San Juan La Laguna Artist
Juana Mendoza Cholotio, a Tz’utujil painter, was born and raised in San Juan La Laguna. Juana was introduced to painting when she married Antonio Vásquez Yojcóm of San Juan, who taught her the detail of the intricate pattern work characteristic of classic Tz’utujil painting.
Her paintings are unique, special, and important in that they reflect their culture both artistically and in anthropological ways. Juana and Antonio have four children, all of whom are involved in the family painting business.
For Juana, her inspiration originates from the simple enjoyment she experiences from creating artwork. According to Juana, the majority of her current work has been painting in an aerial view, or bird’s eye view. The bird’s eye view has a long history in hunter and gatherer societies, as it allows for a vantage point that gives one the ability to read the earth’s surface closely and allows for a sharpness of perspective, along with allowing for a distinctive large view of the scene taking place below.
She imagines herself observing and hovering over the land, a market scene, families picking coffee in the fields, women making tortillas, harvest celebrations, or any number of various daily scenes that take place in Tz’utujil life and then she paints it.
She has become well known for this style of oil painting where she creates a variety of paintings that showcase her artistic heritage in the village of San Juan, Lake Atitlan Guatemala. As for the inspiration for her creations, Juana said it comes mostly from Tz’utujil traditions and beliefs, nature, and everyday family life.
For Juana, the artistic family tree is large and continues to grow. Her four children also possess individual artistic talents and are involved in the family business.
Juana has many admirers of her distinctive aerial view paintings. Her work is original, beautiful, and regardless of the subject matter she is painting it seems to come alive on the canvas.
More About Juana Mendoza Cholotio
Whether it be in providing a loving home for her family, enthusiastically teaching painting to her students, partaking in community initiatives, or just her everyday living, she is an incredibly special person that genuinely has a love for life.