What started out as a simple logo for my sister has become a mild obsession. I love when I get immersed in a project and this one has potential to lead to a series of paintings. Whether encaustic or oil and collage, or graphics for greeting cards (or all of the above!) I’m not sure, but I’m enjoying the process right now.
I began with motifs that represent Sophie but certainly, my own motifs crept through my subconscious and found themselves entwined. The thing about horseshoes though, they seem the right device for me as well, as a transition from the encaustic horse paintings. Horses have become a major concept at work, too. I spent two years teaching students how to draw them so I’ve been all about the horse. But in terms of most of my artwork, symbolism is the main attraction. The art is meant to be both personal and universal so that when it leaves the nest, it can become something else for someone else.
Horseshoes are lucky, which lends another positive element to my work. I created the template then added Sharpie marker and some metallic to colored pencil for these samples. The real logo will be different – a combination of parts and colors, and hopefully, exactly what she wants.
Karen Tashkovski, Life. Liberty. Happiness., 18″ x 36″, 1997, oil & collage, $675 – This is one of my favorite paintings. It’s the only one of the Messages from the Other Voice series that incorporates the flag motif, (liberty component) My father escaped from a communist country so that I could have this life, the American starving artist! – and I’m very proud and happy to be labelled with that moniker because I feel that I am lucky to be living a creative life. It’s definitely hard to let go of the work even though the goal is selling it. Paintings are like my children; as silly as that sounds, I am emotionally invested.
I think this is the first article anyone ever wrote about my artwork. I exhibited in Sweet Babas restaurant in Armory Square, which is an area in downtown Syracuse, NY, referred to as the Karen section of town in the 1980s by my cousin Nick, when it was just art frame shops and antique stores. I think I was the only one who ever went down there back then.
Sweet Babas was built between two buildings so the exposed brick from the facades was the interior walls. I loved the way my paintings looked in that place – I think it was something like seven feet wide and so it was an intimate dining experience. I sold the painting pictured for $200. It was one of my first oil and collage paintings, called Jacks, with card jacks as well as the metal game pieces.
For some reason, I really love that this article is plagued with typos. You know how it goes – when you think you’ve finally “arrived” as a force to be reckoned with in the art arena, that you think you’re a big fish in the small sea of your local town – it’s just funny. The artist Linda Bigness once told me that I would have to paint for twenty-five years before I’d get any real recognition (something like that) and in a way she was right. It took me about twenty-five years to decide to create this website!
The above article is from The Syracuse New Times, from around the same time because at the bottom where it says Art Around Town, they list my Sweet Babas show. I’ve always loved captive audiences because they do not come for the art but they may fall in love with it and that emotional attachment can lead to a sale and even a life long patron, which is why I used to (and still do!) solicit for shows in restaurants and coffee shops, and libraries. In this article, the author responds to the Goodyear blimp in my Pompano paintings as atomic bombs. I have mentioned this to my students during lessons on art criticism. Interpretation in the art criticism format is what you think the artist was trying to tell you – like why they made the paintings. Maybe my playful Florida landscapes contained this ominous item and meant that life is fragile. In a way, my life in Florida had its demise so maybe there is an underlying truth to her interpretation, but let me be honest and say that clearly, I was not that “deep” when I painted them. The blimp is simply another device in my repertoire that reoccurs throughout the years. You can take the girl out of Pompano but you can’t take the Pompano out of me.
Karen Tashkovski, Deerfield Beach, 36″ x 48″, 1990, acrylic & collage, $1,000
Karen Tashkovski, Pompano Beach, 36″ x 48″, 1994, oil & collage, $1,000
Karen Tashkovski, White Pompano, 36″ x 48″, 1998, oil & collage, $1,000
Karen Tashkovski, Three Crosses, 36″ x 48″, 1995, oil & collage, $1,000
It is very addicting, especially when you start to see all of your boards come together. I found pictures on the site to illustrate found object items I use, like game pieces and fabric. That was fun. I still need to figure out how to add the widget to this site and all of that computer speak in order to successfully link the two, but I am working on it. The site is a business site rather than a personal one so it will feature primarily art and art inspirations.
The paper collages I recently “pinned” haven’t been uploaded to this website yet so here they are –
I created these in February 2001. This was around the time my maternal grandfather passed away. I was living in Eastwood in a two bedroom flat where there was not much space to make art. These could be constructed while sitting on the sofa. I cut up some abstract oil paintings created on paper canvas. Some of them have abstract watercolor hearts as well and so, these pieces combine literally all that I am as an artist! Sewing, drawing, collage, painting, and two of my favorite motifs – hearts and kittens.
I spent part of the day photographing my Echolalia series – twenty-four 18″ x 18″ paintings I created in 2005.
I began these oil and collage paintings by gluing rough textured canvas to the stretched canvas then applying gesso to the surface. I used pencil to draw the composition – I used two different stencils (I drew) of cats as well as a ruler to create the geometric field.
I always draw thumbnail sketches before I begin the actual paintings to map out the direction of the series. I used chalkboard paint in both black and green, and oil paint. Then I added the collage items, which included text, coins, starfish, ribbon and wooden toys.
A rune is a mystery and echo alludes to the repetition of the devices.
You can see more of these works – I uploaded the entire series – in the portfolio section of my website. They are for sale for $200 each.