Valeriy Gridnev was born in Siberia in 1956. He graduated from the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts, St Petersburg in 1990, winning the highest award in Russia for a young artist, the prestigious Gold medal of the USSR Academy of Arts, for his graduation painting. 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 hiis 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 his work has been figurative painting in both oils and pastels which are much sought after. His portrait paintings have earned him an international reputation.