Armando Romero, a local artist who is a guidance counselor for several elementary schools in the Douglas Unified School District as well as at Loreto Catholic School, said doing this kind of artwork is relaxing and rewarding.
“I was born and raised here,” he said. “I attended Faras (Elementary), Ray Borane (Middle School), graduated from Douglas High School, from there went to NAU, graduated from there, went into the Army as a medic for my four in, four out. Graduated from Grand Canyon University with a master’s degree. I wanted to come back and help make a difference.”
Romero said it was about a year ago he became interested in wood-burning art.
“There are pictures that I have burnt onto birch wood,” he said. “I have a laser that imprints the image and from there I epoxy it. The epoxy is meant to help it last forever. From there, I use wood glue and finish nails and apply a router on the side. I put it all with a backing.
“Each one comes with an inscription on the back called the Kiddos Club ,which is a mentorship program I am starting here in Douglas. It has my name, a serial number and a little description. I have them cataloged. My goal is to eventually have these on display in Tucson, Phoenix, hopefully Las Vegas with the ultimate goal being New York.”
Romero said he has more than 50 pieces on display this month, along with some pieces he’s selling foir $10 that have what he calls defects because the glue didn’t adhere right, or something else occurred.
Most of Romero’s artwork sells for about $100 per image.
“To make these images takes a long time,” he said. “Just the printer takes six to nine hours. The epoxy takes a whole day. From there it takes three days to clear. Then I come back, and hand make the frames. That takes another day or so. I usually do one or two at a time. I typically start one on Monday and will hopefully finish it on Friday or Saturday.”
Romero’s images on display range from wild to domestic animals, religious, scenic and military. He even has a few images of Poncho Villa as well as the Gadsden Hotel.
“I bought the rights to many of these pictures,” he said. “I make one of each image. I don’t mass copy.”
Romero said David Velasco has been very helpful in helping Armando refine his art.
“The first day I came in here I was lucky enough to meet him,” he said. “He saw my original one and helped me refine some of my pieces. He also does custom work so if someone gives him a picture he will do it for them.”