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All Things Ampersand

Featured Artist: Sandy Delehanty

“For my work, archival quality is key.  People spend good money to purchase my paintings, and I want them to out last me and the collectors who buy them. As I tell my students, when it comes to art supplies you get what you pay for.  A cheap surface is awful to work on and even more frustrating for students just learning to work in watercolors.  Ampersand’s Aquabord performs so well that even my least experienced students can create paintings they are proud of.”  — Sandy Delehanty


Birds Back to Back

Internationally acclaimed California artist, Sandy Delehanty has an extensive resume in both oils and water media as well as a full plate as a workshop instructor world-wide.  Sandy claims she is obsessed with painting and never runs out of ideas, which is evident in looking at her growing portfolio.  With a BFA from California State and numerous studies under renowned artists, Sandy’s design and style in all her work are uniquely her own and beautifully rendered.  

Sandy has spent decades refining her work and business and came to Ampersand Aquabord™ in 2008 during the crisis time before a show opening.  With three short weeks left and three paintings to complete and frame, a friend handed her a piece of Aquabord with cradles.  “I painted a zebra portrait with a red background and zebra stripes around the cradle edge creating a fun built in frame.  I was done in just two days.  I painted two more watercolors on Aquabord.  The show went well, and the three paintings on the Aquabord were the first to sell,” Sandy explains.   Those bold colors inspired my next series of watercolors on Aquabord– tropical flowers.  In August 2009, when the California art market was at its worst, I had a show of watercolor flower paintings at Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento.   We decided to test the market for watercolors on Aquabord.  We hung sixteen new flower paintings, eight watercolors on paper framed under glass, and eight watercolor paintings on Aquabord with the cradle edges painted black.   We sold eight paintings; seven watercolors on Aquabord and one watercolor on paper.  Gallery owners always say that it is far easier to sell works on canvas or panel than works on paper.  They say collectors complain about glare on glass, and they just don’t seem to appreciate the value of works on paper.   Now that I paint my watercolors on Aquabord the gallery owners are actually asking for my watercolor paintings as well as my oils.”

Tongue Tied

Sandy purposefully chooses her subjects for their bright colors, and the subject dictates the medium she’ll work in.  “Tropical flowers look best when painted in watercolor on Aquabord™ because of the intense color that Aquabord makes possible.  I started my Aquabord adventure with a zebra painting, and I still choose watercolor on Aquabord to paint animals.  Tongue Tied my giraffe painting was so much fun to paint on Aquabord because I used wet in wet, slipping, sliding, pouring and spraying of watercolor to create the background.”  Tongue Tied recently won the second place award in painting at the 8th Annual “Animal House” Open juried show at the Sacremento Fine Art Center.  I also chose Aquabord when I painted Venetian Masks because I wanted to use a lifting technique to create the feathers and no watercolor surface lifts as well as Aquabord.  I used iridescent watercolors on the masks to add sparkle,” she explains.

Venetian Masks

Besides the plein air and studio work that Sandy accomplishes stateside, she travels extensively for small companies on art workshops.  Her next trip is with French Escapade to Spain, an 8 day trip beginning August 31.   Sandy works in watercolor on her trips, but she is open to other mediums that students bring along.  Besides the Spain trip, Sandy is teaching numerous other workshops; you can view her summer 2013 schedule here:  www.sandydelehanty.com/workshops
All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

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One thought on “Featured Artist: Sandy Delehanty”

  1. Susan says:

    Really interesting work. Nice article. I love using Ampersand Aqua Board.

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