Sunday, January 8, 2017

Please welcome Juan Cantavella

Name: Juan Cantavella
City:     Magnolia Texas
Bio:     Juan Cantavella was born in Orleans, France on June 14, 1941 in the middle

of WWII, from refugee Spanish parents after they fled from Franco’s

regime. In 1948 his family moved to Venezuela looking for better


Growing up in Venezuela, when he was 15, he discovered his interest in art

while he was convalescing from a surgery. Starting with “paint by numbers”

kits he rapidly began painting on his own using the kit’s left over paints. His

father thought that Juan should not waste time painting but study hard to

become somebody with a future. However, he never quit painting, without

direction or teaching, since art school was never an option. With the help of

his mother Juan continued to paint with brushes and paints she secretly

provided him.

Once he finished high school he enrolled in the University to study Physics

to satisfy his father’s desire of wanting Juan to become a scientist. After

three semesters trying to move forward in vain he enrolled in Architectural

studies which was the closest major related to his artistic aspirations, leaving

his father greatly disappointed.

Life became complicated when Juan got married. He had to work to support

his family and attend classes at the University. Painting fell to third place in

priorities. Nevertheless inspired by the free hand drawing classes he was

taking at the University; in 1968 he painted “Nino Japreria” for the Annual

Salon of Architecture Students.

After earning his Architecture degree, and with three small children, work

responsibilities kept his painting opportunities at the hobby level for many

years, painting from time to time when some long weekend or little vacation

gave him the freedom to paint something. But Juan never stopped dreaming

of painting full time, perhaps when he retired. In that difficult time he

painted “Tarzan” in 1985 for a competition organized by the Government of

the Sucre Estate for the 400 th anniversary of the City of Cumana, Venezuela,

winning an Honorable Mention.

In 2002, he came to America looking for new opportunities as the

Venezuelan economy and political landscape deteriorated rapidly. It was

here he discovered that his dream of painting could become a reality. In

2005 he began painting murals in private homes and businesses building a

strong client portfolio in the San Francisco area that kept him busy.

Juan continued his self instruction by alternating his work as a Muralist with

a constant study and practice focused on improving his knowledge, skills

and technique.

In 2014 Juan moved form California to Texas where he settled his studio in

the Houston area, now painting full time in pursuit of the highest artistic

levels, Juan says that art is a never-ending learning process.

Juan Cantavella is a member of:

The Woodlands art League

Lone Star Art Guild

Portrait Society of America

Oil Painters of America

National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society

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