Cover artist Sonia Grineva is a woman on the go. Despite being in Italy at the opening of her exhibit, she kept in touch with us, and she’s excited about her show and about Italy, where she’s been several times. It’s obvious that Grineva loves to travel and explore: her journeys have taken her from Moscow, Russia, where she grew up and obtained a B.A. and M.F.A. from Stroganov Art Institute, to Manhattan, where she studied at the National Academy of Design. In between, she completed courses at the British Institute in Florence, Italy.
Yet Grineva also has a penchant for different settings within a particular country. In New York, consider her love of Central Park, Wall Street, Washington Square Park, her old studio at the Pen and Brush Club in Greenwich Village and her new space in Union Square. Her studio at the Pen and Brush Club was especially telling— the townhouse setting, large fireplace and living room atmosphere perfectly communicated Grineva’s warm personality. On the East End, Grineva is also drawn to various areas, like the beach which is on the cover (called “Beach Scene Hamptons“).
Such diverse settings also lend themselves to Grineva’s varied styles, including abstraction and Impressionism, with some gestural strokes added. But it’s difficult to pin the artist’s style down; she is constantly evolving her worldview.
Q: How do you feel about the different scenes and places that you paint?
A: I am inspired by scenes and movements every day of my life. In the morning, a city street. In autumn, a day in the countryside. Unique beauty is in ordinary things.
Q: Speaking of places, how is Italy and why are you there?
A: I will be here for two weeks at my exhibit. Actually two shows, in the south in Ravello and in the north in Brunico. It is very hot.
Q: How did the exhibits come about?
A: I drew images of hotels for a book about hotels, “Planet Stars,” and the owner of one of the hotels has an art gallery in Italy.
Q: By the way, which are your favorite hotels?
A: The Waldorf Astoria in New York. It has fascinating history. And the Baker House in East Hampton. It is small and has a beautiful history. The owners are really nice.
Q: Will you be doing any other images on the history of hotels?
A: Yes. I did the Plaza in the first edition, but will do the Waldorf in the second edition. Also the Cloister Hotel in New York.
Q: What do you think about all the traveling you do?
A: I wish I could paint more at one place. I’d like to spend more time in East Hampton.
Q: What do you do for relaxation?
A: Well, I did watch the soccer match in Italy. And I go to see old films at the Film Forum in New York. But I don’t watch much TV.
Q: How has your style changed?
A: It’s more abstract, and I use colors like yellow, red and blue.
Q: How about the future?
A: I may have a show in and Houston sometime next year.
Q: But you will always travel to many places while still staying in New York?
A: Yes. I love it there; I love my studio where people can easily come to see my work. It’s clean and has lots of light. It’s quiet. And I love to walk everywhere.
Contact Sonia Grineva at 212-627-8499 to arrange a studio visit.