Category Archives: products

Tiny Voice

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I ran into a friend who told me about an amazing restaurant in downtown Syracuse, New York called The Fish Friar.  She planted that seed of desire in me and within days I was seated in the outdoor dining space enjoying a fish sandwich (sans bread) and two sides.

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It was a perfect summer night, the fresh breeze in the air turned a gorgeous sunset into a Prussian blue sky.  The food was soooo good, the chef created a work of art on my plate, and so, we are talking phenomenological encounter here, which to be honest, is the only way I can possibly live my life.  The present moment is exquisite.

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Everyone there seemed to know everyone else and we delighted in sharing Gia DeLaurentis style verbal soliloquies of how the food tasted.  So fun, and yet, I became distracted by a message thing-a-ma-bob on my pages manager app, which kept directing me to my like page on Facebook, Karen Tashkovski-Visual Artist.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I clicked on everything and still the 1 was left staring at me.  I scrolled the messages for the umpteenth time, all read, and came to the bottom of the queue.  Yes, I had read this last message when it was sent in 2014.  But when I read it again – aloud – it was as if the late Michael Moody was speaking to me now.

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Hi Karen

Like all artists, your art is evolving. I can appreciate your art because I know you personally and because you’ve been painting for a long time which shows your drive, desire and dedication.

I don’t attend all of the art openings but I do go to some to show support for other artists. I never see you anymore. I know that you work, so you’re busy and might not attend openings because of this. But this makes you invisible to much of the local art scene. Perhaps our paths just haven’t crossed but if not, then it’s time for you to leave your little bubble and rather cloistered life (If that’s the case) and mingle with other artists!

Some of your narration sounds like you’re still looking for approval and acceptance from those hoards of non artists that you’d like to buy your product. In your mind, body and spirit this attitude must cease to exist!

I’ve been in some shows simply because other artists have recommended me or just dropped my name. Think about it! There are also many new artists that would see you as a mentor or master simply because of the years in your craft.

Enough said! Come out, come out, from wherever you are! Show more zest for your craft by being there among your peers. No one else counts (give or take).

…and don’t publish this! lol
Michael Moody
…and thanks for mentioning my name in your narration!
07/29/2014 11:22PM

Karen Tashkovski – Visual Artist
You’re right that I don’t want to mix and mingle. Absolutely right, lol.

Ya gotta change that babe! u can do it put ur back in to it!!! How else can your artistic peers get to know you and remember you!

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Back then I was kinda-sorta still in a funk about direction in my life. I had started my blog and was slowly re-emerging into the local art scene.  Fast-forward to now, and last night, where I was greeted by so many artists at John Dowling’s gallery on Hawley Avenue – everyone so wonderfully complimentary, telling me that they love my posts on Facebook and love reading my blog; that I am always smiling and positive, and all these nice things.  I was told I am beautiful too.

Crazy, right?  How time can change one’s perspective.  How it only takes baby steps to get us back on track heading in the right direction in life and that those steps can lead us to such amazing things.  It is such a gift to be a part of a group of like-minded souls who feel compelled to practice the art of making, sharing and selling art in such a cohesive way.  I am incredibly grateful for my journey and where it leads and where life will continue to take me.

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I was talking to John Dowling about the possibility of exhibiting my angel and heart paintings, if that theme works.  He said he hadn’t thought of a themed show and so, I reminded him that his show dedicated to Cuba was one and this current show is as well.

In this case, the theme is size related. The pieces are 6″ x 6″ or 8″ x 8″.  I LOVE a square canvas.  And these pieces are deliciously inviting.  Mini canvases in the artist’s styles, many you can recognize without needing their identification monikers – Hon Go’s modeling paste built geometric textured works, Diana Godfrey’s hauntingly rich abstract landscapes, John Fitzsimmons’ tiny-version portrait studies, Judi Witkin’s wearable art/steam punk jewelry turned collage art….

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Kristina Starowitz told me that she has only just entered the sharing-her-art-mode and this show enabled her to experiment with ideas without committing to larger canvases.  Her passion is evident in a tribute to the time-lapse of nature and its infinite beauty.

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Tiny voices from big hearts.  They are all priced to sell and offer this wonderful way to begin an art collection.  You will be able to find space in your home or office for these pieces.  It would be so cool if someone stopped in and said, “I’ll take one of each, please!”

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Thank you, Michael, for reminding me of what is truly important.  For knowing me better than I thought I knew myself, and for forcing that app to malfunction (which has now mysteriously fixed itself) in order for me to hear you again.  You are da bomb.

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P.S.  You really did want me to share this message, after all. ❤

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Ilene’s Eye

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Before the weather took a nose-dive into Snowmegeddon, I visited Ilene Layow’s Eye Studio open house.  It is currently located at 126 Doll Parkway, Syracuse, New York (13214), but it will soon find a three times bigger home in East Syracuse (at 712 W. Manlius Street).  The open house took place this weekend.

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There is a kiln room and studio space, a three-bedroom home having been transformed by art and art-making.  Even the bathroom has a magnificent hand-made glass sink and tiles.

