Category Archives: cats

Road Trip

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I drove to New Jersey on Monday.  Visited with friends in Jersey City and Morristown, and stopped in to see my art exhibition at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights.  I love how easy-peasy it is to find your way around the country via Google maps/GPS, by the way. It is clearly the greatest invention to eliminate fear of travel.  It was an effortless, fun-filled journey!

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This place is so beautiful!  Space Planner Elizabeth Wiech did a magnificent job installing this show.  I feel lucky to be a part of it.  It turns out that my work is the most abstract of the bunch.  I picked up the artwork I had delivered that wasn’t used – actually my friend Anne had delivered it for me originally, and so this was my first time there.  Everyone was so nice and helpful from the valet parking attendants and security people to the reception desk ladies and maintenance.  Thank you, everyone!  I am just so incredibly grateful for the experience.

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The art exhibition is in the basement floor of the Lawrence Pavilion building in the complex at 1 Diamond Hill (Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922).  Each artist is represented with an artist statement and information on how to contact them in order to make a purchase.  A portion of sales will go to a pet charity – this is an animal-themed art show.

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Eight of my paintings are there – from my 18″ x 18″ oil & collage Echolalia series.

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The exhibition will continue through November 2016.

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Contact Elizabeth Wiech at (908) 277-8806 for more information.  This is a medical office building – she will know the building hours.  The show is open to the public and can be accessed through a separate entrance with stairs leading to the basement floor or through the main entrance using the elevator.

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Pets Are Good Medicine!

Photo for Karen 1

Here are pictures of the art exhibition at Summit Medical Group!  Curator and space planner Elizabeth Wiech sent them to me this morning.

Photo for Karen 2

It is an animal art show featuring dogs and cats.  I am thrilled to be a part of it.

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Photo for Karen 4

Photo for Karen 5

The show has an indefinite end – somewhere in the six-month range. Summit Medical Group is located in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (1 Diamond Hill Road, Lawrence Pavilion).  Call (908) 277-8806 for more information.

Photo for karen 6

If you are interested in making a sale, connect with me here via the contact page or email me at ktashkovski@gmail.com.  I have extra paintings that can replace the ones sold no problemo.

Photo for Karen 2

Photo for Karen 8

Photo for Karen 7 (1)

Photo for Karen 4

Photo for Karen 5

 

Neutrality is a Cool Cat

I guess I feel most comfortable wearing neutral colors – black, white, gray, beige, navy blue….

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Banana Republic turtleneck sweater, BCBG Max Azria leggings, Ralph Lauren boots

People keep making comments to me about my wardrobe – that it seems unlimited, that my closet must be colossal, et cetera.

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Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic leather top, Trina Turk leather skirt BCBG Generation booties

It is an illusion, I think, because I have repeated a lot of separates, although I try to mix things up enough in order to create new looks.  And I have to admit, this is a lot easier when you stick with neutrals.

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Coach headband, BlackBrown1826 cashmere sweater, Bailey 44 top (underneath), BCBG Max Azria pants, Nine West booties

One of my friends wants me to be her stylist and while I love fashion, I cannot see myself as someone else’s personal shopper.  Fashion reflects one’s personality, of course, but as well as I know her, I can’t be limited by a budget.  If I desire something, I don’t stop until I get it.  I know that other people, my friend included, do not generally live by that creed.

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Bailey 44 top, BCBG Max Azria skirt, Nine West boots

Case in point – I just bought two evening dresses – a gown and a cocktail dress – for upcoming events (a BCBG Max Azria and  a Jill Jill Stuart!).

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They were in the $300 price point range.  So…I will be driving to work on fumes for three more days.  I have also lost three pounds, lol, no food in the house.  No biggie.  Everything always ends up working out for the best.

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The Limited silk scarf, Banana Republic dress, Steve Madden boots
KEY, 30X30, 2000 (300x300)
Karen Tashkovski, Key, 30″ x 30″, 2000, oil, latex & collage, $825

Hey – if I sell every “cat” painting I brought to the Summit Medical Group art exhibit (in the Lawrence Pavilion Lower Lobby Gallery) in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, I will make $11,800 less a 10% donation to that local animal care charity.

WING, 30X30, 2000 (298x300)
Karen Tashkovski, Wing, 30″ x 30″, 2000, oil, latex & collage, $825
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BCBG Max Azria cardigan and T-shirt, Banana Republic pants, Nine West booties

That’s enough to buy at least a few more clothes.  That show starts April 25, 2016.  It is open to the public – my favorite type of art show – a captive audience, people who may not seek out art venues but are at the offices for other reasons.  It’s my bread and butter (ha ha – figuratively.  You know I don’t eat bread or dairy).

