Delaney's jewel-like paintings are inspired by her fascination with the interplay of light and colour. The opalescent reflections of sunlight on water, the iridescent sheen of birds feathers. Many of her works are small, inviting the viewer to draw close in order to enjoy their intricate surfaces. She suffered serious sight injury that prevented her from painting during the 1980s. As she recovered her sight, she experienced a renewed sensitivity to sensations of light and colour in landscape. She wrote:
'I try to depict in paint, as directly as possible, the intense and glorious sensation of light on glass, water, white walls.'