top of page

Artist Statement

As an artist I have always found great comfort in observing the sky and its clouds. The vastness of these moving masses of vapor never fails to remind me of my tiny place in the universe. I am inspired by the connection between the vastness of nature and my own internal world of emotions. I paint skyscapes on gilded surfaces, with a focus on atmospheric elements and clouds to explore a dimension  between the physical and spiritual world. In this realm of intangible skies where nothing is really defined, the viewer can see the vague reflection of themselves surrounded by swirling clouds that obscure the pure golden light of the gilded surface. 
My choice to use metal leaf stems from years spent working with the material.
Gold is often associated with spiritual subjects, therefore I define my work as a sort of iconography of nature. I use the gilding and the repetition of subjects as a meditative contemplation of the natural world.
However, beyond this meaning there is another. I grew up around this material, my mother is a decorative artist who uses gold leaf on musical instruments. This technique is a part of who I am as a person. That's why I choose to put it into every painting I create.

Artist Bio

Sonia was born in 1996 in Florence, Italy. She is half Scottish-Canadian and half Ukrainian. As a young child she was able to experience the beautiful renaissance city of Florence and the incredible artistic ability of its historic master artists. Through her mother's artisan studio she learned many ancient techniques such as gilding and fresco from a young age, then proceeded to earn her bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Libera Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence in 2019. After graduating summa cum laudae with a thesis project on spiritual ascension in the industrialized world, she completed a specialization course on techniques and design for artisans. Her studies and her experiences of both traditional and contemporary art led her to develop her own form of artistic expression through painting on gilded surfaces, continuing to explore the concepts tied to spirituality and emotion. She has since participated in group exhibitions and art fairs both in Italy and internationally, and her work is featured in multiple online galleries.




" Sonia is best known for her otherworldly skyscapes. Working primarily with oils on gilded canvas she explores the vastness of nature and our place within it. We begin our journey in the city of Lecco on the south-eastern shore of the lake. As we leave Sonia explains she is an ardent advocate of technique having learnt gilding in her mother’s artisan studio and oil painting at the venerable Libera Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. “When technique becomes second nature it liberates me to express myself. I’m not focusing on technique rather the feelings I’m trying to convey.”  "

Jenni Doggett


"  Painting Insights Podcast is an online show where Richard K Blades and Simon Renshaw talk to professional painters, gallery owners, frame makers and curators. This week our guest is Sonia Bukhgalter. "

Richard K. Blades & Simon Renshaw

Sonia paints the skies that she holds within her. The stylistic continuity between her representations reflects the aura of the artist herself, a sort of brand that does not manifest itself in everyone with the same energy. The skies that the artist creates praise the Renaissance sensibilities that she evidently absorbed during her training in Florence, but there is more to her work than this. There is a technical and expressive familiarity demonstrated by the sure dexterity of the gesture, without doubts and uncertainties, a resoluteness that creates a path between results and conjectures. It is her personal story, half Scottish-Canadian and half Ukrainian and then Florentine, that gives her works a sound contemporary undertone: the sound of the real cosmopolitanism of the new generations echoes throughout her art.

Claudia Presicce, Art Critic, "Darte Week" catalogue 2022

Above the Clouds_edited.jpg

Artist's CV

bottom of page