Outside The Lines

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Segmation Interviews Competitive Spirit: Karen Tashkovski Artist

October 13, 2015 Jessica 2 Comments

Outward-Focused Nurturer Art

X-O (9X12-02)

Most artists are not often referred to as being outward-focused and nurturing. Terms like “self-absorbed” and “egocentric” seem more fitting for some artists. However, every once in a while you’ll run across a person who’s more interested in others than in him/herself, and that person will just so happen to be an artist.

Segmation recently had the pleasure of interviewing an individual who is an artist in the truest sense of the word, as well as an outward-focused nurturer. Her name is Karen Tashkovski, and she is a rare find. We are so excited to give our readers an inside look at her heart and her art.

 Outward-Focused Nurturer

Outward-Focused Nurturer

1. At what age did you discover you had a passion and an affinity for art and outward-focused nurturer?

I started drawing as soon as I could pick up a pencil.  Growing up, I spent a lot of time in my room drawing and writing.  I also loved to sing.  Loved watching TV, too.  I thought I would grow up to be an actress, but then I totally loved school and learning, so I became an art teacher. I focused on being a professional artist in my spare time, painting in series of twelve every summer and on winter/spring breaks.

2. Tell us a little bit about your art education. Are you self-taught, did you learn from others, or a little of both?

I have a B.F.A. in Fashion Design and Studio Arts from Syracuse University.  There I learned how to sew, make clothing, paint in watercolors and acrylic, and draw and become outward-focused nurturer.  I also feel that my strength is in art history, which helps a lot when I teach art.  I have my Masters in Art Education from Syracuse University, as well.  I am a self-taught oil painter.  I read a book by Francoise Gilot that helped me immensely.  I started with oil pastels, adding linseed oil and turpentine and took it from there.

-23. If you could be mentored by any artist from any period in history, who would it be and why?

I love Jasper Johns, but he seems to be a man of few words.  I still dream of meeting him one day so that he can say, “Draw a line, then another, and another” to me.  But I truly would love to meet Gilot.  (She is the mother of two of Pablo Picasso’s children. Later in her life, she married Dr. Jonas Salk.)  Her artwork is divine and I think she is such an amazing person with the kind of strength of character that blows my mind.

4. Where do you get your inspiration for your work? Do you find it necessary to intentionally seek out inspiration, or does it come to you effortlessly?

My work comes to me internally.  I used to live in the future a lot and take things from my past that were filled with emotion, then assemble a series of devices to connect the dots in a way that I could bridge despair towards ultimate happiness.  I am inspired by childhood games and toys, books, landscapes, and time.  I’ve since been working on living in the present, so I haven’t been painting so much.  I guess I have achieved a state of bliss. I have to work on how to accommodate this into new work.  I have a series in the back of my mind that I will call FUTURA.  Okay…again, you can see that I am still sort of living for that -3future moment in time.  I obviously have more work to do with the idea of living in the present!

5. Besides art, what are you most passionate about?

Lately I am very passionate about teaching.  I love my students.  I really, REALLY do.  Spending time with thirteen-year-olds is such a gift.  I feel like that was the time in my life when I was dreaming of what I wanted.  Being with them sends me back to those dreams, and I am very much on my way to making those dreams come true.

6. What is your favorite piece of art that you have personally created?

-1I have a lot of favorite pieces of art that I have created.  They are like children frozen in time.  The ones that are more meaningful, like the first in a series, something like that — I keep those in my home. I will only sell them to someone who is very special to me, or give them away.  They are favorites for different reasons. I mean, sometimes it is the emotion behind them, but sometimes I think I create the perfect rhythm or color combination.  Or sometimes it was the effortlessness in the creation.  I love this watercolor called XO.  It is only 9″ x 12″.  It is one of the images I used on my business cards.

7. What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is light Naples yellow.  It is like butter.  My favorite Prismacolor colored pencil is cream.  Love it!

Karen Tashkovski puts the heart in art and is an outward-focused nurturer. We hope you’ve enjoyed Segmation’s getting a sneak peek at her colorful, kind, hope-filled world. Connect with Karen on Twitter, and don’t forget to make a stop by her beautiful website.


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#Art#Art Education#art teacher#artist#artistic training#interview#karen tashkovski#outward-focused nurturer#Paint by Number#Prismacolor#Segmation#work


  1. Karen Tashkovski
    October 15, 2015 - 9:44 am

    Hi! Thank you so much for the interview. My website is http://www.karentash.com. You can also find links to my Shopify store and my work on redbubble.com, as well as the link to my school web pages on the Chittenango school district website.

  2. Heather
    October 15, 2015 - 11:51 am

    What an inspiring artist. Your students are lucky to have you Karen! I love reading about art and how teachers use art to influence others. Thank you Segmation.


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