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The opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, May 5th, 2016 from 5:00-8:00 pm.  Summit Medical Group is located at 1 Diamond Hill Road, Lawrence Pavilion, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 07922.  Call (908) 277-8806 for more information.

New Jersey Art Show!

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I will be participating in this art exhibition in New Jersey!  It is an animal-themed show.  I will be selling oil and collage paintings from my Dream Time and Echolalia series.

Paintings will be $225-825 each.  10% of sales will be donated to an animal shelter in the area.  The show will run for several months.

I will have more information about it next month.  I still have not made travel plans to coordinate the installation.  For now, suffice it to say that I am soooo excited about this!

Techno Fashion Glitch

Lucky Brand jacket, Warner Bros. Hogwarts T-shirt, Trina Turk skirt, Nine West booties
Lucky Brand jacket, Warner Bros. Hogwarts T-shirt, Trina Turk skirt, Nine West booties
Honora necklace, Banana Republic leather top, cardigan and velvet pants, BCBGGeneration booties
Honora necklace, Banana Republic leather top, cardigan and velvet pants, BCBGGeneration booties

One of the main reasons I haven’t been blogging – I was having technical difficulties with my Instagram account.  The pictures were not saving to the camera’s gallery.  I tried uninstalling the program and reinstalling it and it didn’t work until tonight.  Yeah, tonight it worked.  Weird.

Michelle DaRin jewelry, Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and skirt, Nine West boots
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and skirt, Nine West boots
Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and leggings, Lucky Brand top, Ralph Lauren boots
Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and leggings, Lucky Brand top, Ralph Lauren boots

I must be more relaxed or something – I am on vacation.  Or maybe it’s just an example of perseverence, although I had been on the verge of giving up, lol, over something so simple.

Michelle DaRin jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria dress, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Nine West booties
Michelle DaRin jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria dress, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Nine West booties
JCrew blazer, Rachel Roy top, Banana Republic skirt, Steve Madden boots
JCrew blazer, Rachel Roy top, Banana Republic skirt, Steve Madden boots

A former student asked me how he could get his creativity back.  He thinks he’s lost it, I guess.  And the truth is, no one can find it for you.  You just have to take the time to quiet your mind of all the bugs that are attacking you.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties

No more I’m not good enough…I can’t do this and all that junk. Believe you can do it.  Know you can.  Then think about how you will do it and just do it.

Viola top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration booties
Viola top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration booties
Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic cashmere dress, Nine West boots
Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic cashmere dress, Nine West boots

I know that some of my friends did not like hearing me say that I did not want to make new artwork until I started selling the art I have already made.  It is not that I lack creativity.  I just desired a sign from the universe that my art is leading to other great things.  It is very important to me to achieve financial success as an artist because I want to show my students that it is possible.  I mean, that is one reason.  I mean, I didn’t make over a thousand works of art for them to just be stored away forever.  That doesn’t make a lick of sense.

JCrew cardigan, Banana Republic dress, Nine West booties
JCrew cardigan, Banana Republic dress, Nine West booties
BCBGMaxAzria cardigan and dress, BCBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria cardigan and dress, BCBGGeneration booties

And then, I haven’t been doing anything to make any of it happen.  I haven’t been actively seeking venues or peddling my wares anywhere since the Natur-Tyme exhibit where I sold a handful of $5.00 cards.  So, I kind of sound like a person who does not take my own advice.

Michelle DaRin jewelry, Free People cardigan, Lucky Brand top, BCBGMaxAzria belt, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West booties
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Free People cardigan, Lucky Brand top, BCBGMaxAzria belt, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West booties
Banana Republic suit, BCBGMaxAzria top, BCBGGeneration booties
Banana Republic suit, BCBGMaxAzria top, BCBGGeneration booties

The truth is I wanted to manifest getting an art show in a passive way.  I was already doing everything I could to get myself out into the stratosphere.  I am here.  Right here.  And on Instagram and Linkedin and Facebook.  I have over 20,000 views on this blog.  I wanted someone to find me.  Someone who was looking for me and my art because they know it will sell.

Banana Republic sweater and pants, Calvin Klein belt, Nine West booties
Banana Republic sweater and pants, Calvin Klein belt, Nine West booties
Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Warner Bros. Gryffindor T-shirt, Nine West booties
Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Warner Bros. Gryffindor T-shirt, Nine West booties

Well, it finally happened.  I will give you more details as it gets closer to show time.  I was asked to be part of an art show at a medical facility in New Jersey.  The show starts some time in April with a reception on May 5th, 2016.  I will be exhibiting and selling my Dreamtime and Echolalia series paintings (it is an animal-themed show).  The curator saw my work on Linkedin.com.

