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Dorothy Fagan Biography

Discovering Joy's Garden

Two Sisters, pastel by Dorothy Fagan, collection City University of New YorkAfter the attempt on her life, Dorothy Fagan lost her ability to paint the delicate abstract landscapes for which she’d become known. Five years earlier, at 25 her pastel paintings had won her acceptance into the prestigious Pastel Society of America at the National Arts Club in New York City. RIGHT Two Sisters, pastel, 1979, collection City University of New York

Dorothy fought to find the artist she'd lost ~ or the one she was meant to be.

Rage poured from her brush hand onto earth toned pastel papers. Screaming colors in angular strokes spoke the unspeakable. Fearful of going to the clothesline in her own backyard alone, she prayed for courage. Feelings flowed, turning each session at her easel into a form of prayer. LEFT  Alone in the Woods, pastel, 1983, collection of the artist

Each brush stroke of color transformed into a precious moment of peace.

Alone in the Woods, pastel by Dorothy FaganDorothy's faith grew. Recognizing the name she'd taken at confirmation as a cue from the Creator, she began to participate in her own power to heal from within. She learned that emotions can be translated into color hues, balanced on canvas and released to move the creative/healing process. She calls her process CreativSOUP, as she blends everyday stuff of life with emotional assets, to stir up the Creator within for peace, courage, and joy.

Learning to channel her emotions she is radiant now, and shares Joy's Garden to pass it forward. Dorothy Fagan’s inspirational story is, “in itself is so brave, so authentic, so honest and moving that I was totally inspired all over again in seeing her gorgeous art. A shining light in this world ~ every time I see her paintings, I feel joy!"

Dorothy plein air painting in Brittany, France, Musee de La Grande VigneThe last leg of Dorothy's healing art journey took her on an artist's residency in France in 2013. At the Musee de La Grande Vigne in Dinan she began writing a blog called, The Painting Lesson, that led to her first book, Embrace the Mountain and The Painting Lesson Publishing. Now with three books, eight illustrated journals, and CreativSOUP Creativity Enhancement Coloring Book out, Joy's Garden has come to life.

On the pages of book 2, Mystery of Two Sisters, cryptic clues in her mother's life-after-death messages, unfold in Dorothy's sketchbook and fabric paintings. Readers see themselves in Dorothy's simplistic sketches and struggles to make sense of her mother's early passing.  

Joy's Garden books by Dorothy Fagan

Her mother Pauline, who'd lost a battle with cancer, taught Dorothy to sew, garden, cook, knit, crochet, paint, to design her own home and garden, dresses, blouses, jackets, prom gowns, curtains, bedspreads, sweaters, patterns, upholstery, and not to let anyone tell her she couldn't.  The message of the book is much the same.

In book 3, Goddess Stepping Out, Dorothy's muted poetic voice steps forth to articulate garden wisdom hidden for four decades in her landscape and garden paintings. Gently coaxing the goddess out of her readers, her simple and unpretentious poetry utters a voice readers might recognize as their own. The eight Joy's Garden journals each share one of her poems, then offer lined watermarked pages for others to write in their own goddess voice. 

Her upcoming book 4, Prayers Go Up, she releases The Terrorist, a poem of healing and others that Dorothy hopes will uplift readers.

Prayers Go Up by Dorothy FaganTerrorist
old friend
I see you leaving me

Will I still
be able to paint
without you?

Fear not
soul's on fire
radiant   burning

with desire to speak
love inside
let it out, dear heart

Embrace the world
with tears   joy   jubilation
Celebrate liberation


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