Last week there was a day I forgot to bring a mask. I had to wear a standard issue one from the stash the school gave me. Ugh! It is crazy how different school is these days with the masks and the social distancing – the integration of the on-line technology and all the paperwork/organization/mayhem. But it hasn’t put a damper on the fun.
My students are happy to be back in school. I only actually have classes twice a week and students are there one day and at home the other day. My colleague and instagram photographer, Katy, and I, have been working together to recreate our art courses to align with the new safety protocols and to allow students to access the courses on-line. No clay, paint or collage work this year – the focus is more on formal principals of art, illustration and design.
We purchased sketchbooks for everyone, as well as dry media including markers and colored pencils. We are still working with the local Lions Club (awesome!) to create peace posters for their international contest. Some of my students may become professional artists by the end of the month.
I know I haven’t blogged much since the onset of these “Covid-19 months”. I plan to improve my on-line store on this site – I’ve upgraded the website to the bells and whistles one, but I haven’t really gotten around to uploading more than a few bracelets for sale. I have a new email address – firstname.lastname@example.org. And I did go to a museum today. I’ll be writing a couple of blog posts about that soon.
I’m happy to be back to school too. I love fashion sooo much – love getting dressed to go someplace. I’m having fun incorporating the mask into the mix – the ones from Kes are phenomenal because I can wear them around the neck during mask breaks. My other favorite ones are by Jonathan Simkhai and, yes, my own, available on www.redbubble.com.
Oh, and, of course, I am a blonde now so I look a lot different than I did in March.
Here are my most recent outfits of the day. We take a bunch of photos every day in order to get one decent one out of the bunch. Google photos has been animating the lot to produce these hilarious gifs. You can see how far away Katy is when she takes the pic. We do that to insure I can get my body to fit into the square dimension of Instagram. Should I begin to add these silly things to my Instagram account every so often – just because they are sooo stupid funny or are they just stupid? I have lost perspective.
I am all about the cardigan at work. Kind of a Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood thing, lol. I dress in layers and the sweater comes off pretty quickly. We have been running the kiln, so, it has been toasty in the classroom. I’m always donning multiple smocks in order to not sustain paint, Mod-Podge, plaster, clay, oil pastel or the-like messes on my clothing. It is a messy job, but I am doing my best to keep it fashionable. I love clothes. Love fashion!!!!!
Here are my most recent #ootd pictures. I am grateful for Katy Conden, my fellow art teacher, work colleague and all around bestie who has been taking such good pictures with my Samsung Galaxy 6. She makes it so fun to vogue it up every morning.
I am getting my hair done more frequently these days. Amanda LaDue at Miracles in Fayetteville, NY is a true miracle worker. She has single-handedly transformed my look. The other day one of my work colleagues told me that I look younger now than I did ten years ago when we first started working at the middle school together! That is so sweet!
It is such a thrill to get such positive responses on Facebook and on Instagram as well, where a lot of other fashion bloggers are giving me kudos, most notably the local fashion sylist, Jackie Terribile (@thesmalltownstylist) She is a friend of my little sister. Jackie blogs about the Syracuse fashion scene and does some guest hosting on a local morning show.
I am a lot older than the typical fashion blogger so, yes, it is all so flattering and wonderful. I am empowered by Madonna’s statement about her Met Gala outfit and the idea that age should not even be relevant when it comes to fashion, beauty and all that.
The above picture was taken by Roberta Mou, the Home & Careers teacher (when Katy was absent one day). Note the kitchen background. I am never normally in a kitchen, lol. I never cook except to make cupcakes once and a while for the art talks we have at school.
I wore this white dress on a day I was demonstrating an India Ink lesson! I wore two smocks. In my defense, I love this dress and I can’t just stare at it in my closet and not wear it once and a while. I am going to an event at the end of the month that has a dress code – resort casual – and this dress is perfect except for the color. It is literally never appropriate to wear white to anything wedding-related unless you are the bride.
Nine West asked to repost the above picture on their website and on their Instagram account. Those sandals are my most recent purchase. They are so comfortable. They come in two other colors – emerald green is one of them. They have a zipper in back and a gladiator style lace-up in front. I love the support this style offers!
The beaded cross necklace – my mother got it from the Indian Village at the New York State Fair in the 1940s. I am in love with it! I built many of my outfits in the past two weeks around this blue, gray, beige and gold color scheme.
Now that the school fair is over, it is pretty much smooth sailing until the end of the school year. Hopefully, the backgrounds in my #ootd pictures will improve, meaning I will start cleaning the room and putting away unnecessary supplies. (Sure I will.) And then before we know it, it will be summer vacation!
