Atalo J. Méndez was born in southern Mexico in the beautiful city of Teziutlán, Puebla. At an early age his family moved to the capital city of Puebla, where he grew up. It was there that he became fascinated with watercolour as he observed the work of a renowned local artist, Carlos TeodoroTorres, with whom he later would learn the basics of this evasive yet wondrous medium.
In his teen years he attended the state sponsored Academy of Fine Arts. In 1979 he immigrated to the United States and began working as an illustrator at the Baptist Spanish Publishing House in El Paso, Texas.
While working in the Art Department of this publishing company, Atalo’s supervisor encouraged him to take watercolour classes with well-known local watercolour artist Bill Bissell. After taking classes with Bill, Atalo began showing his work and won some of his first awards, which served as an incentive for him to continue painting.
Besides painting watercolours, piloting a hot-air balloon and riding his Harley are two of his other passions.
Atalo is married to Gloria Faye, & they have three children: Andrea Faye, Christopher James, & Keilah Marie… and a bunch of grandchildren who serve as inspiration for many of his paintings. The artist and his family live in the beautiful El Paso area.
The artist is currently a member of:
• The El Paso Art Association
• Rio Bravo Watercolorists
• Southwestern Watercolor Society
• New Mexico Watercolor Society
• International Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas
• Abrazos Gallery, Chamizal National Memorial, El Paso, Texas
AWARDS & RECOGNITION:
• 1981: 14th Annual Show, El Paso Art Association Honorable Mention
• 1982: Summer Show, El Paso Art Association The Art Center Award
• 1987: Holiday Show, EPAA Southwest Art & Frame Award
• 1988: Lower Valley Art Association Honorable Mention
• 2006: Rio Bravo Watercolorist Annual First Place
• 2006: Spring Show, EPAA Art Center Merchandise Award
• 2006: Red, White & Blue Show, EPAA Merit Award
• 2006: Winner of the contest for the cover art for the EPAA Yearbook
• 2007: Rio Bravo Watercolorist Annual Sun Country Award
• 2007: Spring Show, El Paso Art Association Second Place