It got cold again in the ‘cuse this week after 85 degrees last week, so it was back to sweaters and long sleeves. It also felt right to go neutral palette – black, white, cream, beige, and grey with some navy blue thrown in, which is pretty much my whole wardrobe (heavy on the black).
When I really like something I buy it in several colors. I have the above Bailey 44 top in black and in red, and I have these BCBG Max Azria leggings in black with faux leather and in navy blue.
It’s already been a month since I got my smart phone, a month of different outfits and about a month of school left to go.
Life seems really exciting. I love that feeling I get when something is fun and the universe is filled with things to look forward to, as though it will fulfill its promises. Not sure if that is bad for my art. Lots of artists seem to be brooders, creating work out of anger, misery or melancholy. But I am all into happiness and joy. I want people to feel good when they look at my work, as if they are in on a secret. A secret language that enlightens, if that makes any sense. I am thinking about painting on paper for the “futura” series. That feels right too.
I will have time to paint this summer, but before I do anything I want to work on the business of being an artist and that includes securing venues for exhibitions. I have something in the works for July that I am VERY excited to share but I believe it will have to wait to be revealed, as it is some type of top secret thing-a-ma-gig. Will let you know soon though. I promise.
Okay- fashion blogging is so much fun. It feels amazing to receive so many compliments. I was really having a Kim Kardashian moment this week. Call me Karen Kar-tash-ian! So funny.
We had record breaking warm weather in Syracuse this week, which I doubt people who know us as the snowiest city in the state/maybe the country (won the trophy again this year) can believe. But yes. It got to 90 degrees on Friday and without air-conditioning in the school, it can be a little sticky. So thank you, to Trina Turk, Banana Republic, and BCBG Max Azria for keeping me cool in their fabulous dresses.
Not sure what theme I’m planning for next week. There are still a lot of clothes in my closet that have not seen the light of day in three weeks. I usually wear things in a heavy rotation until I get bored with them but now I feel an obligation – a responsibility to my fashion followers to change it up. Sounds like I’m taking this seriously, lol!
The annual school fair is a visual representation of what teachers teach. Which means that art is the most necessary of all subjects. Without it, it is really impossible to showcase to the community a school district’s activity.
Tonight is the school fair and for the last nineteen years I have put up an exhibit then taken it down within seven hours. I’m off to visit the displays before they are a memory and do the dismantling right now.
This is the first time I have ever documented the event. Thank you, smart phone.
This week I did a lot of black on the bottom (BB). So far, I have not done a single repeat in clothing or shoes. I like the idea of planning what I’m going to wear for people to see because it’s kind of a fun way to look forward to going to work, so thank you to all of the people who liked my Instagram #ootd (outfit of the day) posts.
I went to a funeral this week. My great aunt died. I know how some of you don’t like being morbid, but I can’t help trying to see a big picture to life when someone I cared about leaves us for good. I know, and I don’t even think about dying at all. I think more about all the living I need to do and the existential quest of what I am supposed to be accomplishing, as though I had a plan before I was born. I am supposed to find something or someone in a search for happiness, as if I had a bet with someone up there in the ether that even within the parameters of the life I was given, I’ve been challenged to still find it. Whatever that may be.
It reminds me of the famous Robert Rauschenberg story of the Erased DeKooning piece. In the video made at the time of the 1997 Guggenheim retrospective, Rauschenberg talked about how he had been doing a series of white paintings and he had conceived the notion of erasing a work making it white again (the paper). The idea of the process backwards, you see? It is such a cerebral notion for a guy who spent a lifetime laughing.
He decided he wanted to erase someone else’s piece since erasing your own would have this feeling that you already knew how it was made, so it would be a lot easier to erase your own work. You know how much pressure you had placed on the pencil and how much elbow grease it would require to get rid of those marks. That makes sense, right?
So he went over to DeKooning’s, a formidable guy even sober. He knocked – the artist didn’t answer at first and he thought, okay so the idea has now died. I tried and knocked and …nothing. Done and done.
