New Year 2014 begins….

Notes about how this New Year opened:

My one-person show finished at City Café, with wonderful private commissions and sales of my paintings to Dallas art collectors and animal lovers.  Fourteen paintings from my Animal Series were exhibited through the first week of this year.

Many thanks to Karim Alaoui, owner and gracious proprietor of City Café. Stop and have lunch or dinner at his restaurant on 5757 West Lovers Lane.

“Splash” at Sarasota Ranch Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick Acrylic on canvas 38-1/2” x 34-1/2”

“Splash” at Sarasota Ranch | Animal Paintings Series
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick
Acrylic on canvas
38-1/2” x 34-1/2”

I was honored to be selected by the Dallas Museum of Art to be a guest artist at their annual Junior Associates “Curator’s Choice” event.  My curatorial pick, from the collection currently on display, was a painting by one of my favorite artists, John Singer Sargent.

John_Singer_Sargent_Dorothy


Artist: John Singer Sargent, American
This portrait was believed to have been painted in Sargent’s London where he used this chair as a prop – see chair arm to the left.

And, the February/ March 2014 issue of Patron Magazine features the home of art collectors, Jose Gomez, MD and Francis Luttmer. They own one of my paintings from my Emergent Series body of work titled, “Emergent Series – Finding Johnny Depp.” They’ve become friends who I always enjoy seeing at art and architecture events, including last year’s TWO x TWO at the Rachofsky’s home.

Patron-web-cover-shot

As 2014 progresses, I wish everyone a year of beauty and engagement in the arts, architecture, culture and kindness.

Best, Meg

Tom Ford is the man

August has ended which means summer is almost behind us here in Dallas – only a few more 100+ degree days. It also means that the September issues of fashion magazines are prominent on newsstands. Vogue September 2103 is 902 pages and Harper’s Bazaar weighs in at exactly 600 pages with SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) gracing the front page.

In Dallas, the September issue of FD luxe, our primo go-to fashion and lifestyle magazine published by The Dallas Morning News, spotlights film maker and designer Tom Ford (in sunglasses, of course) on its cover.

FD_DMNMediaBadge

photo: The Dallas Morning News | FD luxe magazine cover (September issue)

photo: The Dallas Morning News | FD luxe magazine cover (September issue)

The interview between Mr. Ford and Rob Brinkley, FD luxe’s Editor-in-chief, reveals the influence of the designer’s roots and early boyhood growing up in Austin, Texas. http://fdluxe.dallasnews.com/2013/09/finding-tom-ford.html/

Finding Tom Ford (2)

I’m honored because Rob chose one of the paintings from my “Emergent Series” to feature in the September issue of FD luxe. Why? Because it’s a tribute to Tom Ford who I greatly admire for his multi-dimensional creativity. He can do film, architecture and design. The title of my piece is “Emergent Series: Finding Tom Ford” (see image above). What I so appreciate is the way Rob captured the essence of my work through his talents as an editor and writer. Here is the article, titled “Tom Ford, times two: A Dallas artist immortalizes the fashion designer in her latest work, twice,” reprinted with permission of The Dallas Morning News:

FD blurb

Thank you Rob.

To autumn leaves changing color and fashion, Meg

Paintings – An Important Part of Designing an Interior

From earliest memory, I’ve been intrigued with set designs – in movies, TV shows, magazine spreads, the theater. As a kid, I lived for Saturday afternoon reruns of the classics and their stage sets: Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire tapping across polished marble floors, floating by perfectly placed art deco furniture and wall scones. Katherine Hepburn basking in the elegance of a Main Line home in the Philadelphia Story.

Fast forward to adulthood, I can lose time and sink deeply into the staged atmospheres of Woody Allen’s films (note: I can’t wait until Blue Jasmine opens in Dallas next Friday, August 9th), Nancy Myers’ directorial eye (I own the DVD Something’s Gotta Give because I want to live in that beach house) and any Merchant Ivory production.

So, it is no surprise that I’ve been intrigued with the idea of being part of a photo shoot. Through a recent body of paintings which explore using drywall plaster, handwritten text, drawn images and black-out color blocks, I recently was given this chance.

