Last Thursday I attended the art reception for a new group of artists exhibiting and selling artwork at Natur-Tyme on Erie Blvd. East in Dewitt, NY. Maria Rizzo is the resident artist. She books the others to show alongside her paintings for three-month engagements. I was in the first one from July to September of last year.
This time around there are three new artists: Katie Turner, Blane Berry and Annie Taylor. Annie wasn’t there when I got there towards the end of the event (earlier I’d attended a seminar on photography at the Everson Museum of Art), but I met with the others and ended up buying a couple of things with the 10% reception night discount!
I really loved the way the work was merchandised this time around. A lot of smaller works with price points as low as $4.00! Maria has made little magnets of her gorgeous tree paintings and sells them, as well as bookmarks and prints of her artwork in various sizes. The originals are on the walls too.
Katie Turner is another local artist who has displayed work at the Chittenango Middle School library gallery and has spoken about her work to my students. She creates watercolors on Terraskin papers. She demonstrated the properties of this paper during her talk at CMS and it is really cool stuff! I really love her work! I bought a small painting of a bouquet done in reds and greens, which is pretty much the color scheme of my entire house.
I bought a little wooden sculpture inscribed with the word love from Blane Berry. It requires light – there are a bunch of drilled holes and only some of them are the coded message. It is very special (and was only $5.00!) and makes a great conversation starter.
I assume this group will continue their exhibition through March 2016, if you want to check them out. Who knows? You may even spot a celebrity or two shopping in there. It is a very cool place.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just received the business cards I created through moo.com so I decided to take some over to Natur-Tyme, Dewitt, NY where I am showing and selling the Echolalia series through September 2015. I dropped some off in one of the little cubbies and on my way out, I came across the store’s flier.
Someone had mentioned it the other day but I hadn’t seen it until now. A few months ago, Maria Rizzo, Tom Huff and I did a photo shoot at the store. It was so fun. I felt like a celebrity.
I had no idea what to expect and I am very pleasantly surprised. This is just so amazing. I’m grateful and thrilled to be in the inaugural exhibit!
Bet you didn’t think you’d see me here again so soon. I’m sure my Facebook friends will all end up blocking me because I’m posting so much.
But it is summer and I am in full-on art marketing mode!
The Natur-Tyme show has only been up for a week. No sales yet. My thought is it is something for customers and the area to need to warm up to. Art seems to be not in the forefront of the average Syracusan’s mindset these days.
Since they are small (18″ x 18″) and they are paintings of cats, and they are ten years old, I decided to go the way of the SPCA and other animal rescue shelters and price them the way they would an older cat who needs adopting.
This morning I changed my prices to reflect that. Each painting is only $75! A steal by any standards. It’s dangerous to price paintings so low. In the eyes of anyone, it may appear that I don’t believe in myself or that I may think my art is not of high quality and therefore not valuable.
The opposite is true. You must know that about me by now. But making a living off my art is a dream, not necessarily the only reason I do it. It’s really about sharing myself – sharing my hopes and dreams, and all that emotional stuff with an audience. Artists are formalists and create their own versions of the world with detail but above all else, we are emotional creatures filled with this unquenchable desire to be loved in some way. Our personalities, our quirks, our talent. We are pretty needy people.
And so, I am trying to compromise. I want people to enjoy my paintings. I want them to take them home at a price point that makes them feel like they didn’t overspend – I certainly don’t want anyone to experience cognitive dissonance after purchasing a final sale item.
The Echolalia series is a piece of me. At its core, it’s really about how the past shaped me into who I am. I cannot run away from it. I can only move on from the dark stuff, own up to it and say – wow, you have really come a long way.
You assume these frolicking cats are about happy thoughts and in reality they were created out of despair. They are all about me looking for ways to find happiness in a time when nothing at all was going my way. Now things are so different and I see how I found and still find solace in these works. How now, they represent a lifeline to the future world I’ve found myself in and everything is okay.
Is that too heavy? Sorry – for me, as you know, art is about exposing myself. But in a way that works, like the game board in Concentration. It’s not spelled out for you but sometimes you can still decipher it.
The goal is to sell all of the Echolalia paintings so that I can start moving this massive inventory of work. Either that or start looking for a bigger house. I will put both out into the universe and see what sticks.
Here is the link to Maria Rizzo’s article about the venue.
And now, the big reveal: Starting today through September 2015, I will be showing and selling artwork at Natur-Tyme, Erie Blvd. East, Dewitt, NY.
Maria Rizzo, Tom Huff and I are the premiere artists for this amazing experience. Maria is the curator. The store owner invested in the window space, purchasing a hanging system, partitions and hooks that make the art look fantastic. The space is off to the side of the customer service desk and you can also see the art from the front window overlooking Erie Blvd.
For those of you in the Nostalgic Syracuse group on Facebook (shout out!), it’s the old Goldberg’s Furniture store. Natur-Tyme has been there for five years. It’s not just a vitamin shop; it’s more of a healthy lifestyle kinda place. They have food, a juice bar, cosmetic and hair care, a salon, fresh vegetables, vitamins and all sorts of things. Even if you’re not in the market for art, I urge you to discover its many contents for yourself. It’s like an oasis of bliss in there.
Maria told me that she picked me because, aside from liking my artwork, she was impressed with the way I used social media. She said she liked that this blog was not just to promote myself but other local artisans and cultural things.
Isn’t that such a nice compliment? You really never know when helping someone can lead to someone helping you. I am very impressed with Maria as well. She’s very young, but has this unwavering self-confidence and drive to succeed as an artist. She uses social media wisely and has recently won grant money for a show of tree paintings.
Framed prints of those paintings are available for sale at this venue too, in addition to other landscape paintings. They are located on the left side facing the gallery area in the cubbies.
I was meticulously measuring – doing that OCD Monk thing until I was satisfied. It took me like 2 1/2 hours to completely install twenty-two paintings. I have two that didn’t fit, which I will add once I sell two!!!!!
And if I sell more, I will go over there and replace them with another series.
These paintings of cats frolicking in geometric fields are from my series called Echolalia. I just love the way they look when they are on display together. I created them in 2005. The last time they were exhibited was at the Rome Art Center in Rome, New York – in their library room – back in September 2008! Since then they’ve been in my closet or on display somewhere in my house.
It’s such a refreshing and exciting feeling to bring them out again. To see the light of day, as I mentioned about the paintings in my Sullivan Library show.
As I was working to get everything up, a woman approached me and said, “Oh, are you the artist? These are wonderful. Very industrial!” Said she’d be back to look at them again. Whether she buys or not really doesn’t matter at this moment, because that feeling that she gave me – that thing where I realize that I am an artist. I have a body of work that I don’t really go on ruminating about – you know what I mean? It felt amazing. I’ve been so busy with teaching and in my free time I’m basically doing mundane chores or exercising, or writing these blog posts.
I haven’t had time to sit down and make art. I have this idea for a new series but stuff gets in the way or I don’t feel the passion. I spent all day yesterday re-staining my 20 square foot deck. Let me tell you, the idea of picking up another paintbrush anytime soon does not sit well with my sore shoulders, lol.
But put forth a compliment and I come to life like gangbusters. I can’t wait for you to see the show. Please go to Natur-Tyme if you are in town and let me know what you think. And if you want to buy something, I guess you just take it off the wall (get a sales associate to help) and take it to the register. My paintings are only $200 each.