Christina Tarkoff Oil Paintings

Painting the People & Places of Philadelphia & Beyond

Old Havana, Cuba Musicians at the Merceria

Christina Tarkoff
 Music at the Merceria (Haberdashery), 18x24 inches, Oil on stretched linen canvas.

Music at the Merceria (Haberdashery), 18x24 inches, Oil on stretched linen canvas.

Old Havana, Cuba

I am finally getting around to making some paintings of the people and places from our trip to Cuba in November 2017.

We had one day in the beautiful, historic district of Old Havana. The past is in plain view everywhere. Vintage cars, cobble streets, scant cell phone service and no credit cards! 

The setting of musicians strumming on the street in front of this wonderfully cerulean blue and cadmium yellow Merceria with its bolts of fabric and ribbons peeking through the windows called to me. My grandfather was a tailor and my mom is a seamstress, so these tidbits of life we see so seldom, here in the States, are all part of the story that drew me to paint this composition.

This is one of those paintings I wake up and can't wait to work on it. I am preoccupied with the guitar player and his calm, cool, distinguished demeanor, blue beads and Havana hat. Strumming his music for passersby to enjoy, stop and listen.

There will be another musician in the painting, but I really haven't gotten to know him yet. But, I'm sure I'll be loving his percussions soon.

As I always say, it's an honor to share my thoughts, stories, and memories with you, via my art.

Mother's Day
Mother's day is May 13!  Let me know if you want to treat that special lady in your life to the gift of art! Look around my website to get ideas! 

Special 25% OFF to all my email subscribers!

Expires May 13, 2018 at 11:59 pm
 

Celebrity Status!

Christina Tarkoff
  (Photos by Pam McLean-Parker)   Jamal Hall and me at the  Philadelphia Stories/One Book, One Philadelphia event.

(Photos by Pam McLean-Parker)

Jamal Hall and me at the Philadelphia Stories/One Book, One Philadelphiaevent.

Packed Event

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Thanks to Philadelphia Stories and One Book, One Philadelphia for partnering on this great event! Packed house, beautiful artwork, and super awesome readings by the authors featured in the Philadelphia Stories Winter issue. 

If you have not yet read "Another Brooklyn" by Jacqueline Woodson - I highly recommend it. I read it twice! And there are plenty more One Book, One Philadelphia events coming up in February and March - just Google it.

Work in Progress:
 "Laugh Now." Oil on Canvas. 18x24 inches

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Introducing: Art Gift Cards

Skip the Chocolates!
Give Something Original. Give Art.

Each work of my art has a unique story and origin, making art one of the most unique and meaningful gifts a person can give. I understand that sometimes picking out a piece of art for someone else can be difficult, so I made gift cards to ease any fears around choosing the wrong piece.

New Work and Holiday Greetings

Christina Tarkoff

New Work

  "Dilworth Splash" 18x24 inches. Oil on stretched linen canvas.   Almost finished!

"Dilworth Splash" 18x24 inches. Oil on stretched linen canvas.
Almost finished!


I know everyone is crazy busy this weekend.

I have not even hung the decorations on my tree yet! Mostly cuz I have a self-imposed deadline to finish "Dilworth Splash" before Christmas. I am almost there. My Christmas shopping is complete, so tomorrow I plan to finish this painting! It needs a few things here and there and of course the right side is not complete yet. But it's all doable. 

I will run a "Wet Canvas" discount for 30 days from the date I post the painting to my website.

This painting has been a joyful experience - watching the kids develop from the sketches into a painting. I love the two girls splashing the water from each other. They are enjoying their game of "Splash." Of course, the boys are running around chasing each other. The barefoot camera woman with blue hair is just passing through the park on a hot summer day. The unfinished woman at far right is probably on her lunch break, enjoying watching the kids at play on a lovely summer day in beautiful Dilworth Park.

If you don't know the parks of Philly, you must visit. They are the best!


