Identifying Painting Styles and Techniques for the Artist's of Oaxacan Woodcarving


A great diversity in method can be seen in this village. Manuel Jimenez set the
art in motion by producing pieces with uniform circles or lines. The Morales
family added multi color outlines and much finer dot and line work. The Ramirez
pulled from their Zapotec heritage and adorned their forms with geometric
patterns. Castellanos developed a pattern in motion for their lizards. Cortez
went the other way and created a soft look using colors for tinting and accents.

San Martin

The clay and corn culture of San Martin goes all the way back to days when this
village paid tribute with food and beverage to the builders of Zapotec temples.
A place very much tied to nature paints a tapestry of birds, insects flowers on
figurines as seen by the Angeles, Ojeda, and Ortega families. Superstition and
the After Life inspire and fuel the creative energy of Cruz, Xuana, Fabian, and

San Pedro Cajonos

High up in remote pine covered mountains the Blas family paints in a wash of
rainbow hues. Amazing micro fine color play in pointillism fashion. Detail is
often added with cactus quills dipped in inks and dyes. The meticulous detail
and artistry add infinite dimension to creatures that sing "Carlos Castaneda".

La Union

Far far away from the other villages is a window into the past. Artists in La
Union draw their talents from an ancient form of toy making. Some prefer using
vegetable and aniline dyes not used by other villages since the 60's for a deep
feel that fades gracefully over time. Most share a sort of rustic finesse that
gives presence and personality. These qualities are best seen in the work of the
Santos, Perez and Santiago families.

Ocotlán de Morelos

Ancient cultural hub of many artisan products ranging from ceramics to cutlery
and the home of one of Mexico's most famous artist Rodolfo Morales. This
southbound village is primarily known for it's red ceramics but also has a
community of painted wood artists. Designs in painting are often centered around
pointillism and floral abstractionism.

San Pedro Taviche

Long time supplier of copal wood to other carving villages this village also
supports it's own unique network of artists who paint in a bright woven
geometric style.


Individual artists are randomly found throughout the Oaxaca region of Mexico.
Villages or towns that have but one or two artists who carve for a time then
fade away. Some approach the art form with natural realism while others develop
an entirely new style.