Jan Yatsko, Artist email:



For those people who wish to contact me through email, please see the note on my Contact Page. 

Jan Yatsko, Artist
Art journal by Jan Yatsko of herself and Rosario in Costa Rican folklore dresses

Paintings of Costa Rican life past and present

Within my paintings, I try to tell a story about the daily life of Costa Rica. My trained artist eye selects typical scenarios, often so subtle, that many Costa Ricans and tourists pass them by.  I apply acrylic paint in layers of washes, just as in life our experiences are layered upon another. Among those painted layers, I incorporate stampings of pre-Columbian images originally created in Costa Rica of gold, jade and clay as well as calligraphic-style drawings from a Guaymi shaman’s sacred journal.  When I include these images during the painting process, I am calling the past to be part of the present.  Mango trees grow everywhere in Atenas.  During a morning walk, I collect mango leaves to use as models to paint exact replicas. The mango leaf replicas are collaged on top of the finished painting in a cascading arrangement. All of these symbols are what defines my work and my thoughts.  What the viewer sees in my paintings are many layers of Costa Rican life rich in color, texture and tradition.

I use Art Journals to create in a limited time frame

I have several art journals going on at one time to experiment with new ideas, to capture a written or visual  thought or a travel moment. It is my place to leave behind perfectionism and to play like a child. For the past two years, I have momentarily stopped painting on a fulltime basis to help my husband start a business.  My art time is limited and my art journals have been my creative outlet.  I started a Plein Air group in Atenas in January 2010. We meet every 3rd Monday of the month at a different location to sketch, paint, play music or write poetry inspired by our surroundings.  Anyone is welcome to join us!  

Quick painting of starfish by Jan Yatsko in Bocas de Toro, Panama.  Jan stood in the ocean while another person held starfish just below surface of water.
Travel art journal page by Jan Yatsko, Atenas, Costa Rica of a spiral fern and a tropical flower avecilla
Art journal page by Jan Yatsko of Costa Rica of a bromiliad at bromiliad farm near Palmares, Costa Rica

Versatile artist for 35 years

I have done many things during my 35 years as an artist and craftsperson. Highlights include designing gift products for retail, wholesale and catalogue markets; creating banners for conferences, restaurants, malls, banks and libraries; designing travel clothing for women and creating art to be hung in exhibits and galleries throughout the United States, Europe and Costa Rica.  I want to be remembered as someone who inspired people by guiding them on their own path to creativity and art discovery. Everyone is creative and it is through this process of self-discovery that one experiences the joy of accomplishment and the self-confidence and desire to explore more.

My fiber work was featured in the book “The Basketmaker’s Art- Contemporary Baskets and Their Makers”. My art work is in many private collections in Costa Rica, Europe and the USA as well as  the corporation, Armstrong World Industries, the Lancaster (PA) Museum of Art and La Casa de Cultura (Alajuela, CR).

I want to fill Atenas with art work

My desire is to fill my town of Atenas, Costa Rica with original art work from many artists. Several years ago, I started with the new Atenas Health Clinic.  Both foreign and Costa Rican artists who live in Atenas have donated their art work to the clinic. Art is now hanging on the walls to create a colorful and uplifting environment for the patients and the workers. Interior murals designed by area elementary and high school students and an outdoor sculpture are future projects at the clinic as well as in the town park.  I am a member of a cultural committee in Atenas.  It is a multi-faceted, multi-cultural group that organizes Sunday in the Park events and has initiated plans for Atenas to have its own House of Culture where all forms of art and culture will convine for performances and classes.

In January of 2010, I formed a group loosely named “Plein Air”.  Plein air as it is known among artists is when painting is done outside of the studio, usually in the countryside.  Every 3rd Monday of the month we meet at a location to create inspired by what we see, hear and feel. Participants express themselves through painting, drawing, journaling, writing or creating music. Anyone traveling or living near Atenas, Grecia, Naranjo or Alajuela areas are welcome to join the group.  Please contact me for more information.

Peek into Jan Yatsko’s daily life in Costa Rica Pura Vida Costa Rica

Copyright Jan Yatsko September 2010