So, until next week...for those who celebrate:

Merry Christmas 2017!
Wishing you a joyous holiday filled with peace, happiness & laughter.

Contact info :
christina@christinatarkoff.com
215-720-5271
www.christinatarkoff.com

Thank you for reading this email! I appreciate your time and support!
Have a Happy Holiday Season!

Your purchases directly support local arts & artists - like me!

Happy Holidays! 2017

Christina Tarkoff
  The image above is an animated gif of some of my paintings.

The image above is an animated gif of some of my paintings.

A World of Good Wishes

Thank you for your love and support this past year.

I enjoy sending you news about my art shows, new work, awards, discounts, and general fun art news. It is an honor to present my work to you each week. I appreciate your time and attention.

Art is a Tough Gig

Each email open, reply, and of course purchase of my art, is the ultimate acknowledgement to continue my pursuit of focusing attention on our local and extended communities. My goal is always to recognize the beauty in folks and celebrate our magnificent differences and similarities.

Thank You!
Wishing you a joyous holiday filled with peace, joy & laughter.


And, of course, it's not too late to purchase some art!
Don't forget to use Promo Code:
HOLIDAY2017 
at checkout.

SHOP ART

Contact me :
christina@christinatarkoff.com
or 215-720-5271
Sometimes it is easier to talk to a real live person!

Thank you for reading this email! I appreciate your time and support!
Have a Happy Holiday Season!

Your purchase directly supports local arts & artists - like me!

Give Better Gifts - Give the Gift of Art.

Christina Tarkoff
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If You are Tired of the Same Old Gifts from Amazon or the Mall....Give the Gift of Art

Be original this year. Buy original. Purchasing directly from real people that you have come to know is a gift in itself. Your family and friends will know how much you appreciate their love and friendship when you give a gift that is created with love and passion. 

Art for Every Budget.

Yes, EVERY budget. I love when folks purchase one of my paintings. And, nothing compares to an original painting. My original oil paintings start at $240!

Did you know that you can also purchase a print of my paintings? 

Here's a range of prices (prices do not reflect the 20% discount): 

  • Original paintings range in price from $240 and up.
  • 8x10 inch Paper Prints with an 11x14 inch Matt are $32
  • 12x16 inch Canvas Prints are $99
  • 18x24 inch Canvas Prints are $175

You can also choose from earrings, pendants & marble coasters with images of my paintings. The marble coasters are a huge seller, but I only have FOUR of the 4x4 inch available before Christmas. I do have the 6x6 inch available.

  • 6x6 inch coasters are $15
  • 4x4 inch coasters are $12
  • Earrings are $19
  • Pendant Necklaces are $19

If you order online -
Don't forget to use Promo Code:
HOLIDAY2017 
at checkout.

SHOP ART

You can contact me by email or phone :

If you prefer ordering from me the old-fashioned way: "Live and person to person."

Contact me at
christina@christinatarkoff.com

or 215-720-5271
Sometimes it is easier to talk to a real live person!

 Hurry - Time is Running Out!

TAKE 20% OFF anything on my website - from original paintings, to prints, to jewelry to marble coasters. 

Enter promo code HOLIDAY2017 at checkout.
 

SHOP ART

My art will be on the cover of Philadelphia Stories!

Christina Tarkoff
 "Music in Rittenhouse Square." 12x12 inches. Oil on Canvas Panel.

"Music in Rittenhouse Square." 12x12 inches. Oil on Canvas Panel.

Super Exciting

I am super excited that “Music in Rittenhouse Square” is chosen for inclusion on the cover of the Winter 2018 issue of Philadelphia Stories

What is Philadelphia Stories?

Philadelphia Stories is a free print magazine, which publishes work by local writers and artists. Five thousand copies of the free print magazine are distributed each quarter to more than 200 locations throughout the Delaware Valley, including all 52 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

One Book, One Philadelphia

Working in partnership with the Philadelphia Free Library's One Book, One Philadelphia program, Philadelphia Stories issued a special Call-For-Artists for their winter edition to which I submitted "Music in Rittenhouse Square."

