Naila Al-Mamari, a prominent Omani artist who made her mark with her abstract paintings. Most of her paintings have broadened the understanding of Oman Culture and values. Her art is innovative and has evolved over the years. I happened to meet Naila at the recent Oman’s Affordable Art show and I was instantly glued towards her paintings because of the soothing and rich colours she used. And all her paintings evoked a sense of curiosity within me to understand more about the traditional Omani values and culture. She is a trained artist and was involved in the operations in Omani Fine Art Association. She has held several solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally. And she was awarded and recognized for her work at several local platforms and international as well.
Let’s hear more from Naila herself and understand her journey as an artist and view some of her beautiful work....
How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training or is it self-taught?
I was blessed to have had a formal training in art. I studied BA of art education and graduated in 1997 from Sultan Qaboos University, and I graduated in 2015-Master of Art in International Contemporary Art & Design Practice, from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology – Cyberjaya, Malaysia.
How would you describe your art style?
I was considered a second-generation artist in Oman, because I started the real beginning in fine arts year 1993. I have a special style of using various artistic materials on the surface of the painting. I like to keep my painting in rich colors and showing the texture, and expressing my identity on it.
As far as I know, most of the artists in the Sultanate distinguish my work for its unique style.
What is your inspiration for your art work?
My inspiration is my identity, nature and everything around me.
What is the most challenging aspect about your work?
The most challenging aspect is to continue my work as a real artist, through awareness, technical capabilities, and specialization.
What is your creative process like? And what keeps you motivated?
Sometimes the idea of my painting leads me to use the appropriate materials to get it done, and sometime the material drives me to the idea. Basically life and day to day actions (events) make me excited.
Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?
Yes I do, they can get in touch with me via phone or by sending an email (firstname.lastname@example.org ), my website or Instagram account.
What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?
A realistic painting of “The Fort of Nakhl”, Sultanate of Oman, in oil colors and its size is 200 x 200 cm. Because the first day I started to draw it, a man came to see me and asked me to marry him, and that man is my husband. The painting has been hanging in my house from 17 years, and I have not sold it till date.
Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
They have to start with realistic and life drawing, Practice drawing with reading and arts books, Participate in many workshops and learn technical experiences, watch tutorials and visit exhibitions and museums showcasing art.
If you wish to get in touch with Naila, please email her at email@example.com and follow her @nailaalmamari on Instagram.
All above pictures via Naila