Matt Bullington, of the Texas Tavern, and popular local artist Eric Fitzpatrick, pose with Fitzpatrick’s latest painting of the famous Texas Tavern. This is the fifth in a series of paintings of the TT (as it is known by loyal patrons). Each of the previous works was a limited edition of 500 printings and all were sellouts.
Fitzpatrick has done a variety of buildings and landscapes in and around the Roanoke Valley and all are very popular with the Fitzpatrick loyalist, especially his paintings of the downtown area. He calls paintings such as the one pictured, “Whimsical Realism”, as they are accurate portryals of objects with a hint of humor blended in.
The first painting of the Texas Tavern was in 1979 and those prints sold for $15.00 each. A few years ago one of those prints was offered for sale in a local gallery for $250.00. He plans to do more Texas Tavern paintings in the future as different ideas come to him.
Fitzpatrick is also well know for his fine art paintings. He studied for five summers in Italy as a student, and then in 2007 was asked by the University of Georgia to return to Cortona, Italy, as a visiting professor to teach students some of what he had learned through his experience painting in the area. Fitzpatrick said they would leave the school in the morning and walk around the city until they spotted something they wanted to paint, and then spend the entire day at that one location.
His art can be seen at various galleries around the Roanoke Valley and the Texas Tavern artwork is available at the Texas Tavern.
Text And Photo by Jim Bullington