Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Marceil DeLacy: I’ve been active in the creative arts in one way or another all my life. For the past 5 1/2 years I have devoted my full time to sculpture, working exclusively in wood.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
There are two different ways I approach my work. One is when I start with a specific idea of what to carve. The other way is when I start with a piece of wood that has unique characteristics, such as knot holes, cracks, and bark inclusions that help define the subject. Either way requires a partnership with the wood in which I am a co-creator, letting the wood have a say in what it will become. I use a variety of hand and motor tools followed by a lot of sanding. Each piece is finished with either a clear oil or wax to preserve the natural beauty of the wood.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from?
Nature has been my primary source of inspiration. Working in wood is such a natural fit for sculpting nature, particularly the flora and fauna of the Pacific NW. My concern for the environment, including deforestation and the effects of global warming, is evident in my work with salvaged wood.
Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
Traditionally, it has been nature, but living in downtown Seattle during these changing times is increasingly turning my attention to more urban subjects.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
Yes, in the 1980s I carved a sculpture of a rat my dad trapped in the vegetable garden at our house in Richmond Beach. I used the dead rat for a model and the result was so life-like that when the family dog saw the sculpture he froze, waiting for it to move. That sculpture has always had special meaning to me because it was when I first discovered that I had a talent for this kind of work. Currently it is the photo on my business card. It is the only sculpture I won’t sell.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
I grew up in a rural area on the outskirts of Seattle without television or computers, so creativity, a good imagination, and the great outdoors laid the groundwork for my life. Today, in a world so dominated by technology and political turmoil, I feel a need for art that can help us reclaim our lost balance with nature, or at least to remind us of it, causing the viewer to pause and look and maybe smile.
If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find it?
The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art has an exhibit of my work that will be there until mid-February 2019. I also have work on exhibit at the Smith and Vallee Gallery in Edison, WA, The Island Gallery in Bainbridge, and Museo Gallery in Langley. More info and photos of my sculptures can be found on my website: www.marceildelacy.com.
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
One category in the portfolio on my website is called “Taking a Stand.” I would like to do more of that kind of work going forward. It’s about making a comment on our times, leaving room for the viewer’s interpretation.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
I am the rare Seattle native who doesn’t drink coffee. I’ll take a hot chocolate made with milk.