New work represents a bold departure for Roanoke artist Eric Fitzpatrick. His first gallery exhibition in more than 10 years Fitzpatrick says, includes "the wildest paintings" he's ever done.
"People aren't going to think it's me at all," Fitzpatrick told WDBJ7. "They'll go whatever happened to that kid."
The Musicians Series opens Friday night at LinDor Arts on First Street in Roanoke. The exhibition is scheduled to run through October.
"Whenever I go see music, blues, jazz whatever... it needs big energy to express it," Fitzpatrick said. So I've just pulled out all the stops. There's collage in there. There's Styrofoam peanuts. There's coat hangers. There are Krispy Kreme boxes cut up and made into stuff, and this radiant neon color as these guys do their thing."
Fitzpatrick is a versatile artist. And as he prepares to debut The Musicians Series, he's also working on a project with a different focus.
Recently, he put ink to paper on a scenic stretch of the Roanoke River. A video he posted on Facebook shows the process, as he drew his brother Broaddus in a kayak just ahead.
He added the color when we visited his Roanoke studio, completing another piece in a growing series on fly-fishing.
"There's something lyrical about the S curve of a fly line," Fitzpatrick told us. "And it really has a looping wonderful arc to it. If you catch it correctly, it's a beautiful thing."
Fitzpatrick is looking forward to his new gallery exhibition, but he is sharing these water colors online. Facebook, he says, has revolutionized his relationship with others who appreciate his art.
"Whatever I'm doing in my life I try to report back to these folks who are nice enough to follow my work and let them know what I'm seeing, what I'm feeling about it through the artwork," Fitzpatrick said. "And Facebook seems an ideal way to do that."
"And now they can sort of get on board and take the ride with me, which is wonderful. I really welcome that."