Form with fire and brush

Many of Delaney’s sculptures and paintings include balls that seem to be caught in a moment of time.

“I am a sculptor, and I paint,” said Karen Delaney as she settled into a chair in her welding studio/garage. She uses the more time-consuming oxy-acetylene welding process on thin sheet metal to create her sculptures' unique look. She flipped through a sketchbook as she described her process, “I sketch to get the proportions right

Her love of welding dates to a summer camp she attended at Bucknell University during high school. She summed up her reaction to the welding demonstration in one word, “thrilling.”

“Abstract is what feels right to me,” said Delaney, as she explained how she uses her sculptures to explore negative space, her quick hands pointing out the tightness of one of her new pieces. While her use of sculpture to create art links to her high school days, her renewed interest in painting is relatively recent. “I found some paintings I did in college of sculptures that I had made, and they led me to start painting again.”

“The color I used in painting inspired me to add color to my sculptures,” said Delaney as she led the way down to her painting studio in her basement. The studio is populated with both sculptures and paintings, creating a visual timeline of her artistic journey. “With all this heat, I am focusing more on painting.”

Delaney credits a retired sculpture professor from her undergraduate years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, internationally recognized artist James Nestor, with influencing her work ethic and vision. “He gave me permission to do what I wanted, to dig in deep, explore and let that come up.”

“They made me who I am,” said Delaney, referring to both Nestor and Radford art professor Charlie Brouwer, who she studied with for her graduate degree.

Her 3—D Line Drawing Series is a recent addition to her linear sculptures.

Reflecting on her younger self, she shared that she used to be concerned with other people’s opinions, but as she matured, she ignored those thoughts. “Is it any good? That intimidating voice is GONE.”

Delaney’s works are often seen in area shows like the recent one at the Church Street Gallery, but she also accepts commissions from people looking for a unique piece of artwork. She loves the challenge of interpreting the best sculpture or painting for the space they have in mind. “It’s important to me that it fits in that space.”

“I like to think that my sculptures cause us to reflect and think, like the pagodas in Asia,” said Delaney while she pointed out that her sculptures invite people to walk around them as they have no back. Her pagoda series of paintings abandons the symmetry of the actual buildings to create a new take on the spiritual form.

“I see myself as formalist versus a conceptualist,” said Delaney as she explained that for her, the form takes precedence over the concepts. Over time, her exploration of form has changed and the more voluminous works of a few years ago have given way to newer linear works. “In the future, I see these new linear works merging with the forms used in my older works.”

For more information:

Karen Delaney Studio

Karen Delaney on Facebook

Instagram: Karendelaneystudio

About Karen Myers

Karen Myers lives in Pocopson Township and has written for several local publications. A strong supporter of our community, Karen has served on several non-profit boards, such as Pocopson Elementary PTO, The United Way of Southern Chester County, Chester County Art Association and Tick Tock Early Learning Center. She received her M.B.A. from the University of Delaware and worked in marketing and operations with a focus on banking.

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