Artist Katya Held. Bedroom in a Coutry House.

Oil on linen, 20 x 16 in

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Katya Held

About Katya Held


The focus of my work during the last decade has been the cityscape.  I have traveled frequently through Europe and America with my French easel and painted a number of charming old towns and splendid historical capitals. In some cases these areas have been photographed many times, but I don't believe that a photograph can capture the essence of a place. I  prefer to paint on location so that I can get a full sensory impression of the locale.  While working on location I feel a part of nature, and I'm able to absorb the changes that occur over time and paint more than just the physical appearance of the subject at a single moment in time. For me painting outdoors is about being completely focused, gaining fresh knowledge of the subject, being free to interpret the scene and seeing the subject in an entirely new way.  The more I work outdoors, the more intense my feelings become.  I try to communicate these feelings through my work, and convey the excitement and passion I feel while creating “en plein air”.

I try to paint the very first moment when nature makes its impression. Aesthetic feeling of the subject is not important to me.  I visualize the scene in front of me as a decorative tapestry where large areas of colors are blocked in large masses and smoothly blended together.  Disregarding details I try to determine the most important information in forms and colors.  At the end of the painting session I highlight the main elements of the composition, applying thick brush strokes, and leave the work at the stage when it looks fresh. 

I live in the most picturesque part of Philadelphia, the Museum Area, and this neighborhood provides me with an endless source of ideas and subjects.  I spend hours walking along the Schuylkill from the museum to boathouse row and farther to the arched bridges, looking for the views that touch me and can be expressed with light and color.  I often come back to paint the same scene again at a different time of the day or season.

I experiment constantly when I work, and through this process I am continuously refining my individual artistic language of self-expression.



MA degree from Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Currently a full time 3rd year student of Studio Incamminati

Master Classes: 

Repin Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, USA 

Angel Academy in Florence, Italy

Katya's artwork is displayed worldwide in galleries and exhibition halls, including Newman Galleries in Philadelphia, Artworks at Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Arts Club in New York, Baron Stiglitz Museum in Saint Petersburg Russia, The League of Artists of Russia and many others. An artist has many pieces in corporate and private collections throughout the world.  Katya maintains studios in both Philadelphia and St. Petersburg. During the last decade she had over 40 juried group and solo shows in Europe and the United States. More  information can be found on