Michelle DaRin jewelry, Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria tank top and leggings, Ugg boots
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria tank top and leggings, Ugg boots
Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Ralph Lauren boots
Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Ralph Lauren boots

Trina Turk recently replied to my comment on her picture on Instagram.  She said, Love you, too and something about wanting to be an art teacher one day!  I have the dream of meeting her one day, becoming friends and maybe even working with her – designing clothing with silk dyed to match my watercolors.

BCBGMaxAzria cardigan, top and pants, Nine West booties
BCBGMaxAzria cardigan, top and pants, Nine West booties
Bar III sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGGeneration booties
Bar III sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGGeneration booties

Two years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed I would actually be interacting with her on social media.  Things can happen.  You can mold your life consciously even if you dream big.

This blog is about my community, my artwork and fashion because I have all of these other dreams.  And I think it is perfectly okay to slide your creativity around to wherever it takes you.  Who knows where it will stick?  There are bound to be more glitches along the way.  That is kind of the fun of it.  To never lose faith even when junk makes you feel like quitting.

Banana Republic sweater, Trina Turk dress, Nine West boots
Banana Republic sweater, Trina Turk dress, Nine West boots
Michelle DaRin jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria top and pants, Nine West booties
Michelle DaRin jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria top and pants, Nine West booties

I have a few more goals to achieve with the remainder of this February break.  I am buying a car, so I guess these fashion posts are going to seem redundant for a while.  While preparing the stuff for my taxes I tallied how much money I spent on clothes this past year and it was kind of a lot.  (No, I don’t deduct any of it, lol)  It would be nice if clothes were free, wouldn’t it?  Just thought I’d throw it out there if anyone is listening.  Would love to make that one stick….

Skirts, Leggings & Klimt

Trina Turk dress, Nine West boots
Trina Turk dress, Nine West boots

It’s been relatively warm here.  Sunshine – no rain, no snow.  I still feel comfortable in bare legs and/or sandals at forty degrees!

Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots

I think that’s because last winter it was, like, four or more below zero in the winter, so we Syracusans think that thirty degrees is sort of warm.  It’s a relativity thingamabob.

Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGGeneration booties

Whenever I wear Trina Turk, the amazing fashion designer likes or comments on my Instagram pictures so, of course(!) I do it as often as possible.  Here is the outfit with and without the Banana Republic cardi.

Banana Republic cardigan, Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
Banana Republic cardigan, Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
Lucky Brand jacket, Banana Republic dress, Steve Madden boots
Lucky Brand jacket, Banana Republic dress, Steve Madden boots
Free People cardigan, Rachel Roy top, BCBGMazAzria pants, Coach booties
Free People cardigan, Rachel Roy top, BCBGMazAzria pants, Coach booties

This Free People cardi is in heavy circulation.  I just love the color.  It’s a sort of raw sienna/yellow ochre dealio, which truly suits me.  I am always instructing students to use this color as the underlying structure to a painting or a colored pencil drawing – the perfect neutral.

Free People cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGGeneration booties
Free People cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGGeneration booties

Been going to Green Lakes after school every day – I either bring exercise clothes to change into or I’ve been wearing leggings almost as a uniform, which is just easier.

Berkley Cashmere cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings BCBGGeneration booties
Berkley Cashmere cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings BCBGGeneration booties
Banana Republic cardigan, Bailey 44 top. Champion leggings, Enzo Anglioni boots
Banana Republic cardigan, Bailey 44 top. Champion leggings, Enzo Anglioni boots

The picture below was my casual Friday look.  We call it dress down day.  The teachers contribute money to fund various charities in order to wear denim since jeans are technically not professional attire.

Ann Taylor jacket, JCrew top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals
Ann Taylor jacket, JCrew top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals

I always top my look with an apron or a blue smock during the school day.  I look more like this crazy guy when I am not posing for a picture:

Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt

He’s Gustav Klimt.

I love this man!  His work is sooooo beautiful!  He was very eccentric.  He loved cats to the point that I think he hoarded them.  I only have the one – I am not technically a crazy cat lady, but just being an artist, the word crazy is tossed about a lot directed towards me, like some sort of embraceable put-down, lol.

Right now, I have something like six or seven different preps – I am doing different lessons in every class.  Painting – Wolf Kahn barn paintings in acrylic, fluorescent clay lizards and frozen faces; additive sculptures in one class, reductive sculptures in another…what else?  Colored pencil dessert drawings à la Wayne Thiebaud and Japanese fan mixed-media pieces,  Needless to say, the classroom is a crazy, topsy-turvy mess.

