Whatever subject Julia Lesnichy investigates she often finds herself inspired by fast
changing light and color in nature. She is captivated by the colors she 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.
At the age of 5 Julia was very good at drawing with colored pencils and gouache painting, which she learnt while being in preschool in Moscow, Russia. Graduating with an BA in Linguistics from the Academy of Foreign languages in Moscow she worked as an interpreter/translator in investment and law companies.
Only in 1998 Julia began taking private classes in drawing and oil painting with a
Russian artist. 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 2010 Julia moved to the USA from Moscow, Russia 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. She also took one pastel workshop with Richard McKinley, a nationally recognized pastel landscape painter and teacher in 2015 and another pastel workshop with Alain Pickard, an outstanding pastel portrait artist.
Julia received her first award in pastels in 2012 and 25 more in the following years,
including two Honorable mentions in Pastel magazine 100 competitions in 2013 and 2015. A pastel painting of her cat was a Finalist in Artist's magazine 33rd competition in 2016 in Wildlife category. She is a member of Pastel Society of America, Mid-Atlantic pastel society, Northwestern pastel society(Signature member) and Southeastern pastel society (Member of Excellence) and Oil painters of America. Her works were also accepted in an annual PSA juried show “Enduring brilliance” in 2021. Occasionally she teaches workshops in oils and pastels in art centers in Virginia.
Among the publications are an article "Pastellist at Heart" in April/May issue of Plein air magazine, 2018; The Juror's choice. An article about Julia Lesnichy's pastel painting as a finalist in 33rd juried annual Artist's magazine competition, Southwest Art magazine, January, 2017. Her works were also chosen to be presented in the French book about oil painting “Peindre a l’huile anjourd’hui” by Amandine Gilles published by Edition Eurolles in France.
Julia says: “If a landscape inspires me I like to study it and do a series of paintings. I work on it either in the morning or in the setting sun and in the different seasons too. I may go for different colors palettes and different compositions, which enables me to understand this subject better and experiment more with colors. The series may be both small sketches and large paintings, but they are completed en plein air. Sometimes I use them to create large studio oil or pastel pieces. But when painting in the studio I intent to keep the freshness of initial strokes and color vibrancy, so that finished works are filled with light and color.”