Murals at Quartet: Sarah Delaney

As we welcome new homeowners to Quartet this month, residents will be greeted by not one, but three beautiful murals in the building. Created by local artist Sarah Delaney, the abstract murals are a reflection of the West Coast, with blue and green hues of the ocean and mountains.

How did you get your start in painting murals?

My first mural was for the 2017 Vancouver Mural Festival. I graduated from a Visual Arts University Program in 2009 but it took another 6 years before I began working as a full-time artist. During this time, I was open to any opportunities that came my way. I had seen VMF pop up, adding colours and excitement to the streets of Mount Pleasant. Going into the second year of the festival, I reached out to the curator and he agreed to take a chance on me, providing me with a nice little 16’ wall along Main Street to experiment on. 

What is your artistic style?

I am an intuitive, abstract painter. I let myself feel and create in the moment, drawing on personal experience and place as my biggest inspiration. I would describe my artistic style as raw. 

What was your inspiration for the murals at Quartet?

In a nutshell, the inspiration for the murals is the West Coast. I collaborated with Allison, the in-house Interior Designer at Wesgroup. She provided me with examples of the furnishing and finishes for the space. She also selected a past painting that I had done as a reference. I consulted these things when I decided on colours and vibe. 

What was your process in creating these murals?

In the first mural (Chorus – Townhouse Lobby) I was most concerned with creating an impact. It’s a large wall, so I painted big with more intense markings. 

For mural 2 (Encore – Amenities Tower), I immediately felt the airiness of the space and wanted to amplify that quality. I chose to focus on the soft blues and greys. As I painted, I kept thinking of the aqua blue water off tropical shores. I have fond memories from Hawaii and the Philippines when the waters turn flat and tepid, and the clouds grow dark during a tropical light rain. 

For mural 3 (Opus – Mid-rise Lobby), I wanted to tie the mural into the space and I knew that the furnishings had already been assigned — dark green arm chairs, peach pendant lighting, adjacent to a warm grey wooden feature wall. I drew on these design choices as a springboard, selecting greens and browns, reminiscent of the BC forest. I imagined the cedar trees overhead and damp ferns underfoot. This was also the smallest wall, so I was able to use darker tones and smaller gestures to help illustrate the scene. 

How long did it take for you to create the murals?

The murals took 3-4 days each. I should put an asterisk next to ‘days’, because that is used loosely. Some days were long. Sometimes when you are in a flow, it’s difficult to stop and it’s best to ride it. Other days are tougher, but you just have to work through it. I had recruited assistants for the for 2 murals which really helped expedite those projects. A 3-level scaffolding structure was erected for the largest mural (mural 1) which made the process incredibly more efficient. 

Follow Sarah Delaney on Instagram: @sarahdelaneyart | sarahdelaney.com