Watercolor, Sumi Ink, Figure Drawing by Juana Almaguer

August 2008, Kahoku Shinbun newspaper,  Sendai, Japan 

How it all started

While living in Japan in the 1990's, I studied Suibokuga (Chinese Watercolor and Sumi Ink Painting on rice paper). The traditional and controlled form of Suibokuga had an important impact on my art, as well as my development as an artist.

Learning Sumi Painting, Sapporo, Japan

I am very stubborn when it comes to learning. I like to discover for myself how to do something. So when I joined the Suibokuga class, I was very resistant to all the rules that had to be followed when painting. I thought, "How can anyone be creative with all these restrictions?"

As time passed, my understanding and appreciation of that Art form took shape. I began to see the benefit of practicing the same brush strokes, in a particular order, time and time again. Through this discipline, I learned that the brush strokes become a part of me -- instinctual -- allowing creativity to lead. I realized that the hand works from memory: creativity is discipline in disguise.

Toward the end of my studies, I started exploring painting the figure. I have developed my own style using what I had learned in my Asian Art Sumi Ink Painting class.

My watercolor and sumi ink paintings focus primarily on the nude figure.  The image is as important as the “unpainted” space.

Materials that I love to use in my mixed media art works: Rice Paper (washi), watercolors, sumi ink, acrylics, gouache, pencil, ephemera, and canvas.

Selected Exhibitions and Press


August 2008, Kahoku Shinbun newspaper, Japan
August 2008, Re-bridge Edit Gallery, Japan
August 2007, launched GalleryJuana.etsy.com
2001, Gallery 25, California
November 1998, Cafe Monet, California


Dec 2011, City Arts Gallery, Rogue Festival, California
Dec 2000, Gallery 25, California
July 1999, Arte Americas, California
April 1996, Mariya Craft Gallery, Japan
June 1995, Chokin Art Gallery, Japan
January 1994, Maruzen Art Gallery, Japan
October 1994, Mariya Craft Gallery, Japan

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