Michal Ammar is a talented artist. One look at her website tells you that. But, if you look a little closer and explorer it’s difficult not to get lost in the stories her paintings are trying to tell.
As a self-described child with a difficulty to connect to others, Ammar found peace in the world of drawing and painting. It started very innocently waiting for her mother to pick her up after school from her grandmother’s house. Out of boredom she started to draw. Then, for her 12th birthday her parents gave her “the most significant present”—an easel, Canson papers, gouache and pastel paints. Ammar’s parents nurtured her gift by sending her to study painting at a nearby studio.
That led to studying at a high school for the arts which opened the gates to a world inspired by life and art.
Ammar considers herself a visual story teller through practicing different artistic styles, the abstract and the figurative. “My first "story- telling" drawing was about my aunt and her new boyfriend back then, sleeping together in bed and kissing,” she recalls. Though the styles can seem different at first Ammar sees it differently. “The work on the abstract and on the figurative paintings for me are made in the same way of thinking, the difference is only the source of the story. [When working on a] figurative painting my source is the model himself, how to bring his special essence that appears to me through my mind on the canvas. On abstract paintings the source is a random thinking that caught me and I decide to develop it,” she explains.
The inspiration behind her stories is based on anything that concerns her (dreams, fears, life, scenes, etc). The connection between the artist and the source is evident in many of the world’s great artists. Perhaps, that is why Ammar prefers to paint models. She loves to find the connection between the model’s personality and her own story. Each painting telling its own unique tale.
Currently she is working on a painting of a married couple while another woman looks on from a chair waiting for the man. She wants to make sure the feelings behind the story shines through. The man looking concerned, the wife being angry and the woman in the chair about to get up and approach.
It’s not always easy to capture a story in one picture. Ammar remembers trying to paint a model for a piece called “the wedding is off” while the model moved about and talked. When she asked the model not to move since it disturbed her the model responded “ I’m not still life.” It would have been easier if she was and Ammar told her as much. Then she stopped and apologized. Though she couldn’t paint the model correctly the truth was that telling the stories of real people is not always so simple. Then again the good stories are not.
A while back someone told me the greatest tool artists have is the ability to tell their own stories and the stories of others. It’s important that the people holding the camera, the paintbrush, the pen etc understand the power they have by doing so. It’s obvious Ammar knows that, and that we will continue to enjoy her visual stories for years to come.
To keep updated on Ammar’s work check out her website at Michalammar.com.