Sally Delap-John paints en plein air. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, it means to paint from life, outside in landscape, or “in the open air.” She doesn’t even have a studio in her home because the great outdoors is her studio. I visited her the other day and saw her work in person for the first time. And I have to say, she paints these old Spanish land grant villages, and our village of Truchas in particular, better than anyone I’ve seen before.
Sally moved permanently to Truchas last April and is facing her first winter here. But she’d been visiting the village for many years before that. In fact her move here is the realization of a dream. And I suppose that may be the reason her work represents the villages so well: she loves it here and it shows in her paintings.
She has a very good eye and finds the perfect spots from which to work, capturing the old adobes I pass by every day with a sort of reverence, a perceptible respect. Somehow, while painting the modern-day village, she captures their rich history at the same time. Her rather whimsical use of color embodies the spirit of this place. Simply put, her paintings pay homage to the land she now calls home.
Sally’s natural affinity for art blossomed during a year’s study in Florence, Italy. After completing a B.A. and M.A. in geography and art at Fresno State University, she headed to Australia for three years of teaching. Returning to the U.S., she found that teaching at a local community college, as well as taking on private students, allowed her the time to pursue more art classes herself, broadening her range in both watercolors and oils.
You can see Sally’s work at her website: Sally Delap-John. She is also represented by Manitou Galleries, Canyon Road, NM, and has a gallery in her home at 87 RAC Rd. 75, Truchas, NM 87578.
Love to you all,
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