The Winter 2018 issue of Philadelphia Stories explores music and the ways it affects our lives, complementing the embedded themes of improvisational jazz and pop culture in the One Book, One Philadelphia program's selected novel, Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. So, I thought "Music in Rittenhouse Square" would be a great match. I guess Philadelphia Storiesthought so too!

My Love of Libraries

Earlier this year, I was honored by the Library's Cultureshare program for my painting, "Dancing in Rittenhouse Square." Which is totally unrelated to the One Book, One Philadelphia selection. However, the irony is I am a crazy book nerd that borrows all my Kindle books from the Philadelphia Free Library and my local Delaware County Library. I even use an iPhone app to keep track of all my "Holds" and "Borrows!"

Telling Stories

Perhaps, the Library keeps popping up with my art because all those gazillions of novels I read influences the way I tell stories with my art. Not to mention that my dream job has always been a Librarian!

Whatever the connection, I am honored to tell my visual stories on the cover of the Philadelphia Stories publication.

Click here to visit my website!

Thank you for reading this email! I appreciate your time and support!

Black Friday

Christina Tarkoff

Give Better Gifts — 25% Off Black Friday Sale.

  The "Give Better Gifts" Black Friday Sale – 25% Off All Paintings, Prints, Jewely & Coasters. Enter promo code  GQJL1Z6  at checkout

The "Give Better Gifts" Black Friday Sale – 25% Off All Paintings, Prints, Jewely & Coasters.
Enter promo code GQJL1Z6 at checkout

The "Give Better Gifts" Early Bird Black Friday Sale 25% OFF Discount expires November 27, 2017

TAKE 25% OFF anything on my website - from original paintings, to prints, to jewelry to marble coasters. All items on my site are 25% OFF through midnight Cyber Monday. 

For inquiries and questions about your 25% discount on purchases, contact me at christina@christinatarkoff.com

or 215-720-5271
Sometimes it is easier to talk to a real live person!

This VIP discount only applies to you & the other folks on my mailing list. 

SHOP ART

GET STARTED TODAY!
25% OFF Ends November 27, 2017

Use promo code "GQJL1Z6" at checkout.

For inquiries and questions about purchases, contact me at christina@christinatarkoff.com
or  call me at 215-720-5271

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Christina Tarkoff

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” —The Dalai Lama

  "The Artist—Canyon Road Memories." 18x24 inches. Oil on stretched linen canvas.

"The Artist—Canyon Road Memories." 18x24 inches. Oil on stretched linen canvas.

Wishing You a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving

November is the time to be thankful, a time to remember and to embrace those who enrich our lives. I’m thankful for a lot of things, but I’m also thankful for You!

  WORK-IN-PROGRESS "Dilworth Splash." 18x24 inches. Oil on stretched linen canvas.

WORK-IN-PROGRESS
"Dilworth Splash." 18x24 inches. Oil on stretched linen canvas.

If you haven't seen "Dilworth Splash" on FB or, IG, thought you might like a glimpse of this current work-in-progress. I am happy so far. The little fountains of water and the reflection are a challenge, but I think I can do it!

8 Days and Counting! The "Give Better Gifts" 25% OFF Discount expires soon!

TAKE 25% OFF anything on my website - from original paintings, to prints, to jewelry to marble coasters. All items on my site are 25% OFF through midnight Cyber Monday.  Use promo code "GQJL1Z6" at checkout.

This discount only applies to folks on my mailing list. So, you are covered!


For inquiries and questions about purchases, contact me at christina@christinatarkoff.com

or 215-720-5271
Sometimes it is easier to talk to a real live person!

Give the Gift of Art

Christina Tarkoff

Get into the holiday spirit.

