My journey with rubber stamping started 15 years ago when a friend invited me to attend a Stampin’ UP! party. It was 1999. I felt obligated to buy a stamp, which was a Celtic stamp set. I never opened the box when I got my order. A year later, my same friend invited me again to another one of her parties. I bought one more stamp set. This time, something clicked. The projects and cards that I made that night piqued my interest and I started taking classes at my local stamp store. The rest is history. Shortly thereafter, I found Oriental Stamp Art. I joined this group on August 15, 2001 and slowly got more and more involved in all aspects of the group.
There hasn’t ever been a time where I haven’t been interested in Asian culture. One of my good friends in seventh grade was Japanese. She and I would have many discussions about her culture. I remember one time discussing sumo wrestlers…what a conversation to have when you are only 13 years old! This interest led me to searching handmade cards with the oriental theme when I first started stamping. That’s when I found OSA. I loved the peace and tranquility of many of the Masters’ woodblocks and paintings I had seen. To see this interpreted with rubber stamps was just amazing to me.
I have no background in art and no natural artistic ability like my husband and daughters have. However, early on, I truly appreciated art and wished I could create like those around me. For me, learning how to rubber stamp has allowed me to develop and expand my creative side. Every day, I learn something new related to stamping.
Yes, I do have a stamping room. When my older daughter moved out, her room very slowly was transformed into my stamping room. I have been collecting rubber stamps for about 15 years, so you can imagine I have quite a few. I look at some of my older stamps and I say to myself, “What did I ever see in this stamp enough to buy it?” One day, I’ll have to go through those and begin to cull. Of course, none of these images are oriental in nature.
Right now, my favorite technique is to use colored pencils, blending with Gamsol. Recently, I have bought a number of alcohol markers so that I can have another way to blend colors. Unfortunately, I am not even close to having mastered using them!
With respect to my personal background, most of you know I am originally from Puerto Rico. When young, I lived in various states and in Panama, as my dad was in the army and was transferred around until his retirement. I came to the United States to study at a small private college in Wisconsin. After graduation, I got a teaching job in the same town. I also met Bill, my future husband, shortly thereafter. Bill and I have been married 37 years. We have two daughters, Marisol and Sara. Both girls are certified teachers and are employed in different school districts.
I have been retired since June 13th of last year after teaching for 38 years. Now that I am retired, I have been able to travel more. I am always thinking of where we should go next!
Lastly, I have been asked to share some of my favorite artwork. I would say that I created my favorite artwork while I was on the creative board for Spectrum. Spectrum was OSA’s online magazine. Every few months or so, we published the magazine. Each publication had a specific theme. Research was done and artwork was created around that theme. You can see some of the artwork I created for the publication below, along with other of my artwork.
If you are still reading this time, I thank you! I encourage all of you to create and post your artwork to our group. We learn so much from each other…I know I have!