Category Archives: watercolor

Friendship & Art

IMG_20170429_131408_509
Coach baseball cap, Halston Heritage dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

20170429_135637

20170429_125431

20170429_134331

20170429_134305

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!

20170429_125710

20170429_125705.jpg

20170429_142809

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.

20170429_134925

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

20170429_155827

20170429_134532

20170429_131808

20170429_134345

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.

20170429_170215

20170429_170307

20170429_170158

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.

20170429_170257

20170429_170245

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.

20170429_170338

20170429_170334

20170429_170325

Life’s a Game

20170401_141028

20170401_115952

Another perfect day in my universe…

20170401_120006

I knew I would install my art exhibition at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro today, but the details of the how and the when, and the other stuff of it all were not planned.  The artwork had been piled into a big blue bin on my back porch with two other similar bins resting on top of it (very difficult to access without making a huge mess) – so instead of wrapping my head around figuring it all out, I just had breakfast and sat in front of my laptop scrolling Facebook, mindlessly loving everyone’s posts.

20170401_115948

I was thinking about my friend Bobbi because she and I helped each other with our last events at the bakery.  My mind kind of wandered into – wouldn’t it be nice if she was available to help me?  And then, out of the blue, she texted me.

20170401_113937

I turned myself into a Tasmanian devil and within twenty minutes I had loaded the car with the art and all of the necessary install junk.  I have no recollection of how that happened mind you; it just DID.  We ended up meeting at Clark Reservation State Park in Jamesville, New York, which is down the street from the bakery, and hiking one of the many breathtaking trails there concluding with an awesome butt-blasting stair climb.  Then we headed over to Half Moon and had lunch – spinach quiche and a goat cheese side salad with maple syrup balsamic dressing.

20170401_141024

We hung the show together – thirteen watercolor paintings.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for her, I would not have been able to do this alone!  It really took two sets of hands to map out a plan with one holding the artwork while the other eye-balled the positioning.

20170401_140942

It really didn’t take long with my good friend by my side (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  I <3 you, Bobbi Petrocci!) and the result is a very different exhibition than the one I had last time in October 2016.  These are my baseball titled watercolors.  They are priced to sell at $125 each.

20170401_140946

Proprietor Debbe Titus and I planned the artist party as a closing reception.  It is set for Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  We will have adorable and tasty mini cupcakes (planning three dozen) with frosting to resemble baseballs.

16999086_1305620592882372_3184719879416577031_n

It is going to be so cute and fun!  Please come if you are in the neighborhood!  In addition, I will have unframed watercolors there to peruse and everything will be a cash and carry sale.  You can leave with a happy tummy and a watercolor under your arm.

20170401_141008

20170401_140942

The Half Moon Bakery and Bistro is open Monday through Saturdays.  Monday 10:00 am-3:00 pm, Tuesday 8:00 am-3:00 pm, and Wednesday-Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Call  (315) 492-0110 for more information or visit their web-site, www.thehalfmoonbakery.com. I trust I will see you there!

20170401_141011

 

Wearable Art!

ctkr,x1350,front,black-c,65,80,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-1

ctkr,x1350,front,black-c,65,80,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-2

ctkr,x1350,front,black-c,65,80,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3

I have a BFA in Fashion Design, as well as in Studio Arts from Syracuse University.  I used to imagine being on the cover of WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) as a fashion designer.  All the headlines that would work.  Like TASH SPELLS CASH or if I was designing bathing suits, TASH MAKES A SPLASH.  There was TASH IS A SMASH, and, lol, if I put out a bad collection, TASH MAKES TRASH.

ctr,x1350,front,black-c,65,0,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.4u3

ctr,x1350,front,black-c,65,0,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.4u3-2

ctr,x1350,front,black-c,65,0,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.4u3-1

Being a fashion designer has never stopped being one of my deepest desires.  And now… I am!

gtdr,x1350,front,black-c,65,120,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-1

gtdr,x1100,front,black-c,20,75,720,960-bg,f8f8f8.2u3

gtdr,x1350,front,black-c,65,120,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-2

www.redbubble.com has added new merchandise to include dresses, skirts, scarves, leggings and chiffon tops!  I spent about five hours last night updating my work.  I have several watercolor paintings on the site.  You can purchase all sorts of items designed with my original paintings’ images on them – phone cases, satchels, stickers, mugs….and now all of these clothes!

