Tag Archives: Syracuse artists

Tiny Voice

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I ran into a friend who told me about an amazing restaurant in downtown Syracuse, New York called The Fish Friar.  She planted that seed of desire in me and within days I was seated in the outdoor dining space enjoying a fish sandwich (sans bread) and two sides.

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It was a perfect summer night, the fresh breeze in the air turned a gorgeous sunset into a Prussian blue sky.  The food was soooo good, the chef created a work of art on my plate, and so, we are talking phenomenological encounter here, which to be honest, is the only way I can possibly live my life.  The present moment is exquisite.

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Everyone there seemed to know everyone else and we delighted in sharing Gia DeLaurentis style verbal soliloquies of how the food tasted.  So fun, and yet, I became distracted by a message thing-a-ma-bob on my pages manager app, which kept directing me to my like page on Facebook, Karen Tashkovski-Visual Artist.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I clicked on everything and still the 1 was left staring at me.  I scrolled the messages for the umpteenth time, all read, and came to the bottom of the queue.  Yes, I had read this last message when it was sent in 2014.  But when I read it again – aloud – it was as if the late Michael Moody was speaking to me now.

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Hi Karen

Like all artists, your art is evolving. I can appreciate your art because I know you personally and because you’ve been painting for a long time which shows your drive, desire and dedication.

I don’t attend all of the art openings but I do go to some to show support for other artists. I never see you anymore. I know that you work, so you’re busy and might not attend openings because of this. But this makes you invisible to much of the local art scene. Perhaps our paths just haven’t crossed but if not, then it’s time for you to leave your little bubble and rather cloistered life (If that’s the case) and mingle with other artists!

Some of your narration sounds like you’re still looking for approval and acceptance from those hoards of non artists that you’d like to buy your product. In your mind, body and spirit this attitude must cease to exist!

I’ve been in some shows simply because other artists have recommended me or just dropped my name. Think about it! There are also many new artists that would see you as a mentor or master simply because of the years in your craft.

Enough said! Come out, come out, from wherever you are! Show more zest for your craft by being there among your peers. No one else counts (give or take).

…and don’t publish this! lol
Michael Moody
…and thanks for mentioning my name in your narration!
07/29/2014 11:22PM

Karen Tashkovski – Visual Artist
You’re right that I don’t want to mix and mingle. Absolutely right, lol.

Ya gotta change that babe! u can do it put ur back in to it!!! How else can your artistic peers get to know you and remember you!

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Back then I was kinda-sorta still in a funk about direction in my life. I had started my blog and was slowly re-emerging into the local art scene.  Fast-forward to now, and last night, where I was greeted by so many artists at John Dowling’s gallery on Hawley Avenue – everyone so wonderfully complimentary, telling me that they love my posts on Facebook and love reading my blog; that I am always smiling and positive, and all these nice things.  I was told I am beautiful too.

Crazy, right?  How time can change one’s perspective.  How it only takes baby steps to get us back on track heading in the right direction in life and that those steps can lead us to such amazing things.  It is such a gift to be a part of a group of like-minded souls who feel compelled to practice the art of making, sharing and selling art in such a cohesive way.  I am incredibly grateful for my journey and where it leads and where life will continue to take me.

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I was talking to John Dowling about the possibility of exhibiting my angel and heart paintings, if that theme works.  He said he hadn’t thought of a themed show and so, I reminded him that his show dedicated to Cuba was one and this current show is as well.

In this case, the theme is size related. The pieces are 6″ x 6″ or 8″ x 8″.  I LOVE a square canvas.  And these pieces are deliciously inviting.  Mini canvases in the artist’s styles, many you can recognize without needing their identification monikers – Hon Go’s modeling paste built geometric textured works, Diana Godfrey’s hauntingly rich abstract landscapes, John Fitzsimmons’ tiny-version portrait studies, Judi Witkin’s wearable art/steam punk jewelry turned collage art….

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Kristina Starowitz told me that she has only just entered the sharing-her-art-mode and this show enabled her to experiment with ideas without committing to larger canvases.  Her passion is evident in a tribute to the time-lapse of nature and its infinite beauty.

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Tiny voices from big hearts.  They are all priced to sell and offer this wonderful way to begin an art collection.  You will be able to find space in your home or office for these pieces.  It would be so cool if someone stopped in and said, “I’ll take one of each, please!”

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Thank you, Michael, for reminding me of what is truly important.  For knowing me better than I thought I knew myself, and for forcing that app to malfunction (which has now mysteriously fixed itself) in order for me to hear you again.  You are da bomb.

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P.S.  You really did want me to share this message, after all. ❤

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So Decked

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I braved the storm – basically, it’s four streets to get to the Beer Belly Deli & Pub from here.  It’s actually fun to drive in blizzard conditions.  Oh…yeah, it is.  Like, we who live in the snowiest city in the nation take it as a badge of honor that we can do it without a single note of fear.  The giant snowflakes silently smacking my car windshield made me feel like I was inside a snow globe.  It was so cool!  I mean, there were not many cars on the road to crash into.  I figured everyone else was homebound.  And so, it was startling to witness a full house at the art reception for Deck the Halls 2016.

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This is due to the strong following this amazing group of artists has and of course, kudos goes to the wonderful  Jamie Santos, tattoo artist and illustrator, for creating another great happening.

