The Spirit of the Sea – Christie Devereaux


The Spirit of the Sea
Growing up on Long Island, I had always lived by, on, and in the sea. I spent summers anchored on my parents’ yawl surrounded by water and swam long distances each day. My first of many voyages across the Atlantic Ocean going to Europe took place on a freighter at the age of eleven.The spirit of the sea in all its phases, ranging from the calm to the violent motion of water, is truly part of my personal experience. As an artist, this has led to a fascination with the mist, waves, and currents that embody the essence of seascapes. As a result, the ever changing sea has been a profound source of inspiration. The Spirit of the Sea represents an exploration of refracted light and the atmosphere that occurs when at sea or viewing the sea from the coast.The seascapes are a composite of all of the places I have been, as op- posed to a specific place.While the sea can be considered the muse that inspires my subject matter, refracted light represents my love affair with the exploration of how the direction of light changes the appearance of the painted surface. I am interested in creating a dramatic painting where the changing elements of the sea become the main idea.To accomplish this, I have developed a technique of painting on surfaces primed with silver or copper to maximize that abstract aspect of refracted light.These seascapes are the perfect subject to showcase that concept because the reflections produced by water are refractions of light. As the viewer passes by a painting, it can be noted that the lighting changes constantly. Depending on where the viewer stands, the sky darkens, the sun disappears and the water sparkles. Finally, I have purposely numbered these paintings as a series because I want the viewer to be transported directly into the raw emotional essence of each image rather than pondering the poetry of a title.

Ms. Devereaux was born in Brooklyn. She studied at Pratt Institute and has a degree in Industrial Design.While at Pratt, Ms. Devereaux also studied modern dance at the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan. Immediately after graduation, she went on tour for a year with the Electric Circus as a modern dancer.

In 1969, Ms. Devereaux moved to Italy. During her stay in Italy, she worked as an industrial designer and graphic artist. In addition, she painted commissions for the church and the state. Her most noted commissioned portrait in Italy is of Padre Pio, which is in a permanent collection in the Museum of Padre Pio, Pietrelcina, Italy. Examples of this work can be viewed at

In 1980, Ms. Devereaux returned to New York. She has participated in numerous shows. Her work has been on display in New York City at the Lever House, Broome Street Gallery, and New World Art Center, the Chung-Cheng Art Gallery at St. John’s University.

From 1991 to 2011 Ms. Devereaux worked with both teachers and students in the Freeport Public Schools, New York. During this time, she designed educational murals and facilitated school-wide art projects under a grant. In 1999, Ms. Devereaux was awarded a museum fellowship with the Long Island Educational Enterprise Zone where she collaborated to design a curriculum-based project in conjunction with the MOMA.

Finally, from 1995 to the present, she has focused most of her ener- gies on a series of paintings and sculptures that are designed to engage the viewer in a self-reflection process from a secular, political, and spiritual perspective. Her seascapes represent the artist’s reflection on her personal experience with the forces of nature.

Paula M. Mayo: President & Executive Director

Frank DeGregorie, Curator

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Please call Frank DeGregorie at 212 – 870- 3271