gtdr,x1350,front,black-c,65,120,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-3

gtdr,x1350,front,black-c,65,120,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-4

gtdr,x1350,front,black-c,65,120,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-5

The quality of the image on the merchandise is really outstanding.  And there is a quick turn-around time.  Items are usually shipped within a week!  Right now they are offering a 20% off sale on all goods and in addition, the scarves are on a special sale.

scarf,x1080-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-3

scarf,x1080-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-2

scarf,x1080-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-1

I am sooooo excited about this!  This is a sample of the abundant choices in the Karen Tashkovski – Visual Artist line.  I will link each picture to its page on the site for easy access.

pencil_skirt,x1055,front-bg,f8f8f8.2u3

pencil_skirt,x1055,front-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-6

pencil_skirt,x1055,front-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-4

ctkr,x1350,front,black-c,65,80,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-6

ctkr,x1350,front,black-c,65,80,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-5

ctkr,x1350,front,black-c,65,80,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-3

gtdr,x1350,front,black-c,65,120,789,730-bg,f8f8f8.2u3-12

 

 

Blue Star

mwo,500x,samsung_galaxy_s7_snap.u3-1

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!

IMG_20160513_084941

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).

IMG_20160511_084713
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.

mwo,500x,samsung_galaxy_s7_snap.u3-4

IMG_20160516_094915
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.

mwo,500x,samsung_galaxy_s7_snap.u3-3

IMG_20160517_083017
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.

mwo,500x,samsung_galaxy_s7_snap.u3-2

IMG_20160519_091756

mwo,500x,samsung_galaxy_s7_snap.u3-5

IMG_20160520_090521
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.

IMG_20160518_084308
Berkeley Cashmere cardigan, Sophie Tashkovski yoga top, Banana Republic skirt, BCBGeneration sandals

 

Art in the Adirondacks

20160507_182202

20160507_182149

20160507_182144

The Adirondacks is such a mythical place, isn’t it?  The last time I ventured into that neck of the woods I was a child meeting the real Santa Claus, because as you must know, the North Pole is an actual place in New York State…in the Adirondacks.

santa claus at the North Pole 001

20160507_182134

20160507_182129

20160507_182115

20160507_182107

So imagine my surprise (and major lack of geography knowledge) to realize that Old Forge’s View Art Center is only an hour and a half drive from my house!  Like what? Seriously, I did not realize it.  Thought it was further north, lol.

20160507_182100

20160507_182050

20160507_182044

20160507_182039

Penny Santy won an award – best landscape painting – at the juried exhibition, 2016 Central Adirondack Show on view until June 12, 2016 at View.

20160507_182527

20160507_182030

20160507_182017

20160507_182008

20160507_182002

According to the literature, this show is “a long-standing Old Forge tradition, showcasing some of the finest artists from throughout the Central Adirondack region and beyond.  Held for the first time in 1952, by View founder Miriam Kashiwa, the Central Adirondack Art Show is a testament to the significant place the arts hold within the hearts and minds of the residents and visitors to the Adirondacks.”

20160507_182638

20160507_181953

20160507_181942

20160507_181938

20160507_181931

There are seventy-six artists represented here in varied media – ceramics, glass, mixed media, paintings, drawings, pastels and photographs.  Most of the work is representational with landscapes making up the majority.  Sandra Hildreth was the juror.

20160507_182954

20160507_181925

20160507_181917

20160507_181912

20160507_181854

If you have never been to this gallery, you will be surprised by its modern elegance.  It is a hop, skip and a jump from Enchanted Forest.  (Seeing that sign again after all these years was like something out of a dream!)

20160507_182942

20160507_182950

20160507_181846

20160507_181842

20160507_181836

20160507_182202

I love these road trips to see art!  I was more than happy to be at the opening to support my friend, and grateful to have my cousin Jackie as a carpool mate for the friendship and great conversation, and to watch out for numerous deer hovering at both sides of the highway on the way home!

