Blog: Watercolor

Home is Where you Launch – Art Journal

“But home isn’t where you land, home is where you launch!” (from An American Marriage by Tayari Jones) Even though I love living in the States and call it my home and I do not see myself going back to Germany and even though I do feel more like a European than being German…I guess home is still a city in Germany called Hamburg :) I think this is a feeling I share with a lot of immigrants and when I read this quote it really resonated with me and I knew I had to use it for an art journal spread.

I used one of my drypoint prints with the lady as a collage element – you can read more about the drypoint etching class I took here.

I stamped and layered my Stroll Through the Hood and Stroll Around the Block stamps and then colored them in with watercolor.

I painted the top of the background with golden gesso – and I really love how the gold and the watercolor play together.

Here are some of the supplies I used for the spread:


Comments (4)

  • Janene

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    I understand what you’re saying. I grew up in Southern California and still consider it my “home” even though I haven’t lived there in over 40 years (and I’ve lived in a couple of other places in between then and where I live now). When I visit California, I’m flooded with good memories of my early life there. But my new home is fantastic in an entirely different way. Kinda like the difference between chocolate and vanilla – both are delicious, but I’d never mistake one flavor for the other!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I love your comparison with the flavors – that is beautifully put! thank you for sharing Janene!

      Reply

    • Donna B.

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      I feel the same way. I’d never thought about it before, but I also have strong feelings about the place where I grew up. In my case, I don’t even know anyone who lives back in my old home town or the surrounding area anymore, but if I were to go back there, I suspect it would still feel like my home.

      Reply

      • Nathalie Kalbach

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        Thank you for sharing Donna- I totally understand what you mean about that it would be different but still feel like home.

        Reply

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Not Flowery – Art Journal

For not being a flowery girl, I did an awful lot of flowery stuff lately, huh? LOL.

This spread was inspired by a mural I saw in Birmingham, UK last year- can you spot which one in the post about it?

The background was spray painted over my Kassel stencil, and the flowers are painted with acrylic paints and gouache. For the face I used neopastels.

I like how all the different paint mediums look together and play with them.


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It’s All in My Mind – Art Journal

I love how this page turned out. I had seen a page by my sweet friend Birgit Koopsen where she had used a black art journal and then doodled in white on top of it and that set off this page. I painted my art journal page with black gesso, let it dry and then added some white watercolor ground into the the middle area.

I then used different stencils of mine and used a white Signo Pen to outline some patterns on the black gesso

I stamped the different houses from my Stroll Around The Block Set with archival ink and then added watercolor and the journaling.

The watercolor ground gives a lot of tooth- so the watercolor looks a bit different on it when on normal watercolor paper- but I love the texture.

It was fun playing with different media and a different ground

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


Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    I love how the white pattern on black sets the background for the rest of the page.
    I must try this soon in my new art journal!

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Happy Anniversary Card

A wonderful friend of mine lives in a mid century house and she and her husband were celebrating their anniversary and I thought I would send them a handmade card using my new My Home is my Castle and  Stroll Around The Block Stamps.

I stamped the Adirondack Chairs first, then masked them off and stamped with my Mid-Century Stamp on top of a blank card. I added the Street Sign and wrote “Happy Anniversary” into the two blank street plates.  I then colored everything with watercolors. I think my friend liked the card very much.

Here are the supplies I used to create the card:


Wishing you a wonderful day!

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My new RubberMoon Stamp Sets are out!

So stoked for my new RubberMoon Cling Rubber Stamp sets – I just have so much fun with those stamps:

Here is the first one –Stroll Around The Block:

The Stroll Around the Block stamps are inspired by iconic American architectural styles that I saw during my travels around the US. This set includes 5 cling rubber stamps. These original hand sketched stamp designs may remind you of your childhood home, Grandma’s place, or even the house you live in today.

And the second set is called My Home Is MY Castle:

The My Home is My Castle stamps are inspired by the iconic details of American neighborhoods in the US. This set includes 8 cling rubber stamps. It is amazing how some things just never change. Do you remember what street you grew up on? What about the excitement when the mailman came? Or gazing out the window to see who might be at the front door?

Here are some sample cards that I made with both stamp sets- I will show more projects using them,  in the next couple weeks :)

A row of the Queen Anne, Craftsman and the Mid Century. I stamped with some black archival ink and then colored the stamped images in with watercolor. I just loved doing that.

Here is the Midcentury Modern from the Stroll Around the Block Set paired with the Street Sign from the My Home is My Castle set . I also added my Star Tag stamp. I left the street sign empty on purpose so that it can be filled with whatever words or names you would like to use in it.

So much fun with the little door and windows of the My Home is My Castle Set

And another one using the stamps from the My Home is My Castle Set

The Craftsman – I think I will fill the street sign in with Happy Holidays and and send it out as a Holiday Card.

You can get them now in my n*Studio Store here.

I so hope you like the sets! Which of the stamps in the set is your favorite?

