About the artist

Three quarter half lighting oil painting self portrait of artist Talya Johnson Wearing green shirt with curly hair and tiny braids.

Meet Tali

Portland Oregon Impressionist Fine Art Painter and Portrait Artist

Bio and Artist Statement

The hints of my future as an impressionist artist were first ignited while watching my mother paint in Israel, the country of my birth. I have been drawing, creating, singing and playing music for as long as I can remember. This flame fueled by passionate mentors and dedicated painters has now become impossible to extinguish.

I don't believe in talent. I worked hard and long to develop my drawing and painting ability. It took many years for me to show any sort of gift or skill in drawing. I took any and all classes my circumstances allowed. I learned and used new technology to its full advantage in order to learn. My innate gift has always been my enthusiasm and determination.

After almost 20 years of a rewarding career in commercial art and graphic design, I could no longer contain my intense desire to paint. I created my first adult painting on my children's easel using department store acrylics. Workshops with masters Shuqiao Zhou, Daniel Gerhartz, Carolyn Anderson, and Larry Seiler cemented my love of working with oils and working from life. My adopted home in the Pacific Northwest provided an inspiring backdrop to explore nature’s magnificent landscapes filled with every color harmony imaginable. My painting friends made for a tremendous support group, they became my tribe and my family when I felt so far removed from my homeland. 

Creating beautiful paintings is my pursuit of truth and human connectedness. Portraits and figures have remained my first love. Yet in exploring landscapes, florals, and still lifes I have found a new voice for my expression. When I create a painting, my primary goal is to emote a passion for beauty, and hope for humanity. I do this by focusing on the fascinating qualities of color and light.

I paint and sketch from life whenever possible. Whether in plein air (painting in open air) or working with live models I always prefer to experience my subject first hand. Being a colorist by nature, I want to see the colors through my own eyes, rather than through a mechanical camera lens. Whether muted or bright, colors are critical notes to my painted melodies. Even when working with photographic references, I prefer to strictly use my own, feeling I only have the authority to represent something I have experienced myself.

Through the paint I converse with humanity. I share a thought, a memory, an insight. I search the for permanence within the ephemeral, order within chaos, and calmness within life’s storms. Living in a time in history that is over-saturated with meaningless noise and imagery my painterly brush strokes seek to clarify my small but unique human experience. 

Portland Oregon Impressionist Fine Art Painter and Portrait Artist Talya Johnson

Artist Talya Johnson painting a demonstration en plein air for art students in tulip gardens.

Curriculum Vitae

Education and Professional Training

2020    BFA in Drawing and Painting with honors, Pacific Northwest College of Art (teach-out program Oregon College of Art and Craft), Portland, Oregon

1990    AA in Graphic Design, Collins College, Tempe, Arizona                                            

2018    General Transfer with honors, Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon

2011    Portrait & Figure Painting with Carolyn Anderson, Scottsdale Artists’ School, Scottsdale, Arizona

 2010   Portrait & Figure Oil Painting from Life with Daniel Gerhartz, Gerhartz Studio, Kewaskum, Wisconsin

2009    Portrait & Figure Painting with Shuqiao Zhou, Scottsdale Artists’ School, Scottsdale, Arizona

1997    Macintosh Summit, University of Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara, California

Honors, Awards, Juried Exhibitions

Caryn Daschbach Award from Oregon College of Art and Craft

FAV15% BoldBrush Competition: January, Miriam Self Portrait; March, Community Remains Portrait 39; August, Inner Folds Abstract Irises Color Fields

June Art Muse Gallery Representation Award Finalist, Girl with Flower Tattoo

Ben Selling Scholarship, Portland, Oregon

Kirchhoff Family Fine Arts Scholarship, Portland, Oregon

Ford Family Foundation Re-Restart Scholarship, Eugene, Oregon

FAV15% BoldBrush Competition: March, Spanish Rose; June, Little Miss Sunshine

Marylhurst Award Portland Community College Exhibit: Evolution, Portland, Oregon

Richard Helzer Memorial Art Portland Community College Scholarship, Portland, Oregon

FAV15% BoldBrush Competition: January, February, March, September, Girl with Flower Tattoo

Richard Helzer Memorial Art Portland Community College Scholarship, Portland, Oregon

FAV15% BoldBrush Competition: March, Little Miss Sunshine; July, Elfin Beauty; August, Work in Progress Self Portrait; December, Out of Dust

Pacific Northwest Plein Air Event, Columbia Center for the Arts, Hood River, Oregon

Toledo Plein Air, Yaquina River Museum of Art, Toledo, Oregon

FAV15% BoldBrush Competition: September, Morning Reverie

FAV15% BoldBrush Competition: April, Sammy in Blue

Scottsdale Artists’ School Best & Brightest Juried Exhibition: Child’s Play, Reflections

Scottsdale Artists’ School Best & Brightest Juried Exhibition: Local Color

RayMar Art Competition October Finalist: Last Stand

PRSA 1st Place for Internal Publication (Anchorage Times)

