I wore all black this week because I am in mourning for my summer vacation – and because I just love wearing black. I think I have, like, six black skirts and about a dozen different pairs of black pants. I don’t know how many tops. I could potentially extend my mourning period through the month of September just for the challenge of it. But I don’t think I will.
My grandmother used to hate seeing the old widows at church all dressed in black. She was a pearls, pink crochet cardigan, and pastel floral dress kind of girl, so I know she wouldn’t approve. In 1996, I was hired as a long term substitute. At the end of that first school year, I had to go through the interview process all over again when the other teacher decided to retire. I wore red and black (the school colors) every day to work until it was confirmed that I had gotten the job. Fashion themes are fun! Go Bears!
If you search Instagram for the hashtag #fashionintherealworld, you will find all of my posts. I invented it and #fashioninrealtime, and #fashioninreallife. I just checked them; I think there are only two or three posts on them from random fashionistas. The rest is all me.
Here are my outfits of the day from the last two weeks. The landscape of my background keeps changing as I shift student work around the room. All of my clay projects are complete. The last batch went into the kiln today. The 5th graders are currently working on a three-dimensional wood sculpture, my Studio in Art students are learning watercolor techniques and the rest of the 8th graders are immersed in the various SLO test projects: Statue of Liberty paintings, “under the sea” landscapes with fish (mixed-media lesson), Japanese fan project (also mixed-media) and abstract paintings with realistic horses thrown in. So four additional different lessons for the six classes.
There is a lot going on, which will culminate in the School Fair set for May 12, 2017. I will have my hands full preparing for that exhibition and hopefully even with the upcoming state math tests looming, we will get everything accomplished.
But first – Spring Break!!! I will be working on the business of making art as soon as tomorrow. Can’t wait. Watching students make art is clearly a fun job, but nothing beats the guilty pleasure of creating my own artwork – even though it is super messy and therefore cannot be done in designer clothes. So…I will be sacrificing fashion for my art. I did buy a new dress for Easter though. It is Halston Heritage. ❤ OMG, I love it!
We had a snow day today, so… I’m playing catch up on blogging. Here are my most recent outfits of the day. I got paint on my new Free People tunic top and on something else – spent the day doing laundry and tidying/organizing my closet. A lot of re-runs this post. I went heavy on the leggings in order to go hiking right after school before it got too dark. Along with this snowmegeddon thing, the time change screwed with my perfect world. But then again, I only have to work one day this week – tomorrow. That is, if this snow actually lets up. Crazy! What am I gonna wear? Lol, decisions, decisions.
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!
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).