Figurative art - Alia El-Bermani -
Detail of "Wake" by Alia El-Bermani

Meet this week’s top Realism Today Ambassador, Alia El-Bermani.

Internationally recognized American figurative painter Alia El-Bermani received her training from Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach, CA, where she also taught for several years upon graduating in 2000. El-Bermani’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions across the country, with her paintings and drawings also showcased in several museum exhibitions.

In 2015 her painting “Paper Wishes” was acquired by the Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM), in Barcelona, Spain, for their permanent collection. As a seasoned instructor who has taught at both the college and workshop level, El-Bermani opened her own teaching studio, Alia Fine Art Studios in Raleigh, NC, in January 2017. There she currently teaches ongoing classes as well as hosts workshops with award-winning visiting artists.

She has been honored as a guest lecturer at several universities, including East Carolina University, Meredith College, Laguna College of Art and Design, and Texas A&M University as well as for the 2016 Symposium for Women in the Arts. Several articles and interviews have been featured in such periodicals as American Art Collector, Art Week, The Independent, the Savvy Painter Podcast, and American Arts Quarterly.

Mixed media art
Alia El-Bermani, “What Remains,” mixed media, 36 x 36 in.

“What Remains” is a 36” x 36” charcoal on vellum and mixed media drawing that was created for a solo exhibition titled “Like Sound Through Water.” This exhibition was a personal study on loss and resiliency after the recent passing of my mother.

Figurative art - Alia El-Bermani -
Alia El-Bermani, “Wake,” mixed media, 60 x 36 in.

“Wake” is a 60” x 36” charcoal on vellum and mixed media drawing that was also included in my solo show “Like Sound Through Water.” I often get fascinated by the double and sometimes triple meanings of words. For me, the title of this piece at once represents the waves left behind a boat or vessel, the celebration of a life now passed, as well as the feeling of being awoken from a fog of grief.

Figurative art - Alia El-Bermani -
Alia El-Bermani, “Echo”

“Echo” was the first painting I was able to complete after the passing of my mother. It represents the want for connection to our ancestors and the depths that grief can take us to. She sits, seemingly underwater, waiting, trying to sense some sign from the beyond.

Learn more about the artist at

Related > Browse portrait and figure workshops in the style of contemporary realism here.