Dean Morrissey Biography Continued:

...a variety of job until deciding to paint full time in the late 1970’s. He worked as a freelance book cover illustrator for over 15 different publishers in New York and won numerous awards. Morrissey is self taught, and considers the demands of cover illustration to have been his “art school”.

In 1991, Morrissey began to paint some images from a story that he was creating. His books include Ship of Dreams Harry N Abrams (1994), The Great Kettles: A Tale of Time - Harry N Abrams (1997), The Song of Celestine - Little, Brown and Co. (1998), The Christmas Ship - HarperCollins (2000), A Christmas Carol - Greenwich Workshop Press (2000), The Moon Robber - HarperCollins (2001), The Winter King HarperCollins (2002), and The Monster Trap - HarperCollins (2004). His awards include The Society of Illustrators Gold Medal for The Great Kettles, The Chesley Award for The Light Ship (2002), and he is a current nominee for this year’s Chesley Award for Anna of the Celts (2003).

Morrissey is a Bostonian who lives in Massachusetts with his wife and son. He has been creating pictures all his life, in one form or another. As a boy, Morrissey was inspired by the stills, matte paintings and cells of Disney. He has since studied and been influenced by the work and techniques of many great artists, particularly Rembrandt and Vermeer as well as N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle. Morrissey was a freelance illustrator in New York for ten years — winning many awards and honors for his book cover illustrations for more than 15 publishers — a career he found demanding, instructive and rewarding. In the late 1970s, he began pursuing a full-time career as a painter. Morrissey is also a writer as well and has combined his talents in a new arena, having written and illustrated a best-selling children's book entitled Ship of Dreams as well as several other titles.

What intrigues Morrissey most about a picture is what it suggests — not all elements need to be of the fantastic. The visual components of Morrissey's paintings are engaging elements of ordinary life that provide foundations for the artist's extraordinary twists. "In my paintings," says Morrissey, "I put forth a scene that is within a familiar frame of reference — from this point of departure the journey begins."

Morrissey's pictures invite the viewer to suspend disbelief. "Sometimes," says Morrissey, "a painting suggests another realm, a place of peculiar machines, creations and characters which can exist and function only when the imagination is engaged. By combining diverse elements — light, shadow, color and human warmth — I try to create an accessible universe." Morrissey's artwork envisions the realm of musing, dreaming, wishing and, perhaps, of remembering.

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