Category Archives: watercolor

Terry & Harriet’s Legacy

Terry Plater, “Spaces Akin to Freedom”, 2021, oil, 12″ x 16″ $800

On Sunday, I was inspired to go the the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center. I planned to meet up with my friend about forty minutes before I actually arrived, and luckily, that bit of procrastination created an unexpected rendezvous.

Terry Plater, the featured artist in the Gallery Julius, happened to be in attendance and was gracious enough to meet with me and that was AMAZING!

Plater’s exhibit is titled Harriet’s Legacy. It is a series of watercolored landscapes (along with a few oil paintings). They are abstracted with muted tones and sweeping brushstrokes creating a harmonious horizontal solitude. The paintings demonstrate a tranquility, as though the historical voices yearning for freedom that infuse these landscapes are finally at peace.

An historian from the Cayuga Museum of History & Art directed Plater to the actual places that Harriet Tubman walked to include the probable paths of the Underground Railroad. The artist imagined these places as they may have been, sort of remembering the past in a vision and injecting it with the love of four hundred years, the strength of character through tears of both sorrow and joy, and the quiet confidence and intelligence she exudes as the beautiful soul, artist, and teacher she is today.

It is a marriage between past and present with the focus on positive outcomes, as well as the deep respect for Tubman and people like her who had the courage to make the future brighter.

I see the power in that beauty – it isn’t the angst of social injustice. Each painting was inspired by text – by quotes from books, letters penned by “fugitive” slaves, and notes from recorded journals – all found in a library where Plater researched the Underground Railroad activities specific to the Auburn, New York area. The paintings echo the manifestations of desires, wishes, hopes and dreams that came true in spite of doubts, fears and sacrifice.

Each painting in this eleven-piece collection is for sale. They will be on display until August 7, 2021.

In addition, Plater is simultaneously showing paintings at the Cayuga Museum of History & Art. These are figurative paintings.

She has channeled a voice to the local African American past through a connection with her own family members. There is an ethereal flavor to these paintings as well, the same muted tones, albeit in oils. That museum was closed on Sunday, so I could not view the shows in tandem, but perhaps you still can!

So beautiful, uplifting and inspirational.

Terry Plater told me that her deepest wish is to share this journey with students, so, I want to relay that message to families who are looking to do a day trip. The museums are adjacent to one another and – you’re welcome.

Thank you, Terry Plater – you are a beautiful person inside and out, and it was a sincere pleasure to have met you. Continued success to you in your career as an artist and in all that you choose to do! <3

(from the SMAC website)

Artist Statement:
The idea for this exhibit came together for me in an iterative fashion as I contemplated three things: the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the now United States (in 2019); the release of the film “Harriet,” which so richly conveyed the life, struggles and triumphs of Harriet Tubman; and an ongoing project I have been undertaking: painting from old family photos to better come to know and honor the history of my own family in Maryland and Virginia.

The proposal links these discreet endeavors in a single narrative, one that imagines, represents, and celebrates family history and 19th-20th century public life — specifically here in upstate NY — as emblematic. The title is meant to convey several things: the intergenerational history, value, and ownership of our collective American story as embodied in slavery and emancipation, the acknowledgement of Harriet Tubman as a local figure and national treasure.

Terry Plater wishes to thank all those who made this exhibition possible: The Schweinfurth Art Center and the Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn; and the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.

The Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center is located at 205 Genesee Street, Auburn, New York 13021. For more information, including hours of operation, call (315) 255-1553 or visit their website here.

The Cayuga Museum of History & Art is located at 203 Genesee Street, Auburn, New York 13021. For more information, including hours of operation, call (315) 253-8051 or visit their website here.

Masquerade

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Redbubble has added masks to their roster of merchandise!  My watercolors are available for purchase on various items including non-surgical masks.

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https://www.redbubble.com/shop/?query=karen%20tashkovski%20&iaCode=u-mask&ref=search_box

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Joy is in the Library

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Joy Engelhart was the January and February 2020 artist exhibiting at the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville. (5110 Jamesville Road, DeWitt, New York 13078). I caught the tail end of the show on Sunday.

