Impressionistic landscapes by Julia Lesnichy

plein air oil landscapes of Virginia and the Blue Ridge mountains 


About Julia Lesnichy

Artist’s statement

Painting has always been my long-lasting passion. I still remember myself as a 5 year girl drawing diligently a bear baby from a children's book back in 1973. I was born in St.Petersburg, the Soviet Union, but later my family moved to Moscow where I have been living since 1969. I owe a lot to my first preschool teacher, who taught me to draw and paint  in gouache.  I was a vigorous lively child, but  I became quiet and focused when drawing. My mom was a busy worker, so she often left me alone with my pencils and paints and she was sure I would stay put - I was so engrossed in doing small pencil sketches that I did not need a nanny. As a child I was dedicated to drawing and painting animals, the ones which I saw in books and cartoons and the onces I had as toys. I still remember my favorite teddy bear, a bit worn out, but still so cute - I drew it several times. Also, I fancied cats a lot and did some really fantastic drawings of them.

As I grew older I became more aware of a variety of colors around me. I have always been immensely attracted by nature, its elusive and changing beauty. Sunsets and the fall time has been my favorite season in Russia, especially in late August - September, when it was not really cold and the foliage turned red, scarlet, yellow and orange. But I never dared to start painting in oil till I got pregnant at the age of 26 with my second child, Alex. I remember using a subway once, which ran above the ground. There was a moment when I was so impressed by colors of the sunset sky, that I asked my husband to buy me a simple set of oil paints and some canvas. But only in 1998 I made a decision to become a full-time painter.

In 1999  I moved with my husband Oleg and children Anna and Alex to Charlottesville, Va, where my husband studied law at   the UVA. In this small but cozy town, full of history and culture I started taking private classes in pastel, watercolor and life drawing. In summer of 2001 I took classes with a famous and outstanding artist and tutor Lois Griffel, who opened me a new world of light and color. I was so influenced by her works and the works of her teacher Henry Hensche that  I started exploring color right away in outdoor still life and landscapes.

In 2001 I had to return to Russia and have been painting on my own since. I worked solely outdoors, trying to capture the rapidly changing light in a landscape, looking for unusual color combinations. I painted mostly impasto using brushes and palette knife, working on color mixing and seeking for balanced color harmonies.

At that time I also started keeping up correspondence with Ken Massey, one of the most talented students of Henry Hensche. His works are always a feast to the eye, full of colors, very gentle. He is a smart and thoughtful man, avid painter and very helping and generous in sharing his knowledge and experience with younger artists.

In Russia I participated in group shows in various city galleries, had several one man shows in the Central House of Artists in Moscow and sold my works to Russian collectors though galleries and Interenet.

Some of my works are in a collection of Goldmining Corp, Canada and Kimberly Clarke Corp, Roswell, USA.

In 2010 I returned to Charlottesville with my son Alex. Currently I live and work in Crozet, Virginia. I am lucky to keep my full-time job as a painter. Finally I have an opportunity to paint incredibly beautiful Virginia landscapes - mountains and lakes, abundantly blooming trees and fast churning creeks. Painting outside is what makes me feel alive, so close to nature and share its beauty with viewers of my art.  I am a passionate person and want to reveal and share my passion in my paintings through my vision of colors and impressionistic technique. Only nature and plein air painting can give me a freshness of perception and help me to create work full of energy.

 I am also a floral still life painter. I love gardening and growing my own flowers, especially roses. In Russia I have a big beautiful rose garden, which I painted many times.I love flowers and love to paint their delicate short-lasting beauty.

As far as mediums are concerned I also use pastels, dry and oil pastels for sketches, especially during trips to other countries. Many of my oil pastel sketches can be considered as parts of a diary, portraying scenes from the countries I visited as a tourist.  I painted red roof houses in Croatia, narrow streets of the ancient French city of Avignon, a small boat house in the Maldives, a night street in Salzburg.

Valery Tkachenko from Kazakhstan, a doctor and a buyer of my works, once wrote to me: “Julia, you have a unique ability to render spontaneous and controlled color in your works."

I believe my works just reveal my open-heartedness, sincerity and uninhibited nature of a child. I have nothing to hide from a viewer and want to share my joy and happiness with him.