“We all know about Santa Claus and his annual circumnavigation of the globe,” says the artist. “It’s quite a feat by any standard. But what is a bit less explored is what Santa does the other 364 days of the year. All year long and right up to Christmas Eve, Santa is a toymaker extraordinaire. He’s up to his elbows in a labor of love, turning out magical toys at a pace and of a quality unparalleled in the world. With this portrait, I wanted to depict the master craftsman engaged in his work. Hearing the bell above the door, he looks up to greet his visitor. Perhaps the visitor is us, come to catch a glimpse of the making of magic.”
– Dean Morrissey
Dean Morrissey has been drawing and creating characters since his childhood in Boston. Inspired by Disney matte paintings and comic book heroes early on, he grew to appreciate the works of the masters, such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pyle and N.C. Wyeth. Morrissey worked 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), among others.
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