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She is a “signature” member of the Central New York Watercolor Society.  These pieces are watercolor and mixed-media, a combo of portraits and still-lifes.  I am assuming that she will take down today.  The library opens at 10 AM.  Call (315) 446-3578 for the deets.

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Library Hours

Monday – Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

*Summer hours:

Saturday
Sunday

Services limited 15 minutes before closing

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Judy-Judy-Judy

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I was in the neighborhood visiting a friend – before heading home, I decided to stop into the Manlius Library (1 Arkie Albanese Avenue, Manlius, New York 13082) to check out the art exhibit.

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Judith Hand has a solo exhibition.  There are forty-six paintings – some from her floral series, pieces I viewed in a show at LeMoyne College.  Others are new sketches/paintings created in and around the Syracuse area, as part of a group called “Urban Sketchers”.  I think I am in this group – I do get their emails but have not actively participated yet.  They meet at various locations (cafes, museums, parks) with their art supplies in tow.

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Artwork is for sale and can be viewed during regular library hours.  The exhibition continues through February 22, 2020.  Call (315) 682-6400 for more information.

Hours of operation:  Monday – Thursday 10 AM-9 PM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday 1 PM-5 PM.

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Scientific Whimsy

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Donna Atwood of Moravia, New York, is a former Science teacher turned full-time professional watercolor artist.  Intuition is her guide.

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She applies the watercolors (usually one hue per piece as a starting point) onto a variety of papers. Then she plays with abstractions and visual textures, adding found and household objects – plastic bags, rags, torn window screens – and weights to hold everything down until the next morning.  When she removes the objects, she assesses what she has and begins to deliberate.  She asks her husband what he sees, like a fun Rorschach test game and they laugh at the disparity of their visions.

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Ultimately, she makes her own decisions about what she sees, as though the paper truly speaks to her alone.  I delighted in her enthusiasm, positivity and passion as she spoke of this process when I met her at the First Friday event last night at Gallery 54 in Skaneateles, New York, where she is the featured artist this month.

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Once Donna decides on the spirit animal, she goes to work rendering the composition focusing on the eyes.  Tiny details are emphasized, allowing for the animal to disappear into the colorations.  These are paintings that need to be seen in person.  The photographs do not do them justice.  They truly imbibe the artist’s joyful spirit.

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Donna Atwood originals and prints are available for sale at Gallery 54 (54 E. Genesee Street, Skaneateles, New York 13152).  If you would like to meet her too, perhaps ask her further questions about her process, Donna will be doing a demonstration at the gallery today (1:00-3:00 pm).  <3

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  • Excerpt from the gallery web-site

Even though Atwood was a science education major in college her interest in creating art, which began as a child, continued to flourish. It wasn’t until 2012 that she started practicing watercolor, she says describing her artwork as abstract impression. While she creates her share of surreal landscapes her preference, as the Gallery 54 show will demonstrate is for paintings of animals.

“I decided to create surreal animals and found many different ones lurking in patterns,” she notes. As she describes her work, the backgrounds start out as abstract colors and shapes, but “by manipulating shapes in to eyes, ears and a noses,” she can get the viewer to see” what she sees . . . “the face and body of a creature.”

Atwood is particularly fond of finding animals that are endangered or under represented in artwork generally. Many people, she notes, relate to specific creatures or what she calls “spirit animals.” She likes that viewers of her paintings relate to her whimsical version of “their animal” and that the colors or faces in her paintings make them smile.

“Keeping the background of a painting as untouched as possible allows the animal to grow from it,” she says, adding, “I want to express the presence of the animal, not highlight every hair or whisker.”

