Marceil DeLacy’s love of carving began as a child living on the outskirts of Seattle. With a pocketknife, she created images from ivory soap, then letter openers from kindling wood and arrows from tree suckers before graduating to the use of chisel and mallet. She learned her craft from the wood itself, letting it guide her eye and hand. In the early 1980’s she began serious fine art sculpting, winning awards in juried shows and having her work shown in the Bellevue Art Museum. After a break to pursue other interests, she resumed her artwork on a full-time basis, working in wood salvaged locally in the Pacific Northwest.
Marceil’s lifelong affinity for trees and love of nature inspire most of her sculpted subjects. As human encroachment and climate change displace flora and fauna, her art serves as a way of giving voice to nature. To this end, she strives for simplicity of form and generally uses only a clear finish or no finish at all in order to let the natural color and beauty of the wood speak for itself. It’s a process she calls “listening to the forest.”
Marceil’s work is in the permanent collection of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art as well as in many private collections. Her work is shown in various galleries and online.
American sculptor Philip McCracken has called Marceil’s work “extraordinary” and “unique,” and exclaimed that “nobody was doing things like that.” He said that she had “gone over the edge, past craft and into art,” and that, in his words, she had “arrived.”
“I think of a tree as providing what I call ‘a space of grace’ for those who pause in its presence. My hope for the sculptures I create is that they, too, will provide such a space for the onlooker. In a world in turmoil, we need to summon the tranquil places and the natural beauty of our planet. My sculptures are natural conduits of this message. I especially love to take a simple rough old hunk of wood and restore its natural beauty and character through sculpture.”
– Marceil DeLacy