Felicity House and Valeriy Gridnev featured in the August Edition of the Pastel Journal
'Girl in the Red Coat'
One of the works by Valeriy Gridnev featured in an article in the Pastel Journal entitled 'A Moment in Time'
Being and Becoming an Artist:
Given the fluidity of his line and the sureness of his drawing, it’s not surprising to learn that Gridnev undertook a long artistic training. “I was drawing for as long as I remember; however, I decided to become a professional artist quite late—when I was 20 years old—after finishing my military service,” the Russian artist says. “During this time, I was stationed in Baku, Azerbaijan. There in the municipal library, I discovered books about the Impressionists. There was one particular reproduction that I think finally pushed me to commit to taking up art as a profession: Monet’s Impression, Sunrise.” Gridnev went on to study for four years at the Sverdlovsk Art College and then for seven years at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, informally known as the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts. When he graduated, he was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal of the USSR Academy of Arts. It’s worth noting that the Imperial Academy of Arts has a long history of fine drawing. Indeed, it was there that the young James McNeill Whistler received his early drawing instruction while his father was working in Russia as a military engineer.
Embracing the Work:
When considering advice for other pastelists, Gridnev offers, “Love what you do. It takes a lot of time and hard work. Most of the time you’re working by yourself, so it requires a lot of selfmotivation, too. Without love for your craft, you won’t be able to motivate yourself.” As for his relationship with his audience, Gridnev must be aware that he brings them considerable pleasure. But his favored response is one of close scrutiny. “I’d like them to respond with a critical eye and constructive criticism,” he says. “I think that’s more valuable than any praise.” Gridnev’s work demonstrates fully how glorious pastel can be when it’s underpinned by lively, intelligent drawing.
Keeping things Fresh:
With pastel, I think it’s important not to overdo it and lose the freshness of the drawing. It’s so easy to overwork the pastel to where it loses all its energy.” Keeping things fresh also means not doing too much blending.
Valeriy Gridnev was born in 1956 in Siberia and studied at the Sverdlovsk Art College and the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in St. Petersburg. He also took an advanced course of studies at the USSR Academy of Arts, winning the prestigious Gold Medal of the USSR Academy of Arts. He’s a member of the Russian Artists’ Federation and an associate member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in the UK. He makes his home in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The above is a precis of the full article written by John A Parks. To read the full article go to www.northlightshop.com and download the August edition of the Pastel Journal.
ANNE HEVENER is the editor-in-chief of Pastel Journal in dicsussion with Felicity House.
'Home From the Catch - Santa Luzia'
For Home from the Catch, Santa Luzia (10½x18), English artist Felicity House used Colourﬁx pastel card by Art Spectrum, in the sand tone, coating it with a pumice and-acrylic ground. She then applied a tonal underpainting using a bluish gray-green wash of watercolor
TELL US ABOUT THE LOCATION THAT INSPIRED THE PIECE.
I was with a group of artists, staying at a friend’s villa in Portugal. We decided to head to the Algarve Coast to paint for the day, and stopped in Santa Luzia, a fishing port famous for its octopi. As we approached the village, I was initially disappointed by the rather uninspiring muddy creeks, but as we moved farther along, the attractive fishing boats caught my eye. While some in the group painted the fishing huts with their nets and upturned boats, I walked along the harbor’s edge to find a subject.
WHAT WERE THE PARTICULAR PAINTING CHALLENGES?
Of course the tide was slowly creeping in, so I had to work fast to capture the reflections I’d admired and to retain the sandy shore, which by the end was covered with high water. I’ve learned that it’s best, in these conditions, to set up above high water, so I don’t have to move. I’ve learned, too, to work first on things that I know will move; in this painting, the leaning boats. I can put in the constants—such as jetties and posts—later.
I want to stick with the picture I wanted rather than changing the view as the tide comes in.