“My earliest memory of drawing was at the age of five–my father gave me an old roll of wallpaper and a pencil and told me to fill the entire thing with sketches. I went about my assignment with unwavering commitment, covering the complete roll with a continuous procession of every conceivable image that might enter into the world a five year-old boy.”
These were the kinds of activities that went on in the humble, suburban London home of the young Simon Dewey. Such were the experiences and upbringing that molded the young artist and provided the talent, faith and inspiration that are manifested so beautifully in Simon’s art.
Simon Joseph John Dewey, the only son of a London bus driver, was born in London, England in 1962. Simon’s mother, Faith, a deeply spiritual women, nurtured her children in an environment where God, love, and beauty were very much at home. When Simon’s father, Joseph – known as Joe to his friends — was not driving the bus to support his family, he could usually be found in his makeshift studio in the corner of the small family living room perfecting a portrait.
As the boy Simon would watch his father’s meticulous brushstrokes amidst the aroma of oil paints and the clutter of brushes, stretched canvases, and works in progress, something inside of him spoke of his own future. It was Joe’s passion for his pastime that fostered within Simon the joy of creation for creation’s sake, a true love of art, and an appreciation of the beauty of human form. It was those early values that eventually guided Simon to follow in his father’s footsteps as a portrait painter.
A gifted and dedicated student, Simon bypassed the counsel of family and friends and left school at age seventeen to pursue his artistic dreams. He accepted an invitation to study at a London art college but soon realized that the liberal values of big city art school were in too much conflict with his own. Simon decided to develop his talents with more of a hands-on approach and took a job as a corporate visual-aids illustrator spending his spare time studying the work of his heroes Norman Rockwell, Harry Anderson and Tom Lovell. While working in the heart of the City of London directly opposite the splendid St. Paul’s cathedral, Simon honed his artistic skills and quickly became recognized for his exceptional illustration abilities. This led to a position as the sole illustrator in a small design firm where Simon learned to produce detailed paintings under tight deadlines.
Simon soon met and married a bonny Scottish lass, Lorraine. “I married her for her money” says Simon. “She was working as a nanny and making more than I was!” With the prospects of a young family on its way Simon took the leap and set up as a freelance illustrator. He quickly became known around London publishing and advertising circles as major clients used his talents. Simon has been a series artist for Scholastic and Penguin book publishers, as well as the principal packaging illustrator for lines of toys with Hasbro/Milton Bradley. He has done cover and poster work for such clients as RCA Columbia, Warner Home Video, and CBS Fox and illustrated the covers of numerous national magazines.
While the commercial illustration work was good for paying the bills of a growing family, in his spare time Simon pursued his real passion of creating family and religious art. As he was inspired, Simon painted renditions of his favorite passages of scripture or images of his own children. Receiving so many requests for copies of these images, he entered the world of published fine art. Simon has become known for his sensitivity towards his subjects which is exquisitely revealed in his detailed and delicate portraits capturing moments in time from the tender to the magnificent. Many marvel at the masterful way Simon portrays the love and compassion in the face of the Savior Jesus Christ, or the devotion in the eyes of a believer. Those close to Simon understand this ability is founded in his own firm and abiding faith.
Simon and his wife Lorraine currently reside in Alberta, Canada. He and his wife are the proud parents of five cherished children.
Biographical information courtesy of www.altusfineart.com