Talya Johnson, (Tali) is a fine art impressionist painter living in Portland Oregon. She received her BFA in Drawing and Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art in the spring of 2020. Tali’s work is largely figurative and stylistically influenced by both Nineteenth Century Impressionism and Academic Realism. Ever vibrant, her works are poignant, painterly accounts of her unique contemporary perspective. Whether portrait, still-life, or landscape, Tali believes in recording only what she herself has experienced first-hand.
    Tali's colorful works are collected and cherished around the world in numerous private collections. Believing that every artist should have access to creative expression, she enjoys mentoring beginning painters in drawing, painting, and marketing. Tali paints from her home that she shares with her husband, four sons, and American Bulldog.
    This project began as an exercise in facing my fears: my fear of not being a good-enough artist, my fear of change, and most of all my fear of abandonment. Painting a series of portraits from life, with self-imposed constraints on time and setting seemed like a good place to start. I would practice abandoning portraits after their allotted time, in an exercise of radical acceptance of my current skill level.
    After the closure of my school, Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC), my desire for this project changed into a longing to memorialize and thank all who helped shape my once-in-a-lifetime experience in art school. Each portrait would become a gift. As my work progressed, however, it transformed and into something else, far transcending my original intent. Through the process of seeing and hearing my sitter while being seen and heard by them, by inadvertently removing all status visual clues from the residual painting, I found myself creating a visual web of human connectedness that is in a constant state of flux. The portraits would be hung joined together during my thesis exhibition but would then break apart to emphasize the impermanence of this experience.
    My own story is now intermingling and changing through the collapsing boundaries and intimacy inherent to my painting process. I enter a state of liminality by intensely focusing all my senses on capturing the external and internal truth within my subject. This ambiguous psychic space has value, not only for me, but for my subjects as well. Through a mysterious creative process our stories become one—a diverse yet harmonic chorus declaring to the world: We are wounded, imperfect, abandoned, and unfinished, but through us, the hope of our Community Remains.
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