I am very pleased to announce my participation in the Group Exhibition MILK at the Dorothy Circus Gallery in London on 27-29 January and then in Rome on 17-19 February. The “Mother and Child” theme is one that I have painted throughout the years having been much inspired by Renaissance Madonnas. The theme for me has evolved, oftentimes referencing the mythology of Venus and Cupid. Love is the connecting thread.
Happy Holidays to all! Thank you very much for your continued support and encouragement through the year. I wish everyone a New Year full of blessings. Venus and Cupid with Parakeets is a new work just delivered to Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe. I have lately been enamored by jonquil yellow color and eau de nil (a pale nile green). What better use of such evocative colors than to portray symbols of love.
The pair of Indian yellow ring-necked parakeets (the male has the rose band around its neck) are shown with a branch of the arbutus unedo or strawberry tree, which flowers and fruits simultaneously and is said to have been an emblem of Venus.
A new interview article Mad Enchantment―The Fantastical Folk of Fatima Ronquillo is on Period Portraits’ blog Consider. I talk about paintings I have loved and been inspired by as well as the motivation and fascination that portraits and printmaking hold for me. It was an honor and pleasure to be interviewed by Nick Cox, specialist dealer in period portraiture from the 17th to the 20th Century. His blog is full of interesting and educational articles for lovers of the genre. He can also be found on the delightful Instagram feed @periodportraits.
My painting “Together” was featured on The Financial Times in the “How To Spend It” column by Victoria Woodcock on November 23, 2021. Will you fall for a ‘lover’s eye’ jewel? illuminates the revival of interest in the lover’s eye jewelry. It is a fascinating read on the history of the jewels, their newfound popularity and how to buy the real thing. Elle Shushan, a Philadelphia dealer of lover’s eyes and editor of the new book Lover’s EYES: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection gives her expertise as well as background on the Skier Collection of the jewels.
It is also worth noting that Ronquillo’s artistic world―which includes lover’s eyes whose subjects are black―is more diverse than the history of almost exclusively white eye miniature sitters from which it stems. Although Ronquillo’s work evokes the lover’s eye tradition, her miniatures are emblems rather than true portraits.~ Dr. Graham C. Boettcher
The surreal aspect of an isolated eye attracts me tremendously—the idea of physical dismemberment which is symbolic of a removal or estrangement of a loved one. For anyone who’s ever been in love or had a crush on someone, the photograph of the beloved is treasured. So these are portable remembrances before the camera so to speak. It also reminds me of the mexican ‘milagros’ – little charms of different body parts used to aid in praying for the healing of broken arms or hearts, or even eyes.Compositionally speaking, the framed ornamental eye gives context and a reason for a floating third or fourth eye in a painting. It’s a device of conceit: a portrait within a portrait. For me, it’s an iconic symbol about the figure represented not unlike the reliquaries of saints in old devotional images. The lover’s eye first appeared in my work in 2008 and it continues to be a subject full of mystery and delight.
The Meyer Gallery in Park City is hosting a group show featuring “Small Art Treasures”. It opens this Friday, September 24 during Park City’s Gallery Stroll 6pm to 9 pm.
Beloved, thou hast brought me many flowers~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning “Sonnets from the Portuguese No.44”
Plucked in the garden, all the summer through
And winter, and it seemed as if they grew
In this close room, nor missed the sun and showers,
So, in the like name of that love of ours,
Take back these thoughts which here unfolded too,
And which on warm and cold days I withdrew
From my heart’s ground. Indeed, those beds and bowers
Be overgrown with bitter weeds and rue,
And wait thy weeding; yet here’s eglantine,
Here’s ivy!— take them, as I used to do
Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.
Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,
And tell thy soul, their roots are left in mine.
Laurel wreaths have long been symbolic of success, victory, and peace. More modern symbolism of the laurel include that of poetry and academic pursuits. Crowns of laurel graced the heads of the Olympic gods and goddesses. It is most closely associated with Apollo. Apollo fell in love with the nymph Daphne and pursued her. She fled from him and metamorphosed into a laurel tree. In honor of her, he chose the laurel as his emblem.
Hand with Golden Laurels and Hero’s Eye
7×5 inches, oil on aluminum panel
©2021 Fatima Ronquillo
Hand with Jonquils and Pair of Lover’s Eyes
8×6 inches, oil on aluminum panel
©2021 Fatima Ronquillo
I have long been fascinated by the myth of Echo and Narcissus. It was a story of unrequited love for Narcissus loved his own image and Echo loved Narcissus. I wanted something rather more joyful with with a pair of lover’s eyes and the jonquils heralding springtime and new beginnings.