Michael and Inessa Garmash

During his stint in the army, Michael returned to his former school on a two-week vacation. The last day of his visit he met Inessa at a bus station; the next day Michael didn’t return to his division. Inessa woke that day to her image painted all around the city surrounding her house on the road, on the walls of buildings and the walls of her apartment staircase. Michael had spent the night painting; he was arrested first by the city police, then handed over to the army MP’s, but he was not punished. (Even military personnel can sympathize with true love!) One year later, Michael and Inessa returned to the same bus station. Michael hung a bouquet of flowers on the station sign to commemorate the place where they met; the beginning of their ”at-first-glance” love story.

In similar spontaneous fashion, the two began painting together. Several years after their marriage, Michael began a painting of their daughter for a project at school. However, their two-year old found the painting during his absence and painted her own version of the subject. Inessa, not wanting Michael to be upset, fixed the painting, packed it up and gave it to him to submit. Michael handed the painting over for review and was told it was his best work ever. He was surprised to see the ”new” painting and immediately recognized his wife’s hand.

Since then, Michael and Inessa have worked together creating paintings, stained-glass windows, mosaics and drawings. They have exhibited in Sweden, France, Russia, Ukraine, Belgium and Finland. They continue working with their daughter Polina as a model and occasionally include themselves in their compositions.
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