Saturday, August 15, 2015

flex nib - dip pen drawings and quotes

juana almaguer drawing,matt berry aphorism
dip pen drawing and matt berry aphorism

I love writing and drawing with my flex nib - dip pens and collecting aphorisms. So I was happy when I discovered #flexnibfriday on facebook and pinterest a couple of weeks ago!

For the matt berry aphorism, I used j. herbin myosotis ink and my vintage kuhn flex nib-dip pen. I used De Atramentis patchouli scented ink for the hand with my blue pumpkin flex nib-dip pen. For the box, my lamy pen and a mix of De Atramentis document inks to make orange.

Don't forget to stare at the box for a bit of time in the drawing above:) Did it happen for you? If not, try again and blink after several seconds while continuing to look at the box.

dip pen drawing by juana almaguer
dip pen drawing and quote

follow me on facebook or pinterest for the flexnibfriday updates.

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Saturday, August 8, 2015


collage and drawing by juana almaguer
Balance I, detail of 8 x 10 collage-drawing

It's been awhile since I added any art work to my Etsy shop. I've been entranced with art journalling and mail art.

collage and drawing by juana almaguer
detail of collage, postage stamps, and leaf impression

Last month, I was looking around in my favorite antique shop and found a 1912 bank account book for $5.00. Only a few of the pages were used with records of deposits and balances.

pages from a 1912 bank account book

My love of fountain pens and the handwritten word had me glued to the entries written in the ledger book. I don't usually spend that much for a vintage book, but I had to have this one. How would I use it though?

Dexter Horton and Co bank account book cover
I set the book down and walked around the antique shop while I thumbed through ideas in my head. I finally alighted on one that I was excited about, so I bought the book.

mail art, DNA series

First I worked through my ideas with photocopies of the pages for a mail art series titled, DNA. I am fascinated with the images of DNA and how each sliver has a meaning in and of itself. Then when you put all the slivers together, you get a new meaning.

For the final 8 x 10 collage and drawing, I decided to use my butterfly linocut, postage stamps, and leaf impressions along with an original page from the bank book. Below is the final result.

collage and drawing by juana almaguer
Balance I, collage and drawing, 8x10, juana almaguer

This is the first in the series titled Balance. And I am already working on the second one with my bee linocut in lieu of the butterfly.

wishing everyone a good weekend and joining sunday sketches.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


intaglio, coyote
coyote, speedball water soluble ink on strathmore printmaking paper

I tried my hand at etching into a metal plate this week. I wanted to do a print to commemorate the coyote I saw a couple of months ago. I don't have the drypoint etching tools, so I used my linocutting flat blade. I also don't have the oil-based inks, so I used my linocut block printing inks which are water soluable.

coyote, speedball water soluble ink & De Atramentis document ink on strathmore printmaking paper

The linocut inks were cranky and didn't always print completely even with wet paper, so I added backgrounds by printing with De Atramentis inks.

intaglio, coyote
coyote, speedball water soluble ink & De Atramentis document ink on rice paper

I did many prints. Some of the prints had a too faint image, so I used De Atramentis inks and a dip pen to outline and cross-hatch on the these latter prints.

intaglio, coyote
coyote, speedball water soluble ink & De Atramentis document ink on rice paper

Some prints were done on rice paper and others were done on strathmore 120g/m printing paper. Both types are pretty thin. The rice paper keeps its shape better and picks of the water soluable inks more easily. I know I'll be trying this process again.

The metal plate was sent to me by a mail art friend, and now I'm hooked. I'll be experimenting with substrates from materials I have on hand. I've got plexiglass as an option. Any other suggestions?

Another project I have started is crocheting. I received some beautiful fuchsia yarn from another friend. So stay tuned for updates on my crocheting adventures.

It's been a pretty fun week filled with art and bicycle riding! Wishing everyone a good weekend.

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