Senior in Action -Rick J. Delanty, Artist

Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen
Former County of LA Public Library Administrator is having the time of her life as a retiree; meeting fascinating people who are active seniors, and volunteering for Soroptimist International of Norwalk and other women’s groups.

Senior in Action –Rick J. Delanty, Artist

As told to Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen

Rick J. Delanty’s website provides a wonderful introduction to this gifted artist.  “Rick J. Delanty is a national award-winning California coastal and landscape artist, who brings his wonder and awe of God’s Creation to canvas. The artist employs both oils and acrylics in the creation of his work. His intention is to reveal the splendor of quiet corners of the Earth, offering the viewer the opportunity to experience the wonder and peace of Nature. His impressionistic style brings not only the scenes of California to life, but inspires the viewer with his concentration on creating mood and movement in every artwork. The artist conveys his own experiences in nature with bold, vibrant colors, intermingled with a subtlety and sensitivity that speak of peace, hope and life.”

In May-June 2021, a selection of Rick Delanty’s paintings were featured in a solo exhibition at Casa Romantica’s gallery in his hometown of San Clemente.  His newly-released book, Beauty Unites Us, was available for purchase and autographs. This book features fifty-two meditations accompanying reproductions of Delanty’s American Landscape Art.  It also includes his “Curriculum Vitae” which reveals he was born in 1951 and received his BA in English Literature and Studio Painting & Drawing in 1974 at UC Santa Barbara.   After graduation, he worked as an Art Educator for San Clemente High School until his early retirement in 2006, giving him time to focus full-time on   creating art.

Rick shares the following Inspiration in his book, Beauty Unites Us: “As I was growing up, I thought that there was some ‘bigger’ force than all of mankind in the universe, controlling the elements and galactic history in some macrocosmic manner that was simultaneously both all-powerful generally, and non-involving of my own personhood specifically. ‘God’ was just ‘out there, somewhere.’ Then in college, while attending a service at a non-denominational church, I saw a huge painting, a mural by one of my professors in the studio art department.  It was a representation of Christ at the center of Creation, arms outstretched and suspended on a cross with flora and fauna intertwined about his limbs and torso.  From then on, it seemed that I could see His image and hear His voice in the wind, among the trees on the hill, in the loftiness of mountains, above the breadth and roar of the sea.  He revealed different facets of His nature to me as I walked, ran, swam, drew, studied, or simply sat and appreciated what He had made.”

Rick’s desire to depict land and seascapes has drawn him to natural settings across the United States, including Yosemite, Hawaii, Glacier National Park, Walden Pond and Niagara Falls to name a few.  Prior to the pandemic, he travelled to religious and historic sites in Italy, Israel, and England for inspiration.

Rick’s wife Lynn is his biggest fan.  Rick shared, “Lynn and I have been married 38 years; she is my right arm, who makes possible my painting career. She speaks to collectors, travels with me to shows, installs exhibitions, and writes posts for social media.” They have two grown daughters, Michelle and Lisa.   Michelle’s exposure to the arts at a young age led her to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high school art educator and practicing artist.  Lisa is a Santa Barbara wine company manager; using creativity to design menus, take photographs and write copy for newsletters.

Running has been a lifelong health habit for Rick Delanty.  “I’ve had the good fortune to twice compete in the Hawaiian International Ironman Triathlon, and in 2020 completed my 70th marathon.  Running disciplines my body, exercises my mind, and is an unending source of ideas for painting.”

In his essay The Beauty of Boldness, Delanty writes: “That’s my goal, to paint like I breathe, easily, effortlessly, and economically.  I’ve heard workshop instructors tell their students, ‘Use the Big Brush!  Paint with confidence and boldly!’  Lots of folks would pay real money to go to a weekend workshop that passed out ‘confidence’ as one of the tools students would be using from then on to create their paintings.  Real confidence only comes from study and practice.”

During the pandemic, art classes were taught virtually, and art galleries were shuttered.  We hope that 2021 will see a revival of gallery openings, and we encourage NBY readers to look for beauty and paint or draw boldly!  Rick J. Delanty’s art can be perused on his website and his book Beauty Unites Us is available for online purchase at the same website, or at Casa Romantica Cultural Center’s gift shop.  Delanty’s art will be represented at the 110th California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition at the Hilbert Museum, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 from July 10-August 7, 2021.

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