Sandy Delehanty

My background

I graduated in a class of eleven from Fort Jones High School and went on to study art at Chico State where I earned my bachelor’s degree and secondary teaching credential only to discover I did not like teaching art to teenagers. Fast forward 17 years of working in the business world when I met my new husband’s aunt, Betty Lynch AWS. Betty inspired me to try watercolors and that opened a whole new career for me. I became a full time artist and watercolor workshop instructor in 1997 and have never looked back. My paintings have won many awards (some even national) and I have traveled the world teaching Watercolor Workshops. But the greatest gift I have received is the opportunity to follow my passion for creating paintings every day.

How has my practice changed through the years?

I painted acrylics in college, discovered watercolor in 1985 and added oils to my list of mediums in 2000. I have always enjoyed drawing in pen and ink. I love to create travel journals sketching with ink and watercolor. Lately I have been painting watercolors without a brush by mixing pigment with water in cups and pouring the color onto watercolor paper. Its great fun, because I do not know where the colors will land!

My favorite painting?

“Pedal to the Metal” a watercolor created with poured color.

What memorable response have you had to your work?

I just love it when people laugh at my silly giraffe paintings. I create them as my antidote to all the bad news we are bombarded with each day, so when they make someone giggle our laugh out loud, it makes my day.

What creative medium would I love to pursue?

Encaustics. I am playing around with the medium but have a long way to go before I become really adept with this tricky, but fun medium.

What role do artists have in society?

We take the temperature, we lead the way, we make people think, we bring serenity, beauty or smiles, we agitate, we invigorate, we reflect the culture of our times.

What is the best advice I have been given?

Here are two pieces of advice that changed my life:

“A young woman with a college degree has the power to make her own choices in life.” Jax Jacob, my grandmother

“ You can do this, you can become a professional artist. You have the passion, now you just need to practice, practice, practice, it takes persistence.” Betty Lynch AWS, my art mentor