The very talented Dallas-based interior designer Joshua Rice, owner of Joshua Rice Design, Inc., called to look at my recent work and selected two paintings for a magazine shoot. It was fun and an honor to be part of his behind-the-scene team. Here is the finished dining room:

Interior: Joshua Rice Design, Inc. | Mid-century modern private residence  Photo: Robert Yu | 2013

Interior: Joshua Rice Design, Inc. | Mid-century modern private residence
Photo: Robert Yu | 2013

The larger, black-and-white paintings in the middle, which are mine, were inspired by a March trip to New Orleans and an artist who lives there. She uses drywall plaster troweled and layered over pages torn from old magazines, poster-sized cartoon figures, her daughter’s grade school drawings or other discarded images. Next with an electric sander, she grinds the dried surface until ghost images appear. My work started with this technique (it’s quite messy), and then I added a narrative story by hand-drawing images and writing text messages. The black-out color blocks may have been inspired by all the NSA stuff in the press these days, but I think this convention was borrowed from works by artist, Mark Bradford, who had a museum retrospective at the DMA in 2011. I love his work. Mark’s artist talk and larger-than-life, joyous personality got me thinking about recycling old paper, building layers of colored stripes, and then partially exposing hints of the under images by using an electric sander.

The painting, “Be Still. Sit. Create.,” seen below tells the story of Steven Sondheim’s creative process as he wrote lyrics to Act I: Gang Initiation Scene in the musical, Westside Story. The resulting song is still one of my favorites, “When You’re a Jet, You’re a Jet All the Way.”

Title: “Be Still. Sit. Create.” Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink and newsprint on canvas | 18” x 24” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

Title: “Be Still. Sit. Create.”
Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink and newsprint on canvas | 18” x 24”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

A detail from the second painting “Vision Quest” is below – it’s a line drawing of hands holding the promises of a future. The text used in the painting came from an old ad:

  • “When your vision is your reputation, it‘s what gets your phone ringing.”
  • “Flawless execution is what keeps your phone ringing.”
  • “When your vision is your signature.”
Title: “Vision Quest” Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink and newsprint on canvas.  Wax finish 18” x 24” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

Title: “Vision Quest”
Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink and newsprint on canvas
Wax finish
18” x 24”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

On view at the MAC (McKinney Avenue Contemporary on 3120 McKinney Avenue) in the members’ show is another painting (see image below) from this exploration. Look for “Searching for Big Tex” which uses red to build the color blocks. The inspiration for this painting’s story narrative and text was the accidental burning of our beloved Big Tex at last year’s Texas State Fair.

Painting detail from “Emergent Series: Searching for Big Tex”” Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink on canvas 18” x 24” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

Painting detail from “Emergent Series: Searching for Big Tex”
Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink on canvas
18” x 24”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

On the Dallas cultural front, I heard Gabriel Ritter, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, give a gallery talk about “DallasSITES: Available Space,” the current show in the DMA’s Barrel Vault and adjacent gallery spaces. This is an historic event and a welcomed one, at that: 1979 – that’s 34 years ago – was the last time the DMA had a major exhibition dedicated to local artists! “DallasSITES” is a fun, interactive and informative representation of the current North Texas art scene and talent.

RBG banner DMA logo

Until August 18th, when this show closes, each week you can watch special videos featuring different Texas artists who focus on a different decade in the Dallas art scene. Don’t miss this exhibition – support one of our major art institutions’ efforts to showcase Dallas-Fort Worth talent.

To staying cool throughout August in hot Dallas, and experiencing more art.

Cheers,

Meg

“Communities Connecting” Painting | Mayor Mike Rawlings

Title: “Communities Connecting” Acrylic on canvas | 49” x 45” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

Title: “Communities Connecting”
Acrylic on canvas | 49” x 45”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

The month of April just ended and began with a bold proclamation from our Mayor, Mike Rawlings. He declared the week of April 7 – 14 as “Dallas Arts Week.” Mayor Rawlings moderated a panel discussion with leaders in the visual, film and performing arts about ways in which the city can attract and keep aspiring and established artists + creative thinkers. The dialogue fittingly took place in the City Performance Hall, located in the Dallas Arts District which is the largest contiguous arts district on the country, with a campus of 68 acres.

Also of cultural significance this month was a program called “Architecture 360.” Every day for 30 days, the Dallas Center for Architecture (DCFA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) organized or hosted 30 events about the built-environment.  April has been a wonderful celebration of great architecture and design in Dallas. Tonight closed “Architecture 360” and the month with a Grand Finale celebration on our new deck park, Klyde Warren Park, which has become our town green and meeting place.

“Communities Connecting,” a painting I recently finished, reflects the multiple intersections that interesting communities like Dallas foster over time to be culturally vibrant and attractive to creative thinkers and doers.

Detail of textures in painting, “Communities Connecting”

Detail of textures in painting, “Communities Connecting”

To the month of May and making more neural networks between people, ideas and place….Meg

Another Painting Commission – The Beatles this time

A young Dallas couple had seen a painting in my Emergent Series and wanted to commission a piece for a certain space in their home. We met to discuss the details and overall theme of images they wanted hand-drawn into the abstraction.  I hadn’t expected them to say, “We want The Beatles. We want a retrospective of The Beatles starting from when Pete Best was the original drummer to when the group disbanded” – an amazing 18 Grammys and 43 Rolling Stone covers garnered in their time together.