But DeKooning answered, let him in, closed the door behind him and stood in front of it so that Rauschenberg couldn’t escape after announcing his query – in the back of his mind he thought for sure that DeKooning would beat the crap out of him.
But instead, DeKooning said something like. “Okay, I understand what you’re asking. I’m going to give you something hard to erase.” He handed Rauschenberg a drawing made with charcoal and paint and other materials, and Rauschenberg spent months trying to erase it.
It was a challenge, and that made the idea more fun. And as much as non-artists scrunch up their noses and think that’s not art with an Emperor’s New Clothes mentality, you really have to admit that it took loads of time and a lot of work to erase that art. So in essence, it was and is artwork.
Art history scholars tend to relay it as a message delineating the changing of the guard from Abstract Expressionism to the new Pop Art establishment, but Rauschenberg himself insisted that was not his intent.
No matter what we do, people will put their own spin on things. Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez are Instagramming like clockwork, and they take the good and take the bad along with it, the negative-nellies who voice their harassment of the selfie variety, and can be very harsh in doing so.
I won’t let that stop me from continuing my journey. I am having fun with the fashion stuff, which was heavy on the Banana (Republic) this week.
In light of the death, my parents were talking about buying their plots this week. Preparing for the inevitable in a way to reduce our stress when the time comes. My great-grandfather bought one extra plot a long time ago and Mom and Dad were thinking of trading it in for their two – but that spot is like my perfect spot. It is a short walk from my great aunt and uncle’s graves, overlooking the Comstock Art facility, which is next to Manley Field House at Syracuse University. I kind of want to keep it for myself. It seemed familiar, like a part of the puzzle that made sense but didn’t….
It really is surreal to think of ending up there. Like, what? That’s all this was? Me, dead, with a view of my art school, along with a giant oak tree and a huge gravestone marked MILLER? What is that supposed to mean? I mean, I know.
Someone on Linkedin.com asked me what the purpose was of a particular blog post, as if, perhaps, I appear as a scatter brain all over the place artist, like I have no purpose, maybe? On the same day, a reader professed a non-stalker style (he assured) love for me and my personality.
This all necessitated another one of my existential meditation quests. Who am I, and what am I doing here? I paint in oils with collage, paper collage, watercolors and encaustics, and have many different looks to my work – the symbology look, the abstract expressionism one…. I also like to draw realistically.
I am a visual artist who has had gallery representation in the past and is seeking it again, an artist who wants to sell my work in whatever/wherever the venue. In this case, it is on the internet – on this blog, on shopify on redbubble and through other social media – my Facebook like page and now on Instagram.
I broke down and entered the new millennium, and purchased a smart phone. Now I can tackle instagramming my head off, because I had read it is the place for savvy art business peeps.
I am also a person who loves fashion, something that seems to go against the rules of the starving artist. I can’t help it. I posted about Karen Bakke’s fashion illustrations last week and in a previous post, shared my sewing skills with costume design.
When I first started this blog, it was to share only my artwork. Then it snowballed into the what-I-want-you-to-know-about-me more three dimensional me. Kind of a let the chips fall where they may and by chips, I guess I mean the puzzle pieces of my persona. I am many things and I can’t pigeonhole myself into being one person, place or thing.
Last weekend I was a judge for a juried exhibition of artwork. It was sponsored by the local penwomen association. I used my expertise as an art critic, something I don’t technically do when I blog about local art shows. And I do that because I feel like you can’t just exist alone in a small city art community. I’ve always believed that we Syracuse artists can be successful together as a team rather than going the lone wolf route.
I’m not being paid to blog, so why not blog about whatever art related topic is going on in my world or in my head, or whatever. I love writing, and it seems like maybe that is what I’m doing here, to answer that linkedin woman’s question.
With that said, I’m really fascinated by the job of fashion blogger. That it is a job, I guess. Something that would have appealed to me when I was in college and still does.