So, smock, cats, crazy…you can see that I identify with Klimt.  We could have been besties in another life.

Mada Primavesi by Gustav Klimt
Mada Primavesi by Gustav Klimt

This is my favorite Klimt painting.  When I stood in front of it at the Met years ago, I literally wept at it’s beauty.  It just has this innocent freshness.  The painting is actually life-size.  The girl and I are the same height. Hmm, that gives me an idea for a fashion look….  Think I will sport the side hair part tomorrow, maybe wear my white BCBG Max Azria dress again…but I think I will pass on the white tights.

 

Back to School Fashionista

Let’s face it – back to school is all about the fashion.  And it’s not just me.  I’ve had plenty of conversations in the last two weeks with my colleagues where we spend time between classes complimenting each other’s outfits and that’s with both men and women.  The new principal walked by me twice in a day and said, “Talking about fashion again?”  (I was…to two different friends).

Banana Republic dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets
Banana Republic dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets

I love what the kids are bringing to the table too.  The boys wear shorts, socks and sneakers that all match in colors like bold yellow and turquoise.  The girls like what I call shimmer-shammer, tops with sequins in heart motifs or positive message text.  Of course, my favorite thing is when someone is wearing  cammo sandwich (head-to-toe camouflage) and I say, “Whoops, I didn’t see you there.”  Yeah, that joke never gets old.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets
BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets

The day I wore the above outfit, I was up on my step ladder finally adding posters to the walls of my classroom once the humidity died down a notch (no aircondish).  I literally fell off…and landed perfectly on my four inch heels.  Alex, one of my students, is still talking about that.  He was like, “How did you DO that?”  Answer – cat-like reflexes, if cats wore heels.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals

As you know, I’m attempting to save money so that I can start a sentence with “One time, in Greece….”  My friend Shelly said I should start by not buying any new clothes.  She’s right.  No one in Greece has seen me in person in these clothes (except my cousin Michele) so there’s that.  But I will literally die if I don’t continue to buy new stuff.  I’d rather do that than eat or fix the brakes on my car.  I’m honestly not sure how I will manage.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Honora watch, Coach tag on velvet necklace (homemade/one-of-a-kind - my cat ate the string; pooped it out the next day!)
BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Honora watch, Coach tag on velvet necklace (homemade/one-of-a-kind – my cat ate the string; pooped it out the next day!)

There is a way I could have both new clothes and the trip, and that is to do with the business of selling art.  In a dream scenario, I would sell every painting I have for sale at Natur-Tyme before the witching hour.

BCBGMaxAzria top Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets
BCBGMaxAzria top Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets

I take them all home next Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 9:00 am. Right now, aside from the very reasonably priced 18″ x 18″ cat paintings ($75), I am selling unframed watercolors in different sizes for between $75 and $200.  I only need to sell ten of the latter for that ticket and some pocket money.  And we all know how much better these abstractions look in multiples, right?  I  know there is someone out there who wants to help me.  I can feel it.

Lifeline, 18" x 24", watercolor, 2002, $200
Lifeline, 18″ x 24″, watercolor, 2002, $200

Also, I have cards there for only $5. Those cards are an absolute steal at that price since they take me close to three hours each to create.

Banana Republic dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Honora necklace
Banana Republic dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Honora necklace

I am soooo happy.  The accolades have been such a gift.  So many people telling me they love my artwork.  So many people  congratulating me on the article in Women of Upstate New York.  The  summer has been seriously laced with magic.  I am so grateful for all the adventures, for the love and the friendships and for the amazing things that happened with regard to my art career.  Some of the best times of my life…moments I will cherish, and never, ever forget for as long as I live.  I am a very lucky person.  I know that.

Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneration sandals
Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneration sandals

I wish I could just give the artwork away and if I didn’t need the money for this trip and another romantic notion – to go to Paris, you know I would.  Like if travelling was free.

BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic skirt, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic skirt, BCBGGeneration sandals

The only way to manifest those dreams is with your help.  I will be forever grateful and you will have a Tashkovski original, a piece of my soul, kinda like a horcrux only better because it was made with love.

Bailey 44 top, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets
Bailey 44 top, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets

The thirty-two framed paper collage and watercolors will remain at Syracuse Tech Garden until October 9, 2015.  Contact Steve Nyland to make a purchase –  gallery.ttg@gmail.com.

with my favorite student-fashionista, Hope!
with my favorite student-fashionista, Hope!