Local artist Erin Fitzpatrick contends that the best way to meet people is to paint them. The MICA alum started painting portraits a few years ago and hasn't looked back. "I started painting my friends, but then realized it was more interesting to meet somebody for the first time that way," she says. The process starts with a 10-minute photo session, where she takes about 30 photos of someone in natural light. Then Fitzpatrick asks them, "Which image really looks like you?" Based on that photo, she paints an oil portrait on a wood canvas. "A lot of the local art I see coming out is abstract," she says. "But, for me, creating portraits is like visual networking." Fitzpatrick generally meets her subjects at events or gallery openings, and she paints anyone, including, most notably, Blaqstarr, Victoria Legrand of Beach House, and Dave Bergander and Katrina Ford of Celebration. Fitzpatrick has various solo shows around Baltimore and, in the fall, will have a residency at the renowned Vermont Studio Center. "The best way to really see people is to paint them," she says. "It's like up-close people watching."
MICA alum paints the town with her art
Issue date: July, 2011