Category Archives: Karen Tashkovski

The “Humanoids”

My friend Joyce introduced me to Ithaca brand hummus. I also take various vitamins and eat cottage cheese on occasion. The recycling began to accumulate and I thought, if we add styrofoam balls, we could make humanoid sculptures.

I kept thinking about the sculptures from Sharif Bey’s retrospective at the Everson Museum. His work represented his heritage.

It is so fun to create something new. A derivative of a contemporary artist based on found object materials that reflects cohesive themes. My sample was an angel (not pictured). I added the Ithaca hummus container lids for wings. It, sort of, resembled a Golden Globe award, so I added that concept. It would be the Angel on Earth award.

Students assembled their armature, used paper towels and Mod Podge for papier mache then used at least three different materials for texture and design. They considered themes based on personal interests and/or were inspired by classroom materials.

I had patterned papers with animal motifs and packages of fabric papers, Origami paper, African designs and Navajo-inspired designs. I also had actual fabric donated by the Home Ec. teacher last year and wallpaper sample books that someone recently shared with me.

In addition, I have a backroom stocked with old Barbie dolls that we harvested for parts. I brought a few things in from my personal art supplies (antique flag toothpicks, an extra lion head cat costume, assorted buttons, twine, peacock feathers).

Students were graded on construction, use of materials, theme and quality of papier mache application. Can you guess what award each sculpture represents?

P.S. Artists are 8th graders who have art class every other day for one semester. Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, NY 13037

Rocky Road

The M to the K to the T. Does that mean anything to you?

They are the trails I hiked at Highland Forest today. There are twenty miles of trails at this spectacular park where you can also take a horse drawn carriage ride! Once it starts snowing again, there will be skiing and sledding too.

Highland Forest is located at 1254 Highland Park Road, Fabius, NY. They open tomorrow at 8:30 am in case you want to go and search for some bear rocks.

Beary Christmas

If you are looking for a place to take a moonlit walk, go directly to Marcellus Park now. Right now (from 4:00 – 9:00 pm). They’re having hot cider and snacks.

Marcellus Park is located at 2443 Platt Road, Marcellus, New York 13108. They have a playground, basketball and tennis courts and a trail surrounding a trout-filled creek. It is a gem of a place!

The Bears

Chittenango Falls State Park is located at 2300 Rathbun Road (RT. 13), Cazenovia, NY 13035. The attraction is a 167-foot waterfall. There are hiking trails, a playground, plenty of spots to have a picnic and as of two hours ago, home to a dozen painted rocks.

I painted these yesterday for this park because we are the bears. I have worked for the Chittenango school district for 26 years and this is the first time I visited this park. It won’t be the last. Go bears! <3

Tinker Falls

From Jamesville, New York, drive about 20 minutes down Route 91 and you will find yourself in Labrabor Hollow. There is a parking lot off the highway – cross the street and now you are at Tinker Falls!

What an amazing experience. There are two components here – the treacherous climb up to the falls, the trail under the falls and another steep incline up, up, up…and then…a wide trail that continues up, up, up to a scenic overlook, which is a hang-gliding hot spot.

The brilliance of New York State all in one perfect day. The air is so fresh and the hike makes you feel so alive, so present, as if nothing else in the world matters.

It is a perfect place to stumble upon an angel or six. So grateful. <3

Something’s Fishy

Some of my Art-8 students created clay fish using slab and hand building.

First day: use a rolling pin to make clay flat. Fill with crumpled paper towels and fold it like a burrito leaving one side open.

Second day: add extra clay to create the head and tail.

Third day: add fins, gills and eyes.

Fourth day: finish the fish. Add any other details and make clay smooth using hands and/or clay tools.

Next let all projects dry for two weeks before bisque firing.

We spent four days glazing. A dozen different glazes were available. Students were asked to use at least six – three coats of each.