Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Let it Snow, linocut card

let it snow linocut card

This year I used my birch linocut and kitty/pup linocut.   I say kitty/pup as it depends on the viewer as to whether they see a cat or a dog.     I also made the snowflake and paw print stamps.

I am waiting - hoping - for the snow and at the same time enjoying winter however it comes.

message inside the card
Wishing everyone a safe and warm Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

figure in sumi ink, 18 x 24

male figure drawing, sumi ink, rice paper
male figure drawing, sumi ink on rice paper

The last few weeks I've been happily working with sumi ink and rice paper to complete two commissioned figure paintings. It's been a while since I painted works this large. Now I am exited to do more at this size.

male figure drawing, sumi ink on rice paper
male figure drawing, sumi ink on rice paper

now to get more figure drawings done, so I can paint more!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 linocut

Linocut and TuFu poem excerpt 

In my area we could experience a partial solar eclipse.   To commemorate the experience, I sent out this linocut to some friends.   NASA had lots of photos of previous eclipses to inspire this linocut.

And by chance, my local thrift store had a 1932 National Geographic that covered the solar eclipse from that year.  It was interesting to read about the effort and the experience of the people involved in documenting it back in 1932.

unaddressed envelope

For the envelope, I used another linocut which has various sized circles, to decorate the envelope with eclipses.  For the sun and moon, I used a cork to stamp the envelope with yellow and white circles.

A page from the magazine, my linocut all went into the envelope along with a usps solar eclipse stamp.   These were a lot of fun to put together!

For photos of my solar eclipse day, please visit my other blog:

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


buttoned cat in vest and bowtie

Pero el gato quiere ser solo gato y todo es gato desde bigote a cola
Pablo Neruda
But all a cat wants to be is a cat and nothing but cat from head to tail. 
Pablo Neruda

This week on scribble picnic, the theme is buttoned which has inspired this dapper cat in a buttoned vest and bowtie. I've drawn this with sumi ink and De Atramentis document inks. It's a greeting card that I'll be sending to my sister. Above and below are some of my favorite cat quotes.

And how to you know you're mad?

To begin with, said the cat, a dog's not mad. You grant that?

I suppose so, said Alice.

Well then, the cat went on, you see a dog growls when it's angry, and wags it's tail when it's pleased.

Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore, I'm mad.
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Wishing everyone a creative week.

joining Scribble Picnic

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


journal pages, curtain

This week's theme for scribble picnic is "curtain" which had me thinking of different types of curtains other than the kind that cover windows. Hair covering a person's face came to mind as a way we drape ourselves. I also found a beautiful quote by L. Montgomery.

wishing everyone a productive week!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

coccinellidae and lathyrus odoratus

sweet peas and a ladybird,  art journal page

Sweet peas are in bloom and I love their sweet scent.  I have a few buds sitting in a vase on my desk.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

daisies and lavender

art journal, Gallery Juana
art journal, daisies and quote

Thou must gather thine own sunshine.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

The summer days have been perfect this month. Walking home from the grocery store, I admired the daisies and lavender in full bloom. These sights went into my journal pages. I used India ink, acrylics, watercolors, and chalks to color the pages.

daisies, lavender, art journal, Gallery Juana
daisies and lavender, art journal

Burrow a while and build, broad on the roots of things.
Robert Browning

Sunday, June 25, 2017

poem and a painting

detail of poem and a painting, gravity

Last week, as I was browsing in my local second-hand shop, I came across a palm-sized book about Braque printed in 1958. It covers Braque's cubism and papier collé period from 1906 to 1920. During that same week, I also was working on a poem.

When I finished the poem, I wanted to match a painting to it. I knew which drawing I wanted to use, but what additions would I add? I picked up the book I had bought the previous day on Braque. Leafing through the booklet, sparks of ideas on a painting began to fly. Everything came together and I felt satisfied that the painting illustrated my poem perfectly.


There are days
when I am in pieces,
broken and scattered.

And there are other days 
when I am like a collapsed cloud
of dust and atoms,
full of possibility.

