Winged Victory Riding a Tiger

Winged Victory Riding a Tiger
©2022 Fatima Ronquillo, oil on aluminum panel, 32×41 inches
available at Meyer Gallery Santa Fe

As 2022 draws to a close, I am so happy to present “Winged Victory Riding a Tiger”. I have been working on this piece on and off for most of the year, this being the Year of the Tiger after all. The idea began nearly three years ago, when I became fascinated by Eugéne Delacroix’ lithograph “Royal Tiger”. I was researching beautiful examples of printmaking as I was then embarking on my very first lithograph. Delacroix is a painter that I have long admired. His colors are ravishing and the dramatic compositions are operatic. What I really love are his sketches and watercolors, especially those from his travels in North Africa, and of course the tigers. It’s charming to read that he studied big cats at the Paris zoo prior to creating this lithograph. I too observed the tigers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as a preliminary for this painting, the one I particularly liked was named Diana. The figure of Victory perching on the tiger’s back is a nod to ancient Greek mosaics depicting Dionysus sometimes accompanied by the figure of winged Victory (Nike) on a chariot drawn by tigers. It is also a reference to an older painting of mine, “Baby Dionysus Riding a Cheetah”. The body of work I created for 2022 concentrates on the theme of “Borderlands” – that liminal space between light and dark, beauty and danger. “Winged Victory Riding a Tiger” was curiously central to that whole narrative and inspired all the other paintings created this year.

“Royal Tiger” 1829, by Eugéne Delacroix
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Tyger
by William Blake


Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

BORDERLANDS show opens tonight!

The Blue Hour
32×30 inches, oil on aluminum panel
©2022 Fatima Ronquillo
sold

These are the final four paintings to be included in my show “Borderlands” at the Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe. There will be an opening reception tonight, August 26, from 5 – 7 pm. The show runs through September 8. These paintings will be available for sale today at 12 pm, noon, Mountain Standard Time. To inquire on a painting, please contact a gallery representative at 505-983-1434

Girl and Golden-cheeked Warbler at the Gloaming
12×12 inches, oil on aluminum panel
©2022 Fatima Ronquillo
sold

While working on the theme of the borderlands, which for me are the personal “in-between” moments, I also wanted to explore the changing of light, from day into night, from the blue hour to the golden hour or the gloaming. I also thought of the passage of time, how endangered species are here and then may not be in future, which is the case for the golden-cheeked warbler which is endemic to Central Texas and also for the Central American squirrel monkey which has been a recurring figure in many of my paintings over the years. The Palawan pheasant peacock in “The Blue Hour” is another such endangered species and is a reference to my Philippine roots.

The Golden Hour
32×30 inches , oil on aluminum panel
©2022 Fatima Ronquillo
sold

The painting “Child with Armadillo and Golden-cheeked Warbler” was directly inspired by the poem “The Armadillo” by Elizabeth Bishop. In the poem, the fire lanterns or balloons, often sent up in the night skies in celebration, can sometimes go horribly wrong and something so beautiful can wreak destruction. This year had been a year full of devastating wildfires, especially for New Mexico.

Child with Armadillo and Golden-cheeked Warbler
36×30 inches, oil on aluminum panel
©2022 Fatima Ronquillo
sold

The Armadillo
BY ELIZABETH BISHOP
for Robert Lowell

This is the time of year
when almost every night
the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.
Climbing the mountain height,

rising toward a saint
still honored in these parts,
the paper chambers flush and fill with light
that comes and goes, like hearts.

Once up against the sky it’s hard
to tell them from the stars—
planets, that is—the tinted ones:
Venus going down, or Mars,

or the pale green one. With a wind,
they flare and falter, wobble and toss;
but if it’s still they steer between
the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,

receding, dwindling, solemnly
and steadily forsaking us,
or, in the downdraft from a peak,
suddenly turning dangerous.

Last night another big one fell.
It splattered like an egg of fire
against the cliff behind the house.
The flame ran down. We saw the pair

of owls who nest there flying up
and up, their whirling black-and-white
stained bright pink underneath, until
they shrieked up out of sight.

The ancient owls’ nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,

and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft!—a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.

Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
O falling fire and piercing cry
and panic, and a weak mailed fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!

BORDERLANDS a solo exhibition, August 26, 2022 at Meyer Gallery, Santa Fe

I am excited to announce my upcoming show “Borderlands” at Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe, August 26th thru September 8, 2022. Paintings will be available for pre-sale in the weeks leading up to the opening. To be notified of releases, please contact Meyer Gallery.


Fatima Ronquillo Explores Sense of Place and Personal Landscapes for “Borderlands” at Meyer Gallery              

written by Kelly Carper for Meyer Gallery, Santa Fe

For her 2022 solo exhibition, Borderlands, Santa Fe artist Fatima Ronquillo presents a new body of work inspired by liminal landscapes, dueling emotions, and other representations of the “in between.” The artist’s own sense of place and personal identity inform her new paintings, giving the show an intimate feel. Borderlands opens on Friday, August 26th with an Artist Reception from 5-7pm.  

