It's interesting that I have a blog on Venice with French influence when my heritage is German and Russian. So as to not forget my Russian roots I'd like to share with you a contemporary artist I just recently "discovered"; Lena Sotskova. Lena was Russian born and trained in the arts, having a rather well off background financially speaking. What I find interesting is even after all these years, her art is still a passion and she leaves all the financial/business end to her husband as she feels it would drain away her creative energy. Lena now resides in the USA (Florida) and continues to paint. When I first saw her art it was giclee's, not originals. I was struck that even with a giclee her lumination and energy was easily felt when viewing the pictures. Each picture had its own movement and feel that it would be hard to pick a favorite.