Tag Archives: Pompano paintings

Sullivan Summer Show

Trust (detail), 1998, oil & collage, $200
Trust (detail), 1998, oil & collage, $200

Every year librarian Karen Trainer at the Sullivan Library in Chittenango, NY, offers me an art exhibit in the library’s community room for the month of July.  And every year when the time comes, I forget if I had asked her. I called last night and, yes, she was expecting me.  Said I could come in any time to install the show and also said I could have the space through August!

I Said the Wrong Thing (detail), 1997, oil & collage, $200
I Said the Wrong Thing (detail), 1997, oil & collage, $200

I love this small space.  I’ve shown my own work so many times – all sizes – and I’ve shown student work many times as well.  There are only eight of those long hook things that connect to a chair rail in the wall and additional S pegs if you want to display a lot more pieces.

Life (detail), 1998, oil & collage, $200
Life (detail), 1998, oil & collage, $200

I chose to do an exhibit of eight works from one of my Pompano series.  I created them in ’97-’98.  Eight 18″ x 24″ canvases depicting Pompano Beach, Florida and my subsequent life back in Syracuse, NY after graduate school.

We've Spoken These Words Before, 1997, oil & collage, $200
We’ve Spoken These Words Before, 1997, oil & collage, $200

My work is autobiographical and this time of my life was sort of a see-saw of comedy vs. drama.  It was about change, really, insofar as who I truly was as a person and what I presented to the public.  I wasn’t sure who I was and what I wanted, to tell you the truth.  I would have to say that I had misaligned convictions.

Quiet (detail), 1998, oil & collage, $200
Quiet (detail), 1998, oil & collage, $200

I was almost fighting the idea of traditional me and trying to be super artsy.  I’ve come to find out that I am somewhere in between.  Or maybe not.  😉

III, 1998, oil & collage, $200
III, 1998, oil & collage, $200

These paintings are like old friends.  Seeing them again makes me reflect on my progress in this crazy world.  It seems like art gallery dealers only want to see an artist’s latest work.  But I am comfortable sharing this retrospective.  I’m not like Madonna who once said she didn’t want to sing any of her old ’80s songs in concert because she was bored with them (I’m paraphrasing).  I saw her in concert (on TV) and I absolutely loved the way she retro-fitted her old songs with new melodies – taking dance tunes and turning them into ballads, for example, going guitar only or remixing old melodies with new and noticing commonalities in the lyrics.  So I guess it turns out that her comment had been a flippant in the moment thing and she found a way to welcome those old songs back into her life, lol.

Fool, (detail) 1998, oil & collage, $200
Fool, (detail) 1998, oil & collage, $200

I welcome you to see my exhibition.  These paintings are all framed in gallery style maple hardwood and are priced at $200 each.  I would love to sell them so they don’t end up back where I stored them in the little closet of my second bedroom.

Fish Out of Water (detail), 1998, oil & collage, $200
Fish Out of Water (detail), 1998, oil & collage, $200

Whatever is old can be new again and these oldies look fresh to me again.  I’m glad they will see the light of day for the summer and I hope, if you are in the area, you will stop into this wonderful library right off the main “strip” in Chittenango, NY.  The Sullivan Library is located at 101 Falls Blvd., and is open at 10am most days in the summer.  Show’s up through August 2015 but if you want to buy one (or all) I can always switch it up.  I don’t mind a cash and carry art display.  And more about that coming soon.

 

 

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Feet First

When I was growing up, I really hated being different.  Ethnic.  Whatever you want to call it.  The long last name that no one could pronounce.  A first generation American with a family from a country no one had ever heard of.  The funny thing is my dad actually added a letter H to our last name (making it even longer) so that people would be able to pronounce it.

Tash * Cough * Ski

Not so hard.  Of course the accent can be on either of the three syllables, and when I say it really fast people are like – what?

As I got older, I learned to appreciate my individuality.  It obviously helped that the world seemed to be heading in the same direction.  Actresses like Renee Zellweger, for example, were using their real names and we learned to accept that.  I loved signing my last name to my paintings.  It made me unique.  Special.  I may be the only Karen Tashkovski in the universe!  At least I am the only one who comes up in a Google search.  But if you search Karen Tashkovski – Artist, you’ll get a different result.