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Ilene is a teaching artist.  I blogged about her last year when she had a Green Lakes-themed art show at the Manlius Historical Association.  It was there that I fell in love with her glass pieces.  I was finally able to purchase one today!

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I bought the above piece – it is glass made with frit, tiny-colored glass bits that allow for dimension.  The glass is fused in the kiln.  This piece has a little shelf in back for a candle.  I love it!

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She was selling her wares along with Jackee Johnson and Marcus Acevedo.  Jackee sells artsy fashion including tops and scarves and Marcus, who works out of studio space at Onondaga Community College, displayed ceramic goods.

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Eye Studio teaches classes in acrylic painting, drawing, wheel throwing, watercolor, hand building clay, glass fusing and stained glass.  These classes are available to all skill levels and all ages.  Classes take place week day afternoons and evenings, and on Saturdays.  This is such an incredible resource in our community.  Ilene is teaching home-schoolers as well!

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Then there is the option of a fun party – like a birthday party or a ladies night/family night where you gather with your favorite people and produce art – glass pieces, clay, paintings…you name it!  Call (315) 345-4576 to schedule yours!

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The gallery is open by appointment as well.  For more information, check out the website – www.iteacharts.com.

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Alert the Media

Boundless Brooklyn is a company that sells 100% recycled cardboard model kits – crafted billboards, lighthouses, mailboxes, halfpipes, lifeguard stations and water towers that can be turned into amazing works of art.

You can also purchase the water tower kit at Target!

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Art Above All is the brainchild of tattoo artist Jamie Santos, who paired these kits with local artists to create this amazing exhibition.  She is a dynamic force in the Syracuse art scene!  I connected with her via Facebook after attending and later writing the blog post about that pop-up pizza-themed art show.  My blog went viral for several days with that one, with the most views in a day in the history of my blogging “career”!  Jamie was responsible for that show as well.

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I love her spirit and energy.  And while I have never considered getting a tattoo, I know I would be in good hands should I ever change my mind.  She works out of Tymeless Tattoo in Baldwinsville, New York (and also curates their gallery space).  Jamie curated this unique art show of billboards and water tower models at SALT Quarters gallery (115 Otisco Street, Syracuse, New York), which is within walking distance from her art studio at the Delavan Center on West Fayette Street.  SALT Quarters will be open again today and tomorrow from noon to 5:00 pm.  Contact jamiesantosartworks@gmail.com for more information.

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The opening reception took place last night.  Upon arrival, we were greeted by three artists painting murals.  Penny, Joyce and I chatted with them about the creation of art and the process of mark-making while they set about creating these large-scale pieces.  I loved hearing their philosophies.  It doesn’t seem to matter how people arrived at the idea/conclusion of becoming an artist, I mean in terms of their backgrounds or the age at which their idea manifested into their reality – the truth is the language of art is the same.  It is the language of the journey, of self-discovery, of the role emotion plays in creation and the joy of living a dream-life through art.

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Inside – we viewed these whimsical three-dimensional creations while listening to the sounds of Backpacker’s Field Manual (two Chittenango grads!)

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I am so inspired by this show.  The artists really seemed to transcend their materials.  They don’t look like cardboard cut-outs at all.  Their ideas range from humor to social injustice and are created with paint and mixed-media in graffiti, Pop Art, Impressionist and traditional styles.  The models are essentially advertising media and so, the message seems to be the message, lol – to alert the media through media, so to speak.  To give voice to the artist within, whatever that statement may be.

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I just love the camaraderie of this exhibition/event.  Artists joining forces in the spirit of fun and love.  It is truly a magnificent use of this tiny gem of a gallery.  I would love to gather a bunch of these models and see what my students at Chittenango Middle School can do with them!

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The artists in this exhibition include Aaron Z. Lee, Andrew Peters, Brandon Lazore, Casey Landerkin, Cayetano Valenzuela, Charlie Sam, Chris Sosa, Dan Styles, Doug Aldrich, E.L. Downey, Jacob Alan Roberts, Jamie Santos, Jemola Addley, Jesse Gabriel, Jesse Ryan, Josh Montgomery, Marcus Osmun, Michael Giannattasio, Michael John Heagerty, Monty Ses Esposito, Paul Ulrich, Steve Sie, Tommy Lincoln, and Tony Tompson.  Some of the art is priced to sell – not sure about all of it, but the artists have supplied contact information via email in order to connect.

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Loved it! ❤  You will, too!

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Art & Music!

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Yesterday was one of those perfect days where I accomplished everything I said I would do.  I did pilates, as well as some light housekeeping then went to my hair appointment (love you, Amanda!), hiked at Green Lakes State Park, and ended up downtown for some great art and music!

For real, lol.  I took these pictures and everything (for those of you who maybe thought I was still off my rocker chasing Pokemon).

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The AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is in full swing.  I caught the tail end of it last night – the vendors will be there all day today and tomorrow until 6:00pm in Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York.  A lot of my friends/Facebook friends are there:  Michelle DaRin, Barbara Conte-Gaugel, Peter Valenti, Tim See, and Michael Heagerty, as well as dozens of artisans from around here and out of the area.

