From the 4th to the 14th of December, at Sofia Press Gallery, the citizens of Sofia had the opportunity to touch "beauty". There were over 50 wonderful paintings and icons by the artist Iliana Betsinska.

The opening of her exhibition brought together dozens of her friends and admirers. Snezhana Todorova, chairwoman of the "Sofia Press" Agency's Management Board, welcomed the guests and congratulated the artist for her works, emitting warmth and light.

Ekaterina Pavlova, Editor-in-Chief of the Diplomatic Spectrum shared her impressions on Iliana Betsinska as an artist, a teacher and a person: "I have known the artist since 1993, when she started her work as a fine art teacher, at the prestigious 8th Vassil Levski School in Sofia. Since then, I have written many times about her work in almost all the media I have worked for throughout the years. To my questions about the talent of the artist, Iliana has always said that it may be a "God's gift", perhaps an outburst of genetic potential. I think maybe it is both. In our conversations about life and how she does so many things at the same time -  working, taking care of two sons, painting and doing what not, she always replied by saying that in order to be an artist, a pedagogue, a wife and a mother in Bulgaria you must be a "hero of our time". She managed to successfully combine these "almost incompatible" according to her roles. And she is doing it until today.

I once asked her what she dreams of. She replied: "Very recently I painted a watercolour "The House of My Dreams". Do you know what it looks like? It is situated on a lonely island, on a small hut on a high tree. From there one can only speak to the birds. Obviously, I will never have it. When my son saw it, he wanted to join me there. It is a joke. But I would really like to have more free time for drawing". Today, the sons of Iliana have grown up. A few days ago she retired as a teacher from the 8th and 83rd schools. Now I sincerely wish her to dedicate her time to drawing. Because as everyone can see, from her works, especially the icons, beauty and kindness are splashed out."

And they show that Iliana Betsinska is one of the best icon painters in Bulgaria. For her, drawing icons is like a sacred action. She creates them following the technology of the old masters, something very rare nowadays, because it takes a lot of time and a lot of labor and a lot of talent. But thanks to this technology, the Bulgarian icons have survived from the 13th century to present day. Thanks to this technology, the artist's icons are liked and sought after. Her "St. Ivan Rilski", "St. George", "Virgin Mary", "St. Nikola", "St. Iliya" works, as well as, many others are especially appreciated. They can be found inside the homes of teachers, doctors, architects, ministers, artists... They are within private collections in Italy, France, Belgium, USA, Norway, Japan...

In her exhibition, Iliana also displayed her new works - paintings in iconic style on wood, with folk motifs and sea scenery. There were also mixed paintings of watercolor and pastel.

Photos: personal archive of Iliana Betsinska