Random Experiments – Why Not?

"One Broad Stroke" Aluminum metallic and red house paint (16-1/2” x 24” framed) | SOLD Impastato Collection

Could I load my paint brush and make one continuous line across the surface? That’s one of the questions that led to this study. The answer: Rarely made it. But, as in most of my random experiments, it doesn’t matter because I like the accidents – the puddle on the edges and endpoints, especially those marks left by the runny/ high viscosity aluminum paint which are beautiful and glitter when light hits them. I was also thinking a lot about house paint and wondering why the cigarette-smoking, hard-drinking Abstract Expressionists flocked to this medium. My answer after spending hours with it? Freedom, with a capital “F.” I felt freed by the size of the paint cans (no petite palm-sized tubes), the immediate readiness (no mixing with a solvent or other medium), the guaranteed color (no need for color recipe charts) and Sherwin Williams prices (so much lower than artist grade materials).

Being open to ideas and experimenting with materials as a way of life? Why not.

PS: This experimental painting has a new home in the collection of a local landscape architect who attended last Wednesday’s Dallas Center for Architecture blow-out annual party, “Rockitecture,” at the always cool Filter House on White Rock Lake spillway.

PPS: I’m skipping next Sunday’s blog post. Talk to you in two weeks.

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One museum – two must-see shows

The Nasher Sculpture Center scored again this weekend with the opening of a new work the museum commissioned by 30-year old Syrian-born artist, Diana Al-Hadid. Much of her work and this site-specific piece, “Gradiva’s Fourth Wall,” evoke the atmosphere of ancient archeological digs which was the same theme that inspired Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano, when he was hired to design the Nasher building and site.

Last month, I also attended the opening of “Tony Cragg: Seeing Things.” This was the first USA retrospective in 20 years of Tony Cragg, a 62-year old British artist. Cragg’s body of work fully inhabits the Nasher space, greeting you on the Flora Street front sidewalk and then extending its welcome into the back gardens. Both are shows by well-respected contemporary artists whose interests are multidisciplinary with thought processes that intersect sciences, physics, philosophies, literature and anything that captures their interest.

What is the effect on my creativity? I have observed that over the past 4 years that I’ve been involved with the Nasher, as a volunteer, fan and advocate, that my own paintings have become more textural and 3-dimensional – a totally subconscious direction. There was no conscious plan to shift my materials and style. It is simply happening, and it is a direction I like.

Announcing Two Launches this Week

Meg in Home Hallway | Painting: "Tribute to Mr. Stella" | acrylic canvas 18" x 36" (photo: teresa rafidi)

My revamped website went live this week. Words of thanks go to Pat and Gary Neeble, owners of Studio16. They have been my web team for close to a decade, and have redone my online e-gallery to reflect my current body of art.

Check out megfitzpatrick.com

I have the honor of being invited to be part of an online gallery, The Art Menu, with the likes of local talents Anita Horton, Carmen Menza and Tamara White. Here is what the Advisory Board said when reviewing and then selecting my paintings:

“The allure of Fitzpatrick’s hide-and-seek compositions taunts the viewer to search for hidden images and discover the secrets of her narrative. Her bold colors and non-symmetrical shapes work to reveal not only powerful energy but peaceful and tranquil moments. Although she allows freedom for the paint to frolic across the picture plane, a controlled restraint acknowledges when the composition is unified and can come to rest.”

Check out theartmenu.com

This site is meant for collectors who are interested in museum-quality prints of originals as an affordable way to own art.  My thanks to David Hobbs and his business partner, Andrew Speillman, the guys who launched this concept. Also gratitude to David’s wife, the gifted photographer, Robyn Hobbs, who took the black and white photos, and Taylor Stensrud for his technical expertise.

Enjoy everyone’s art and creative spirit. Have a great a week.

Be Happy, Mr. Marley

"Be Happy, Mr Marley" | mixed media 9-1/2" x 12-1/2" Available for sale

Reggae tickles a funny bone. Steel drums start and bad vibes have to excuse themselves and leave the room.  I remember sitting with a good friend. He listened to one of my tales of worry. He hadn’t interrupted or given advice; and then a Bob Marley song came on the radio. My friend raised one finger, and then said, “Here is your mantra, Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” This happened 33 years ago. To this day, reggae music and especially Mr. Marley touch a happy place in my heart – inspiring the final title of this 2011 painting.

The Little Black Dress

It’s a classic – the little black dress (LBD) – a uniform in so many circles. Think Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn – the lady dressed in a sheath with pearls. Think Mary Boone – the gallery owner and her galleristas with Pradas clicking on polished cement floors. Think collectors, artists, designers and architects.

"Little Black Dress" | acrylic and mixed media on board 5" x 7" Private collection

One night, I came home from a museum party with images, fresh in my head, of the women in LBDs and men in black. My sketches and line drawings of the remembered black dresses were the inspiration for painting. It seems fitting that this painting is in the contemporary home and collectionof a Dallas woman who is an architect. She wears a lot of black and wears it well.