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In a painting called, Alone in the Woods, screaming colors fly in angular shapes pretending to be trees.
Enraged by the thought that an ex-con on parole could walk into her studio and control the rest of her life ~ she grabbed a screaming Chartreuse Diane Townsend Terrages pastel filled with pumice, and tore into her gritty pastel page.
Gone were the delicate abstract landscapes with pastel colors laid side by side on soft white etching paper she'd been painting. Bound and gagged, she tore colors from her heart.
After the assault in her own studio in 1983 ~ she went in search of the lost artist. In search of reality, she began painting en plein air. Unspeakable fury, each stroke of color brought her momentary peace. Another wave of emotion, groping in the dark, color by color, year by year ~ the Creator’s Light grew brighter.
Radiant now, accepting the Creator’s gift of darkness, she is a beacon for Creativity. Using her art degree to heal from life threatening trauma was not what she thought she signed up for when she graduated from East Carolina University with a BFA in Printmaking and Painting.
In thirty years of painting she moved a mountain of raw emotion to create landscapes filled with dreams. As she began to see the Light, she experimented with her new found power to create a dream world on canvas and step into it. Her residency in France inspired her to begin writing about her process she calls creativSOUP.
“If I can lose my ability to paint, and grope in the dark for thirty years to scream something deep inside ~ that I have no idea what it is ~ anyone can. This beautiful world is filled with color. The Creator within us begs to be expressed, as the color of peace within our hearts.”
Dorothy Fagan was born in Morristown, New Jersey. Her mother, Pauline Fagan, a music teacher and advocate for wellness, encouraged her painting. Her father, John Fagan, an engineer and dedicated father, engaged in lively creativity conversations with her. She grew up in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey on the hill where she could see the Manhattan skyline on her walk to school and the woodland trails on her walk home.
Graduating from East Carolina University with a B.F.A. in Printmaking and Painting, she married and moved to eastern Virginia in 1974. Raising three sons, she painted at naptime and sent her paintings to New York City for juried exhibitions.
With acceptance into The Pastel Society of America in 1979, her paintings were exhibited at the prestigeous National Arts Club in New York City. Her oil paintings followed with the American Artists Professional League national juried exhibition at the famous Salmagundi Club in New York. National juried exhibitions in her home state of Virginia, exhibited her works at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond, and the Virginia Contemporary Museum of Art in Virginia Beach.
At East Carolina University, she studied under printmaker Donald Sexauer and painter Ed Reep 1971 - 1974. And with Robert Bowers Mayo, a 10-year Mentorship in American Masters Painting 1978 -1988. Her paintings and fiber arts in public collections including the City University of New York, Musee de La Grande Vigne, Dinan, France, Longwood University Art Museum, U Mass Memorial, Boston Children's Hospital, Emory University, International Paper, and numerous others.
Fagan has had numerous solo shows including; Gallery Mayo, Richmond, VA 1979; Dorsey Gallery, Roanoke, VA 1980; Virginia Contemporary Museum of Fine Art, 1979; Century Gallery, Williamsburg, VA, 1981, 2006; Michelson's, Washington, DC, 1985; JSL Fine Art, 2015; Chesapeake Framing & Art Gallery, Kensington, MD, 2013. She is represented by Chasen Galleries, Richmond, VA.
Fagan worked as a creative consultant for Old Dominion University and Union Camp Corporation through Fagan Design Concepts, Inc., helping develop and implement communications programs between diverse audiences. Her expertise in writing, publications, public relations, marketing, and media most recently facilitated the Cook Foundation of Gloucester, Virginia in establishing the Plein Air Gloucester Festival.
She has six grandchildren and paints in Virginia and Tuscany.
National Juried Exhibitions
Pastel Society of America, National Juried Exhibition, National Arts Club, New York
Pastel Society of Canada, International Juried Exhibition, Cambrian Rose Gallery, Ottawa
American Artists Professional League, National Juried Exhibition, Salmagundi Club, New York
G.V.W. Smith Art Museum, National Juried Exhibition, Springfield, MA
Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Prints & Drawings ’81 National Juried Exhibition, Richmond, VA
Virginia Contemporary Museum of Art, Virginia Beach, VA
The Copley Society, Pastel Society of America Members’ Exhibition, Boston, MA
Kansas Pastel Society, National Juried Exhibition
Hermitage Museum, Pastel Society of America Members’ Exhibition, Norfolk, VA
New Jersey Institute of Technology, Pastel Society of America Members’ Exhibition, Newark, NJ
Musee de La Grande Vigne, Les invites d’Yvonne Jean-Haffen Exposition du 4 Octobre a 3 Novembre 2013, Hotel de Ville de Dinan, Dinan, France
MUSEUM COLLECTIONS Musee de La Grande Vigne, Dinan, France, City University of New York, Longwood University Art Museum, Emory University.
HEALTHCARE COLLECTIONS U. Mass Memorial Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Camp Lejeune Mental Health Facility, Riverside Cancer Center, Southampton Memorial Hospital.
CORPORATE COLLECTIONS General Electric, First National Exchange Bank, International Paper, Monarch Bank, Towne Bank, AAA, Raycom Media, Coldwell Banker.
PRIVATE COLLECTIONS in the United States, England, Italy, Iceland, Singapore, Jordan, Canada.
Residencies, Awards & Education
Artist Residency Florence, Sept – Nov 2015, Independent Painting Writing
Artist Residency Musee de La Grande Vigne, July – Sept 2013, Dinan, Provence, Paris.
Medal of Honor G.V.W. Smith Art Museum, Academic Artists’ Association
Best in Show Virginia Contemporary Museum of Art
American Masters Painting Mentorship with Robert B. Mayo, Valentine Museum and Gallery Mayo, 1979 – 1989, Richmond, VA. Mayo guided Fagan in developing her unique approach to painting by imparting his understanding of the artist psyche through the works of George Inness, Martin J. Heade, Elliot Clark, and Walter Metcalf.
B. F. A. East Carolina University, 1974, Printmaking and Painting
Discovering Joy’s Garden, Dorothy Fagan, 2015
CreativSOUP, Adult Creativity & Coloring, Dorothy Fagan, 2016
100 Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic, Gary Pendleton, Schiffer Publishing 2014
Joan Cawley Publishing, Fine Art Prints, 2001 - 2011
Fagan Studios, 1976 - present
Fagan Design Concepts, Inc, 1986 - 1997 creativity communications consulting
Fagan Studio Gallery, 1983 - 1990 custom framing gallery
Paul D. Camp Community College, 1983 - 1988 teaching
W. C. Rawls Museum, 1975 - 1983 teaching
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