I was, and still am, a big Beatles fan starting with their performance on the Ed Sullivan show. Doing research for this piece was going to be a blast….I was clapping my hands with joy.

Emergent Series: “Being The Beatles”Acrylic on canvas | 60” x 84”Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Emergent Series: “Being The Beatles”
Acrylic on canvas | 60” x 84”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013
(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

I remember back to a Sunday night in February 1964. My family gathered with dinner trays and grilled cheese, tomato and bacon sandwiches in front of our TV – this was our weekly routine to wind down and get everybody (six of us) ready for school and work on Monday. Ed Sullivan came on and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen – Theeeeee Beatles.” Seventy-five million people viewed the charismatic mop-haired imports from Liverpool. Beatlemania officially hit the nation.

Playing the Emergent Series game, a viewer (if they stare long enough) finds hand-drawn images throughout. There’s even text on the side of the canvas which was suggested by my client and a new touch for me. Fresh ideas come from good collaborations, conversations and clients. Below is the painting in my studio with “Let It Be:”

In my studio, side detail from Emergent Series: “Being The Beatles”(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

In my studio, side detail from Emergent Series: “Being The Beatles”
(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Below is a detail with George Harrison. I found, as I sketched all of them, that John’s and George’s faces and features morphed and changed the most over time.

IMG_2643

And, here’s Sir Paul:

The Beatles released 205 songs through Capitol and Apple.Factoid:  John wrote 70 songs, Paul 52 and George 22. John and Paul co-wrote 52 songs.

The Beatles released 205 songs through Capitol and Apple.
Factoid: John wrote 70 songs, Paul 52 and George 22. John and Paul co-wrote 52 songs.

Here’s the lovely North Dallas couple with their commission soon after it was hung. They were very happy which makes me very happy.

IMG_2653

The Emergent Series continues next with a “shout-out” to great American architects. I’ve been polling my friends about their favorite American architects. Here’s the list so far:Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Louis Sullivan, Frank Gehry, Philip Johnson, H.H. Richardson, I.M. Pei.

I’m curious, who are the American architects you most admire? Let me know and they might be drawn into my next painting.

Until next month….

Meg

“Searching for Oscar” Painting

It’s been a while since I last wrote on my blog site and sent my holiday greetings to everyone. This year I’ll post more spontaneously, most likely once a month – still about art and the creative spirit.

Today’s post is timely since I watched the Academy Awards last weekend. Each year I try to see every movie eligible for an award, and look forward to watching the Oscars on TV with good friends (who cast a ballot predicting the winners) and eating a delicious meal together. Just call us film and food fanatics.

As a tribute to the many films that entertained me in 2012 and Sunday’s 85th Academy Awards, I recently completed a painting called, “Searching for Oscar.It is part of a body of work I named the Emergent Series. In one of my blogs, I described this creative process:

  • From many layers of under painting (up to 25) and canvas-length drips, spaces gradually start to emerge – at least to my eye. They’re like gaps in a colorful abstract universe that are asking to be filled. In these spaces, I draw faces and bodies. In this particular case, it’s all about images of the actors and directors from the nominated films.

Here’s the painting:

Emergent Series: “Searching for Oscar” Acrylic on canvas | 48” x 48” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2012 (photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Emergent Series: “Searching for Oscar”
Acrylic on canvas | 48” x 48”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2012
(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

In “Searching for Oscar,” anyone can play the Emergent Series game. Try to locate:

  • Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
  • Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
  • Isabelle Allen who plays Cosette as a young girl, Les Miserables
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  • Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook (my fave JenLa won for best actress)
  • Christopher Waltz, Django Unchained
  • Ben Affleck, Argo (so glad he won for Best Picture – a travesty Affleck wasn’t nominated for Best Director)
  • Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
  • Denzel Washington, Flight
  • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Adele, Skyfall
  • ….and finally, Golden Boy Oscar (of course)

Here’s the drawing of Steve Spielberg close-up:

detail from Emergent Series: “Searching for Oscar” (photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

…and, another detail. This one of Jessica Chastain from Zero Dark Thirty:

IMG_2535

detail from Emergent Series: “Searching for Oscar”
(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Many thanks to the lovely North Dallas family who purchased this painting for their living room – perfect timing to watch the Oscars and enjoy “Searching for Oscar” which now hangs over their fireplace mantel.

