Guided by Love
Artist Missy Tripp Ronquillo keeps the good vibes alive through art at Pescado Y Amor studio in Oak Island.
Missy Tripp Ronquillo always dreamed of having an art studio at the beach. So, she and her husband, Ron, also an artist, opened a studio in Sayulita, Mexico, in May 2009. The couple lived in Mexico for almost a year, painting, making designer t-shirts and teaching art classes on the beach. Then they moved to Oak Island, North Carolina, where they sold their artwork at local markets, eventually opening Pescado Y Amor on East Oak Island Drive. Ronquillo has established herself as a freelance artist specializing in custom paintings and murals throughout the United States and Mexico. Her work can be seen in restaurants, cafes, retail establishments and private homes worldwide.
Ronquillo offered art classes and workshops for 11 years at her Oak Island studio until COVID-19 forced the in-person classes to end. But there was a silver lining.
“I did not realize how burned out I was until I had that moment to pause,” she says. “I could not remember the last time I actually painted for myself, painting for the process of painting. Teaching focused all my creative juices on my students. So, I transformed my business and my life. Now I am healthier and happier.”
Ronquillo converted most of her classes into DIY Art Kits. She also offers a subscription program delivering a new kit every month.
“My kits took off like wildfire all over the world,” she says. “They come with materials and instructions to complete the project.”
Ronquillo continues to grow her customer base through selling original artwork and prints, doing live event paintings and hosting retreats. She describes her pieces as “full of happiness, peace and love, evoking a bit of joy and fun and an awareness of how we connect to our planet and each other.”
“I live my life guided by love,” she says.
She is currently working on collections, each with 10 to 25 pieces of art. In May 2021 she released a collection called UNITY, portrayals of living a life in love and compassion over hate. This collection includes hand-painted Vans shoes. Her next collection will be released in September.
Ronquillo also hosts retreats, which developed out of her enjoyment of teaching. In March 2022 she will lead a retreat in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
“The goal of each retreat is for students to walk away with a new skill, having nourished their creativity while resting and refreshing,” she says. “Every moment is intentional and beautiful. Students leave inspired.”
Ronquillo also does live event paintings, essentially performance art, at weddings and corporate events.
Having studied art at The Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, and Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, Ronquillo believes in a greater purpose of art.
“Research studies have proven that a trip to an art gallery or a museum can positively impact your health and well-being in several essential ways,” she says. “Like lowering anxiety and depression, boosting critical thinking skills and improving empathy. There is nothing better than viewing original artwork. Viewing beautiful artwork has been confirmed to stimulate the same physical reactions that you feel when falling in love.”
What’s next for Ronquillo? She has a line of surfboards coming out and is partnering with a company on a line of swimwear.
“Art gives us meaning and helps us understand our world,” she says. “My paintings are like a vacation, evoking the same emotions I have sitting on a beach surrounded by palm trees. My studio is colorful and magical and has wonderful vibes. My original paintings are ready to become a vacation on your walls.”
Want to learn more?
See more of Ronquillo’s artwork, order DIY kits, attend a retreat or make an appointment to visit the studio on her website: pescadoyamor.com.