Fatima Ronquillo emigrated to Texas from the Philippines when she was 11. She is a self-taught artist who without awareness, began her training when she entered Junior High School. I came across Ms. Ronquillo's work on Instagram in a post by the AWA Foundation announcing a group show in Santa Fe, NM which includes Ms. Ronquillo's paintings. Initially, I perceived the work to be that of an "Old Master". The content and artistic style seemed characteristic of the past yet contained something slightly more contemporary in spirit. What I've learned so far is that making friends at 11 in a new school and country came slowly to Fatima. Being rather "bookish" she gravitated toward the school library and became enamored with a book on Renoir. A list of other masters followed as her curiosity developed. At home she would spend time drawing/copying paintings of Renoir and other masters in an effort to record the images to memory without any intention of pursuing art or painting as a career. Ms. Ronquillo's work revolves around the "complex nature" of love and the "surreal aspect of an isolated lover's eye". This is from her artist's statement which you can read in full here: Artists Statement The eyes in all her paintings have a presence. I think that was one of the first things I was drawn to within the portraits. The gazes seem open and directed but like you could fall into them and be enveloped in a deep pool of mystery. Some of the surprise in the paintings, for me, are the surreal notations and "third" eye motifs.
I love her use of color too. It has an element of boldness and perhaps seduction as I think about these paintings further.
Read more about this contemporary master who so eloquently uses historical technique to convey the timeless intricacies of love that mankind endures and embraces throughout life. FATIMARONQUILLO.COM