FLORILEGIUM solo show

I am very happy to announce my solo exhibition of new paintings—Florilegium— at the Meyer Gallery in Park City, Utah. An opening reception will be held this Friday, February 28th from 6-9 p.m. during the Park City Gallery Stroll.

florilegium: a collection of literary extracts (an anthology)
from Early 17th century modern Latin, literally ‘bouquet’ (from Latin flos, flor- ‘flower’ + legere ‘gather’)

My inspiration for this body of work came from a desire to combine the language of flowers with an anthology of poetry. I selected poems and imagery that are evocative of paradise gained and lost. “The Lovebirds”—a double portrait of a couple in love inspired by William Shakespeare’s song It Was a Lover and His Lass—is full of the promise of springtime and conjugal happiness. In contrast, “Evanescence: Hand with Hummingbirds and Orchids”—inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem Evanescence—depicts the precariousness of nature, with fires consuming the rainforest in the background. “Xanadu” and “The Lotus-Eaters” beckon us to escape into dreamlands which are full of beauty, mystery and danger. Please click on individual images below to see more of the painting and to read the accompanying literary excerpt.

2019 Texas Book Festival

My book Spellbound is one of the selections for the 2019 Texas Book Festival, one of the largest and prestigious literary festivals in the country. Please join me at The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center as I speak and converse about the book and my paintings on Saturday, October 26, from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. followed by a book signing from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. I very much look forward to meeting you at the festival. If you are unable to attend the festival but wish to purchase a signed copy of Spellbound you may obtain a copy from the official festival bookseller, Bookpeople, or from the Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Spellbound is also available wherever books are sold.

The 24th annual Texas Book Festival will be held October 26-27, 2019. The Festival runs from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Texas Book Festival Weekend is free and open to the public and takes place in Austin, Texas, at the State Capitol and surrounding grounds. Please visit the festival website at texasbookfestival.org for more information on attending the festival, book sales and book signing, and event schedule. There are 300+ authors at the event including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, John Grisham, Alexander McCall-Smith, Malcolm Gladwell and Pulitzer finalist Susan Choi.

Spellbound has been a labor of love of nearly two years. It is a collection of nearly 200 of my most beloved paintings from 2008-2018 along with essays on recurring themes and inspirations and my journey as an artist. It is published by the Unicorn Publishing Group from the United Kingdom.

Spellbound is the first book-length retrospective of Fatima Ronquillo, a self-taught painter who was born in the Philippines, came of age in San Antonio, and resides in Santa Fe. The Spanish and American colonial histories of these three places—and the uneasy blend of cultures that resulted there—is a subtle presence in Ronquillo’s work, where Old World techniques rub elbows with tropes drawn from Latin American magical realism. The world of Spellbound is one that marries traditional portraiture with a subversive sense of drama and playfulness. Ronquillo’s stately subjects gaze out with a regal or military bearing while angels and animals flit mischievously around the margins. Dogs wear their master’s tearful eyeballs as collar jewelry, cherubic boys clutch writhing snakes in their fists, and nuns adorn their habits with ungainly floral towers and spritely jungle monkeys.

Spellbound contains more than one hundred eighty color images of Ronquillo’s lush and deadpan oil paintings, the studies and sketches for several other works, and an introduction from noted arts writer John O’Hern.

from Unicorn Publishing

I am so honored to be a part of the festival not only as an author but as a past official artist for the 20th Anniversary of the festival in 2015.

Making Her Mark

I am honored to be participating in a group show “Making Her Mark: Art by Women” at the Meyer Gallery, Park City. Opening reception on August 30th from 6-9 pm during Park City Gallery Stroll. The show will hang until the last week of September.

My latest painting “The Peacemaker” will be on view. It is a portrait of a young woman making her mark by fighting for peace. She is crowned with the laurels of victory and poetry and in her hand are apple blossoms symbolizing renewal.

“The Peacemaker” 24×20 inches, oil on panel available at Meyer Gallery, Park City
For purchase details please click here

Pre-order “Spellbound”

Fatima Ronquillo’s debut book Spellbound is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Unicorn Publishing Group and University of Chicago Press

bookcover

Spellbound is the first survey of the self-taught artist’s paintings. Over the past decade, Fatima Ronquillo has created a personal modern aesthetic by combining European old master techniques with a magical realism found in Early American Colonial and Latin American Art. Ronquillo presents an imagined world of personages in military or exotic costumes who confront viewers with an ambiguous gaze. These figures are often accompanied by mischievous cupids dressed as Mozartian pages or wild animals which are either spirit guides or inner demons. Often they are shown with mementos or ‘recuerdos’ such as the lover’s eye jewelry to demonstrate one of the many stages of love, from the bliss of the requited to the despair of the rejected. Alongside the recurring theme of love, lush flora and mysterious fauna offer a glimpse into a world of myth and theatre. These compositions marry traditional portraiture, often Set against pastoral and idyllic landscapes, with an underlying sense of drama and playfulness. Ronquillo’s paintings are visions of beauty and love which incite a mad enchantment to the heart and mind.

~ Unicorn Publishing Group

Solo Exhibition: “Arcadia”

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“Baby Dionysus Riding a Cheetah” 32×30 inches, oil on canvas

Fatima Ronquillo’s recent explorations in mythological studies influence her latest work, which is a continuation of her charming, classically inspired painting style.  The Santa Fe artist borrows techniques and styles from European Old Masters, Spanish Colonial artists and other genres from the past; she then blends this Old World aesthetic with modern ideologies. Ronquillo often illustrates themes from literature, opera or theater through playful and witty narratives. Lately, epics and tales from Greek mythology have taken over her pre-conceived storylines.

For this year’s solo show, Ronquillo has created a series of paintings that are set on the fabled island of Arcadia, which in ancient Greek mythologies was an unspoiled utopia representing idyllic happiness. Ronquillo’s overarching theme through this body of work is the search for Arcadia and that unreachable idea of a perfect society. The journey begins with “The Cartographer,” whose central figure stands in front of an allegorical map of Arcadia. Other pieces in the show illustrate scenes from this paradise. In “Homecoming,” Hebe the goddess of youth and beauty offers a cup of ambrosia to a crowned eagle. Poised next to her on a stone ledge is a bowl filled with fruits and flowers of the earth, while an ideal landscape reminiscent of Baroque painter Claude Lorrain fills the background.

Local influence seeps into Ronquillo’s mythological subject matter in “The Wanderers,” where a young girl rides a buffalo through a New Mexican landscape, often referred to as the “land of enchantment.” The peregrine falcon and the American bison shown in this piece have symbolic meaning as both have recently rebounded from an endangered species status. “The preservation of wildlife is precarious,” says Ronquillo. “Perhaps our Arcadia ought to be one of a peaceable kingdom.”

Explore Ronquillo’s painted paradise on Friday evening, September 14that the opening reception for “Arcadia.”

~ Kelly Skeen

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“Masked Apollo” 12×9 inches, oil on panel

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“Homecoming” 54×46 inches, oil on linen

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“The Wanderers” 54×46 inches, oil on linen

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“The Death of Adonis” 8×6 inches, oil on panel

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“The Cartographer” 20×16 inches, oil on panel

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“Hand with Crowned Marmoset” 10×10 inches, oil on panel