I was wondering at first why I had marked Marina Kontorina to write about while I was walking about at Talbott. I went through her still lifes and cityscape's and I was said to myself this isn't really what I like. Then I came to her portraits and I said ahh that was it. Her watercolor portraits have so much life, it really feels like the subjects are going to come off the canvas and start a conversation with you.

Marina Kontorina is an émigré from Russia who has recently taken up residence in the United States. Interested in art from a young age, Ms. Kontorina began formal art studies while in architectural college in Gorky, Russia. She continued her art studies while earning a graduate degree in architecture from the Architecture University in Kazan, Russia.

Ms. Kontorina has worked with watercolors, gouache, and acrylics for the past twenty-five years and is currently concentrating on watercolors. Subjects of her recent work include still life paintings, landscapes, architectural motifs, and portraits. While living in Russia, Ms. Kontorina's works were shown in Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as her hometown of Tver.

Recent honors for Ms. Kontorina include her selection as a finalist in the 1998 New York City Society of Illustrators competition, the Michigan Watercolor Society competitions of 1998-2003, and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America competition of 2004