United Alaskan Artists Scholarship


From Concentrate: Online Exhibiton of OCAC at PNCA BFA Thesis Canidates, Disjecta      Contemporary Art Center, Portland, Oregon

Hilltop, Pacific Northwest College of Art, 511 Building - Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, Gallery 157, Portland, Oregon

Foundations, Vollum Building, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, Oregon

Advanced Drawing and Painting Exhibition, Vollum Building, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, Oregon

Keep Going! Sylvania Student Art Exhibition, North View Gallery, Portland, Oregon

Impressionism, Two Woman Exhibit with Karen Whitworth, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon

Oregon Lavender Plein Air Paint Out, Newberg, Oregon

Painted Ladies Exhibit, Town Square Gallery, Wasilla, Alaska

Oregon Lavender Plein Air Paint Out, Yamhill, Oregon

5th Annual Plein Air Weekend Benefit, Anchorage, Alaska

Who Let the Girls Out, exhibit and workshop, Shane Lamb Studio, Palmer, Alaska

Plein Air in the Garden, Palmer Museum and Visitor Center, Palmer, Alaska

4th Annual Plein Air Weekend Benefit, Anchorage, Alaska

Nowhere but Up, Annual Art Exhibit at the Office of Neal Martin, Two Woman Exhibit with Marie Green, Anchorage, Alaska

Annual Art Exhibit at the Office of Neal Martin, Two Woman Exhibit with Karen Whitworth, Anchorage, Alaska

Annual Art Exhibit at the Office of Neal Martin, Two Woman Exhibit with Kimberly Bustillos, Anchorage, Alaska

Two Woman Exhibit with Amber Johnson, Pia’s Custom Framing, Wasilla, Alaska

Solo Exhibit, Artic Rose Gallery, Anchorage, Alaska

First Friday Solo Exhibit, Artic Poppy Boutique, Anchorage, Alaska


Bartman, Jake. "Two Of A Kind". Wilsonville Spokesman, 2016, https://pamplinmedia.com/wsp/134-news/294532-170580-two-of-a-kind.

The Chelsea Magazine Company, “Daily art challenge: How to paint with passion”, Artists & Illustrators, Available at: https://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/how-to/oil-painting/1569/daily-art-challenge-how-to-paint-with-passion.

Professional Experience

 1990-present: Talya Johnson Art | Freelancing :

  • Provided workshops and private instruction on painting, and self-marketing business strategies
  • Varied design projects for the following graphic businesses: Walther Dental, Clay’s Printing, Cinema Source Advertising, Digital Graphics, Visible Ink, Denali Sites, Bradley Advertising
  • Designed and developed corporate IDs, branding, advertising and promotional materials in print and digital media, including website design, development, and social media marketing campaigns
  • Created commissioned portrait painting, original painting and framed print sales for various private collections

2008– 2018 Officer/proprietor: Painted Ladies, Inc.:

  • Fulfilled duties of Secretary and Treasure of organization of dedicated women artists including bookkeeping, tax filing, and note taking for meetings
  • Event Coordination for Annual Great Alaskan Plein Air Painting Retreats and Painting Tulips Retreats
  • Responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with attendees, guest artists, vendors, and sponsors
  • Provided photographic documentation of events to be used from promotion and community building
  • Collected and maintained databases for contacts, attendee records, board notes, tax documentation and image collection
  • Promotion and marketing in print, and digital venues including social networking
  • Installed and facilitated group exhibits collaborating with local galleries, businesses, and museums
  • Sourced sponsors and created welcome packets and swag for event attendees
  • Coordinated and facilitated volunteer opportunities for artists to engage in community events surrounding artmaking
  • Provided demonstrations and workshops for painting and social network self-promotion

1998-1999 Graphic Designer: Federal Credit Union

  • Graphic design of printed promotional material
  • Composition and implementation of promotional messages over electronic media
  • Design and maintenance of corporate website
  • Design of browser online banking interface

1993-1997 Art Director

  • Art Department organization and direction
  • Production, design, and illustration of Alaskan souvenirs: soft-goods (T-shirts, sweats, plush toys, etc.); hard-goods (hats, pins, patches, ceramics, etc.); paper-goods (postcards, calendars, tags, etc.)
  • Artwork and design of promotional materials for clients
  • Organization and production of catalog and other promotional materials
  • Computer training for other Art Department employees


Oregon Society of Artists

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

Associate member American Impressionist Society

Associate member Portrait Society of America


  • 2-D and 3-D Design including point of purchase displays
  • Event Planning and coordination
  • Painting and illustration: all media
  • Fibers: sewing, crocheting, knitting
  • Research, online and library
  • Fluent in navigating both Mac OS and PC platforms
  • Basic HTML5/CSS
  • Software: Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite
  • E-commerce/Web/blog platforms: WordPress, Fine Art Studio Online (FASO), currently learning Shopify
  • Digital marketing and fundamental on-page SEO
  • Strong in all forms of communications: public speaking, writing, copyediting, and marketing
  • Teaching/tutoring/coaching children and adults including people with special needs using trauma informed considerations