coventry Cathedral continue to remind us of our human capacity both to destroy and to reach out to our enemies in friendship and reconciliation. In 2011, the ruins were designated as a memorial to all civilians killed, injured or traumatized by war and violent conflict world-wide.” (from the Coventry Cathedral Website)

“The Charred Cross and the Cross of Nails were created after the cathedral was bombed. The cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, saw two wooden beams lying in the shape of a cross and tied them together.

It has become a symbol of peace and reconciliation across the world. There are over 330 Cross of Nails Centres all over the world, all of them bearing a cross made of three nails from the ruins, similar to the original one. When there were no more of these nails, a continuing supply have come from a prison in Germany. They are co-ordinated by the International Centre for Reconciliation.”

Shadow and Light and a lot of amazing and touching statues.

The artist Josefina de Vasconcellos about her statue above: “The sculpture was originally conceived in the aftermath of the War. Europe was in shock, people were stunned. I read in a newspaper about a woman who crossed Europe on foot to find her husband, and I was so moved that I made the sculpture. Then I thought that it wasn’t only about the reunion of two people but hopefully a reunion of nations which had been fighting.”

For someone born in Germany visiting places like these are always very emotional and a reminder that anyone in our country – and actually in any country is responsible to work towards that none of this can happen again !

Birgit and I also visited the Herbert Art & Gallery next to the Cathedral – the painting below was created after the painter visited the ruins a day after it got destroyed.

It was a beautiful yet solemn time and yet again there is something so soothing knowing that 70 years later a German with a Dutch friend visits this place and talks about all that happened and all that hopefully never happens. To see that Coventry after all this became a city of reconciliation is inspiring.

I hope that despite the sad topic this post was inspiring to you too. My blog is about my creative journey and life as an artist, and this is part of it. Peace and Love to all of you!

Comments (4)

  • Zoe Gregg

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    Did you have time to go into the new cathedral as well. There are some incredible pieces of art in there too.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Zoe- I wil go def. next year when I am back- we didn’t manage this time but this sounds wonderful! Thank you for the tip!

      Reply

  • Deb

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    Kudos to you Natalie for yet another touching, inspiring and thoughtful post with amazing photography. Blessings to you. Keep doing all that you do with your sense of Love and Artful Adventure. Now that you are American….Happy Thanksgiving!
    Deb

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you Deb- I am glad you liked the article. Have a wonderful and special weekend!

      Reply

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Color Crush Workshop in Coventry, UK for Art Workshops

Last weekend my friend Birgit Koopsen and I taught our 3Day Color Crush Retreat for Art Workshops in Coventry in the U.K.

We had a wonderful group of 34 super talented and sweet ladies creating an art journal from scratch.

Birgit and I both love color but we both have a different style and we set the mood by putting a lot of colorful stuff out.

we started with some color theory and color exercises and some ink drawings and stamping.

so many happy faces – it was such a great group.

Look at all those colors!

Aren’t those gorgeous? The second day we did a lot of gelli printing techniques

Now if you do not call this a yummie color crush!

And we even had a short session for making your own foam stamps outside- the weather was great…who says it is always raining in the U.K?

And a lot of the new Art Foamies were used as well

And of course there was a ton of opportunity to buy some stuff …always love seeing the ArtFoamies, most were gone after 3 days.

It was wonderful to see Tali, Tsila, Iris and Hedi from Israel again -it is so many years ago that I met them when teaching in Tel Aviv. Thanks for coming all the way to the UK to join us.

The third day we started the day off binding the book and adding the covers. I don’t think Hazel and Shirley were really as scared as they look like in the photo when Birgit explained how to add the covers- LOL

After having the book all together we got a treat.

The food for the event was plenty some and so good and on top of that Sue, B, Leroy, Debbie and Pam made all of us feel really pampered during the whole retreat.

And then it was all about finishing up some pages and showing how we layer on top of our backgrounds

 

And…seeing a lot of the ladies with my book “Artful Adventures in Mixed Media”  made me super duper extra happy. I know I am a dork but it really does!

Since I came home this week I feel so energized and inspired- it was such a wonderful retreat. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful students who joined us, for Sue for inviting us and to her and her staff for taking great care of us and to my wonderful friend, partner in crime and very tall co-teacher Birgit! It was amazing.


If you weren’t able to join but would like to take a workshop with me check out my In-Person Classes. I will be teaching at the Queens Ink in Maryland  and at Runaway Art and Craft Studio on November 4-5 and December 2 -3 in Oregon. And if you are interested in taking a workshop with me and Birgit – we are coming back to Syracuse July 20-22, 2018 for a three day fun retreat – so safe the date.

Comments (10)

  • karen bearse

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    Looks like it was a lot of fun with tons of ink flying!

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  • Tania

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    I had such an amazing time, and learnt so much from you two,hope to attend another one of your workshops in the future 😙😙

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It was so good to see you again Tania- hope to see you soon again <3

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Looks like y’all had a blast with foamies, food and fun!!!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It was really fun …the food of course helped- LOL- gotta have food !

      Reply

  • Ally

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    It was such an awesome weekend- wish I could do it every weekend!!! X

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It was wonderful to have you!!! Hopefully soon again!

      Reply

  • Natalie Jane

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    What an amazing weekend :)
    I cannot wait to finish my book with all the techniques I’ve learned and of course to use YOUR FOAMIES!!!

    Until next time – you and Brigit are a great teaching team xxx

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Natalie it was so wonderful to finally meet you – and you are so talented -rock on with it!!! See you hopefully next year again :) <3

      Reply

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