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Q&A with Award Winner Sheila DeLaquil

In the July All-Media Show, on view through August 6, juror Katie Dell Kaufman awarded the Larry Kirstein Award to Just Waiting, a mixed-media piece by Sheila DeLaquil. “I like the mixed media approach, and I love how the eye is in constant motion,” Kaufman said. (You can read more of the juror’s dialogue here.)

We asked Sheila to tell us more about the painting and her creative process.

What was your inspiration for Just Waiting?
Sheila: My primary idea was to control myself in terms of color choices. Be subtle. No bright colors or strong values.

Is it part of a series?
It’s hard for me to know if I’m working in a series or not. My work pattern is to start several pieces simultaneously. Sometimes I go back and repeat some aspect of what I did in a previous piece.

What drew you to mixed media for this piece, and what draws you to acrylic and watercolor in general?
For this piece, I needed the textured underpainting, since I didn’t want to use much color. In the past, I painted only with watercolors, which I loved, but now, with acrylics, I can more easily create opacity, layers and remove section of the work, if that’s what it needs.

“Just Waiting” by Sheila Delaquil

What materials went into the painting?
“Just Waiting” has a textured gesso underpainting, then some line drawing with pencil, some shape creation by removing parts and very diluted application of pigment to limited areas of the piece.

What is your creative process like?
I’m interested in working on ideas from my head and not representing anything. Usually I start with a compositional idea.

What do you want the viewer to come away with?
I’d like the viewer to find something interesting to look at in each element of the piece, with their eyes automatically moving around the painting.

What are you working on now?
For some unknown reason, recently I’ve been working only in a square format, most often on paper that’s 12″x12″. I start several pieces at the same time, create strong shapes with a dark value paint, then use a crayon to soften edges and recompose. I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this, but the process is interesting to me.

Our past interviews with monthly award winners can be found here.

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