Toward Homeland by Armenian Painter Sevada Grigoryan

Sevada Grigoryan

Artist Biography

Sevada Grigoryan is an Armenian painter, born in 1959. He graduated from Yerevan State Pedagogical University in Fine Arts. Grigoryan Sevada is a member of the Artists’ Union of Armenia and UNESCO International Federation of Artists in France. He has held exhibitions throughout the USA, Russia, Japan and China, at venues including Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe, Beijing Jintai Art Museum, Datian Art Gallery at M50, Shanghai and Central House of Artist in Moscow.

Sevada Grigoryan’s paintings are exhibited in some public collections, most notably Russian Embassy in Armenia, Salt Lake City Education District, Municipality of Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic, Nanjing Massacre Museum, Jermuk City Municipality and Armenia’s United Nations Dining Hall.

In Sevada’s unique style traditions of Armenian Miniature iconography blend with the grandeur of Renaissance paintings presented in the fairy-tale beauty of Impressionist painters.  

Sevada Grigoryan’s “Childhood Dream” painting was chosen as the design inspiration for the 128th Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, where the subsequent floral float of the artwork won the President’s Trophy for best design.

In cooperation with Dong Dong and Lulu Art Residency, Sevada Grigoryan spent 3 years in China, creating his art and participating in over a dozen exhibitions throughout the country, while becoming a certified Tai Chi trainer and winning first place in an international Tai Chi competition in Nanjing.   

Artist Statement

When I was young, my siblings and I used to spend summer holidays in the country at my grandparents’ home. One day, three artists came to the village to draw a cherry tree garden that grew there. I remember how excited I was to see those 3 artists in our village working with their oil paints. I really wanted to see them include my grandfather’s house in one of the paintings. Unfortunately, none of them did. Being a little boy, I remember it left me feeling really disappointed. That’s when I first felt the strong desire to one day become an artist and draw my grandfather’s house.

As I grew into that artist I first dreamed of being that day, the themes of faith, family, and nature spoke to me as I could see it reflected in the memories of my youth. The harmony that is reflected in these themes also calls me to those early memories and reminds me of the innocence of childhood. This journey of discovery has brought me back into a place where I try to see the world through the innocent eyes of a child. A child sees a world that is much more colorful and bright. Life resembles a fairy tale where anything is possible. It is a world where peace, kindness and love reign. This is the vision of the world I try to capture in my painting.

In trying to more completely share this vision, several years ago, I moved into working more with acrylics. The brighter, more vibrant colors of acrylics dry much faster than the oil paints of the past allowing me to further develop the details that are such a vital part of my work. They give a depth that I was not able to achieve before and I think they give a truer sense of the message I want to convey. This is important because shape and color are two crucial components of my art. Since my paintings are mainly figurative and compositional, so the knowledge and usage of these notions in my paintings show my emotions and impressions from nature and the world as a whole. For me, these messages include references to elements of Armenian folklore, my faith, and other impressions of the world around me. I draw faces of people, the depths of their eyes, and eventually reflect their souls which are of a higher than the world we are currently living in. As these experiences crystallize inside me, they become their own new, living and breathing form as I pour myself out onto the canvas with every detailed stroke of the brush.

It is my deep belief that art evokes genuine feeling. It is a gift that artists can change the world and fill it with divine light. Every person accumulates impressions and feelings as they travel through their lives. Each person expresses their experiences in their own unique way. Some through dance, music, or poetry. My language of expression for my inner world and feelings is painting. It’s my blessing given by God. I believe every person has a mission in this life. It is my heart’s desire that for some people my paintings might serve as a path of hope and light. Just like every new day can bring new thoughts and impressions, every work that I create can have something new to say. I don’t know God’s plan for me or how long he gave me to do what I love; however, I do know that I will continue to try to share the visions of a more beautiful and innocent world for as long as I can hold a brush in my hand.