Yeah, I guess I am not a typical fifty-something, lol. No cooking or cleaning, but a big yes to a stress-free aesthetic in four-inch heels.
Here are the outfits I wore to work from the past couple of weeks. I donned my orange Trina Turk dress on Friday in support of Syracuse University sports (my alma mater). The men’s and women’s basketball teams did well this year. They both made it to the Final Four! There was so much excitement in this town. I watched the last three games at different venues and it has been a blast. Last night, the crowd was disappointed with the outcome, but that energy turned into an amazing night of dancing to the live band that took the stage at Shifty’s once the game ended.
Of course, Mother Nature took the loss a bit harder and decided to give us back our snow!
How crazy is this? It is the view from my back porch taken a minute ago. Yes, just this morning! Funny, because yesterday I was contemplating whether or not I would mow the lawn today….
My 5th graders finally finished their wood sculptures. They are currently on display in the school library. Next we will tackle a slab/hand built clay sculpture. I haven’t done the lesson in ten years, which was the last time I taught 5th grade art, so that should be fun!
My Studio in Art class is working on a mixed-media still life drawing and the rest of my 8th graders are painting their clay projects. They have a choice of metallic paint or fluorescents. The glow-in-the-dark element is soooo fun! One of my students donated his black light to the classroom. We can now check the projects in progress to see if the paint is covering well. Thanks, Joe S.!
The end of the marking period is fast approaching, leaving only ten weeks of school for the year! Wow. It was about this time last year that I got my first cell phone. Yeah, I know! I was living under a rock for the first fifteen years of the new millennium.
Stephanie G., one of my Studio in Art students from last year, was the one who told me about #ootd (outfit of the day). I guess you can blame her for turning me into a fashion monster, lol.
But, of course, I was already coo-coo ca-ca for fashion. It seems as though time has flown by this school year but at the same time… it seems to be standing still. I don’t feel as though I am aging. I actually really love the way I have finally caught up to myself. To my dreams for myself, I mean. Because suddenly, I’m achieving everything the real me has ever wanted.
And in the process, I have found my life’s purpose. Giving visual voice to local artists. Assisting them in any way I can to help them achieve their goals and dreams. Offering positive energy to students – not to persuade them to have art careers necessarily, but to help them fall in love with art, with the arts. And to believe in themselves in the way that they know they can achieve anything they want. That they should not stop working towards a goal until either they achieve it or stop desiring it.
It’s taken me a while to learn this stuff, but time hasn’t actually mattered, if that makes any sense. This journey has been the true gift.
Okay, time to throw on the giant parka and venture out into the April sprinter (winter in spring?) wonderland on my way to a brunch date with one of my besties. But first I need to decide what to wear….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
I’ve been in a whirlwind of social activity, including art stuff – like I went to Plowshares, an art show at Nottingham High School in Syracuse, NY over the weekend. I went there to shop for Christmas gifts because I am a firm believer in buying local.
The vendor in particular – Michelle DaRin. Michelle is a jewelry designer and I absolutely love her work! She often does art shows and fairs but you can also find her work here. For Christmas, she is offering different specials every day.
I also stumbled upon a great boot sale at ninewest.com. On Black Friday, they had 50% off boots then an additional 20% off that, so, I bought lots. Not that I needed them, of course, but now that I am fashion blogging, I just desire new things. Curbing spending will be a New Year’s resolution…or not. I say it in my head then go – nah!
Most of my waking hours are spent on bcbg.com. They have 60% off stuff! Just bought a top, and pants that I haven’t worn yet. As you can see, my new belt has been in heavy rotation these past two weeks!
I see Amanda LaDue at Miracles in Fayetteville, NY every three weeks. She added more highlights to my hair to the point that my blonde sister asked me if I was single-white-femaling her, lol. We are definitely twinning right now!
I took my sister’s yoga class for the first time ever. She is an instructor at O Yoga. It was really pretty amazing! I am a pilates girl but I think Sophie is about to convert me to yogini – nah!, well…maybe….
Trina Turk was doing 30% off stuff. What you need to do is get on the emailing list so that you can receive invitations for all the special sales.
I am not sure what is up next – there are loads of craft fairs going on. A new art gallery in Armory Square and several art exhibitions that I have been invited to attend through my connections on Facebook.
As for my own work, I will wait for whatever comes my way in the new year. I am planning to revise my Shopify.com store and you can still purchase merchandise with my artwork on it – phone cases, T-shirts and mugs – through http://www.redbubble.com.
I guess that is another New Year’s resolution – to be more the vendor than the customer – nah! well, you know…yes!
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).