Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

This Artist Prefers to Paint in Vibrant Colors; Erlinda Fitzpatrick Will Be Exhibiting Her Artwork in the Riverside Arts Festival

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

This Artist Prefers to Paint in Vibrant Colors; Erlinda Fitzpatrick Will Be Exhibiting Her Artwork in the Riverside Arts Festival

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

When Erlinda Fitzpatrick was growing up in the Philippines, her parents couldn't afford oil paints.

So she used crayons and pencils. Even then, teachers praised her artwork, giving her top grades.

"We were very, very poor," said Fitzpatrick, one of 10 children. "We couldn't buy supplies, so we made do with what we could get."

Now the Port Orange resident paints every day, using as much oil paint as she likes.

"I paint in the morning, in the afternoon and sometimes until night or [when] my husband tells me to stop," she said.

The award-winning artist will bring her paintings to Jacksonville for the first time as one of 150 artists and crafters exhibiting at the Riverside Arts Festival. The 35th annual edition runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday in Riverside Park at Park and Post streets.

Entertainment will include the high-flying Frisbee dogs, and there will be free bus tours of historic Riverside-Avondale. Food will be available for purchase. Children will have their own area featuring face painting, spin art and crafts.

Fitzpatrick, a self-taught painter, calls her style "realistic visual representation." Her subject matter changes with her mood but usually focuses on still lifes, landscapes and wildlife. Above all, she's known for her bold, vibrant colors.

"I just don't like paintings that are done in gray," she said. "It's not happy."

For her, happiness is a red door or an interior scene that looks out into a garden. When she needs inspiration, she looks out one of her many windows and into her own flower-filled backyard, filled with plumeria, papayas, passion flowers, hydrangea and roses.

Her love of flowers goes back to childhood and the tropical flowers that abounded in her homeland. Her mother, for instance, planted bougainvillea that almost covered the front of their home.

Fitzpatrick left the Philippines more than 30 years ago after marrying her husband, who was serving a four-year stint in the U. …

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