Welcome to my site. This site is meant to give a flavor of what I do, but it is by no means exhaustive. I do not update the site often and there is a lot more work available than what can be seen here. So if you like what I do, the best thing is to get in touch. My email is andrew@andrewosta.com and my whatsapp is +52 415 139 5169.


Now, a little bit about me. I was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1982. I did not realize that I had any artistic talent until much later, around 2004. In communist Ukraine, artistic endeavors of any kind were not exactly taken seriously. The only artists I had ever seen in Kiev were people selling paintings for pennies in subway corridors and downtown parks. To be an artist meant not only to be poor but to be a little crazy.

My family immigrated to Canada and I grew up in Toronto and Hamilton. I completed a four year degree at the University of Toronto, but even as I studied, I knew I wanted to do something else. As a result of deep inner searching and experimentation, I discovered that I have a God-given artistic ability, something that was obvious even to me, a person who knew nothing about art, having never taken an art class in my life.

I have always been very curious and adventurous. Spirituality was among my top interests, and related to that, healing. In 2009, I found myself among the founders of the first ever “Healing and Counseling through Art” program in Canada, as part of SISO Canada. I assisted an art therapist for a year in doing art therapy sessions with recent refugee children and youth. The program was successful, but I wanted to learn more about hands-on healing methods and decided to leave my job and travel to Peru to learn from the ayahuasca shamans. My apprenticeship lasted 8 months and ended somewhat badly. Exhausted and broke, I travelled to Mexico, still searching for personal healing. After a number of ceremonies with Mexico’s indigenous people, I ended up with a couple of radical Christians up in the mountains of San Jose del Pacifico. They helped me get back on my feet. I published my diary entries of this period under the title “Shamans and Healers”.

In 2011, I moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This is when I was first able to fully live from the sale of my paintings. Although I was showing in galleries since 2004, sales were sporadic and I had to maintain myself through part-time work. But from 2011, I became a full-time artist. I met a lot of amazing artists in San Miguel and became a close friend of Canadian figure skater and artist Toller Cranston. His advice and help (he exhibited together with me, bought my work, traded work with me, etc) were a huge help along the path to success. While in San Miguel, I wrote two more books : “Walk in the Light” about my first few years as a Christian, and “Remembering Toller Cranston” about our friendship, written shortly after his untimely death.

In 2017 my son Nico was born and I moved to Oaxaca. Two years later, my daughter was born. I continue to be a full-time artist. I estimate that over 700 of my oil paintings are currently in private and public collections all over the world.

If you would like to see my creative process, hear my music, and read more of my writing, please consider supporting me through Patreon!

A video by @Dare2dream – Music Production.

Painting start to finish (22 minute video, with music)

A Magical Landscape, Start to Finish (12 minutes, with music)

Andrew Osta speaking about Toller Cranston 2015)

Every one of the paintings began in the same way – I applied paint to the canvas without the slightest idea of what I would paint. As I covered the canvas with color, forms began to emerge, and I brought out whatever I saw, emphasizing certain things and erasing others. In some of the paintings, the forms and the colors changed multiple times. Faces turned into flowers, into fish, into animals, leaves, and so on. The thickness of the paint will tell you a lot about whether the painting went through significant modifications as I worked on in. In other paintings, things came together from the very start, and you can see that the paint is thin. As to what each painting means, it is similar to interpreting a dream. In a way, my paintings are created in the process of conscious dreaming. I participate in the selection of colors, choosing them to my liking, but the shapes often take form during a process of free-association, similar to an ink blot that “looks like” some recognizable form. Thus, I see various forms in the blots of paint. Then, I just bring out what I see. In my earlier works, I used to paint whatever I saw without any kind of filtration system in place, but I am now more selective about the forms I bring out. I only want to bring out positive and life-affirming images now. If I begin to see a disturbing image, I usually just paint it over and look for something else to come through. In retrospect, my paintings reflect my inner world through symbolism. If a painting takes two weeks to paint, that painting captures my main emotions, thoughts and ideas during that two-week period. Other people may understand my work in an entirely different manner than I do, and that is completely alright with me. I do not think that there is only one correct interpretation of my paintings – they are so multi-layered that in most cases, a single interpretation is simply impossible. As the eye travels over the canvas, the mind can come up with many interpretations, or perhaps no interpretation whatsoever. Sometimes, I do not understand the meaning of my forms and symbols, but the composition, the colors, the balance, and the feel of the painting are intuitively known by me to be right. When this happens, I call a painting “finished”.

