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

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.

Solo Show in Seattle

Other People’s Borscht
Tatyana Ostapenko

On view at September 8th - November 10th
Reception Thursday, October 13th, 5-7 pm

We hope you can join us for snacks, libations and conversations. 


We hope you can join us for October's Capitol Hill Art Walk!