Artist Marta's work is the bee's knees for Robin Gibb

PUBLISHED: 22:02 09 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 September 2010

Marta outside her West Hampstead studio, pictured by Polly Hancock

Marta outside her West Hampstead studio, pictured by Polly Hancock

IT IS one thing for a celebrity to enjoy your art – but being invited to paint their nearest and dearest is a more impressive accolade. Russian artist Marta Grigorieva is putting the finishing touches to a commissioned portrait of RJ Gibb, son of the lege

IT IS one thing for a celebrity to enjoy your art - but being invited to paint their nearest and dearest is a much more impressive accolade.

Russian artist Marta Grigorieva is putting the finishing touches to a commissioned portrait of RJ Gibb, son of the legendary Bee Gees leader Robin, after a chance meeting at a charity event hosted by Archant London, publishers of the Ham&High Series.

Marta, who has a studio in West Hampstead, had donated a painting and Robin Gibb was just one of the many celebrity guests who admired the work before it was auctioned off.

Then in May, he was a surprise visitor to a new exhibition in Marylebone, where the artist was using sound and video alongside her paintings for the first time.

''One of the songs I used, Spicks and Specks, is one of the Bee Gees' earliest so I think he really appreciated that,'' said Marta.

The invitation to paint Robin's son RJ soon followed, adding to an impressive list of commissions for the Harvard Fine Arts graduate who trained in New York under Nelson Shanks and has painted Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher. She has also had work commissioned for US senator Edward Kennedy, a montage of his beloved New England Patriots American footballl team.

She is keen to take on other oil-on-canvas child commissions, which range in price from £3,000 to £10,000.

''There's something very attractive and also very challenging about being invited to paint a child's portrait and to capture and preserve that special moment in time, before they grow up,'' said Marta.

Ms Grigorieva is also a strong supporter of childrens' charities and last week she donated a painting to St Paul's School Children's Charity bursary fund.

More of Marta's work can be viewed at www.martagrigorieva.com or call 079 0425 8795.


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