20160507_184210

20160507_182208

20160507_182212

20160507_182222

20160507_182226

20160507_182954

View is located at 3273 Route 28 (P.O. Box 1144) Old Forge, NY 13420.  Find them on the web at www.viewarts.org or call 315-369-6411 for gallery hours.  They have numerous events coming up – lectures, workshops and more exhibitions!

20160507_182240

20160507_182314

20160507_182325

20160507_182353

20160507_182451

20160507_183007

20160507_183019

20160507_183140

20160507_184646

20160507_184650

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….

Good Gig

20160108_193645

Whenever I run into J.P. Crangle, he always tells me that my teaching job is a good gig.  I LOVE that because it is soooo true!  I totally love my job – everything about it.  The curriculum is flexible enough that I can incorporate any artists or art movements, or even cultures that I choose.  I mean, there are thousands to pick from, as everything we know about ancient civilizations comes from studying their art.

I love the people at school.  The students are really fun.  Eighth graders and now, after a ten-year hiatus, I will be teaching fifth grade again (one section)!  They seem to love the projects we do and we spend a lot of time smiling, laughing and having fun while making art.  And it only gets better every year.

20160108_193605

J.P. Crangle and I went to graduate school together.  He is a professional artist and caricaturist extraordinaire!  I still have the one he drew of me, which he had created for the open house we had for students back in the M-17 days of the Syracuse University Art Education department.

20160108_193628

20160108_193623

Good gig – he said it again when I saw him Friday, January 8, 2016 at the Edgewood Gallery art opening reception where he is showing and selling brilliantly-hued cartoon paintings on wood and quirky plaster doll sculptures in a show titled “Small Planets” alongside the work of Dan Shanahan and Sharon Alma.

20160108_193421

His paintings and sculptures are truly whimsical displays of color and fun!  The gallery/frame shop looks totally different from the way it looked during the last show (with the exception of the amazing David McDonald’s mugs on a table and powerhouse artist Arlene Abend’s tiny sculptures on the window ledge surrounded by healthy, leafy plants!  They were there the last time too and are not part of this exhibit).

20160108_193411

20160108_193417

Dan Shanahan is exhibiting these incredible watercolor paintings and hand painted prints rendered with the tiniest details that keep you involved, seeking and finding more to see.  They are doodles with precision.  Really incredible stuff.

20160108_192147

20160108_192153

20160108_191716

Sharon Alma, another friend of mine, is selling jewelry in the display case.  Very colorful and incredibly, they are made of paper!

I went to the Gold Key awards ceremony for the regional Scholastic Art Awards competition last Thursday night at OCC and I was struck by the proficiency. The majority of artwork selected as winners this year were literal translations in portrait, still life and landscape.  Student technicians with inspiring mastery of detail.  The rendering skills are nothing short of breathtaking.  Not much over all in the abstract realm though nor in emotional content.

It was the same way when I was in high school.  Top prize was a Blue Ribbon back then, which I won for my portfolio – this led to getting accepted at Syracuse University where I was told my portfolio was one of the best the interviewer had seen.

Funny that, because when I look at the work now – some on the walls of my parents’ home and others that I have in a paper portfolio shoved away in the crawl space of my 2nd bedroom – I think it completely lacks emotion.

Yes, I can draw, but the artwork I enjoy making now is abstract -about my emotional journey through life, one rich with texture and rhythm, and color.

Which is why I was thrilled to support my former student Maria L. Her sculpture portfolio won a Gold Key (her current instructor is Allison Kominecky).

20160114_205935

She created this white dress from an underlying structure of chicken wire.  The bodice was shellacked with her parents’ divorce papers.  All of the tissue paper from Christmas (according to her mom) made up the fluffy skirt.  This hauntingly beautiful piece filled with raw emotion transcends the competition and becomes a kind of memory of time and space while her other large piece filled with a cascade of paper butterflies almost says that beauty is abundant yet fleeting so one must enjoy the moment while one can.  It all makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time while giving the artist a giant hug for her bravery and perseverance.

That’s joy.

Her work, like the three artists’s at Edgewood, can also be described as whimsical and fun.  One can surely find the beauty in realism, but art can also symbolize magic in other ways.  Maria’s work and the rest resonate joy, an emotion we can all do well to include more of in our lives.