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The following artists are represented in this show of skateboards:

Aaron Carmody, Aaron Z. Lee, Abbie Fitzpatrick, Adam Golden, Adam Zombie, Aimee Maroney, Ben Krzykowski, Brian Manos, Cait Mathews, Cayetano Valenzuela, Casey Landerkin, Charlie Sam, Chris Sosa, Collin Buck, Dan Bingham, Dan (Dippel) Styles, Dan Tickner, Eric Althoff, James Coldiron, Jamie Santos, Jemola Addley, Jeremiah Clifford, Jesse Gabriel, Jesse Ryan, Jim Sidelinger, Josh Montgomery, Kimi Rees, Kyle Proia, Matt Tyska, Micheal Giannattasio, Mike Tommyrot, Nik Moore, Pete Ott, Sara Tierney, Shane Trevett, Thad Jackson,Tommy Lincoln, Tom Ward, Tony Thompson, Victoria Storm, Zac Barres, & Zach Wheeler.

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The work will continue to be on display and for sale during the month of January 2017.  The Beer Belly Deli & Pub is located at 510 Westcott Street, Syracuse, New York.

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They will be there until 11:00 pm – there’s still time to see the artwork tonight while listening to talented local musicians and partaking in drink specials and nachos!

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Go To Your Happy Place, Ms. Tash

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I’ve been thinking about this paint landscapes thing, which led me to bring my camera on my last “walk about”.  Here are some pictures I took at Green Lakes.  It is a New York State park not far from my home.  I’m there nearly every day because I ❤ it there.  There are two lakes:  Green Lake and Round Lake.  They are meromictic, which means the water on top doesn’t mix with the water on the bottom or something.  Formed by glaciers and seemingly mysterious.  Very, very deep.  I’ve heard that Round Lake is bottomless or maybe just so super deep that it can’t be measured easily.  Something like that.

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It takes about an hour to walk around both lakes, about 3 1/2 miles of time to think, meditate, clear your head, enjoy nature, etc.  The other day as I walked this little kid stopped me and asked me if there were coyotes in the woods, and I said probably.  That was mean.  I don’t know why I scared that kid like that.  I’ve never seen a coyote.  Doesn’t it just look like a dog?  How scary can it be to humans? I don’t know.  I’ve seen other critters – turtles, snakes, owls, deer, fox, groundhogs, and lots of squirrels and chipmunks….

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It’s really beautiful there.  The water is more turquoise than green I think, and it is probably my favorite color even though I don’t particularly use it in my paintings, in home decor or wear it in a garment.   I don’t think pictures do the place justice to tell you the truth, but at the same time, I can’t see myself ever doing a literal translation of these photographs and the fifteen or twenty more I took that day.  Maybe as an art project for school, but I think that it would be better if students used their own compositions and probably more amazing if there was a way to do a plein-air field trip.

But that is just a fantasy because when you teach eighteen or more students at once, things take way longer than you think they would if you were doing it yourself.  For example, it takes me about 20 minutes to capture someone’s essence in a portrait drawing – pencil only or crayons only, which is fun to do at parties until it gets too weird and you end up feeling like a hired clown.  It takes middle school students about three weeks to do the same work.  You kind of learn how to organize your class lessons after a while of teaching, learn how much they can accomplish in a given period of time – just saying if there are any Art Ed students reading this.

I went to high school with Syracuse artist Michael Cody.  He is known for his Green Lakes paintings, which he has done in both oil and acrylics.  He showed them in the library art gallery at my school and did a talk that illustrated the fact that George Benedict was a great art teacher, because a lot of what he talked about regarding composition and mixing paint was information I have taught to my students that came from the horse’s mouth (Mr. B.), and so he really kind of reinforced what I had been teaching.  Of course, that does not always happen with other artists who have spoken to my students.  Sometimes there is a giant difference of opinion regarding the vernacular of art.

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I have this thing about figure and ground vs. negative and positive space.  I only use  negative and positive to describe form in a work of sculpture (the negative space is the void) and refer to figure and ground when discussing two-dimensional works.  A lot of art education has to do with how you were taught, as though all of the college stuff goes out the window for some reason when you teach.  This isn’t just me talking, I read it in a bunch of research papers when I took a graduate course two years ago and again when I worked on my papers for National Board Certification this past year.  I feel lucky I had great art teachers when I was growing up, but then again, someone else in the art world would be more than willing to dispute my knowledge and share their knowledge/expertise/opinions when given a platform.

So here are some paintings by Michael Cody.

Green Lake Point by Michael J. Cody

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It would have been so cool if I had photos of the exact same locations – like in a perfect world I would be the super blogger of the universe, but, oh well.  I think you can see that it is the same place only so much better in Michael’s work.  Aren’t they so good?

I don’t know if he is represented in a gallery.  I will have to let him know I shared these here and he can give out the details of how you can contact him.  He is the real deal.

As for me?  My abstract landscapes are still hanging in the Sullivan Library in Chittenango, NY.  They will be there until the end of August.  I was lucky that their August person cancelled because as I told you before, I just think one month shows seem too short.  So there are a couple more weeks if you want to see them.

I’ve booked the next person for the school library show and it is Karen Kozicki.  She’s a photographer.  I’m so excited to work with her.  Booked the show a year ago!  We are meeting at the end of August to install.  There’s still plenty of summer left before then and plenty of days to enjoy the lake.

It’s definitely my happy place.  Hands down.