There is another artist with my last name.  Vasko Taskovski is a surrealist artist (think Salvador Dali) who creates these epic landscapes.  I’m particularly impressed with his series of horse paintings.  They morph into sand castles, mountains, trees, oceans and skies with the kind of attention to detail that is really breathtaking.

http://www.vaskotaskovski.com

My work may appear less intricate in comparison, although there are several layers to it.  There’s the texture of the canvas, the drawing, oil painting, stenciling, and adding found objects.  The paintings are about my life.  My move to Florida was meant to be my escape, the way Dad escaped the Iron Curtain to come to America.  In theory, I would plant my feet on the ground of a new state and make a name for myself.

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I do have an unusual footprint, I think.  One that my sister referred to recently as a deformity because everything about her is so terribly perfect in comparison.  I prefer to refer to my feet as unique and special.  Well, something has to be, since it is not my last name, right?

We all need that – to find what makes us special, and embrace it whether or not someone else thinks it is weird or stupid, or freakishly different.  At this stage of my life, I honestly don’t think anything embarrasses me.  I really don’t care what you think about my feet!  Everyone’s toes are kind of ugly anyhow.

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I found the above illustration on the Internet.  It’s one of those pictures people always post on Facebook to get a conversation started.  I would say that my “roots” must be Greek, which is no surprise since Velushina, Macedonia is literally a hop, skip and a jump to the border to Greece.

My low toe is not depicted in any of those images but I did happen upon it somewhere else.

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Archeologists found this 1.5 million year old human footprint fossil.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/science/27foot.html?_r=0

It is supposedly a man’s size 9 footprint and not a woman’s size 7 1/2.  But it looks like my foot, doesn’t it?  No, really.  It totally does!

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Am I a time traveler?  Who’s special now?

 

 

Cards on a Beach

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I think this is the first article anyone ever wrote about my artwork.  I exhibited in Sweet Babas restaurant in Armory Square, which is an area in downtown Syracuse, NY, referred to as the Karen section of town in the 1980s by my cousin Nick, when it was just art frame shops and antique stores.  I think I was the only one who ever went down there back then.

Sweet Babas was built between two buildings so the exposed brick from the facades was the interior walls.  I loved the way my paintings looked in that place – I think it was something like seven feet wide and so it was an intimate dining experience.  I sold the painting pictured for $200.  It was one of my first oil and collage paintings, called Jacks, with card jacks as well as the metal game pieces.

For some reason, I really love that this article is plagued with typos.  You know how it goes – when you think you’ve finally “arrived” as a force to be reckoned with in the art arena, that you think you’re a big fish in the small sea of your local town – it’s just funny.  The artist Linda Bigness once told me that I would have to paint for twenty-five years before I’d get any real recognition (something like that) and in a way she was right.  It took me about twenty-five years to decide to create this website!

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The above article is from The Syracuse New Times, from around the same time because at the bottom where it says Art Around Town, they list my Sweet Babas show.  I’ve always loved captive audiences because they do not come for the art but they may fall in love with it and that emotional attachment can lead to a sale and even a life long patron, which is why I used to (and still do!) solicit for shows in restaurants and coffee shops, and libraries.  In this article, the author responds to the Goodyear blimp in my Pompano paintings as atomic bombs.  I have mentioned this to my students during lessons on art criticism.  Interpretation in the art criticism format is what you think the artist was trying to tell you – like why they made the paintings.  Maybe my playful Florida landscapes contained this ominous item and meant that life is fragile.  In a way, my life in Florida had its demise so maybe there is an underlying truth to her interpretation, but let me be honest and say that clearly, I was not that “deep” when I painted them.  The blimp is simply another device in my repertoire that reoccurs throughout the years.  You can take the girl out of Pompano but you can’t take the Pompano out of me.

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Karen Tashkovski, Deerfield Beach, 36″ x 48″,  1990, acrylic & collage, $1,000

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Karen Tashkovski, Pompano Beach, 36″ x 48″, 1994, oil & collage, $1,000

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Karen Tashkovski, White Pompano, 36″ x 48″, 1998, oil & collage, $1,000

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Karen Tashkovski, Three Crosses, 36″ x 48″, 1995, oil & collage, $1,000