Valery was born in the Urals, Siberia, Russia in 1956. He was educated in Sverdlovsk Art College from 1978-1980 before studying for seven years at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. On completion of the advanced course at the USSR Academy of Arts he won the extremely prestigious Gold Medal with his painting `Early Years`. In the early nineties he worked in the creative studio at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.
He was elected a member of the Union of Russian artists in 1991. In 1999 he moved with his family to Great Britain where he initially worked as an artist in residence at Highclere Castle where he painted Lord Caemarvon and members of his family. While Britain remains the main centre of his work, he continues to work in St Petersburg from where he can maintain his strong links to his Russian artistic roots.
While he still paints a broad range of subjects, the main thrust of Gridnev's work has been figurative painting in both oils and pastels which are much sought after. His portrait paintings have earned him an international reputation.
Awards & Distinctions
The excellence of Gridnev's work has gained him membership of three professional societies: he was elected a member of the Pastel Society UK in 2003, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 2006 and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2011.