A native San Franciscan, Dennis graduated with a Bachelor of Fine
Arts degree from the California College of the Arts. His knack for
composition paired with his eye for color gave him a distinctive look and he
was able to establish himself as an illustrator in San Francisco. Wanting to
explore more opportunities as an illustrator, he moved to New York in 1980.
While there, he flourished as an artist, which eventually led him to a
successful career as one of the nation’s top illustrators. His compelling
poster images include the NFL Super Bowl XXIX and the 2006 Kentucky
Derby. His paintings were featured on many well-known book covers
including, the Tales of the City series by Armisted Maupin, and several
covers for authors Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke. Dennis was the
featured cover artist for Hemispheres, United Airlines in-flight magazine,
the National Lampoon and, more recently, Western Art Collector, American
Art Collector, Southwest Art, and the Jackson Hole Traveler.
Dennis’ strong and richly colored images borrow much of their
inspiration from early 20th century paintings and posters. His early
influences, J.C. Leyendecker, N.C. Wyeth, Ludwig Hohlwein and Tom
Purvis, were all master designers in composition. The demands of
illustration and poster design, with its simplified, sculpturally rendered
images gave Dennis the discipline and draftsmanship that gives strength to
his paintings today. Dennis is not only an artist, but has taught at the
California College of the Arts, the Academy of Art University in San
Francisco, as well as Syracuse University in New York.
In 1986 he returned to his roots in California, bought property, and
settled in the Sonoma wine country. About this time, Dennis turned his
attention to fine art, when continuous requests of his original images were
made and private paintings were commissioned. For the last 30 years,
Dennis has been painting in oils for his galleries and private clients.
Dennis’ work is in the permanent collections of the Tucson Museum of
Art, Bakersfield Museum of Art, the Booth Western Art Museum, Western
Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, and the Buffalo Bill Museum.
Dennis’ work can be seen at Manitou Galleries in Santa Fe.