I just read a thingy in one of Rhonda Byrnes’ books about it.  Say it to yourself whenever you can, but slowly.  I – AM – JOY.  Say it a bunch of times and often.  If you are ever down for whatever reason, I guarantee it will make you smile.  Makes you realize that life is supposed to be joyous and fun.  That’s definitely a good gig if you can find it.

The Edgewood show will be on display at 216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, NY 13224 until February 19, 2016.  For more information and hours of operation, find the gallery here or call (315) 445-8111.

If you are interested in checking out Maria’s art and the rest of the Scholastic Art Awards winners, it is all on display until the end of February at the Whitney Building at Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY.

 

 

The Dreamer’s Legacy

You’d think that Syracusans would have no trouble driving around in a blizzard yesterday, but the hazardous conditions resulted in many car accidents around town.  I stayed home in my little bungalow in my pajamas all day, a fire in my wood-stove and a cat on my lap.  Spent much of the day dreaming.  Thinking about future art and writing projects and reflecting on the last six to twelve months of my life.

20160117_145531

I met Jan Brett once and asked her if she stays in her pajamas all day since she creates her children’s books from her home office.  She laughed and said she gets dressed every morning and makes it like a nine-to-five job.

20160117_150211

So, today I got up with the intention of bracing the storm to go to work.  I had breakfast and used the snow-blower on my driveway only to find out once I came in that school was changed from two-hour delay to closed. (I am about to go out again to do it all over again.  It is seriously snowing like cray-cray!)

20160117_150120

I am in yoga pants and a cashmere sweater and my Ugg boots that I wear as slippers.  Plus a cashmere beanie because it is still a little cold in here – apparently, I have the worst insulation in the neighborhood, as National Grid likes to remind me every month with those you-use-way-more-energy-than-anyone-else letters.

20160117_145711

I compromised a little – not quite the Tashionista I would have been if I had gone to work, but I am “decent”, lol.

Okay, now that all of that is out of the way, welcome to my first blog post of 2016.  Part of my contemplation has been deciding what my goals will be for this blog for this year and beyond, for my art and for my life in general. As I still sit here pondering, I am also looking back to see how far – if at all – I have come on this artistic journey.  Last year at this time, I noted a few things.  Like I had two students win awards in Scholastics. This year I had six honorable mentions out of fourteen entries, which is pretty great!

Last year at this time, I had 3,700 followers on Twitter.  Now I have 6,504.  I also doubled my connections on both Facebook and Linkedin.  By promoting these blog posts, I have received a lot of support from so many people all over the world, and tons of endorsements from friends, acquaintances and strangers on Linkedin.

20160117_152052

My friend Anne Novado recently closed Gallery 4040 here in Syracuse and moved to Jersey City, NJ to start a new gallery, which will open in the spring.  I miss her already, but it is such an exciting time for her.  She is embarking on a new chapter in her life, a new adventure.  A Syracuse artist/businesswoman branching out into another city and state.

20160117_151952

I love the idea of reinventing myself, of finding my purpose, and a part of me wishes I had some giant life-altering event to focus on like Anne has.  At Christmas, my sister said something I thought was profound – she said, “I chose to move back to Syracuse (from Boston) I chose to live my life here.  I don’t want to find a job elsewhere.”

20160117_151929

I did that once, when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale over twenty years ago.  My life feels like it is supposed to be here now.  I mean, I think so.  I want to say I have the same conviction that she has, but I am not quite sure that I do.  I do think of myself as a Syracuse artist though, as I have lived the majority of my life here.

20160117_151937

On Sunday, Penny Santy and I visited the Onondaga Historical Association.  It is a museum encompassing a history of Syracuse, New York.  It is such a beautiful thing to have historians who keep track of what once was and are the guardians of both past and future here in Syracuse. Like The Giver, lol.

20160117_152106

There are two art exhibitions currently, as well as permanent collection memorabilia.  One of the shows is called Snowy Splendor – Winter Scenes of Onondaga County.  It’s on the 2nd floor.  My friend Joan Applebaum has a painting in this show.

20160117_151920

There are paintings and photographs depicting Syracuse scenes and landmarks.  They’ve filled the room with flocked pine trees and old sleds too.  And of course, that giant statue that used to be on the roof of a brewery on the North side.  I remember seeing it a lot growing up.  We used to wait in the car while Mom ran into a bakery around there, I think.

