Fatima Ronquillo A not so “Old Master”


“Hand with Lovers Eye” 7″x 5″

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.

“Bound with Secrets” 2015

I love her use of color too. It has
an element of boldness and perhaps
seduction as I think about these
paintings further.

“Wounded” 10″ x 8″

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


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