"Currituck Afternoon"

By Dempsey Essick
Limited Edition


S/N Edition of 1019
Size: 15 3/4" X 24"
Price $120




All images copyright © by Artist Dempsey Essick. All rights reserved

Currituck Afternoon

The whale oil wicks for the Currituck Beach Lighthouse were first lighted on December 1st, 1875 and, while the light source now is from electricity, the same first order Fresnel lens is still projecting the warning flash to ships steering clear of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." Currituck Beach was the last of the four classic lighthouses built on the style of the Cape Lookout light. Left unpainted as its "daymark" the tower of a million bricks was so remote that it has only been in recent years that sightseers could visit and appreciate the beauty of the setting.

In his painting Dempsey Essick has focused on the sole surviving example of the Lighthouse Service's Dual Keepers Quarters which was pre-fabricated and shipped to the site when the light was first built. The three-story house is divided down the center forming two apartments that are mirror images of each other. A covered cistern on each side collects rain water which was the source of the families fresh water.

Backed by an offshore bank of cumulus clouds which bring into relief the brick tower of the Currituck Light, the work demonstrates Dempsey's maturity as an artist and is the debut of his long sought technique of presenting cloud formations in water color which was previously thought to be impossible.

Collectors and admirers of Dempsey's paintings will recognize this as a work of enormous maturity bringing together, as it does, a beautiful setting of historical significance rendered by an artist who is working at the peak of his considerable talent.