  "Ice Skating at Dilworth Park on a Sunday Afternoon." 

"Ice Skating at Dilworth Park on a Sunday Afternoon." 

Give the Gift of Art

Looking to treat the folks in your life to a unique gift? Or, maybe you are looking to treat yourself to something fine. Whatever you are looking for, I have lots of original art to help you get into the holiday spirit. 

Give Better Gifts and Take 25% OFF

TAKE 25% OFF anything on my website - from original paintings, to prints, to jewelry to marble coasters. All items on my site are 25% OFF through midnight Cyber Monday.  Use promo code "GQJL1Z6" at checkout.

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25% OFF Ends Cyber Monday 11:59pm

Use promo code "GQJL1Z6" at checkout.

For inquiries and questions about purchases, contact me at christina@christinatarkoff.com

Dilworth Splash

Christina Tarkoff

Ready for paint!

  "Dilworth Splash," pencil sketch on canvas, 18x24, work in progress

"Dilworth Splash," pencil sketch on canvas, 18x24, work in progress

Dilworth Splash!

I played and played with the composition for "Dilworth Splash."

A few days ago I finally committed to proceed with the composition you see above. I do most of my experimenting with sketches, cuz for me, COMPOSITION IS KING.

When deciding on my composition, I consider these factors:

  • What action each character is doing
  • How each character interacts in relation to the overall scene
  • How each character interacts with each other
  • Is the background setting meaningful to the characters
  • Is the background setting colorful and interesting to the viewer
    and most importantly;
  • Do I love this "work in progress" enough to spend the next month or two of my life dedicated to it!

I hope you like the start to "Dilworth Splash." I will post work-in-progress photos on my FB Page and IG account.

My First Philly Street Scene & Return Policy

Christina Tarkoff

My First Philly Street Scene

  "Lunchtime" 18x24 inches. 1989. Oil on stretched canvas.  (The photo of this painting is not great because I shot it last night and the lighting was not perfect!)

"Lunchtime" 18x24 inches. 1989. Oil on stretched canvas.
(The photo of this painting is not great because I shot it last night and the lighting was not perfect!)


The Story of "Lunchtime"

"Lunchtime" is my first Philly street scene painting. I painted it in 1989! I was working at Penn Mutual at Independence Square. The streets at lunchtime were always so alive with business folks and tourists. This particular lunch cart sold Polish sausage sandwiches. I have no idea if that's even still a thing! Anyway, I knew I had to paint it. Somewhere we have a photo of me working on this painting. For years I had the little 4x6 inch reference photo that I drew grid lines on with a wax pencil so I could get the perspective right. I still really love this painting - it hangs in our living room and has hung in all our homes since 1989. I often look at this painting, study it and remember all the details of painting it. At the time I worked in the art department for Penn Mutual. We had a beautiful view of Independence Mall—it was lovely! I'm FB friends with three of my coworkers from those years! I know it sounds weird—but this painting still brings me joy.


Ee Gads!*#@

  The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893, oil, tempera & pastel on cardboard, National Gallery (Norway)

The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893, oil, tempera & pastel on cardboard, National Gallery (Norway)

 

Why I personally deliver artwork whenever possible.

I like to deliver artwork because, sometimes it just takes two sets of eyes to determine where to place your artwork. Recently, I delivered a painting to a collector, and the wall she chose to hang the art just did not work! I was honestly ready to take the painting back home with me because the LAST thing I want is someone to have my art and not love it!

We discussed the piece and various framing options, but I still was not convinced this art would be awesome on that wall! And then suddenly, the collector said, "Let's try it on this other wall over here!"  Brilliant! Voila! The painting was perfect on the new wall choice and I was so happy that she was happy!

What Happens if the Artwork I Just Purchased Does Not Look Good in My Home!

Well, I certainly hope that never happens! But...if you are not completely satisfied with a purchase you made from my website, you have seven days to contact me and make me aware of your intent to return the artwork for a refund.

