Consuelo González Amézcua


(Chelo) (1903–1975)
created imaginary worlds through her visionary pen-and-ink drawings, stone carvings, and poetry. She began to carve in 1956, but was forced by respiratory problems in 1964 to give it up, and she turnedto drawing. Her drawings, which she referred to as Texas Filigree Art, synthesized her love of Mexico and America, especially the state of Texas. She sang, danced,and was proficient at playing the guitar, piano, castanets, and tambourine.A strong belief that her inspiration was divine led the artist to depict biblical subjects with exotic back-drops, such as Egypt, Persia, and Judea. Mythological andclassical themes also prompted her to feature in her works fantastic architectural forms, including castles, turrets, elaborate walls and columns, as well as flowers,gardens, birds, hands, winged muses, mythical figures, and animated women. Some of her themes were philosophical, as in
Road of Life
(undated) or
Symbol of Truth
(1967), while others were autobiographical. Poetry was occasionally integrated into her drawings; at times it appears on the reverse side of the paper or cardboard on which she drew.Born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas, González Amézcua left her birthplace, along with her school-teacher parents, Jesus González Galvan and Julia Amézcua de González, when she was ten, settling further northwest in Del Rio, Val Verde County, Texas. She attendedschool for six years but never received formal art training. She credited her sister Zare for her musical inspiration, and her parents for the stories that nurtured the“dream visions” she executed.González Amézcua began to draw at an early age. The San Carlo Academy in New Mexico offered her an art scholarship, but family responsibilities following thedeath of her father prevented her from accepting it. She nevertheless continued making art, and developed a personal style using readily available materials. She favored black ballpoint pens and white cardboard for her meticulous work. Occasionally, she added red, green, and blue to her drawings. During the last five years of her life,she expanded her color palette, using crayons and felt-tip pens along with the ballpoints. González Amézcua did no research prior to drawing, but planned her drawingsin advance before execution. She carefully outlined major forms, then filled in intricate details. In 1968 a solo exhibition of her work was organized at the MarionKoogler McNay Art Museum in San Antonio.
See also
Sculpture, Folk; Visionary Art
Borum, Jenifer. “The Visionary Drawings of Chelo Gonzalez Amezcua.”
Folk Art,
vol. 24 (fall 1999): 53–61.Lee, Amy Freeman.
Filigree Drawings by Consuelo Gonzalez Amezcua.
San Antonio, Tex., 1968