(b Granada, Nicaragua, 1887; d Granada, 1964).
Nicaraguan painter and embroiderer. Born to a prominent family in the old city of Granada, she was given a patrician education that emphasized embroidery and music as the arts proper to her station. For several decades she practised embroidery, gradually replacing the traditional formal elements and conventional subjects such as decorative floral motifs with landscapes and scenes from Nicaraguan history conveyed in a broad range of colour.
The growing national fame of Guillén’s embroidery led her to take up oil painting in 1951 at the suggestion of a friend, the poet Enrique Fernández Morales. She studied under Rodrigo Peñalba at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Managua but quickly arrived at a distinctive style of naive art by transposing the style and subject-matter of her embroidery to brightly coloured and richly detailed oil paintings that won the admiration of leading literary figures such as Ernesto Cardenal and Pablo Antonio Cuadra, for example ...