Dennis Sheehan “October Snow, evening”
16 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
Dennis Sheehan’s work is often described as reminiscent of the great masters of the Barbizon school, in France in the 19th century, and the American Tonalist. He received his training in the best traditions of the “Boston School,” studying at the Vesper George School of Art and the Montserrat School of Visual Art. Like his great nineteenth century predecessor George Inness, whose influence is consciously acknowledged, Sheehan employs the dark palette and thickly pigmented surfaces of the French Barbizon School. Sheehan eschews picturesque scenery in the interest of evoking atmospherics. Also like Innes, Sheehan’s paintings are produced in the studio from his imagination. For all of the references to history—and there are multiple—there is no mistaking the artist’s debt to the more recent past. Without the legacy of action painting, Sheehan’s art would be less forceful and evocative than it is.