tatyana grechina

Tatyana Grechina is a painter + illustrator + art director

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Tatyana Grechina was born in St. Petersburg, Russia but grew up in the Carolinas, beginning her formal training with Jane Averill at Serendipity Art School at the age of nine. She later attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, a two year all-arts boarding school where she concentrated in Visual Arts, and received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from Tyler School of Art in Philly. Today, she is as a multidisciplinary artist living in Greenville, South Carolina with a love for writing, movement, play, and art direction that has guided her to numerous collaborations and friendships with creatives all over the country. Her work has been on view at Crane Arts Building and The Head & The Hand Press in Philly, Art & Light Gallery, Studio Unknown, Main & Maxwell in South Carolina, and she was fortunate to have participated in Elena Mildner’s first ever “Speed-Arting” Event in at Burgasse 21 in Vienna, Austria. Tatyana’s paintings have found homes in both private and public collections, and her writing and collages have been featured in Baltisoul Magazine, WitchyWisdoms, and on Canadian writer Mackenzie Belcastro’s online Artists’ Journeys platform. Her most recent painting collection “Blackberry Winter” is currently on view at the Davidson County Community College in Lexington, North Carolina. //////////// Photo by Alina Kolberg.

 Artist statement

For the last ten years, my work has been an ever-evolving exploration of duality. There is always a balance of structure and play and a dreamy juxtaposition of reality and illusion. I’m obsessed with the duality of what it means to be human – both in light and in darkness – and how we can better understand this duality in order to connect and heal. As someone who really struggled to find her place in the post art school world, it took years of comparing myself to everybody else before I realized that such a self-deprecating mentality is the exact opposite of the world I wanted to see. Instead, I decided to channel all of my insecurities and fear around other creatives into a project that forced me to work one on one with each one and portray them in a way that most illuminated their inner light. This project reignited my passion for creative human connection and has led to many collaborations with these women and other local creatives. I am passionate about connecting creative people to their highest selves, and creating things larger than what one person alone can do. In my gathering of imagery, I look at all the details of life, both grandiose and mundane. I document this information through anything from writing and drawing to analogue collage, also staging and directing photo-shoots from which I gather material. I currently have a few secret collaborations going on with my collage work, a new body of paintings in the works, and am planning a cross-country move, and I feel the best I’ve ever felt since beginning this journey of healing through my art. It’s an absolute roller-coaster of putting yourself out there, but the people you meet and things you create that you never knew you would are so worth it. 

 

Blackberry Winter

Blackberry Winter is a series born out of my own shadows of jealousy and fear, ultimately rooted in the need to find community within the world of female creatives. These paintings are beings of light because they are the physical bodies of the the healing I found through celebrating my sisters’ lights. Having struggled with feeling like I am not enough as an artist in a post-art school world, I would constantly compare myself to artists who looked like they had it together on social media- specifically women. It caused a lot of unnecessary inner turmoil as I spent my energy feeling sorry for myself, and ultimately my art wasn’t getting better.

Then one day I saw a photo of a coworker’s sixteen year old daughter and thought, “Wow, she looks so much older than her age.” This spurred the idea that I wanted to photograph her two daughters sans smokey makeup and perfect contour. I wanted to show them as the true, soil to summer baby goddesses of youth that they were (Original story chronicled here). Seeing them at that stage of life surrounded by brightly colored flowers that translated into a photographic painting world, I was overwhelmed with the urge to photograph more people like this. I reached out to women artists that I either knew from growing up or through the local creative Instagram community, and asked if they would participate in my goddess project. I wanted everybody to see themselves like this. Though it did not completely silence my destructive little inner voice, it was a turning point in my journey as an artist. Suddenly I had a project I was passionate about -celebrating others, celebrating our truth, healing. It was my way of dealing with a lot of information and organizing it in the most beautiful way I could. That was back in 2017. Recently I had the urge to revisit these photographs and paint them larger than life on canvas.

I love the tradition of storytelling in paint, and portraiture fascinates me – how people always looks like saints or royals just by nature. The goal was to transform the girls into my personal round table of six strong, capable women within whom you can see different parts of yourself. The six oil paintings that came out of this are the result of this exploration of jealousy, admiration, and the healing that can ultimately come if we just love ourselves and each other as the QUEENS and goddesses we are. Once I had my round table, to further illuminate the fairy tale -and inspired by the countless hours of Xena I’d consumed while painting this series- I aligned each of them with a Greek goddess. It’s a little game to fuel the making of a myth. After all, is that not what we are doing all the time? Currently, this collection is on display until May at the Davidson County Community College in Lexington, NC.

           

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