This painting has many layers of Russian-related symbolism in it. The background was originally painted in 2009 from a satellite image of fields near Povorino. I overworked some washes and liked the somewhat "vintage" look, and originally intended to work it up as a more conventional English still life. Somehow the cogs seemed to fit, referring to the giant industrial processes of the former USSR. The samovar was placed in lieu of an English teapot. The doll completed the picture- "Baboushka" means old woman, or grandmother, which I have recently become for the second time. Placing it in front of the cogs is a comment on how tightly controlled regional folk art was under the Communist regime, ironically probably preserving it better than our own half-forgotten traditions. While the lacework design is typical of Russian work, it was actually adapted from a German porcelain design manual.