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San Clemente Journal

Artist Rick Delanty - Spirituality with a Brush

Aug 18, 2014 10:07AM ● By Bill Thomas

Former teacher and award winning artist Rick Delanty paiants spirituality with a brush.

by Bill Thomas with Danielle Juncal

In addition to teaching for 32 years at San Clemente High School, Rick Delanty has a catalog of 1,890 paintings. His artistic creations continue to appear in art galleries and stores, as well as art shows and exhibits. He also conducts workshops at the San Clemente Art Center, coordinates art programs for youth, and serves as an art judge for such organizations as the San Clemente Art Association. As an artist, he is extremely industrious, usually working on several pieces at a time, at their natural settings or in his home workshop.  

As to time allocation, “It’s hard to place a time frame on a painting,” Rick suggests. “Much depends on the size of the painting; colors; mood, light or darkness when the sun, clouds, leaves or water are moving. Some days, I can complete a painting in one hour; other times it might take two weeks. It’s like writing a novel: 500 words one day and 1000 another.” 
His style is landscape impressionism, rather than portrait, human body, structural, or figure drawing. Prices of his paintings range from a few dollars to $12,500 depending on size, time invested, and artistic considerations. His is the life of an artist. 

“Nature is my focus,” he relates. “Each situation has its own requirements. Painting is fun, and this guy who’s doing it is also having fun. It provides a sense of freedom. That’s why I paint landscapes rather than draw figures. It’s more imaginative. I don’t have to worry about the space between the eyes and nose and other features of the human body. Discipline is important when I look at a landscape. How does it all fit together? How can I treat shapes and colors? What allows me to be imaginative?”

His “artist’s statement” follows:  “Intuition and spontaneity play key roles in the development of my landscape paintings. Expressive brushwork conveys my emotional response to that landscape in my search to describe the ‘essence’ behind the ‘form.’ Acrylics are my chosen medium, for their color, liquidity, versatility, and durability, although I frequently paint en plean air in oil. Subjects selected for painting fulfill my continued search for imagery that captures truth, beauty, power, and life. The use of color symbolism and compositional structure guide me as I participate in an unfolding process of creating a simplified order out of the abundant detail and complexity of nature, pointing me to the supernatural as it is partially revealed in the visible world. Even though the artworks are about nature, I feel that the awesome beauty and perfection of Creation, either on earth or in heaven, cannot be imitated. Instead, I seek to balance abstract design and color with a real experience of nature, in hopes that the viewer will connect with his own experience of both the worldly and the universal.” 

Collectors of Rick’s works include San Clemente resident Bob Adams, a businessman and amateur artist who started his collection with two large watercolors in his Rancho San Clemente business park building. Now owning 17 Delanty paintings, he plans to retire, take lessons from Rick, and writes “…he is a great artist and a very good person.” 
Yvonne Boseker has added ten of Rick’s paintings to the Edward H. and Yvonne J. Boseker Collection of California Artists, begun in 1969.  Several years ago, they added “beautiful coastal scenes” from landscape artists who had shown in Laguna Beach, finding their works very beautiful and very competitive with some of the old masters works. Rick Delanty’s were included. She commented, “Rick is one of the favorites of my whole family. I love the bright colors he paints with and the touching scenes he captures.”        
His art endeavors were recently shown at Dana Point’s Philharmonic House of Design, and he was named “Best in Show” at the American Landscape exhibition in Staunton, Virginia, by Juror M. Stephen Doherty, artist and editor-in-chief of Plein Air Magazine. His works have appeared in the Laguna Art Festival for a number of years and will continue this summer. As a professional juror of art works, he is judging the 54th offering of June’s San Clemente Art and Craft Fair and the 51st presentation of the Anaheim Art Association’s Open Art Exhibition.  His original works appear in the International Art Book, Best of World Wide Artists. 

Rick’s paintings are displayed at his home gallery, where he has offered 18 annual shows, the most recent in June entitled “nocturnes and sunset originals.” He also has hangings in San Clemente’s Casa Romantica. Three of his en plein air paintings were included in Salt Lake City’s Mark Slusser Gallery’s “Plein Air Invitational Exhibition” with other artists from France, Russia, California, and Utah. 

The gallery owner, Mark Slusser, emailed, “This show will feature three terrific paintings by Rick that depict scenes of the magnificent Southern California landscape. Rick paints romantic, moving coastal landscapes that very much appeal to people.” 

Mark also noted that Rick is the type of artist who shares his painting experiences as a working colleague with other artists who continuously learn from one another. He is looking forward to Rick’s drawing some of Utah’s incomparable national forest scenes.

“I’m a landscape artist rather than just a seascape artist,” Rick states. “However, I enjoy interpreting the quality of living water. Water’s movement and changing colors are fascinating.”  
Rick indicated that some artists develop specific systems in interpreting water’s movements and colors – the light, the shadow, the white water - and repeat them over and over again. He prefers to paint such moving situations like life, taking it as it comes and following its own requirements. 
He said, “In order to make it look like it looks, you have to find the key to that particular design. It could be a pattern; it might be the color pallet, the emotion created. When you share a painting, does it make the observer feel warm or cool? Every painting has to have its own character; a regular system doesn’t work.”

Looking at one of the many paintings hung on his living room wall, he said he’d painted it over four times before he captured the specific feeling he desired.   

Rick’s involvement in his San Clemente community, his interaction with people who request his commissioned art, his continued work with students, his continued interaction with artists and art lovers, and his dedication to his career are all motivators. 

There are also two recreational influences on the types of art Rick Delanty produces: swimming and running. He credits water with providing varied feelings and movements across his body, the curling around rocks, just the experiences of being in water, its many patterns, its flows and temperatures. Running allows him to think, provides colors as major symbolisms, how they make you feel emotionally. Reds can represent danger, violence, or passion. Blues range from calm to disastrous. For three weeks this summer, the Delantys will cruise around and travel within England, Ireland, and Scotland for the first time. A busy artist will be at work. 

Rick’s webpage is a major reference site – It divides his demonstrated works into three categories: American Coastal, American Landscape, and New Works, the third recently added allowing him to introduce new ideas and new colors. The site is informative and inclusive. It’s a “place of peace” meaning, the feelings the artist desires from his art-loving audience. 

He relates, “They need a release from everyday life, a resting place where they feel away from life’s distractions. It provides a release from chaos and confusion, away from what creates stress and anxiety. It provides times and places where they can think, where they can look at the attributes of life.” It’s his spiritual reflection.