Color the Emotion

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Can Rubber Stamping Be Art?

Rubber stamping and hand drawing by Peony and Parakeet

I love to explore the fine line between making art and creating crafts. One morning I woke up questioning myself: “Could rubber stamping be art?”  I posted the question on Twitter and got one answer. It was “I would think so.” Yes, I would think so too! The only problem left was: how to stamp so that the result still has my style and does not look too mechanical.

Rubber Stamping without Repeats

I decided to create flowers that have stamped centers but hand drawn pedals.  I used each stamp only once. It is so tempting to stamp one more time with the same stamp! But if you avoid repeats the result looks much more genuine! The only stamp that I used more than once was the leaf stamp. Even the leaf could be different each time, but I ran out of the different shapes.

Rubber stamping and hand drawing by Peony and Parakeet, phase 1

I used black ink and doodled the pedals with a thick black marker. That way the doodles looked pretty similar to the stamped images.

Rubber stamping and hand drawing by Peony and Parakeet, phase 2

Then I colored the stamped areas and hand doodles with markers. And finally, of course: added even tinier hand drawn details with black markers and white correction pens!

Rubber stamping and hand drawing by Peony and Parakeet, a detail

The result is a decorated paper with plenty of flowers but with this concept: using each stamp only once and adding doodles by hand you can create even complex illustrations – something that could be called art!

Here’s another example, made in 2013. In this project, I have used corner stamps that I have borrowed from my friend. They are not placed in corners but stamped to all directions. Then I added doodling. Thin black pen goes well with stamped motifs.

Doodling with stamping.

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22 thoughts on “Can Rubber Stamping Be Art?

    1. Sue, thanks! I have a mixed selection of stamps that I have bought during the years. If you want to buy stamps that will go well together with hand drawing, search for those that have simple shapes and fine lines!

  1. Paivi, of course this is ART, it is memorable and it inspires, two very huge criteria to determine what is art. It is also entirely delightful!!! I love how beautifully you share your talent and you encourage me to make art. Thank you so very much!

    1. Thanks, Matty, your comment brightened my day! Have fun stamping, drawing and creating ART!

  2. Lovely ideas for creating art but supposing you wanted to sell it, do the stamps have an ‘angel policy’ which is the equivalent of copyright – allowing you to do personal work only.
    Super for sketchbooks, though!

    1. Muguet, thanks for your valuable input which was something I should have mentioned, You are right, when selling you have to be careful. I do not have any knowledge about the policy of the stamps that I used, they are so old and I did not save the packages. Usually I scan all the papers that I make so that I can reuse them but I will not scan or sell this paper as I do not have the copyright for the stamps. In general angel policies usually allow stamping but not electronic copies – that is something noticeable too. These kinds of projects that I do not have the full copyright are very rare in my blog, I usually make everything from start to finish. It would be most useful to know if you as readers value general ideas that you can make your own or does it matter to you at all?

  3. Stamping is definitely a form of art. Even if the image was created by someone else than you. The art is in what you do with your stamps, how you combine them, the compsition of your piece, your color choice. When stamping you make your own creatio . Thanks for the reflexion! Great flower page!

    1. Sylvia, thanks! Welcome to follow my blog! And welcome to subscribe my newsletter!

  4. Paivi, I love receiving your newsletters, and mean to try your kind of doodle soon – on the phone I automatically doodle flower/crochet/tatting kind of shapes so that is a start.

    I have just been looking at mandalas on Pinterest, and wondered if that is an area you have explored? Cheers, Sally

    1. Sally, I am so glad you like my newsletter. I love mandalas too! That’s a great future subject for the blog, thank you!

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