For more info on my return policies - click here.

How to Prevent Swiss Cheese Walls!

Christina Tarkoff
 Ok, I had a bit a fun here with the photofunia app!

Ok, I had a bit a fun here with the photofunia app!

Hanging art in your home or office can be stressful because it may lead to "swiss cheese" walls. You know what I mean  - you think you found the perfect place for your art and put the nail in the wall to hang and ... "Ugh" that art just does not work where you thought it would!

Well, I don't have the perfect solution to "Swiss Cheese" Walls. And, we cannot all have a fancy schmancy wiring system like an art gallery.

My best suggestion for size and spacing:

  • Cut a piece of newspaper (or some other scrap material) the size of your artworks
  • Tape the cut pieces of newspaper on the wall where you want to hang your art.
  • (Use masking tape that doesn't remove the paint from your walls.)
  • Experiment with positioning the newspaper templates around on your walls

This is not a perfect solution, but, like I said in the past - COMPOSITION IS KING, even for your walls!

If you have come up with any solutions to hanging art! Please share!

Ready for paint!

Christina Tarkoff
  "Dilworth Splash," pencil sketch on canvas, 18x24, work in progress

"Dilworth Splash," pencil sketch on canvas, 18x24, work in progress

Dilworth Splash!

I played and played with the composition for "Dilworth Splash."

A few days ago I finally committed to proceed with the composition you see above. I do most of my experimenting with sketches, cuz for me, COMPOSITION IS KING.

When deciding on my composition, I consider these factors:

  • What action each character is doing
  • How each character interacts in relation to the overall scene
  • How each character interacts with each other
  • Is the background setting meaningful to the characters
  • Is the background setting colorful and interesting to the viewer
  • and most importantly;
  • Do I love this "work in progress" enough to spend the next month or two of my life dedicated to it!

I hope you like the start to "Dilworth Splash." I will post work-in-progress photos on my FB Page and IG account.

I Am Super Excited About This Painting!

Christina Tarkoff

As many of you know, the musician in this painting reached out to me to acquire the painting after he saw a sketch of it online. I have to thank the photographer Jonathan Yu, for bringing us together and taking the awesome image that served as my reference photo for the painting.

Making this painting was a great experience for me, because the musician got to see the painting develop through all its stages. I promised him I would complete it within a month. And, yay, I did it.

Yesterday, I posted the completed painting on my FB Page and I am so happy — his reaction was "Wooooow, I love it!" Well, I love that he loves it!

I have to say, I had so much fun making this painting. It makes me feel so good that my work is reaching folks and contributing to them, a sense of fun and joy. It has been an honor to complete this painting, and I thank this young musician for his talents and his appreciation of supporting local art. Today, more than ever, we all need to appreciate one another.

Thank you for reading this post. I appreciate your time and attention.

The Free Library of Philadelphia's Cultureshare Program is Launched

Christina Tarkoff

So exciting. I am honored to be among a talented group of visual artists, poets, writers and musicians chosen for the inaugural edition of the Free Library of Philadelphia's Cultureshare program. On October 3, the Library hosted a Launch Party in their Skyline Room located in the Central LIbrary's Benjamin Parkway location.

The evening was filled with great art, music, poetry & stories. All created by local artists! I had the opportunity to meet Judith Tannenbaum, the juror who chose my painting, "Dancing at Rittenhouse Square" as a honorarium recipient. 

As a crazy book nerd, it is so appropriate that I am a participant in the Library's Cultureshare program. I borrow all my Kindle books from the wonderful online "stacks" of the Philadelphia Free Library and the Delaware County Library. All the Kindle books are free and available to borrow for up to 21 days! 

I am so thankful, to the Free Library and all the folks who initiated this new Cultureshare program. As an artist, we create and we create and we create. It feels good, when our work is given a platform to be appreciated by the community. A bit of acknowledgement goes a long way with artists. 