Atwood’s work has received awards at the New York State Fair and well as numerous local art exhibits. A resident of Sempronius, NY she has had artwork shown at the Cortland Public Library, the Dryden Community Cafe and the Gilded Lily gallery in Connecticut. Following her show at Gallery 54 she will have an exhibit at the Cortland Guthrie Hospital, from September through November and currently has work displayed at the Tully Artworks Gallery.

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Gallery 54 July Hours
Monday – Wednesday: 10-5
Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 10-8
Sunday: 10-5

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Watercolor Lesson

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Teaching watercolor to my 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students was probably the most significantly beautiful thing I have done at school all year.  I gave them each their own palettes and set of Koi brand watercolors.  They began by painting on small sheets, practicing four techniques:  saving the white of the paper, glazing, wet-in-wet and dry brush.

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Then I gave them Arches 300# watercolor paper.  They drew landscapes with barns.

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Paintings took weeks to create.  Many, many days of thin coats of glazing culminating in dry brush details.  These kids are extraordinarily talented.  I guided them, but really, they were on auto-pilot for much of the lesson.  My job was to remind them to utilize formal principles consciously – rhythm, balance, emphasis…and to insist that they trust their own hand and intuition, so that their style could emerge.  My goal and hope for them, as they mature as artists in high school and beyond, is for them to stay true to who they are and what they want to evoke in their artwork.

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I am beyond blessed to know these talented über-amazing young people!!!!

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Paintings are currently on display on the hallway walls at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.

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Best Intentions

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Janine and I took a trip to Cazenovia, New York today.  We visited Cazenovia Artisans, an artist’s co-op.  It is located at 39 Albany Street in the heart of the village.  Linda Bigness just joined, so I thought it would be fun to visit and see the new work. (For a full list of artists in the cooperative, visit their website).

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Bob Ripley was manning the register.  He is a former Advertising Design man turned full time watercolorist.  His work is AMAZING!

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It was such an honor to meet him and speak with him about his art.  Bob uses Windsor & Newton watercolors and Arches 300 pound paper, which he staples into foam board while working on the individual pieces.

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Bob shared his technique – here he is working on a commission.  He added the figure of the man into the landscape and strategically placed the fishing line to add rhythm to the composition.

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He uses frisket to assist in the layering process of glazing.  It stops the paint from bleeding into areas and also helps to save the white of the paper, which is a watercolor technique used instead of painting with the more opaque Chinese white paint.  In addition, he shared a method he’d perfected through trial and error – placing clear transparent tape on an area then going back in and shaving the edge with an Exacto blade to match it with the landscape, all to insure that the paint stays where it belongs.

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Watercolor is tricky that way.  It is about sheer layers blending together.  Bob was very clear about never using black.  Instead, he combines Hooker’s Green and Alizarin Crimson or if he wants a cooler looking dark, he mixes the Alizarin with Ultramarine Blue.

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This work is really incredible.  Each piece takes about seventy or eighty hours to complete.  Bob draws the basic lines of the landscape then adds more detail with pencil as needed.

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There are original watercolor paintings on the wall for sale, as well as high quality Giclee prints, which look almost identical to the originals in quality and color.  Each piece is infused with Bob Ripley’s vivacious spirit.  He is so talented!

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Thank you, Bob Ripley!!!  And thank you, Janine Hudun, for joining me.  We also popped over to the Cazenovia Public Library to visit their museum and gallery (blog to follow) then had lunch at Empire Farm Brewery.

I privately set an intention this morning – I wanted to see a cardinal, believe it or not.  People always say that when a cardinal crosses your path, it is a sign that someone who has passed away is nearby.  I was sifting through Bob’s prints thinking I might see one (I can’t explain why I thought he would even have one). Then I turned and found a cardinal print in his section on the greeting card fixture!

Later that day, I saw an actual cardinal while hiking around Green Lakes.  It literally called out to me then it frantically fluttered about while I flustered getting my cell phone from my pocket.  I was laughing and crying at the same time while trying to get the shot, so this is not a great picture, lol, but it doesn’t matter.  Thanks, Dad. <3

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Cazenovia Artisans is open Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  For more information call (315) 655-2225.

