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.


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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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Coming Up Rosenquist



The James Rosenquist exhibition at the SU Gallery on Syracuse University’s campus is nothing short of exquisite.  I went to the opening last night and I was seriously moved to tears.





For me, this IS art.  I can see his hand, taste his brushstroke, hear his narrative and feel everything I imagine he felt when creating these enormous paintings, breathtaking prints and inventive mixed media collage works.

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I love him.






I am definitely going to plan a field trip so that I can share this experience with my Studio in Art students.  In addition to the Rosenquist pieces, the university has an eclectic collection of ceramics from many cultures, as well as 15th century paintings and things lurking around the corner that are shockingly unexpected. What a gem of a place.




The exhibit runs through November 22, 2015.




According to the gallery literature, this show was “developed in collaboration with Oklahoma State Museum of Art and curated by Sarah C. Bancroft, co-curator of the artist’s 2003 retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.”  During her brief speech at this event, Bancroft shared that Rosenquist wanted to do this exhibit because he enjoyed the idea of inspiring students.  It’s been thirty years since I was an undergrad and yet, I felt exactly like the student I was as I stood in front of and breathed in the life of each work of art.  I told her how I felt and she said, “I’m glad you liked it.”



A symposium is scheduled for October 22, 2015 at 7:00 pm in the Slocum Hall auditorium on SU campus.  Titled The Rosenquist Network, it will “explore (the) role that the printmaking workshop has played in contemporary American art, and in particular in the career of artist James Rosenquist.”


Road Trip

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Last night Penny Santy and I took a road trip to Rochester, NY to visit the Nan Miller Gallery.


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What a beautiful place!  Nan Miller has an exquisite eye for abstract art.  I loved everything about the place.  Linda Bigness has been in Nan’s stable for years and her work was prominently displayed throughout the gallery.


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Linda’s husband told me the space is a new incarnation, now located at 3000 Monroe Avenue.  A short hop, skip and jump from the New York State thruway.



There are sculptures and paintings, and in the back room, prints by well-knowns Keith Haring and Jim Dine!  Price points range from $1,000 to upwards of $60,000!

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The opening was very well attended by patrons of the arts (lots of sold stickers!!!), as well as artists.  Nan and her colleague Gail Leess were so friendly and informative.  If you’ve never been, I suggest a road trip.  It’s definitely in order.   You will love it!!! ❤




For more information – – (585)292-1430.







The Healing Effects of Water & a Smoothie


Last night was just magical.




I wanted to go the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY.  There was an art reception for Water Effect – Art Inspired by Water, but I had a power headache brought on by a dumb sinus infection that has been bothering me for more than a week.




I was able to finagle a last minute appointment with my nurse-practioner, got the meds, popped into Panera Bread for a strawberry-banana smoothie and miraculously felt better than ever!



In less than forty minutes, I arrived.  And as soon as I walked in, I saw my friend Katie Turner and her husband Ralph, two of my favorite people in this universe – we only met last year when she exhibited her Terraskin watercolors of flowers in the Chittenango Middle School library, but we clicked like life-long friends.  Here she is next to her piece, The Pines ($275).


I believe this was a juried exhibition, by the way.  I only knew a few of the other artists, like James Skvarch…


and Mary Giehl.


I had amazing conversations with the artists who were in attendance.  Gordana Vukovic…


Susan Weisend…


and Carol LaBorie.


Carol retired from a non-art job and is now a full-time artist who has studied encaustic technique under a number of artists, often going to workshops and artist’s retreats.  I just loved her enthusiasm and passion!  Fifty-three artists from throughout the region are represented in this exhibit, which continues through October 18, 2015.



In addition, there is a wonderful show of landscapes and barn paintings by Kathryn J. Schylinski.  OMG, I loved her!  She’s from Skaneateles, NY, but will be relocating to my neck of the woods soon and verbally agreed to working with me in the future – à la my art gallery in the school library!  I told her that I sometimes do a painting lesson using  Wolf Kahn references and she said she channels Kahn and crosses him with an Edward Hopper flair…and that is so true!  You can totally get that.


All of the work, including Kathryn’s, is for sale and will be available for pick-up at the end of the exhibit. (Hers ends October 18th as well).






The Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center is located at 205 Genesee Street, Auburn, NY.  They are open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sundays 1 – 5 pm.  For more information contact them via their web site, or by phone, (315) 255-1553.

Art as Friendship


Just picked up my copy of the September 2015 issue of Women of Upstate New York.  So excited to be a part of it!


A month ago, I spent the day with Audrey Levinson.  She is an art teacher in the Syracuse City school district, as well as a writer for this magazine.  She is also a family friend – we went to high school together (she was my sister’s bestie).

Audrey started writing as a tribute to her mother, who passed away a year ago.  I really loved spending the day with her and listening to her story too.  When I read the article, I feel like it is more about our friendship than anything else.  And that feels very special.


Thank you, Audrey!  Find the article here.

Secret Garden

Often when I meet other artists, they will reveal that their mother or father, or a grandparent is also an artist.  That is not the case with me, although my grandfather could draw horses really well for some reason.  He was a carpenter who once built all the bread boxes for The Columbus Baking Co. in Syracuse.




We are all creative types, though, the kind of people who like working with our hands/making things.




My grandmother did fine crochet work, as I mentioned before – she won first place at the New York State Fair every year in the senior citizen’s category.  She would spend the entire year creating a bedspread or tablecloth, like hours and hours of work, and if she made a mistake, she would remove three months of work just to make it right.




My mother can knit and crochet too, and as I mentioned before, she creates jewelry.  My little sister has an interior decorating business, which includes furniture refinishing.  My older sister is a kinesthetic artist – she is a gymnast who at fifty something can still rock a round-off/back handspring/back summy tumbling pass, as well as glide kip into giant swings on the uneven parallel bars.


My dad’s art is his garden.  Every year that thing produces buckets of produce – cukes, tomatoes of all varieties, peppers, onions, garlic, lettuce, eggplant, zucchini….etc., etc., etc.!!!




In addition, he has landscaped the homestead in DeWitt, NY with English walnut trees that have literally taken over the back yard, as well as a pear tree, apple tree, mulberry tree and I can’t remember what else.




The harvest is often given away because there is such a surplus.  The real fun begins when he and Mom, and Sophie make tomato sauce and salsa, and all sorts of other things that exist in a foodie’s paradise – the gift that keeps on giving, so to speak.



So here are some pictures of said garden.  Dad is not on social media nor has he ever attempted to use a computer, so it is fun to know that Vasil S. Tashkovski does exist in cyberspace.




And if the world ever starts to implode, and you wish to seek refuge with our family and these fresh vegetables, the secret word into our creative “speak-easy” is a compliment (as in, wow, this is the best garden in town!).  Lol-so true. ❤




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