Category Archives: Karen Tashkovski

Competitive Spirit

I am competitive.

I like the idea that my students can become professional artists – by selling their artwork, yes, but also by winning poster contests.  So when my friend Michael Moody sent me the link to a contest last June, I immediately set about using it as an extra credit assignment during the last week of school.

Students had to design their dream education or school.

Zoe Sanve

The deadline for the contest was June 26, 2015.  On the last day of school, I mailed about 70 entries to Albany, NY.

Zoe S. won the contest.  She and her family are invited to attend a gala fundraiser in New York City on November 5th where she will be awarded a check for $100.

This is just so cool!  I am sooooo excited for her.  It’s one of those moments in a child’s life that she most certainly won’t ever forget.

As a teacher, you don’t always know if you’ve affected a student’s life.  You want to think you have, but then you kind of go on with your life, you know?  They depart to the high school and you just end up with faded memories.

But Zoe….  She is very talented, of course, but still, I did try to push her out of her comfort zone, like help her improve her compositional skills and give her advice once and a while instead of saying – oh, that is so good (because, let’s face it – her work is that good).

At the end of the year, she told me that she loved the class and loved how she learned more about art from me.  Her mother later reiterated the same sentiment to me.  They’d spoken about the art class at home.  This is such a special gift.  To really know that I mattered to her.  To know that I have a true purpose in life.  So Zoe won this New York State contest and is going to the ball, but I feel like the bigger winner.


Stone Quarry Hill & Me

For anyone who is planning to stay in town for the three-day weekend, I am thinking about joining in on this art sale at the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park.  I will be there on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 10:00 am.  Sale goes until 4:00 pm.

The thing is that it is a first-come-first served scenario and I am not exactly the early-bird-catches-the-worm sort.  Sooooo, hopefully, I will be one of the first to arrive and I’ll set up a nook to sell some of the watercolors I had for sale at the Everson Museum of Art Craft & Craft show (Syracuse, NY) and at Natur-Tyme (Dewitt, NY).

This artwork is not framed, but Cheryl Chappell of the Edgewood Gallery gave me 20% discount coupons to give out to my customers for framing at her shop on Tecumseh Road in Syracuse!  She is the best!

Plum, 12" x 9", watercolor, 2002, $75
Plum, 12″ x 9″, watercolor, 2002, $75

The Stone Quarry Hill Art Park is such a fun place to visit. They have all of these nature trails where you walk a bit then come upon an outdoor sculpture.  Some of these sculptures are permanent installations and others are temporary so it always changes, plus things look different with the seasons.  Crossing fingers that it will be a nice day!

Riches, 18" x 24", watercolor, 2002, $200
Riches, 18″ x 24″, watercolor, 2002, $200
Magma, 18" x 24", watercolor, 2002, $200
Magma, 18″ x 24″, watercolor, 2002, $200

Either way, the artists will be inside the gallery.  Lord knows I can’t sell watercolors in the rain.  They are like the Wicked Witch of the West, same as what I say about myself- specifically me getting my hair wet – they (I) will melt, be destroyed, etc.

Tunnel, 18" x 24", watercolor, 2002, $200
Tunnel, 18″ x 24″, watercolor, 2002, $200
Happy Tears, 18" x 24", watercolor, 2002, $200
Happy Tears, 18″ x 24″, watercolor, 2002, $200

For more information on the park, check out their website here-

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park is located at 3883 Stone Quarry Hill Road (off Route 20) in Cazenovia, New York.  According to their website – “In 2011, its 20th anniversary year, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park was recognized as #2 in National Geographic’s ‘Top Ten Sculpture Parks and Trails’ in Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Best Hidden Travel Gems.


“Today, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park continues to offer visitors a place to enjoy art and nature .”




Cup Almighty



The Almighty Cup is a national juried show, as well as international ceramics exhibition.




The difference between this show and any other I have ever been to at a gallery is touch, as in you can pick up the artwork!




The mugs are functional, meant to be used.  Held. Caressed?  Lol  – so of course, you will want to hold the handle in your hand to see if it is comfortable there when you drink your morning coffee, tea, hot chocolate, warm milk etc., etc., etc.!




Jen Gandee owns and operates the Gandee Gallery, which is tucked away in the nook of Fabius, NY in the old hardware store on Main Street.  It is here she lives and breathes art alongside her husband Errol Willett.  She also entertains birthday parties and nights out for friends who want to dabble in pottery making parties, which is GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!



The art exhibit is nearly sold out due largely to internet sales and a great turnout at the opening reception I attended on Saturday night.




Now is a great time to check out this adorable place!  (The amazing autumn in New York country drive is really spectacular.)  The Gandee Gallery is open Thursday-Saturday 11:00 am-6:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am-4:00 pm or by appointment.  Contact Jen at (315) 416-6339 or




Carrie Moyer Fan


I guess it’s an understatement to say I am obsessed with Carrie Moyer.




