Andrew Ameral, stunning portraits of men & women
Andrew Ameral was born in San Francisco, California in 1969. It was obvious to family and friends, since his childhood, Andrew’s passion for drawing. “My earliest memories are of me in diapers with a pencil in my hand.” However, it would not be until Andrew was 25 years old when he would finally enroll in art school and receive the formal training he craved.
“I was 24 when I went on a four day fast on a mountain up in the state of Washington. I was up there looking for direction but honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect. Up on that beautiful mountain I was alone. Just me and the Earth. There where no distractions, not even food.
During the fast, I can remember feeling lonely, bored, and incredibly hungry – especially for the things in my life that were familiar. But I also remember moments of intense clarity and an appreciation and connection to something greater, that I had never felt before.”
“It was on the third night of my fast that I finally decided what I truly wanted in life. This was before I even knew what being and artist really meant. I just knew in my heart that it would be in this calling that I would be the happiest. I came back down from that mountain and immediately enrolled in art school.”
Andrew graduated with honors in 2000 from the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) in Oakland, CA. While a senior at CCAC, Andrew was frustrated by the lack of real traditional training and took a leave of absence to further his studies abroad. He soon enrolled in The Florence Academy of Art (FAA) in Florence, Italy. The FAA introduced Andrew to sound fundamental skills and techniques he so very much craved. After studying in Florence for a year, he reluctantly returned home to California.
“After I returned from Florence I spent the following three years finishing up my studies at CCAC, working as an illustrator (doing both freelance and in-house work), apprenticing for a Bay Area sculptor, and teaching at a private studio in Oakland, California.
“During those three years, I felt this intense pull to return to Florence. I knew I had touched on something that I had to finish. I wanted to be a painter, but a painter whose skills and craft come from, and express, the confidence and authority rooted within a strong academic tradition. A tradition that holds a critical understanding and a humble appreciation of nature as their goal and highest esteem. I had to go back to Florence and finish my training.”
In 2002, Andrew returned to The Florence Academy of Art to continue his academic training.
“That week before I flew out to Florence, Daniel Graves, the Director of the FAA, phoned me and asked me if I would teach an écorché class he wanted to offer his students. What a wonderful opportunity Daniel had given me and one I will always be grateful for. So when I returned to Florence, not only would I continue the academic training I started back in ’98-’99 but I would immediately be a teacher at one of the best traditional art schools in Europe if not the world.”
In six years, not only would Andrew finish the drawing and painting program offered at the FAA but also become their Director of Anatomy and one of their principle drawing instructors. Andrew developed and created an artistic anatomy and ?corch? course for the FAA uniquely his own, one that would be appreciated by the many students whom he has taught during his years living in Florence.
Andrew has finally returned home to California. He paints and teaches at a private studio in the Bay Area.
Andrew has received awards for his figure drawings including scholarships from the Art Renewal Center and the Stacey Foundation. He has a number of paintings and drawings that are privately owned in Europe and the United States.
Aug 8, 2015