Since 1988, Jack DeLoney has been delighting Alabama with his art that depicts life in the South, drawing inspiration from agriculture and his days of growing up across the road from his grandfather’s farm.
That was the year DeLoney took a leap of faith, quitting his job at Fort Rucker Army Base and making the decision to pursue art full time after years of touring at weekend shows. He opened the Jack DeLoney Art Gallery in Ozark, and this month, he will be closing its doors for good.
“The gallery has been really great for us and well-supported by the community,” DeLoney said. “I have been blessed to paint and create art that people appreciate enough to put in their homes. I’m delighted that not only do the agriculture people like my work, but the general population, having never been exposed to agriculture, collect my work because it’s nostalgic.”
Most noted for his farm scenes, DeLoney said he also enjoys floral and wildlife paintings. As his fans know, his preferred medium is watercolor.
“I enjoy painting with oils, but watercolor is my love,” he said. “I like to start loose and fluid — I don’t fill in the lines. Sometimes (watercolors) set their own direction.”
While DeLoney plans to close up shop the end of this year, he will continue to paint commissioned work. In addition to painting, he plans to travel to the Midwest to visit friends and find new subject matter for his work.
“I’ve been in the business now for 28 years,” DeLoney said. “It’s time. I couldn’t have gotten where I am without my staff, now and in the past. It’s certainly not a journey you on down alone. You can produce a fine piece of art, but if you don’t have a vehicle to market it, you can’t make a living. I’ve been blessed with the best of both worlds.”
DeLoney said he realizes it was his upbringing, the faith of his family and friends and supporters throughout the years who helped him succeed. He has been commissioned twice by the Alabama Farmers Federation to create nostalgic farm scenes that almost immediately became collectors’ items.
The Federation will honor him with its Image of Agriculture Award at the organization’s 91st Annual Meeting during the second general session, Dec. 3.
“Alfa has been a big supporter throughout my career of painting life in rural Alabama,” DeLoney said. “As I reflect back on the past years, I am appreciative of all Alfa has done for me.”