20160117_152129

It’s weird seeing it as part of Syracuse’s history because I don’t feel like I am that old and it is a part of my life’s narrative.  That’s what this museum is like for me.  A lot of what I saw in there looks like it came from our old house on Ashworth Place or things many of us can still find in basements or attics complete with that familiar musty mildew smell.  There is a collection of World War I medals like the one in my jewelry box that belonged to my great grandfather.  There are plates from the defunct Syracuse China factory – the ones my parents have with the bird in the center.  Someone has made broken pieces of these plates into jewelry that is for sale in the gift shop.  You can purchase silk scarves with that same bird.  It’s just all so familiar, like a home away from home or a dream….

20160117_145308

The other art exhibition is called A Life in Art – A Highlight of Women Artists in OHA’s collections.  Its location is adjacent to the gift shop.  This show is up until June 5, 2016 so there is plenty of time to see it.  My friend Arlene Abend is represented in the exhibit.  In the ’70s, she created these little metal sculptures for the Syracuse Symphony’s fundraiser. Arlene has been such a force in the Syracuse art scene.  I am so glad to see that she was recognized here.

20160117_145829

20160117_145332

You know, every generation thinks they invented the arts in a way.  You know what I mean – kids think they are way cooler than their parents or their teachers….  What I love about this show is how these women from the earlier days were able to create art at all and get recognized – in a time when they were expected to be wives and mothers first and foremost.  They were true creative trailblazers!  Like the woman whose husband was a firefighter and she sometimes accompanied him to a fire resulting in paintings.  Or the woman who painted the Syracuse Savings Bank for her relative who worked there.

20160117_145810

20160117_145745

There’s a marble sculpture and block prints, watercolors, oils and charcoal portraits. Mostly portraits and landscapes.  Betty Munro was a landscape artist.  A watercolor of hers is part of this show and there are more originals for sale in the gift shop.  It is really incredible to see these beautiful pieces for sale (only $425-$575 unframed).  They are images depicting downtown Syracuse landmarks, which would be perfect for the walls of any businesses still located in the vicinity!

20160117_150137

20160117_145634

I loved viewing this show and imagining one of my abstract pieces alongside the rest of these talented artists’ work.  Someday….  Am I worthy?  Maybe that is part of my dream. To be recognized internationally just so that my hometown can someday acknowledge me as one of Syracuse’s best.  Now that is something I truly would love to manifest.

20160117_150150

The OHA is located at 321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.  They are open Wednesday-Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday and Sundays 11am-3:30pm (Closed Monday and Tuesday).  Call (315) 428-1864 for more information.  Find their website here.  You can donate or become a member, or even volunteer as a docent.  It is such an amazing place! They do a lot of student field trips and have an archive you can search.  I am very interested in locating an old picture of my house, which was built in 1900. That would be very cool.

20160117_150125

20160117_145445

 

 

 

The Karen Section of Town

20151228_114137

20151228_113545

Those of you who knew me in the ’90s know this about me, but for the rest of you, let me paint you a picture of what my life was like.  I taught art at a middle school that was an hour drive from home, so a typical Friday looked like this:  get up at 5:30 am, leave the house at 6:30 to be at work at 7:30; work until 3:30 pm, get home at 4:30; go to the gym for two hours.  Clean my room (or not).

20151228_114150

At around 10:00 pm, I would drive to Armory Square.  No plans – I just knew my friends would be out.  They always started at a bar called Witherspoon’s (not there anymore), and somehow we would hop around until 2:00 am then go to a Denny’s.  So I would pretty much do a twenty-four hour day!

Crazy times.

20151228_114159

20151228_114205

But before that – in the ’80s…dating myself…I worked at Bryant & Stratton teaching Fashion Merchandising.  Yes, I was a professor.  I used to frequent Armory Square when it was a sort of derelict meets artsy neighborhood.  There was a frame shop on the corner of the main intersection called I’ve Been Framed (where I met a very beautiful guy named Mike).  I got my bed (that I still sleep in) at the Antique Underground on E. Fayette St. at a basement shoppe that reeked of mold, lol.

