Airbrushing brings man's art to new level

Monday, October 22, 2001

Lions, tigers and bears, scenic murals and people are among the subjects to A.J. Delancey's liking when he picks up his airbrushing equipment.

Delancey, who honed his airbrush skills along the beaches of Florida, has brought his art talents to Cape Girardeau.

"I've been interested in art since I was a kid," said Delancey, of A.J.'s Colored Air. But when he discovered airbrushing, his art went to a new level.

"I've painted on T-shirts, leather jackets, helmets, cars and trucks, canvas, fences and vehicle license plates," Delancey said.

Delancey has already painted a mural in the Cape Girardeau area, at Heartland Care and Rehabilitation Center, 2525 Boutin Drive -- an outdoor scene on a 6-foot high, 100-foot-long fence that surrounds a courtyard.

"We wanted an outdoor scene," said Glenda Cato, administrator of the center. "A.J. did a great job, with trees, bird houses and green grass and shrubbery."

Delancey's favorites are lions and tigers, as evidenced by his logo and pickup truck.

"Airbrushing is less time-consuming than other paint mediums, and costs are nominal," he said. "You need an air pump, plastic hose, paint tips, paint and an easel or two."

Bringing art to kids

Delancey, who moved to the Cape Girardeau area in January, has established a couple of local programs -- designed for children's parties and grade-school events.

"We're a company that loves children," he said. "Our school program is designed for children who may be interested in art and airbrushing."

Delancey will go into the school and offer classes on the basics of airbrushing, issuing a certificate for completion.

"The birthday program offers a new and unique for children's birthday parties," Delancey said. "We'll provide an opportunity for each child at the party to paint their own T-shirt."

Delancey will also be offering airbrushing classes to the public in the near future, at Brick Street Gallery in downtown Cape Girardeau. Brick Street Gallery will be moving to a new location next month, in the former Save-A-Lot building at 19 N. Spanish St.

Delancey will display his art in a booth at the mall.

Airbrushing has become a big business. Thousands of artists spend millions of dollars in the industry, with an average start-up cost of $600 to $800.

People love to wear and use things that make a personal statement or capture a moment in their lives, and they're willing to pay for those products. T-shirts, Sweats, coffee mugs, license plates, wall hangings, clocks, jewelry, signs and animal art are among sought-after items.

rowen@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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