Critique the Collection vol. 1: Maria Belenkova-Buford


Many people will quickly glance over this work of art. Indeed, there are only black and white lines on this, slightly bigger than a CD case, old print. Yet, it contains riches of narrative.

Just imagine...

Frosty air pleasantly tickles nostrils. I spread my arms to catch delicate snowflakes. Have you noticed how peaceful it is around? I pause for a moment to listen to the whisper of the old pine trees. Yet, I must hurry. My family is almost at the grandma’s house. My favourite gingerbread cookies are waiting on the table. There is nothing better than snuggling in an old plaid blanket near the fireplace, listening to the soft voices of my family while nibbling on a warm cookie. Stories from the past create colourful images in my head: great-grandparents’ journey to Canada, war chronicles of my uncle who died before I was born, cousin’s secret wedding. These visions blend flawlessly with smells and sounds surrounding me. Sharp burst of wind brings snow to the window as if it is desperate to participate in our gathering. I smile and close my eyes.

No matter how far I am from my loved ones, I always keep the comforting image of the house in the woods in my heart.


Maria immigrated to Canada from Russia in 1999. She holds engineering degree from Moscow State Mining University and Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor. Although Maria is a professional accountant, she enjoys art in many forms. In her spare time Maria likes to write screenplays and short stories, create films, cook exotic dishes, and hang out with her toddler daughter.