Award winning author an illustrator Dean Morrissey has been creating pictures all of his life. As a child in Massachusetts, he was inspired by many styles of art including Disney creations and the work in childrenšs classics by masters such as N. C. Wyeth.
Dean did not attend art school. He worked a myriad of jobs while painting at night and studying the work of many great artists, particularly Rembrandt, Vermeer and Wyeth. In 1979 he began a ten year career as an illustrator of award winning book covers. He views cover illustration as both rewarding and demanding, which helped him to further develop and define his style of painting. Dean also worked as a freelance illustrator for several magazines.
Dean has always created wonderful stories of his own. In 1989, he began the story and paintings that became his best selling book Ship of Dreams. While he completed his book, his art found a new audience through limited edition prints in galleries worldwide. Published in 1994 by Harry N. Abrams and Mill Pond Press, Ship of Dreams was named by the New York Times as One of the Ten Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1994. It also won several awards, including The Benjamin Franklin Award and in 1996 and went on to become the theme for Saks 5th Avenue's holiday windows in New York. The windows will be traveling to various Saks stores over the next nine years.
Dean's second book, The Great Kettles was released in 1997 and received great acclaim. Morrissey was awarded a Gold Metal by the Society of Illustrators for the painting, "The Great Kettle Train," which is on the front and back inset of the book.
In 1998, Dean was commissioned to illustrate The Song of Celestine by James Redfield. Redfield is the author of The Celestine Prophecy, The Tenth Insight and The Celestine Vision. The Song of Celestine is the children's version of The Celesine Prophecy. It is the story of a young boy who finds a path but loses his way. He uses the insights that he discovers on his journey to find his way back to the safety of his bed. The magnificent illustrations not only depict the story but also help readers understand its meaning.
Morrissey's pictures invite the viewer to suspend disbelief. "Sometimes," says Dean, "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.
Dean Morrissey lives with his wife and young son on the south shore of Massachusetts, where he continues to work on new adventures for his characters.