Until next time…. Meg

“Stop the Glare” Debate Still Continues

Unfortunately, the mediated talks between the Museum Tower and Nasher Sculpture Center did not conclude with a mutually agreed upon way to fix the tower’s highly reflective glass and resulting glare into the Center’s galleries and sculpture garden.

Museum Tower glare seen from inside Nasher garden(photo: Brandon Thibodeaux | The New York Times)

Museum Tower glare seen from inside Nasher garden
(photo: Brandon Thibodeaux | The New York Times)

As a Dallas resident, I’m concerned the debate will linger interminably, damaging both sides and our city’s reputation. Since the gag order lifted, the debate has been taken to the public arena – both locally and in the national press. From this, we know the Museum Tower rejected adding retractable louvers to their building. We also know that the Nasher can’t redesign the barrel-vaulted roof because this step doesn’t address the garden and will reduce the interior ambient light to an unacceptably dim level for viewing the art.

Dallas sun is tricky and requires special attention and materials.  Architect Renzo Piano and his team studied the Nasher site and sun’s path for a year before designing the current unique roof which diffuses the naturally harsh sunlight into a uniform, soft natural light and protects the art. Now, glare from Museum Tower’s reflective mirror-like surface causes dappled, polka-dot light in the afternoons, as seen in the photo below:

Artist: Rodin | “Age of Bronze”photo: Brandon Thibodeaux | The New York Times

Artist: Rodin | “Age of Bronze”
(photo: Brandon Thibodeaux | The New York Times)

It behooves the developer and owner, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund with $200 million invested to-date, to propose alternative solutions to their building that the Board of Trustees and the Nasher find acceptable. If the Museum Tower’s solution is do nothing except delay that would be very good to know.

As we wait for the next round, I have these thoughts:

  • The Museum Tower, whose name derives from its proximity to the Nasher’s world-class collection of modern and contemporary sculpture, will have trouble credibly promoting itself as a champion of the arts.
  • The stance taken by the Tower’s owner – which is basically “We don’t have to do anything to change our building” – continues to make it difficult for potential buyers to seriously consider purchasing a condominium.
  • A positive return on the Pension Fund’s investment looks less and less likely. Maybe they have already written-off succeeding with this property and don’t want to sink any extra funds.

A few weeks ago, the Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, Jeremy Strick, and a group of Nasher supporters began public dialogue and outreach campaigns to ask people, like me and others like you, to write or talk with City Council representatives and Trustees on the Dallas Fire and Police Pension Fund expressing our point of view. Museum Tower should fix their building design to stop the glare emitted by the glass materials selected to cover the yet-to-be-completed residences.

Please click on the link in Jeremy’s “Call to Action” letter below to easily find your City Council person to contact. Post your support in a sentence or two and the “Call to Action” link on your Facebook page and other social media and talk with your friends about Museum Tower fixing their mirrored glass façade.

Dear Friends,

“Yesterday, 11 prominent Dallas civic leaders lent their voices to an Op Ed published in The Dallas Morning News. (Read full letter here) These leaders expressed pressing concern about the damage Museum Tower continues to inflict upon the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Arts District and the reputation of the city itself. They called upon the leadership of Museum Tower to fix their building by adopting the louver solution without further delay. This practical 100% solution would eliminate dangerous reflected light at its source, protecting the Nasher’s interior and exterior galleries.

Over the past 14 months, as this issue became known and stories about the damage Museum Tower is doing to its neighbors have appeared locally and nationally, many of you have asked us what you can do to encourage a positive resolution. If you live in the city of Dallas, I would ask you to make your Dallas city council representative aware of your opinion, whether by letter, email, or telephone. (Find your representative here) If you live outside of the city and care about Dallas’ cultural institutions, voicing your support and opinion to our elected officials is also welcome. The leadership of Museum Tower needs to recognize their responsibility to our community, and your council representatives can play an important role in resolving this matter .

I’d like to reaffirm that we at the Nasher are advocates for the development of the Arts District and support the goal of Museum Tower to add residencies to this neighborhood. Ray Nasher has given our community an incredible gift by building an unparalleled museum in the heart of the Dallas Arts District and making his extraordinary collection accessible to all. The Nasher is an invaluable educational, cultural and economic resource for the people of Dallas and visitors from around the world and we need your support and your voices to ensure its future contributions to the region.”

With thanks, as ever, for your interest and support,

Sincerely,

Jeremy

 

With this time of year full of travels, parties and activities, I’m taking a hiatus from blogging for the foreseeable future. I truly know it is the end of the year, because last week a Mother and Papa squirrel moved into my backyard “Wild Birds Unlimited” owl home to start breeding and a family. Happens every year like clockwork.

(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Have a wonderful holiday season and to a happy 2013.

Meg