She is well represented in the Three Graces exhibit at the Everson Museum of Art in Sracuse, NY.  I attended the opening last Friday night and I really could not get enough of her vibrant color palette, her use of solid areas including raw canvas juxtaposed with translucent layers of color and some sparkly bits!




I was especially fond of her monoprints, which I believe are a series of printing passes, one on top of the other, to create one vivacious singular print.  They are just so beautiful!  Abstraction made deliberate in a sort of Helen Frankenthaler meets Robert Motherwell brainiac-ism sensibility.




The whole time I was there, well, after I loaded up on turkey sandwiches (discarding the bread) and yummy cheeses while sharing the love of art with my friends Anne and Penny, I was wondering if the artist was in attendance.  She works in Brooklyn, NY, described as an artist who writes (sounds familiar), having written articles for major art magazines and other publications.  I didn’t know what she looked like so I Googled her just now –

Artist Studio tour of Carrie Moyer in Brooklyn, New York

I don’t remember seeing her, but I am terrible with faces.  For a visual artist, that is probably the stupidest thing I could say, right?  If you change your hair or throw on glasses, I have no idea who you are.  I’m like Lois Lane that way.  But, at any rate, Carrie Moyer will visit the Everson, along with her Three Graces cohorts Polly Apfelbaum and Tony Feher on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 6:30pm.  It’s a freebie, a guided gallery walk with the artists where, according to the Everson Bulletin (got mine in the mail today!) they will “discuss their contemporary art practices, materials and processes, and explore the inspiration of incorporating works from the Everson’s collection in their installation.”


These works include the Morris Louis piece that was the inspiration for Polly Apfelbaum’s rugs, a Helen Frankenthaler and this amazing print by one of my favorite artists of all time, Marisol!!!!! (see below)


As Tina Fey always says (stolen from her young daughter) I want to go to there.  Oh, I am SOOOOOO there.

Find more of Carrie Moyer’s work here.

The Everson Museum of Art is open noon-5:00 pm Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, open 10:00 am-5:00 pm on Saturday and open noon-8:00 pm on Thursdays.  It is located at 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY 13202. (315) 474-6064.  Contact for more information.

Black & Blue…Dog

BCBGMaxAria dress, Nine West boots
BCBGMaxAria dress, Nine West boots

I went with a black and blue theme in fashion this week starting with my self-instituted black Mondays (#blackmondays).  All in the name of fashion?

BCBGMax Aria top and pants, Banana Republic cardigan BCBGGeneration booties
BCBGMax Aria top and pants, Banana Republic cardigan BCBGGeneration booties



Well, funny thing is that my art project, which coordinates with my new local assessment”test” was to introduce students to George Rodrigue and his famous blue dog paintings.





Students drew the dog’s face insuring an emotion – serene, happy, angry, etc.





Then they added a fashion element – clothes, accessories.




Then outlined with extra-fine tipped Sharpies and colored with colored pencils (Prismacolors).


They cut them out to place on fabulous 3D Os and mount them on black paper.


The results were outstanding. A wall of what looks to be dancing dogs!  I imagine them barking to a tune from A Chorus Line, but that’s just me.




Trina Turk dress, Ralph Lauren boots
Trina Turk dress, Ralph Lauren boots
Bailey 44 top, Trina Turk pants BCBGGeneration sandals
Bailey 44 top, Trina Turk pants BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration sandals


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 –

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



Captive Audience



Every year I install art exhibitions in the Chittenango Middle School library in Chittenango, New York.  I seek out professional artists in the region – four per year as follows:  September – November/Thanksgiving-ish, November – February/Winter break, February – April/Spring Break, and April – June.


It’s a captive audience scenario.  They go into the school library to get books, use the computer, take classes, have a study hall…and in addition, they are subliminally bombarded with art/aesthetics and all around good taste.


They are the very people artists target – students who can learn to appreciate art at a young age and become life-long patrons of the arts – as artists themselves, hobbyists or consumers who appreciate…or all of the above!



Steve Pearlman is my current artist-in-residence with fifteen photographs showcasing his interest in Syracuse, travel, fashion and an amazing eye for contrast, composition and perspective.


DSC_7877 - Version 2 (1)


He will give an artist talk to students during our after school time/tenth period (2:20-2:50 pm) on Tuesday, October 27, 2015. I’m sure he will share what he told me – that aside from his family, he has no greater love than the love he feels while holding his camera, pointing the lens and capturing a unique image that freezes time.  Art is sometimes the most beautiful gift you can give to yourself.  When I spend time talking to other artists about their contributions including hopes and dreams for themselves, it really feels amazing – we are more similar than different with regard to the love of creating.

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I was just talking about this with my students yesterday.  The importance of emotion as a component in a work of art.  It is always the hope that students will make these connections to their own lives in order to be happier, and in order to lead supercalifragilistic artistic futures.


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