Fun Casual Venue, Affordable Art

Happy to work with a new curator

Danielle is an awesome local artist and an avid art collector.  She curates a few casual spaces around Portland, and we just installed 26 of my earlier paintings at one of them, Blackbird Pizza on SE Hawthorne.  Music is loud, pies are solid good, booze is plentiful and there are arcade machines in the back. I love the irreverent spirit of the place and think my work is quite fitting.


Pleasant discovery about the past

It was really fun to excavate my painting storage and find some paintings from when I was first starting out. One thing I didn’t expect was to be pleasantly surprised by so many of them. Back when I was beginning to paint in 2012, I was using acrylic paints and felt constantly frustrated by their limitations.  I am fascinated by the freshness and raw quality of gesture and fun daring solutions that elude me now that I have the amazing malleability of oil paint at my disposal. Maybe I should give acrylic another try?

Good Paintings at Deep Discounts

Anyways, despite having rediscovered many good things about my earlier paintings, I have just a few too many and I would rather have you enjoy them on your walls than put them back into storage after the show is done. 

Therefore, everything at Blackbird is 50% off my usual prices.

They are up for a month. Go get them.

Are you in town in August? Want to have a drink and talk art with me at Blackbird?

Tell me if you are around and would like to come to a casual artist reception toward the end of the month to hang out with me, ask questions, buy original at seriously low prices. If I get a lot of folks, interested, I’ll set up a reception date.


First Thursday Art Walk, New Art Friends and Good Music

Buying art directly from the artists

I love a good hustle. I love it when people take matters in their own hands and make the thing they want. Nothing against folks who work with established structures and institutions, but there’s something about making it one’s own and on one’s own, that always appeals to me. Maybe it’s my soviet upbringing, the distrust of the institutions and structures. Maybe it’s the suppressed entrepreneurial desire of the generations that came before me, but I sure love seeing artists sell their work directly to public.

A few years back, also during First Thursday Art Walk in the Pearl district in Portland, I came across an artist who was selling small paintings outside of one of the well known galleries. I was immediately taken with the expressive gestures, the edges of representation and rough realism dissolving into a vibrant chaos of vigorous brushwork. My friend and I each bough a painting and kept in touch and watched Charlie’s work develop. Check out more of his work at

So I was absolutely thrilled to happen upon another talented entrepreneurial artist who was vending, just like Charlie, setting up paintings on the ground, at the same gallery crawl even the other day. Joanne Gravelin is from Portland, Maine.

She makes fresh and eloquent contemporary landscapes. I absolutely love her use of neon glow colors in combination with a muted palette of bluish grays, subdued lavender and sky blue. I was especially taken with the small works on paper, maybe 4x6 inches. Soft washy surfaces, subtle transitions are juxtaposed with bursts of unnatural and compelling artificial brightness. 

If someone wants to get me a little gift, or ten, you know what I want!

You can find Joanne on Instagram @mylastplaceonearth


Local finger style guitrist Amber Russell

Summer art evenings in Portland aren’t all about visual arts though. Two nights in a row I had a pleasure to cross paths with a wonderful musician who was performing at the rooftop bar at the Society Hotel and then at the art walk the next day. I don’t have a vocabulary to talk about music, I just know she is really good and I absolutely loved her free-flowing style. She is Amber Russell and I can’t wait to hear more.

And I met a fashion twin!

A painter and a designer pink shoes yellow dresses

Karin is a clothing designer, she made her wonderful dress and mine was proudly procured from a thrift store in Buffalo, NY some 21 years ago 😊

See more of her work on Instagram @karingraves2

Out with the recent, in with the brand new

As soon as I got all those canvases up on the walls at The Joinery, I got new surfaces up in the studio. Ready to start a new project!

I am still working with my favorite photo content: casual snapshots from the former Soviet Union and post soviet spaces. But now I am treating my references with less reverence by using digital editing tools and fracturing, duplicating and erasing images.

Usually I stay away from digital media. The whole reason abandoned my pursuit of digital photography and became a painter was to get away from the screens. But this process is painterly and I anticipate it allowing for much more freedom and expressive mark-making.

This is a time lapse of the first painting I am making using this digitally altered reference material.

I am brand new to video. I am totally open to all and any suggestions on how to improve it. Tell me how to make it better.

Solo Show at the Joinery


Please join us for an opening reception at the Joinery

on May 23rd, 5-7pm.

About the venue:

The Joinery began as a one-person furniture refurbishing and repair business in 1982. Today we are proud to employ a team of highly skilled people operating with a strong sense of shared values to design, build and sell our furniture. We use time-honored joinery techniques to create masterful pieces in a variety of modern and traditional designs. We challenge ourselves to continually improve, innovate, and create wood furniture that is as functional and durable as it is beautiful. We invite you to drop in to our Portland, Oregon woodshop and watch our craftspeople at work.  

The products you will see here represent only part of our offering. If you need modifications to a standard piece — or you have a vision of something entirely new — we invite you to talk to us: our team will work with you to make sure you get exactly the look, feel and function you had in mind.

Refreshments are provided by the venue and the artist will be present.

The Joinery

922 SW Yamhill St, Portland, OR

OPEN AIR: Solo show at Multnomah Art Center

WHO: Tatyana Ostapenko


WHAT: “Open Air,” paintings



              Multnomah Arts Center

              7688 SW Capitol Hwy

              Portland, OR 97219


WHEN: Exhibit: January 6 – 31, 2017

           Opening Reception: Friday, January 6, 7-9pm


HOURS: Mon-Fri: 9am-9:30pm

             Sat & Sun: 9am-5pm



“Open Air,” an exhibit of paintings by Tatyana Ostapenko, will be on view at the Multnomah Arts Center gallery beginning January 6.  The oils on canvas and wood draw upon the subjects of her post-soviet homeland of Ukraine. They pay homage to the native traditions of realist and social realist painting.  An opening reception will be held in the gallery Friday, January 6, 7-9pm.  The show may be seen through January 31.