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Julia Lesnichy


Vivid colors, impasto technique and dynamic compositions allow Julia to create paintings filled with light, color and atmospheric perspective. The sense of place and the quality of atmosphere are the attributes of her works, which evoke concepts of beauty and human experiences.

Whatever subject Julia Lesnichy investigates she often finds herself inspired by fast changing light and color in nature. She is captivated by the colors shes sees depending on the time of the day and season and resorts to oils and pastels to capture these fleeting moments. She often finishes her plein air paintings in her studio in Crozet, which is located in the quiet rural area in Virginia. Julia says that she I literally lives in the woods, among the trees, with the tree tops hovering above the house. These trees have always served as a great resource of inspiration when they turn scarlet, bright yellow and glowing orange in the fall.


The place she lives now is so different from the ones she was born and grew up. Julia was born in the glorious city of Leningrad (now St.Petersburg) in the Soviet Union, but her parents moved to Moscow when she was only 8 months old. It was Moscow where she has lived since, spent her childhood and a large part of her adult life. As a child Julia was a diligent student focusing all her attention on science, foreign languages and music. She even thought about pursuing a career of a musician.


on landscapes and outdoor floral still life. In Russia Julia created around 200 works, many of which are in private collections.

Also Julia developed her own technique in oil pastels and did a numerous oil pastel paintings there. Julia was introduced to the world of gouache and color mixing at the age of 5 and painted animals from photographs by 7. Unfortunately her parents paid little attention to her artistic endeavors. At the age of 26 she realized she wanted to become an artist. She was on her way home from work and was watching the sunset sky turning orange and red. She thought that it would be great to paint it. Immediately Julia asked her husband to buy a set of paints, brushes and canvases. She recalls her first paintings were the copies from the photos she had taken earlier.


Though Julia was very enthusiastic about painting she could not make a final decision to become a full time artist. Only in 1998 Julia began taking private classes in drawing and oil painting in Russia.

In 1999 Julia moved to Charlottesville with the family. While her husband studied law at the UVA she took private classes in pastel and watercolor.

In 2001 she was lucky to take a workshop with Lois Griffel, a nationally recognized plein air painter and instructor, who opened up a world of color for Julia. The experience she had during the workshop would forever guide her as a painter.

In 2002 Julia moved back to Russia, where she put in use all the knowledge and skills she had acquired in Cape Cod School of Art and kept on painting vigorously en plein air focusing primarily

In 2010 Julia moved to the USA with the family and settled down in Crozet in Virginia. Though Julia had taken up pastel as a medium before she returned to it again in 2011. She realized she could apply pastels boldly with swift painterly strokes creating layers of colors. Julia received her first award in pastels in 2012 and 10 more in the following 4 years, including two Honorable mentions in Pastel magazine 100 competitions and a Finalist in Artist's magazine 33rd competition in 2016. She is a member of




American impressionist society, Pastel Society of America, Midatlantic pastel society, Northwestern pastel society(Signature member) and Southeastern pastel society.

Among her awards are a Joyce Kelly Award from Degas Pastel Society, an Honorable mention in Landscape and Interior in15th Pastel Magazine 100 competition, 2013; First place in Virginia Pastel society juried show in 2014; First place in on-line juried show of Southeastern Pastel Society in2014 ;Honorable mention in Pastel Society of Virginia juried show in 2015; Bill McEnroe award, and Signature membership, in Northwestern pastel society in 2015; Honorable mention in Wildlife category in 17th Pastel Magazine 100 competition, 2015; Barbara Newton award in Northwestern pastel society juried show, 2016; Second place in 3rd Midatlantic national juried show, 2016; Second place in 1st Lynchburg plein air, 2016; Finalist in 33rd national juried show in Artist;s magazine, 2016.




Julia's works were also featured in an online publication of the Plein Air Magazine in the section “My favorite place to paint”. One of her works gained a good critique in the column “Why this works” by the artist Jeanne MacKenzie in the online issue of Plein Air Magazine.


Julia has always been a patient and devoted student of nature. She is very perceptive to the spirit of the place she paints and her emotional approach is shown in her works. Julia is very responsive to the way the light reveals the beauty of landscapes. Following these elusive changes she searches for a color palette which depends on the changing lights in a landscape.

She establishes initial shapes and then applies the paints generously with brushes and a palette knife. Intending to achieve a color vibrancy Julia creates multi-layered paintings both in oil and pastel. Occasionally she places people I her landscapes, especially her son. She continues to draw and paint models but intents on making a landscape a subject of painting.






Julia had always admired Monet's skills to observe the effects of nature and depict them loosely, with thick application of colors. She is also immensely inspired by the works of Childe Hassam, Theodore Robinson, Henry Hensche and California impressionists.


Currently Julia is represented by Chasen galleries in Richmond, Va; Cabell gallery in Lexington, Va and Coart Gallery in Staunton, Va.