Born in 1933, the year of the big storm, Langley Deagle has been interested in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries all of his life. Mr. Deagle's interest in art started to show at the early age of six when he would use the old pull-down shades for his canvas and a pencil as his medium. In the sixth and seventh grades, Mr. Deagle's art was noticed at school fairs where he won numerous awards and ribbons. While in high school, one of his paintings was selected to be displayed in Thalhimers in Richmond, VA for one year. Mr. Deagle's talent has grown in many ways throughout his career and extends far beyond the pencil sketches with which he began. He works in pencil, pen and ink, watercolors, acrylic, and occasionally with oils, and his preference is to work on scenes of the Chesapeake Bay's nautical interest and its wildlife.
Mr. Deagle worked for the government as a sign painter, general and technical illustrator for 28 years. He has over 100 awards, ribbons, and letters of appreciation for his work. Now retired, he has a studio at his home on Horn Harbor near Port Haywood in Mathews County.
Since 2017, Mr. Deagle has lead an art group called the River Rat Painters, that is primarily composed of friends from church, but they invite anyone who wants to explore art to join them. They meet regularly to work on projects and post their progress to Facebook. Although, he is expert in many artistic techniques and media, Mr. Deagle only paints when inspired to a burst of creativity. He will not allow painting to be work and infrequently accepts commissioned jobs.
Mr. Deagle is most often inspired to use his art to tell stories of the bygone people and places of Mathews County, Virginia, and the historic Middle Peninsula of the Chesapeake Bay. From Chesapeake Bay waterfowl, to the birds of Virginia, to historic lighthouses of the York River and upper Chesapeake Bay, to the fishing work boats and boatmen of a bygone industry, to village streets, businesses, churches, and post offices of today and yesteryear, Mr. Deagle's paintings tell the treasured stories of country, coastal, and village living in rural southeastern Virginia.