Pieces, pen and ink, figure line drawing

Pieces II, pen drawing, juana almaguer
Pieces II, micron pen drawing

Recently I came across these pen, abstract figure drawings that I did several years ago. I had meant to post them in my Etsy shop; but life happened, and they stayed quietly in my drawer of drawings.

When I came across them again last week, I was reminded of that time in my life when I was taking care of my Mom.

Pieces II, pen drawing, juana almaguer
detail of Pieces II

She used to tell me how on the first day of Kindergarten I wasn't fussing but excited to start school. There was no crying or separation anxiety.   So I was pretty independent since a young age,. And that continued when I took my first solo travels in Europe at the age of 20 and then moved overseas when I was 22.

I never realized how well she understood me and how much she respected my independence. Throughout all her "muchacha" warnings, she practiced patience with my never-ending thirst for adventure. She kept close watch over me without hindering my curiosity.

She showed me through her actions and shared stories how to be strong, determined yet humble. She never got a high school diploma and went to work in the fields with her Mom and Dad. Now married and with two kids (both under the age of 6), she wanted to get a job as a teacher's assistant. This meant she had to go back to school around the age of 44. She worked during the day and went to junior college at night with us in tow. She completed the necessary classes for her high school diploma and the early childhood education college units and went to work as a teacher's assistant.

I completed these drawings shortly after she passed away. This set of drawings, titled Pieces, came into being piece by piece. I was drawing free form, with no subject or motif, and this figure appeared cradling, holding a bundle in its hands.

Pieces II, pen drawing, gallery juana
Pieces II, detail

Maybe this was my way of piecing myself together and quilting the emotions and memories into some order that I could comprehend.

Have you ever drawn something that expressed in a visual form what you were feeling?

joining Sunday Sketches


  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful line drawing and the story that goes with it! It is very expressive. I realize I tend to just paint things that appeal to me visually, no stories behind them really.

  2. Your mother sounds like an incredible person. I love this art, it is beautiful and moving.

  3. What a wonderful Mother ! Fantastic pen creations ~ dynamic!

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

  4. Absolute beautiful art, I painted an icon after my dad passed away, it a healing process

  5. What a beautiful day to remember your mother. Your drawings are stunning. I deal with depression and worry by creating my art. It is so therapeutic. It is hard adjusting to not being around the children after having taught 54 years. But now I have my art just as you have yours. Your pieces are wonderful. genie

  6. Wonderful memories of your mother. Awww Wonderful pen drawing...fab detail and emotion weaved together. :)

  7. really nice linework, full of a lot of emotion :)

    I use to draw art that expressed what I was feeling when I was a kid, not anymore tho

  8. Stunning drawings and a beautiful background story. I'm sure your Mum would be very proud of your artwork. x

  9. Wonderful post Juana. Your Mom was a blessing! Love this piece, the thoughtfulness, contemplation. Nurturing...
    To independence and adventures!


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