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My First Amate Bark Painting

I’ve always loved the Mexican traditional art form of Amate Bark Painting. Whenever my Mom and I would travel to her home country of Mexico, we would make a direct line for the fabulous markets where these gorgeous handmade paintings were sold. We’ve collected quite a few between the two of us. ❤


The scenes are usually of village life, showing weddings, farming, people out shopping, and the amazing natural scenery of Mexico like volcanoes, mountains, cactus plants, and rivers. And, of course, the centerpiece of life – the sun.


It was my Mom who suggested that I try combining the traditional Amate style with my own Lupita painting style. The Amate style is handmade on tree bark, usually with acrylic paints and ink. In this case, my painting is created by me drawing with an Apple Pencil on my iPad using the design program Procreate.  I left the software frame on these close-ups so you could see a bit of how it works and all the many layers of color involved.


Two completely different approaches, but in the end, the same bright colors and feeling of celebration and joy. I learned so much making this first painting as far as technique, color, and how to use the vertical space on the page. I felt more connected to my Mexican family and to my Mom while I painted. I’m so glad I took her advice and tried something completely new.



Emily Lupita

Artist & Author

Emily Lupita Studio


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Painting: Lupezilla The Broken Hearted Monster

5-1 Lupita Monsters Broken Hearted Monster Blue

I’d like to introduce you to my Lupita Monsters series. This character’s name is Lupezilla  and she represents the fun, exciting & emotional side of Lupita.  The sentiment of this painting is, “Even though she is broken hearted, Lupezilla still insists on singing.”

I was inspired to start painting Lupezilla after spending some time in Xalapa and Oaxaca, Mexico. The amazing artisans of these regions make beautiful, colorful wooden (and sometimes paper maché) figures which are commonly known as alebrijes or figuras. An example is shown below.


I fell in love with the style of the alebrijes and began painting my own vision of them, which eventually manifested in Lupezilla and her two dogs, Mavizilla (miniature dachshund monster) & Yunazilla (Boston terrier monster). 

Special thanks to my Aunt Martha for encouraging me to show some of my monsters!