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Showing posts from October, 2007

Angel Collage

27cm H x 22 cm W 9 inches H x 7.25 inches W Collage on Canvas Board Copyright © 1998-2007 Juana Almaguer I haven't settled on a title yet. Titles are difficult for me. I wish I could just give everything a date as a title but that seems impersonal. This collage is done with rice paper, Japanese watercolors, acrylic, and ephemera (face and wings). The face and wings are images I found in magazines. The wings were covered with textured rice paper, and I painted the face to add color. I used the body of a rice paper painting I had done last month and various hand-painted rice paper sheets in this collage. There was a lot going on in my mind while I was doing this piece. I would be interested in hearing your interpretations of what this piece means to you.

Etsy Treasury

We have had loads of rain in Sendai for the last two days. I don't have a car and walk pretty much everywhere. By the time I got home, my shoes were pretty soaked. Every year I say I will get rain boots. In the morning, my shoes will be dry, and I'll forget about having to buy rain boots. Some good news today: I joined an Etsy group, VAST, Visual Artist Street Team. A fellow artist and group member, Xbonebrat , put together a Treasury of this group. I am excited to be featured. Treasuries are fun to curate and fun to be in. My notebook with a Japanese Proverb is in the middle of the bottom row.


I lived in Zacatecas, Mexico for four years when I was in my early 30's. Zacatecas is not a popular Foreign tourist's stop. I can't remember why my husband and I decided to go there in the first place. I think we wanted to see a Colonial city that was off the beaten path. Our first visit to Zacatecas was during our month long tour of Mexico when I was in my early-20's. This city is the capital of the State by the same name. If I recall correctly, Zacatecas is the name of a tall grass that grows in that area. The city is located at an altitude of 8000 feet, so summers are hot but dry.... Just perfect for me. I have never been able to adjust to Japan's hot and humid summers. Zacatecas is a colonial, hilly city with a rich history in silver mining. The center of the city has stone-paved roads and beautiful colonial buildings. Since it is the capital and also has a University, there are many festivities throughout the year. I loved living there when we did. In the last

Working with Ink on Rice Paper

I decided to work with mostly ink on rice paper today. This painting on rice paper is a combination of Ink and Japanese Watercolor. I outlined the figure with white paint and then added ink and blue watercolor. Trying to get a gradation, strong points of black, and at the same time, balancing the white with the ink, is always challenging. I haven't put the backing on yet, but I was too excited to hold off on posting this.


He passed me on the street. I heard his steps weighted with years. He must have been sixty dressed in jeans rolled at the cuffs, jacket and cap, work boots. His hands were strong, big hands that worked everyday in the fields in the sun. I thought of my grandfather. We used to walk to the store down the road from my parents' house to buy fudgesicles. He would eat his in several bites, something I could not understand. He spoke no English and the walk from his house to ours was long. He came everyday in summer to see us dressed in his nicest shirt, slacks, boots and hat. He and my mom would sit for hours at the kitchen table talking in some unknown language. He lived in a house that he had built. The house my mom grew up in. It smelled of old walls, vinyl couches and linoleum floors. The garage leaned to one side. Its dark-aged wood holding on to the last minute. November 12, 1999

How This All Started

I have never had any formal training in Art. My undergraduate degree is actually in Counselling. My love for Art has existed since I was a child, but it wasn't until I had taken my first trip abroad to London, that I realized Art defined me. By that time, I had completed 3 years toward my major and was not willing to change majors. When we moved to Japan, I had time and a new beginning but no real direction. I knew I wanted to paint and draw but where to begin was a constant struggle. I moved to Japan the first time just after getting married and graduating from University. I was 21 at that time. We stayed for two years and then flew directly to Mexico to backpack through Northern Mexico. We finally settled in Southern California. After several years of working, we missed Japan and once again moved and settled in Sapporo. While living in Sapporo, I studied Sumi-E (Japanese/Chinese Ink Painting) for 16 months at the Sapporo NHK Bunka Center. The traditional and controlled form of Su

Etsy Treasury

After coming home from work, I got a cute note from TraceysTreasures on Etsy letting me know that she had included me in her TREASURY. What is a treasury? The treasury is a member-curated gallery of 12 hand-picked items which is available for 3 days. Every 3 days other sellers have the chance to be curator. My "Young Man II" watercolor and ink on rice paper is featured in the upper left- hand corner.

