When my husband and I were on our honeymoon, we were on a huge cruise ship (yeah, can’t afford to do that anymore, and wouldn’t want to with a baby!).  It almost literally had everything.  There was a bowling alley, a casino, tons of bars, pools, restaurants, an Irish pub, a theatre that showed Blue Man Group, a comedy club, an ice bar…and an art gallery.

And some HUGE chandeliers.
We spent an inordinate amount of time in the art gallery…they rotated paintings every few days, they showed Salvador Dali films, and, well, sometimes they had free wine.  But of course we also loved seeing the art, and being introduced to new artists by the very friendly and well-informed gallery staff, and that’s how I found out about Itzchak Tarkay.

This is a pretty typical Itzchak Tarkay painting:

images from Park West Gallery
They seem to often involve women in long, colorful skirts, sitting at tables in a cafe, and sometimes the ocean.

But not always!  He has some really cool landscapes, for instance…
I love the boldness of these pieces, the color sense (Tarkay said that he didn’t have any technique for choosing his colors, just that when he paints “the color is coming”), I really like the lighter colored linework in some of the skirts.  I don’t know, sometimes there’s just something about certain artists that appeals to you, maybe triggers a memory, maybe just makes you want to live in their world, but that’s how Tarkay is for me.
Maybe it’s just because I have happy memories associated with his paintings, and because the pieces themselves remind me of the Mediterranean cities we visited on our trip…
Image from ArtBrokerage.com
On the ship, they also had some of his watercolor studies up for auction, which I almost like better than the finished pieces…
Sometimes these come up on Ebay, but not for less than probably three of my mortgage payments. O_o The limited edition serigraphs they were selling of his on the ship were pricier than I could do, too, but we did go to an art auction, just to watch, and I stared covetously at them (and the amazing Nano Lopez sculptures…man).
However, after trolling Ebay for anything Tarkay-related, I was able to snag this beauty, and for not too much money either:
 It’s a serigraph (the signature is printed on too, it’s not actually hand-signed), and it’s HUGE.  It’s 16×20″, and I don’t know where I’m going to put it, or what I’m going to do for framing (I almost want to get this one professionally done…I usually do all my own framing and matting, but this maybe should have something special).  Love it, though!  Highly recommend Ebay for unusual art pieces…this may be old news to all of y’all, but I only just started using Ebay last year, and I’ve been kind of obsessed with using it to find weird stuff.
So although I’m almost running out of wall space for art in the house, I’m glad I have this.  It’ll go in my studio and not only inspire my painting, but remind me of my honeymoon. 🙂