Now that I am on Instagram.com (my handle is karen_tashkovski), I’ve decided to post #ootd, which stands for outfit of the day, if you don’t know the lingo. Someone takes a picture of me so that I can post my head-to-toe fashion and in this way I am a fashion blogger too!
My favorite designer is Trina Turk. She liked the above picture on Instagram as did shopBailey44 because I’m wearing a Bailey 44 top. Those likes totally made my life. They really did. Because it still fascinates me that the world has become so small that you can reach out to your favorite _______, whether it be designer, fashion house, famous artist or celebrity, and they will respond with a little red heart.
That positive energy blows my mind. It is such a feel good feeling!
My work look is about layering. I pretty much always top it all off with a cardigan (or blazer). Long sleeves are difficult because my hands are in all sorts of things from clay and plaster to paint. I’m constantly washing and drying them, so I usually remove the sweater and add an apron or smock and maybe a pencil or two behind the ear.
I worked five days straight and I can’t remember the last time that happened what with all the snow days we’ve had, the superintendent’s conference days without kids (technically still work, but you know what I mean), the bout with the flu and vacations. I’m thinking of doing a dress or skirt week soon. Well, as soon as it stops freaking snowing here in the ‘cuse.
No #ootd today. I’m still in my pjs (Calvin Klein).
Just got a new pair of BCBG sandals. If you have never worn four inch heels, I suggest you buy this brand. They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. No pinching and the interior is fully padded so they are of the work-all-day-dance-all-night variety.
Not sure if they come in a men’s size, one required for the posers of Karen Bakke’s fashion illustrations. The show, entitled Queens of New York, at the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery at The Nancy Cantor Warehouse School of Design (the Syracuse University Building located in Armory Square) will be up until May 30, 2015, if you were not at last night’s reception.
Karen Bakke was one of my professors at SU circa the ’80s when I was a fashion design major. She taught me how to use a knitting machine among other things. She’s retiring this year and going out with a fashion bang.
Her artwork is really exquisite. She uses charcoal to begin the drawings on Rives BFK paper. Her lines are gestural yet confident. Deliberate, which I love. Then she adds mixed media – acrylic, some paper collage and even actual makeup to add that whimsical touch of glitter.
My favorite is the one above. It is a gorgeous face combined with the unexpected man hand. They are all illustrations of men dressed as women, so it’s kind of a casualty of the experience. Karen told me that she’s had people criticize the proportions because the faces are so beautiful, but it’s clear that she is a master technician and the sizes are accurate.
You really have to see this show. There is a fun interactive feature where you too can become a queen by sliding on a wig or two and maybe a boa and look at yourself in a faux-gilded mirror. The pieces are really perfect when witnessed as a group and it is a testimony to a fashion artist who transcends the boundaries of time. They are timeless gorgeous-sos, which is the highest gorgeous I can give. It goes gorge then gorgy then gorgeous-so.
The gallery is located at 350 West Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY, 13202.
Oh, and P.S. – Mary Schalk of Mary Schalk Design did the flowers and I got to take one home. OMG they are perfection in a shoe too!
My redecorating project is complete! I ended up using the Benjamin Moore paint in Navajo White, Barely Beige, and Seedling for the kitchen; and the Home Depot paint in Leather Clutch for the upstairs and entryway trim.
I love a green kitchen for some reason, but I’m all about neutral walls everywhere else.
I love when the house is finally camera ready, but it is always a fleeting moment in time. There is always something that needs putting away or another dish to wash. It’s a never ending saga.
Honestly, I cannot believe how much work I did. I was like some kind of crazy Tasmanian devil or whatever. There was a bit in the middle where it was so overwhelming that I had a mini meltdown but that’s how I seem to accomplish everything. Confidence then doubt and then push through it, and finally, completing the vision.
Tomorrow it’s back to the real world and to more art stuff. Work. An art reception on Friday night. And on Saturday, I’m judging an art contest.
Now it’s time for Orthodox Easter dinner at Mom & Dad’s.