Born into a family of Russian intellectuals who were former members of the noble class, Vena had access to his grandmother’s collection that consisted of unique museum-quality valuables that were gifts from the Tsar. Vena’s grandmother was instrumental in honing his talent in becoming a skilled painter by sharing her knowledge and allowing him access to great art. She recognized his artistic abilities and he was the only boy in the family she permitted to see her historic and royal treasures.  This shaped Vena’s taste in the highest form of art.  

The first painting he completed was at age six using oils. He was very disappointed in himself, but the smell of the paint left a permanent impression on him not unlike what a hunting dog experiences when they catch the scent of a gun. He received a degree in architecture, but after six months of working in the field returned to his craft. Well versed in the history of art and techniques of the masters by his study of Antiquity, Middle Age and Impressionists of 18th century, Vena innovated his own technique for painting.

Using a palette knife, he moulds the paint to create forms and texture on the canvas and then scrapes away excess paint to create detail. His specific formula of paint combined with his skills allows him to manipulate the mixture of thick paint on the canvas to create sharp details and relief.  In his works Vena incorporates gold leaf, silver, platinum and bronze copper leaf while using oil and acrylic paints. Vena captures of teh sound, feel and concept of his subjects through his use of color