Dempsey Essick has never strayed far from his roots. He grew up a farm boy near the small town of Welcome, NC and lives in the house where he was born. He learned to drive on his Dad's Red Belly Ford Tractor and remembers pulling tobacco as a young boy. Dempsey won his first blue ribbon in art when he was in the first grade and continued winning art competitions all through the school years. He graduated from Forsyth Technical Institute where he studied mechanical drawing and design and then worked for years as a Design Engineer. At age thirty-five, and with no formal training in art, he left the nine-to-five world and started on the voyage to become a full time artist.
Dempsey’s work has shown in the National Academy of Design in New York City and Colorado's Rocky Mountain Water Media Exhibition. Dempsey is an official B.A.S.S. Artist and his work routinely appears in the NC National Wildlife Calendar. Dempsey is most proud of his signature membership in the 90 year old National Watercolor Society. Dempsey annually designs Christmas cards for both the American Children’s Home and the Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina.
Dempsey is the first to acknowledge that his talent is a gift from God. His labor intensive watercolors are comprised of literally tens of thousands of brush strokes. He takes no shortcuts when it come to the meticulous detail that is the hallmark of an "Essick Painting." Frequently referred to as the Hummingbird Artist because of the hidden hummer images featured in his paintings, Dempsey's gallery carries an extended line of hummingbird gift items that is unmatched. Managed by wife Shelley, The Dempsey Essick Gallery has an inviting down home feeling that provides an enjoyable shopping experience.
Dempsey teaches a weekly community Bible Study. He enjoys Carolina Basketball and movies with friends. Dempsey is known as Poppi to his new grandsons, Elim and Olin.