And, to top off all the honors, "Dancing at Rittenhouse Square" is recently sold to a wonderful family that viewed the painting at the recent Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center's "Philadelphia Places" show. So, I am having a wonderful week filled with gratitude and thanks. 

 

The crazy world of the Interweb & Doing the Right Thing

Christina Tarkoff
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Do you have a story about how you found or connected with someone online? Here's my story of an encounter I made via Google Search, email and Facebook.

As my followers know, I paint about little chunks of humanity throughout the Philadelphia area.

The Story Begins.
A few months ago I had in my head to paint a series of street musicians. As usual I visited the various parks of Philly looking for subjects to photograph. I took a bunch of photos but I just was not happy with anything.

Buskers of Philly
So I went online searching for "buskers of Philly" images to get ideas about how to better capture my subject. I found a website with awesome images by photographer Jonathan Yu.

The Reference Photo
I made a little painted sketch and really loved where it was going. But... this was not my reference photo, so I researched how to get in contact with the photographer. I found his website and emailed him requesting permission to use his photo as reference for my painting. I mentioned in the email that if I did not hear back from him I would not continue with the painting.

Weeks Went By
I did not hear from the photographer, so the little painted sketch remained unfinished.

Facebook Page Inbox
One recent day while checking my artist FB Page - I notice a message awaiting in my inbox. And here is where this story gets crazy! The message is from the musician in Jonathan Yu's photograph!

The Crazy Connection!
The street musician is a friend of the photographer . The photographer contacted the musician and sent him the image of my unfinished painting.

The Musician
Turns out, when the musician learned about the painting - he researched me and discovered my work online by way of my website, Instagram and my Facebook Page! The musician contacted me through the Facebook Page, tells me he loves my work and asked if the painting is available for purchase! How crazy & exciting is that!!

The Storybook Ending
I am making him a larger painting of the original sketch for him to purchase. It will be ready in about a month. We are both thrilled about the painting. He never had a painting of himself and I am thrilled about how art brings folks together in the craziest of ways!

Do you have a crazy connection story? I'd love to hear it!

If you haven't checked yet - click on my FB Page & Instagram account.

Work In Progress - "Matthew - Blue-Eyed Boy"

Christina Tarkoff
 "Matthew-Blue-Eyed Boy" Work in Progress

"Matthew-Blue-Eyed Boy" Work in Progress

I first sketched this boy for one of my 100-Day Ballpoint Pen Sketch Challenges. The Ballpoint Pen Sketch could not capture the boy's eyes. His blue eyes are as vibrant as his shirt. I am working from a reference photo that I took at the Reading Terminal Market. This vendor is from a Lancaster County Farm. A very tranquil and peaceful life! Stay tuned to watch the progress on this painting!

Day 3 of 100 Day Notepad/Ballpoint Pen Sketch Challenge

100 Day Sketch ChallengeChristina Tarkoff
 "Busker of Philly"—Rittenhouse Square."  Ballpoint pen on notepad, Philadelphia, PA. 4-5-2017,

"Busker of Philly"—Rittenhouse Square."  Ballpoint pen on notepad, Philadelphia, PA. 4-5-2017,

"Busker of Philly—Rittenhouse Square." Day 3 of 100 Day Notepad Sketch Challenge. Buskers (street musicians) and Rittenhouse Square pretty much go hand in hand. Rittenhouse Square is a great place for listening and a great place for busking! I always feel that buskers in Rittenhouse get the proper attention as they would get as if playing the Academy of Music or Kimmel. So many times, we pass by street musicians and enjoy their music, but don’t stop to show them our appreciation! Rittenhouse Busking is the exception. In the park, philly folks, stop, listen and hopefully place a dollar to two in gratitude.

photo credit: I fashioned this sketch from a photo by Jonathan Yu's "Buskers of Philly" series.