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There is so much to see.  There’s clothing, jewelry and accessories, paintings, ceramics, furniture, soaps….  It is really an incredible experience.  And since working the Lavender Fest for Michelle that time, I can appreciate the dedication it takes to spend all day in a small tent in ninety-degree heat with few bathroom breaks in order to interact with customers face-to-face.

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I think that is the best part of making a purchase from one of the vendors – that you get to know them and you walk away with an experience rather than just some trinket.  You experience the artist’s passion for what they do and you take with you a part of them, the part that contains a vast amount of love.

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That is truly special.  I love that.

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Last night’s music event in Clinton and Hanover Squares was the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival.  More music tonight with the band Atlas taking the stage around 8:00 pm!  Hope to see you there!

Summer rocks!

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Porches

Yesterday I walked around Ruskin Avenue in the Strathmore area of Syracuse, New York.  Art on Porches is an annual event with artisans displaying their wares on the porches of these beautiful homes – as well as under small tents on front lawns and by the sidewalk.

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There was music, food and my new favorite thing in the world – iced coffee, provided by Recess Coffee!

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Dorothy Wilcox creates these exquisite dream catchers.  She gathers vines and allows them to speak to her – to sort of tell her how they want to be woven.  I felt like her booth was definitely the most soothing of all the displays due to the breadth of her collection.

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It was set up in her front yard!  Her company is called Yonder Hill Specialties and you can reach her at (315) 440-2012.

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I bought a small print from Jamie Ashlaw.  He is an art teacher in the Westhill district.  Jamie creates these paintings of local signs that have a vintage flavor.  I loved his work!  I asked him if he would be interested in exhibiting at the Chittenango Middle School library for next school year and he said yes!!!!

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For information on acquiring his work, contact him at his Delavan Center studio at (315) 529-4501 or email him at jamieashlaw@hotmail.com

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Ray Kowalski is a professor at Syracuse University.  His glazes are spectacular. He said he learned how to layer them by working with his good friend Margie Hughto.

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Contact Ray at (315) 420-3113 or rgkowalskipottery@gmail.com.  He has a website too.  It is www.raykowalski.com.

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This is Tim See with his work.  I blogged about him once before and he became a Facebook friend!  He is part of the IPA- Independent Potter’s Association and sells his work at Clayscapes, the Gandee Gallery and other local venues.

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Bicycle chain and tire art is the specialty of Rob Niederhoff.  He has an Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/UpCycling4ACause).  Fifty percent of his sales go to support orphan hosting through New Horizons for Children!

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Barbara Floch had a magnificent little set up using vintage luggage as risers.  She creates jewelry in her studio at the Delavan Center (501 W. Fayette St., Syracuse, NY 13201).  Her company is called Gypsy Girl Designs.  Contact her at (315) 263-3407 or gypsygirl62@yahoo.com.

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It was such a beautiful day for this event.  Loved, loved, loved meeting all the artists.  I bought several other things including another Michelle DaRin bracelet – I have decided I want my arms to look like her display racks.  I absolutely love her style!  She totally rocks!  www.michelledarinjewelry.com.

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Blue Star

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I just bought this phone case for my Samsung Galaxy 6!  They finally added cases for my phone at http://www.redbubble.com!   So excited.  The quality of the case is outstanding.  The color is so accurate.  It is really so amazing to have my artwork on products!

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This is my painting Blue Star.  It is a 10″ x 7″ watercolor.  It’s one of my favorites because it is a perfect representation of how my hand moves.  I am not normally a blue person – I decorate my home in neutrals with greens and reds, but I do wear a lot of navy blue, at least lately – not as extreme as Diana Vreeland, but enough (to matchy-match my phone).

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BCBG Max Azria cardigan, Banana Republic pants and leather top, BCBGeneration sandals

It is so sleek now.  Before I had this leather wallet thingy on the cell phone, which carried my license and stuff, so it was convenient but very bulky.

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Banana Republic sweater, Trina Turk skirt, BCBG Max Azria belt, Ralph Lauren boots

I received another email that I’ve sold another product on redbubble!  I am on my way to actually getting a check from them.  You have to sell tons in order for it to add up.  If you are interested, find your favorite here.

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Lucky Brand cardigan, Banana Republic dress, BCBGeneration sandals

I have not been to any other art receptions/shows since the one at the View and I’m waiting for the curator to send me pictures from the art exhibit in New Jersey.  I will post them as soon as I can. I cannot get down there until at least the end of next month.  That is when school is out for the summer!  I think there are twenty-three school days left.  Yes, exactly that.

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Bailey 44 silk top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGeneration sandals

OMG, I cannot stop checking my phone.  I am obsessed.  I think I have been on Facebook and Instagram every five minutes today, like a total nerd. I am sure I will adjust to this newness unless…. Should I buy more cases?  It was hard to decide which one to pick.  Yeah, that would be cool to have phone cases that match each #ootd.

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Berkeley Cashmere cardigan, Sophie Tashkovski yoga top, Banana Republic skirt, BCBGeneration sandals