“O Wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.”

-William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”

O Brave New World
O Brave New World

The above quote from Shakespeare is perhaps a fitting artist’s statement. To be an artist is to see everything with fresh eyes. One always hopes to preserve the wonderment of childhood. The adult questions too much and hesitates at her work. Each painting for me is a personal journey. So the painting “O Brave New World” was conceived from this idea of embarkation and arrival. It is a painting as much inspired by the museum (my eternal muse) as by childhood nostalgia. But I believe I’ve gone beyond nostalgia and painted my artist’s statement. Perhaps in this painting I’ve finally dared to declare my arrival. “Here I am, the artist, and welcome to my world.”

Fatima graduating from kindergarten in 1982

As a classical idealist rather than a classical realist, I create my own version of Arcadia. I draw much inspiration from the pastoral tradition in the works of Shakespeare, Watteau and Giorgione, to name but a few. Pastoral allows me to set metaphors for personal journeys where my own memories merge with mythmaking. I am not an intellectual painter. I paint instinctively, preferring to let the story and characters unfold. In this way, I preserve the romance and magic of ideas coming alive through paint. There is beauty and wonderment everywhere.
– Fatima Ronquillo