What I have been up to and some Inspiration

July, August and September were productive months because I only had to work 20 hours a week. My other part-time job at the Language College started up again in October, so I am juggling my art with my ESL jobs again. It is not that bad though. I have been in Japan for five years. It doesn't feel as though five years have passed. I really love living here. I have been making my rounds to different blogs in the last couple of days. These are a few of my favorite posts: Famous Quotes The person I have always wanted to be To me, at 20 Flying

Raising Awareness for Our Environment

This past summer I watched Live Earth on They had a lot of educational videos that were both informative and entertaining. Until that point, I hadn't realised how desperate our environmental situation is. I realise there are many issues that we should be concerned about such as poverty and lack of affordable healthcare in my own country or poverty and sickness in the world, so this is not to say that we should forget about those issues or ones that I haven't mentioned. October 15 is Blog action day. This year is devoted to our environment. What can we do? Here are some sites to visit for ideas: Msn Live Earth Time Magazine: 51 Things We Can Do to Save the Environment Artists who have joined in this event: Maraya Galleries Papier Colles blogspot My thanks to Maraya Galleries for featuring me in their online gallery for this event. I got this show of appreciation from Neda of Papier Colles:

Monthly Update

The Gallery Juana Newsletter has arrived. If you haven't been to my Etsy shop recently, here is ... What's New: I recently listed postcard sized prints of my Collage titled, Scattered . Size: 4.25inches x 5.6inches 10.6cm x 14 cm Professionally printed on Ultra-heavyweight (120#) card stock Glossy front with matte back I joined "Vast", Visual Artist Street Team at Etsy. Their VAST blog is a great place to find mixed media art. What's in the Works: Geisha I I just finished completing my Collage titled, Geisha. It began with a painting of a Geisha on rice paper which was then glued to canvas board. Textured rice paper dyed with Sumi Ink represents her hair. Japanese fabric adds color and detail to her Kimono. The background was painted with gold acrylic. This collage will be available as postcard sized prints by the end of October. Thank you
I was making my weekly visit to Neda's blog at Papiers Colles , and besides ooohing and aahhing at her art (like I always do), I ran across a link to International Blog Action Day on October 15 . From Blog Action Day's site: "On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic." I will definitely be preparing a blog for that day. Stay tuned...

ACEO - A Pair of Eggplants Collage

65 mm x 90mm 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches Copyrights © remain with the Artist- Juana Almaguer. This collage begins with previously gessoed 140lb watercolor paper. I then glued gold-inlaid rice paper to it (gold is colored not real.) The eggplants were painted on rice paper, cut out and then glued to the aceo. The stems were cut out separately from black, textured rice paper and glued on as well. This aceo has my signature hanko at the top left and has been sprayed with varnish for protection. This is an original, unframed aceo and can be purchased at my Gallery Juana Etsy shop.

Japanese Geisha-Maiko I

Copyright © 2007 Juana Almaguer Mixed Media on Canvas Board 22 cm height x 27.5 cm width 8 inches x 9.5 inches I thought I would step out of the realm of subjects that I usually do and start a series on Japanese Geisha. This first piece in the series is a collage. I used chinese and western watercolors to paint the figure on rice paper, acrylic for the background, fabric for the kimono, textured rice paper for the hair. I accented the hair with paper cut-outs of flowers. The make-up, hair and kimono are loosely based on what a Maiko would wear. I stayed up until 2 a.m. one morning because I wanted to learn more about Geisha and Maiko. I am amazed at the history. I am equally amazed at the strenuous training and sacrifice that Maiko and Geisha must make. Wiki is a good source for information on Geisha.