I am fascinated with the creative process, and continuously push the boundaries of my own artistic experience to go into previously uncharted territory. In 2011, this means drastically changing my subject matter. From 2005 to 2010, I had been creating narratives with my paintings, where each work was a complex and involved story, similar to a profound dream, open to the individual interpretation of the viewer. My narratives always contained hidden elements that are not noticeable during a casual viewing. Therefore, each of my early paintings and drawings asks for a certain amount of time and attention from the viewer before revealing itself completely. When I paint, I follow a process of visual free-association. As a result, most of my paintings reflect my life-situation and emotional state at the time. How abstract or concrete this reflection is depends on how I feel, but also on how comfortable I am discussing my subject matter.

I have always felt that an artist is an extremely sensitive being, who is aware of things which most other people simply do not notice. The artist is like a mirror that reflects the things in front of it, and my work has been focused on reflecting my own perceptions of everything within me and around me. An artist always perceives things differently from “normal” people, and each artist shares his or her perception with the world, so that anyone can step into the artist’s shoes and see the world through his or her eyes. A true artist must make his or her life into art, so that the beauty of that life can be reflected to others.

If I have a day when I have created something – a song, a painting, or something else that didn’t exist yesterday, I am happy. If I pass a day without creating anything, it is a lost day to me. I will not even remember it. It might as well have never happened. In painting, I constantly study. I study relationships between colors, juxtapositions of elements, perspective, and so on. I would like my art to be both accessible to people with no art background, and to possess enough artistry to be appreciated by the experts.

I keep trying to express feelings, thoughts, and perceptions for which I have no words. Sometimes, these expressions include a complex dream-like symbolism that even I can’t understand. A lot of my work speaks on a subconscious level. The artist has to figure out what is most important in any given painting, and make everything else submit to that. The next color that goes on the canvas depends on what is already there. The harmony of the whole is most essential!

I will be the first to admit that writing about my art is not easy. First, why do I paint at all? I started creating art in 2004 because it helped to unwind my brain and was therapeutic. My early work was in a way a purging process, an uncovering of my fears and desires. I used symbols but without understanding what the symbols meant, and when at some point, standing in front of the painting I burst out laughing, I knew that it was either finished or close to it. I looked at those early paintings as one looks at records of dreams, trying to figure out what my unconscious was trying to tell me. At this point, my painting process was highly personal, and I was not concerned with aesthetics. Even so, early paintings took a long time to complete, from several weeks to many months.Later came a period of asking myself what I have not yet done as a painter and doing it. It was about broadening my horizons and expanding my vocabulary. This is how my first landscapes and florals came about. I did them simply because I had never done them. Because I have never studied art formally, a lot of my process consists to this day in exploring various methods and techniques, to see what works. My brain does not retain a lot of memory when it comes to everyday life, yet it is somehow capable of remembering all kinds of subtleties when it comes to color, i.e. how to very quickly mix the needed color hue, what effect any color would have when placed next to another color, etc. During the execution of every one of my paintings, even to this day, after painting for 15 years, I continue to try things I haven’t tried before. Basically, I have a powerful drive to learn and discover.Several artists and curators have pointed out that my art often appears to use all colors of the rainbow, and a few have suggested that I limit my palette. I’m not against limited palettes, but I feel that using the full color spectrum has a positive impact on the soul. In this sense, my art is spiritual even when not explicitly so. Unlike forms, which speak more to the mind, colors and color relationships speak to the spirit.I maintain the firm stance that good art (as opposed to bad art) does not require a lengthy writeup next to it in order to be appreciated, so I will stop writing here.


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