Comments (4)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Stroll Around The Block!!!
    The craftsman is a great style.
    This set is on my wish list for sure.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      YEahh- so glad you like it Sue! I would move into the Craftsman if I could right away- LOL

      Reply

  • Sherry Canino

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    They are all soo gorgeous!!❤️❤️❤️

    Reply

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Go and Grow – Art Journal Spread

Grow through what you go through ….still wading through it LOL

I do have to say I love how this turned out …I did the lady with a bamboo sketching pen and then added the textured background with sepia ink and the Cardboard RubberMoon Stamp Set. Don’t I wish I looked that elegant with a hat …but alas…I do not ;)

Then I colored the lady and stamping in with some watercolor and added the Stroll Through the Hood Set 1 and 2 RubberMoon sets in black with ink.

Using my new Van Vorst Positive and Negative ArtFoamies Stamps with acrylic paint, I added a ground on the bottom picking up the green color from the lady :)

Here are the supplies I used for this Art Journal Page:


Hope you are having a very wonderful day!

Comments (2)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Very unique & different I really like it. Cool sketch

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Which Direction?

I was thinking about how so many times in our lives we have to rethink the direction we want to head – always so tough , so many questions, so many uncertainties.

For this art journal spread I sketched the lady on the left with acrylic ink and a bamboo sketching pen, and colored her in with watercolor. The right lady is on a piece of painted deli paper which lets the background show through.

I added some stamping with my Stroll Through the Hood RubberMooon Stamps and stamped with acrylic paint and the MidTown ArtFoamies Stamp Set as well as the Mini Manhattan Positive and Negative Stamp set.

I sprinkled some golden ink over the spread and added the journaling. I do love how this turned out.

Different from my usually super filled pages- but still funky :)

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread


Comments (2)

  • Joi@RR

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    Love this one Nat. Your gals are so abstractly done – in a great way and then the buildings are more “solid” – stabilizing. Love that some are black/white too. And the Mini Manhattan stamp is perfect symbolism for the “which way” – and perfect in the varying colors to show different choices. This is one that would be great on a huge canvas – so symbolic and the type of art that speaks! You always inspire me. Have a blessed holiday season. Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Joi! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season as well!!!<3

      Reply

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Mario Robinson speaks the “Truth”

Some of you might remember my friend Mario A. Robinson who was part of Creative JumpStart in 2016.

This 10 min video of him by Jesse Brass is just beautiful:

Truth from Jesse Brass on Vimeo.

“The real power of art, is the ability to galvanize and organize all those pigments and materials, and pour a soul into it.” Mario A. Robinson

What a wonderful human being and super talented person he is!

If you are into Watercolor – check out his great book “Realistic Watercolor”:

Hope this inspired you – have a gorgeous day!

Comments (1)

  • JoAnn

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    Wow!!! Beautiful – I love his work.

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Say It Like You Mean It – Marsha Valk

  

Welcome to another post from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful piece from Marsha Valk who used my Stroll Through the Hood #1 and #2 cling stamp sets to give her personal take on this month’s theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


There are a lot of things on my mind: work and business, national politics, environmental and sustainability issues and even something as mundane as interior design. At this moment, as I’m typing this, current affairs in the US just aren’t in the forefront of my mind. But the Stroll Through the Hood #1 set is about a stroll through urban America. Not urban the Netherlands… So what was I going to do? I didn’t want to make another ‘I don’t want to’ spread. So I decided to turn off my mind and let the theme and the stamps do the talking.

Each time I read the theme ‘Say it like you Mean it’, I have a bad case of ear worm: the song ‘Sewn’ by The Feeling instantly starts playing in my head. But… I wasn’t sure what to do with it and I started thinking about songs that fitted the New York City feel of the stamps. And because I’m not currently in an empire state of mind, I thought of ‘I can’t see New York’ by Tori Amos. Also not sure about that song, I decided to go with both songs. They certainly were on my mind now!

I stamped some of the images in a notebook whilst I was working out what to do and that’s where the idea for the stars hanging from the sky came from. Then I stamped an urban scene at the bottom of the page.

Whilst I watercoloured the sky, I thought: you can’t see the city if there is no light. So that’s when I coloured the stars black. But the brief was to use one of the tag stamps and I chose ‘Hope’, so I felt that at least one star should shine its light.

In the end I needed to decide whether I wanted to colour the urban scene. I didn’t want to make it a black cityscape and colouring it would make it too visible, so I only added light grey lines and kept the rest bare.

The penciled and smudged words are the lyrics of ‘Sewn’ and the title in india ink refers to the Tori Amos song.


Thank you Marsha! We can always count on you to take the theme and really pull it apart to see what it means to you :) And the results are a gorgeously composed scene with beautiful colors and a couple surprises – like that cute suspended Star Tag lighting up the night sky. Marsha used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:



Play along with us! I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nice take on the guidelines Marsha. I can’t help but hear the Billy Joel song I’m in a New York State of Mind while reading your words. Now I’ve dated myself for sure. The stars are a nice addition.

    Reply

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