All the scattered pieces
get pulled in and compressed;
until from the core of my soul,
dense and hot,
a new self emerges.

Juana Almaguer
June 18, 2017

poem and a painting, gravity, gallery juana
poem and a painting, gravity

The sparks are still flying, and I'm working on a new series of paintings inspired by this poem and a painting.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I'll be spending the day riding my bicycle out to a new trail system and exploring its forest.

joining Sunday sketches

Saturday, June 17, 2017

charcoal sketching male figures

male figure, may 28, 2017

Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer, and clearer still. The image is passing through you in a physiological way, into your brain, into your memory - where it stays - it's transmitted by your hands.
Martin Gayford, A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney

male figure, charcoal sketch

I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at - not copy it.
Georgia O'Keefe

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
Tracy Weinzapfel

For these pages, I sketched some figures with pencil, then with pen, and lastly with charcoal. Each time I didn't like what I had drawn, I'd switch to a different tool. The practice of trying again and again takes me back to 4th grade with Sister James Edwards, standing tall in her traditional Nun's habit, reminding me, "If at first you don't succeed, ..."

joining Sunday Sketches (link in side bar)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

male figure sketching and sumi ink drawing

I'm continuing to delve into figure sketching. The weather has been wonderful and keeps me outside most days, so this past week I only converted one sketch to a sumi ink drawing which is titled, Abstract Figure IV, May 2017.

sumi ink drawing, gallery Juana,  etsy
male figure, sumi ink drawing

male figure sketch, Gallery Juana
male figure, pencil sketch

The weather is beckoning me outside again, so I'm off to jog in the woods.

wishing everyone a good weekend and
joining sunday sketches

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Figures, Journal pages and sketchbook

gallery Juana
woman, gesture drawing, journal page

I am getting back to figure drawing again. The above gesture drawing was inspired by a vintage photo. I drew the figure using a pearl ex metallic and gum arabic mixed with water and a bit of white watercolor. The background is red acrylic paint.

male figure sketch, gallery Juana
male figure sketch, journal page

Without haste, but without rest. 

figure sketches, gallery Juana
figure sketching

figure sketches, gallery Juana
figure sketches

Sometimes sketches are overlaid upon each other as I warm-up and work out ideas. Even when it feels like I'm not moving forward, I remind myself that nothing is wasted. Every mark is a move forward.

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance... and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.
Henry James

joining Sunday Sketches (link in side bar)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Black Crow, March Journal page

crow with stick in beak

Spring has been showing hints through March of her arrival. And with the change of seasons. the crows that dwell in the woods beyond my window have begun collecting materials to build their nests.

I used a photo I took of a crow as inspiration for the drawing for this journal page. Using a dip pen and Higgin's calligraphy black ink, I drew the bird and then add washes of color. The Higgin's ink is light and has hints of brown. I then added some De Atramentis document ink in blue. The background is a mix of gesso and Daniel Smith's rich green gold acrylic.

journal page, crow gathering sticks

wishing everyone a good weekend and joining Sunday sketches.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hope is the thing with feathers

february 27 journal page

I love this poem by Emily Dickinson (see the full poem below). And it inspired this sumi ink drawing in my journal. The bird shows signs of scuffles and looks a bit scraggy. I didn't intend to draw it that way. I started out with the general outline and then added patterns and markings. In the end, maybe this is how I picture Hope.

Hope is not the new born. She is older. She is the one who has been there in the dark times and continued singing despite the storm. She's weathered the twists and turns that come with being alive. She's stayed strong and vigilant. And she continues to remind us to stay courageous and keep moving forward.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Spring officially begins tomorrow and today has been a beautiful, sunny day. I wish everyone a sun-filled week.

joining Sunday Sketches

Saturday, March 11, 2017

journal pages, march 02, 2017

Last year I bought what I thought was a book of quotes. When I got home, I realized it was more like one of those balls that you shake to answer your question. Now I see why it's called "Book of Answers."

