On the Way Home
DOROTHY FAGAN (b. Morristown, New Jersey, 1953)
On the Way Home, 1982
oil pastel on paper
Collection of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts
The Jack Blanton Collection
Gift of Jack Blanton
Dorothy Fagan is a nationally known artist, author, and teacher. She believes that “the landscape is a mirror of our own inner landscape—each of us charged with intense color, great depth, and passion.” She has said that she paints “to provide a window to her own soul.”
She reflected on this early work in August 2009:
This small pastel is one of the earliest versions of what I must call “My Journey Home” series. When I painted it, I was 8 years out of art school. I had 3½- year-old twin sons and another son who was a year old. I was living in a rural area of Virginia, Franklin—far from art school or the home I knew growing up 40 miles west of Manhattan.
I painted while the boys took their naps. The rest of the time I did what all mothers with three babies do. I didn’t know I was “on my way home.” I felt lost!—lost in the endless day-to-day chores of taking care of someone else. And I felt lost from the life I had dreamt of, being an artist. Looking back, I guess I would say that this drawing was my way of affirming to myself that I was “on course.”
Fagan received a B.F.A. from East Carolina University. Her works are found in the collections of universities and corporations across the country including City University of New York, Emory University, General Electric, Coldwell Banker, International Paper, and AAA. Her election to the Pastel Society of America marked the first for a Virginian. Exhibitions including Fagan’s work have been held at the National Arts Club, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Copley Society (Boston), and the Salmagundi Club (New York), among others. Fagan has also written three books: The Suncatcher, Ping Journal, and Dinner with the Muse.