Borderlands
41×32 inches, oil on aluminum panel
©2022 Fatima Ronquillo
To inquire please email: meyersfnm@gmail.com or call 505-983-1434

The exhibition’s namesake piece, Borderlands, is a 41” x 32” oil painting depicting a classical figure in an elaborate floral coat, flanked by a pronghorn and red tail hawk. The embroidered flowers on the figure’s garment are native to the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas, which borders New Mexico. The figure also wears a Philippine “barong tagalog” shirt. The symbolism references Ronquillo’s past and present homes; born in the Philippines, she emigrated as a child to the United States in 1987 where her family settled in San Antonio, Texas. Now, Santa Fe has been her chosen home for over a decade. Ronquillo recently returned to Texas on an influential trip to Marfa, which was pivotal to her inspiration for the exhibition. Her work continues to draw connections between myth, art history, literature and folklore, but is layered with references to more local or personal environments, particularly Texas and New Mexico. “They represent that liminal space between myth and reality,” she says of the paintings. 

Ronquillo also presents a rare self-portrait for this exhibition, titled, The Artist’s Eye and Hand with Jasmines and Sweet Peas. The intimate painting blends Ronquillo’s roots in the Philippines, where the “sampaguita” jasmine is the national flower, with her Santa Fe home as she associates wild sweet peas with her walks along the Santa Fe River banks. In the painting, the sweet peas and the jasmines intertwine gracefully around Ronquillo’s hand, which wears a “lover’s eye” ring containing the artist’s own gaze. 

The Artist’s Eye and Hand with Jasmines and Sweet Peas
7×5 inches, oil on linen on aluminum panel
©2022 Fatima Ronquillo
To inquire please email: meyersfnm@gmail.com or call 505-983-1434

Borderlands also represents transitions in time, such as the elusive light between night and morning or the cycle of the seasons – in life and in nature. Floral with Red Squirrel symbolizes a hopeful shift from winter to spring, with an Elizabethan figure dressed in white emerging from a dark landscape. “It’s so much of what I’ve been feeling lately,” says Ronquillo. “Emerging from a cold dark winter to spring – a new beginning.” 

Flora with Red Squirrel
20×16 inches, oil on aluminum panel
©2022 Fatima Ronquillo
To inquire please email: meyersfnm@gmail.com or call 505-983-1434

Meyer Gallery, founded in 1965 by Darrel and Jeri Meyer and currently directed by John Manzari, represents over 60 emerging and established artists whose influences stem from master painters and sculptors from the past. With a fresh commitment, these artists continue to explore timeless genres including landscape, figurative and still life painting, as well as bronze sculpture. Within these realms, exhibiting artists offer a broad range of styles from realism to abstraction. Meyer Gallery’s annual exhibition series showcases new work by gallery artists, kicking off each spring and continuing through the end of the year. View a full exhibition schedule and available work at meyergalleries.com

“Spellbound” Book Release and Solo Exhibition

Please join us tonight, Friday, May 17th from 5pm to 7pm at the Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe for an exhibition of new paintings with a book signing to celebrate the release of my debut book Spellbound. Spellbound is a retrospective of my paintings over the past decade and is published by the Unicorn Publishing Group with a lovely introduction by John O’Hern. It is available through booksellers and Amazon. Signed copies are available from the Meyer Gallery.

The exhibition “Spellbound” is a celebration of beloved pictorial themes documented in the book. The dualities of love and loss, death and rebirth, beauty and savagery fascinate me. In painting I continue to be spellbound by imagery both in the natural world around us and by the magical inner world of emotion and poetry.

“The Happy Few: Youth with Black-footed Ferrets” 16×12 inches, oil on panel
“The Overlook: Cherub with Indian Blackbuck” 40×30 inches, oil on linen
“The Betrothed” 10×8 inches, oil on panel
“Time Regained: Hand with Proust and Forget Me Nots” 8×6 inches, oil on panel
“Archangel with Nile Monitor Lizard” 52×40 inches, oil on linen
“Atalanta and the Boar” 40×32 inches, oil on linen
“Little Faun” 8×6 inches, oil on panel
“St. Lucy” 7×5 inches, oil on panel
“Hand with Ode to Martin Johnson Heade” 8×6 inches, oil on panel

“Flora and Fauna” opening night

Thank you to everyone who attended the artist’s reception at Meyer Gallery on Canyon Road last Friday. It is always a pleasure to get to converse about the inspirations for a body of work, and to hear about people’s own interpretations and how a painting speaks to them. It was a lovely evening full of good company accompanied by a seasonal Santa Fe late afternoon monsoon shower.

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