It has some really good quotes mixed in with other pages that just say yes, no, maybe, perhaps. For this year's journal, I deconstructed that book, tore out all the pages and sewed in my own pages for journalling. I've saved the pages with quotes that I like to use in my journal.

journal page, march 08, 2017

Sometimes the quote inspires the journal page; other times the journal page comes first, and I see if there is a quote that fits.

Every year at this time, I buy daffodils as they remind me of home. I drew the ones that are sitting on my table and then wrote down all the experiences in my day that make me smile.

joining sunday sketches (link in sidebar)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Enso February 2017

Enso III - February 2017, 4 x 4 inches

I enjoy the process of creating small Enso pieces. There is a lot of unexpected results that occur with these art pieces. They take flexibility, patience and forgiveness on my part. Each layer needs time to dry completely before I add another.

Every layer has its own character. Some are cranky while others are not. Each one deserves its own focus, and in the end they all come together to make up one piece.

Enso IV - February 2017

We do not need magic to transform our world.
We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.
― J.K. Rowling

joining sunday sketches

Sunday, February 26, 2017

journal pages from vacation

journal page, self-portrait

My husband and I took a short vacation. We decided to not take the bicycles and rely either on our own two feet or public transportation. On the train heading to Seattle, I sketched myself in the window's reflection.

I like butter, journal page

During one of our long walks on Bainbridge Island, two teenagers eating pizza passed by us. One teen was talking loudly so we could hear his conversation as they approached and until they passed us. I didn't think my husband was also listening, but both of us started chuckling at the same time! He had heard the guy's "I like butter!" soliloquy too.

It was a good trip. Being off the internet and computer for three full days was just what I needed. I came back feeling refreshed. I've put up photos from the trip on instagram and my photo blog.

wishing everyone a good week and joining sunday sketches.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

art journal page, taking care of the sense

art journal, February 13, 2017

Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.
Lewis Carroll

I take a daily walk to the local grocery store. It's about a half mile each way. Depending on the weather and time of day, the sights and sounds differ. There is always something to appreciate, rain or shine.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

an endless becoming

journal page with sumi ink, de atramentis document inks
journal page with sumi ink, de atramentis document inks

I finished this drawing and doodles a few days ago. I wanted to add a quote to the blue sky area and spent the morning looking for a quote to match the feeling of this journal page.

Nothing stable.
Nothing absolute.
All is fluid and changeable.
There is an endless becoming.

Benjamin Cordozon

I was needing this reminder.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Crow and quote, journal pages, fountain pen inks

De Atramentis document and J. Herbin inks, enso and crow

At the beginning of January, I was looking through photos I'd taken over the years. I came across this photo of a crow on the beach and that inspired this journal page. I edited the year to read 2017 as I wrote 16 by mistake.

I used De Atramentis document inks in Fuchsia, Fog Grey, and Yellow. For the bird, I used  J. Herbin Cacao de Chypre and sumi ink for the Enso and quote.

Exhaust the realm of the possible.
Peter Pindar

joining sunday sketches

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March poster

line drawing, first layer

Saturday morning, January 21, I worked on my poster for my local Women's March. There are so many issues at stake right now, not only for women but also for humanity and the environment, so I wanted an image and words that would symbolize what's at stake. I did the above portrait a long time ago and used the line drawing for this poster.

layers of acrylics and sharpie

I came across a quote by Edgar Mitchell tweeted by Neil deGrasse Tyson which highlighted taking a step back to see a bigger picture, to look beyond our individual experiences and view our world collectively. How to say all of that in my own words?

Before the march, my husband and I went for a bicycle ride to the forest and went hiking. I loved being out there in nature, so I didn't realize how late it was. When we returned home, I only had about 15 minutes to add the words to my poster. I wrote down what came to mind and felt good about it. We are in this together.

We're in this together. women's march poster

Saturday, January 7, 2017

January journal pages, week 1

I finished making my journal-calendar book just in time for the New Year. Rather than have three separate journals (writing, drawing, doodles) I am putting them all in one book this year. So I have several sections with fountain-friendly paper for writing, watercolor paper for drawing, and graph paper for doodles and brainstorming.

doodle fun

quotes, watercolor and sumi ink


Wishing everyone well in 2017.

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