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Sonia Grineva

New and Vintage Works 

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The Lemon Tree, 30 x 30 inches

The Peach Tree 48 x 48 inches
Canyon Road, 2017, Oil, 12 x 20


22 x 32


27.6 x 32

My working habits and methods


No day without a line. That is an old master maxim in which I believe, and follows what we were taught in the academy; that being an artist is a way of life.


Just as a musician has to practice every day, an artist has to engage in the act of painting the same way. And to take the comparison a bit further, my brush is like the baton in a conductor’s hand, and the colors and canvas and subjects I choose are my own kind of orchestra. There is an intimate connection between my hand and my imagination when I work each day.  If by some rare chance I’m prevented from painting for a day or so, I will start to feel a disconnection between the two.   


Most of my work is painted on location, where the light, color, movement and form of a place will make a particular impression on me. Recently, I was inspired by the patterns of color and form of a peach tree in Capri, and wanted to bring to the canvas the rhythms of the colors of its fruit -  red, orange and bordo -  against the blue water of the Mediterranean Sea. 

I started this painting around 9 in the morning, and continued with it for a couple of hours, until the light changed. At first I sketched out the composition; the movement of the tree trunk and its branches, and the rhythms of the orange and ocher and red colors of its fruit. I tried to catch the light, so that right from the start there would be a sense of place and depth on the canvas. Then over the next few days I worked on defining the details of the painting, bringing out its most prominent parts and establishing its focus. 


I have different goals, depending upon whether I’m working in oil or watercolor. With watercolor I like to convey the moment and spontaneity of the place, and create gestures of light and color and movement. With oil on linen or canvas I’m trying to capture more enduring aspects of the scene and subject.


When I’m making an oil painting over more than one day, I’ll return to the same location at the same time each day, so that I can catch the same light. Sometimes I’ll do the finishing touches in my studio, and refer to photographs I took at the time I was painting the subject.  I like to keep looking at a painting and waiting until the color dries before I continue to work on it. I look to bring out transparencies and texture, and sometimes I even like to leave parts of the canvas blank so that the work can breathe.


I consider the work complete when it has a certain feeling, and a certain sense of light. Each painting is different; one can take a day, others a few sessions or a few months to finish. Sometimes, after I hang or display a painting, I will decide to work on it, perhaps even a year later. 


Whether my works are abstract or more representational, they draw their inspiration from the same subjects. The main difference is that the abstract works tend to express themes that come directly from my unconscious.  








Tuscan Sunflowers  35 x 45

Selected Exhibitions and Collections:



Forbes Inc. New York, NY

Smithsonian Institution, Branch New York, NY

The White House

Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA

The College of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick, GA

Johnson & Johnson Corporation, New Brunswick, NJ

Yale Club, New York, NY

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Canajoharie Art Gallery/Museum, Canajoharie, New York

Vatican, Rome, Italy

Harvard Club, New York, NY

Standard Bank, New York, NY

Menzies Associates, London, UK

State Development, Ltd., Moscow, Russian Federation

Harvard Club, New York, NY

Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT

Time Warner Inc., New York, NY

New York Mercantile Exchange, New York, NY

Bayer Corporation, Montville, NJ

Works Gallery, New York, NY

Left Bank Art Gallery, St. Simons, GA

Cloisters Hotel, St. Simons Islands, Sea Island, GA

Millbrook Gallery & Antiques, New York, NY

Southport Gallery, Southport, CT

Design Domaine Gallery, Bernardsville, NJ

Pen and Brush Gallery, New York, NY

Hildt Galleries, Chicago, IL

College of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick, GA

Kosciuszko Foundation, New York

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