20151228_114245

20151228_114733

When I told my cousin Nick the story of how I got a flat tire on E. Fayette Street (nearly thirty years ago) across from what is now The Black Olive restaurant – how there was no one to help me.  Every man who walked by was either blind or crippled, or missing an arm it seemed.

It was just super weird, I know.  And there were no cell phones, so I tried calling for help from the pay phone but the line was busy because there was also no call-waiting back then.  I should also preface this by saying it was raining that day and I was wearing a white linen suit complete with a pencil skirt, stockings and heels…and I am still unwilling to learn how to change a flat tire, lol…. When I got one this past summer, I still called my dad.  One of these days I should get AAA….

Anyhow, to make a short story long, as I have been known to do, in around 1986 or ’87, Nick started calling Armory Square the Karen section of town.

20151228_114741

20151228_113946

20151228_113937

The Karen section of town has changed a lot since then.  Lots of restaurant chains, as well as local haunts that are GREAT.  There’s a Starbucks and a Subway along with Kitty Hoynes, Blue Tusk, Empire Brewing Company, Pastabilities, The Bistro Elephant….

20151228_113920

20151228_113910

There’s Jet Black, an amazing clothing shop where I bought my very first Trina Turk top, which is still one of my favorites to this day (bought in ’98 or ’99).  And now (drum roll)- THERE IS AN ART CO-OP CALLED ARMORY ARTWORKS!

20151228_113901

20151228_113833

They had a grand opening that I missed, even though it said I went to it on Facebook.  I click that I am going everywhere and I don’t always follow through.  But I rectified that today.

My friend Janine and I took a stroll around the block, had lunch at the Empire Brewing Company and visited the gallery.

20151228_113820

20151228_113810

The address is 136 Walton Street, Syracuse, NY.  It is an upstairs venue so I am going to say I do not think it is handicapped-accessible.  I mean, I did not remember seeing an elevator.  But if that is not an issue, once upstairs you will find an array of decorative and functional pieces by local artists.

20151228_113800

20151228_113752

From what I understand, there are a couple of ways one can join the co-op. There is a $120 per month cover to be a member.  There is also a part-time scenario where you help (wo)man the place, ring register, and allow a 40% commission off sales of your art.

20151228_113748

Hours of operation:

11:00 am – 6:00 pm  Monday-Wednesday

11:00 am – 7:00 pm  Thursday

11:00 am – 8:00 pm  Friday-Saturday

noon – 5:00 pm  Sunday

20151228_113740

20151228_113730

It is really beautifully merchandised and the prices are surprisingly reasonable.  Several of my friends are selling work there – Barbara Vural, Wendy Harris, Amy Bartell.  You can get art that has been printed on notecards for only $3.00 each or four for $10.00.   I usually do this then put the cards in frames if I cannot afford the originals.  It’s a great way to start an art collection.

Bracelets for under $40.00; hand-made sweaters, scarves, pottery, paintings, prints, you name it!  There’s really something for everyone!

20151228_113723

20151228_113719

If you haven’t yet purchased original art for your home, I really urge you to do so.  There’s nothing better than owning something made with love, something made by a neighbor.  I don’t know – the comaraderie of friendship is a great gift, I think.  There is so much good here that I feel like we all benefit from the experience.

20151228_113705

20151228_113640

So, if you find yourself in the Karen section of town, please visit this amazing place!  And if you get there soon, you’ll have a chance at a $25 gift certificate prize – no purchase necessary!

20151228_113628

20151228_113622

For more information, call them at (315) 870-3408 or visit their website armoryartworks.com

20151228_113618

20151228_113612

They are also on Facebook – find them here.

20151228_113622

Smarty Arty Marty

20151127_190720

20151127_190714

I stumbled upon the Syracuse Art Mart last night on my way to the downtown Syracuse tree lighting ceremony.  It is in the Atrium at City Hall Commons located at 201 E. Washington Street in Syracuse, NY.

20151127_190649

20151127_190638

It will be open until Christmas Eve – Monday through Saturday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

20151127_190318

20151127_190254

20151127_190222

There’s lots to see and buy.  Art and craft from local and regional artists like Judi Witkin (jewelry) and Jeanne Dupre (oil paintings) – that was a shout-out to Facebook friends….

20151127_190036

20151127_190134

20151127_190127

20151127_185844

20151127_190029

20151127_190405