In the Flesh and Flora

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It was only my second time at LeMoyne College.  I remembered which street to turn into to get to the parking lot that leads to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library on the campus in DeWitt, New York, but once inside, the Wilson Art Gallery was not where it used to be.  I guess they renovated since I was last there, lol.  It was sort of strange, coupled with the fact that I got the time wrong and missed the entire two hour party by fifteen minutes.  The art is currently gracing the walls directly opposite the front door, which allows it to greet all visitors in the captive-audience style.  It also appears as a larger space than the previous venue, which, I admit,  is a win-win.

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The new show is titled Spring is on the Way.  It offers lovely floral incarnations by Judith Hand.  She is a retired art teacher who has worked at Westhill, as well as schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts.  She is also a member of the Cazenovia Watercolor Society and a signature member of the Central New York Watercolor Society.

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I found out about this show via Facebook.  Judy is a FB friend I hadn’t actually met until this day.  I told her I was a blogger and she said she knew; she’d just read about my student’s Google doodles that morning!

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I shared that my Studio in Art students are working on landscapes in watercolor, so we talked shop for a bit.  And took a selfie, of course.  The art reception was yesterday (she’s sold five pieces!).  I  love the positive flavor of these pieces, the richness of color and, you know, the subject matter.  Who doesn’t love flowers?

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There is plenty of time to view this show.  Judith Hand’s paintings will be on exhibit through March 2019.

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Allentown

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Left Hand Path is the title of the latest art exhibition hanging on the walls of Apostrophe’s  Art Gallery, 1100 Oak Street in Syracuse, New York.  Glendon Allen has curated an exhibition that includes ten artists –
Charles Buechner
Ray Madden
Star Daniels
Jessica Whitely
Dylan Allen
Risa Fox
Maggie Carlin
Sherry Spann Allen
Katelinn Carrier
Glendon Allen~ Curator

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It is a family affair.  Both Glendon and his brother Dylan are graduates of Syracuse University.  Their mom, Sherry Spann Allen, is a recently retired art teacher, as well as a nationally recognized abstract artist.  Their dad, Peter Allen, is a successful local graphic artist, painter and musician.  Alice, Dylan’s daughter, poses here with her artwork on the wall as well.  (She said it was a giraffe!)

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Left hand path is a term to describe the religious practice of dark magic.  (I Googled it.)  In this case, the artists are aligning with the feeling of being placed in the category of outsider.  Their emotions play a significant role in the production of their artwork.  Discord is at the center of this vibration, although the work here is a combination of action strokes and calm precision.  A sort of beautiful aesthetic meets the doom and gloom of the future kind of thing.

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The above prints were available for immediate sale, the rest can be purchased once the show comes down next week.  Apostrophe’s is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment.

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Friendship & Art

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Coach baseball cap, Halston Heritage dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

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The closing reception for Art & Baseball, my watercolor show at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro, was sooooo much fun!  The baseball cupcakes were so cute, and delicious too.  I had a lemon one – yum!

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I have such an amazing support system of love from my immediate family.  My sister Kathy and my mom were there and my dad stopped in after a long morning of tilling his vegetable garden.  My friend Penny was doing the same at her place in Sylvan Beach before coming!  I have the best friends and I know how fortunate I am to have them in my life.

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Proprietor Debbe Titus said exactly that – “you have the best friends supporting you”.

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After the reception and take down, my friend Kim and I drove over to her hair salon, Kimberly’s Salon at 2520 James Street in Eastwood (Syracuse, New York).  We hung the paintings there.  So that is the answer to the questions, when and where is your next show?  They will be up indefinitely and are available for sale in a cash & carry.  I will just replace them with more art.

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Kimberly’s Salon hours of operation are as follows:  Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00 am – 6 pm, Wednesdays & Fridays 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.  Call (315) 463-2735 for more information.

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I do have the very best friends a girl could ever ask for.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Today was such an amazing day in my universe.

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