Mick Dean

In seeking out the remains of the past I hope to document their passing and reveal their beauty in our increasingly modern landscape.

Artist: Mick Dean

From: London

Medium: Oil painting

Born in post-war London, Mick has lived in the storied capital most of his life. After a self-confessed “undistinguished” school career he spent a very happy year on a painting foundation course at Harrow School of Art. He moved on to study advertising photography at the renowned London College of Printing and graduated with distinction in 1967. After two years assisting various London photographers Mick set up his own studio “with a little help from his friends” and joined the swinging 60’s.

These led to the fun 70’s and a very happy career in the elite world of London advertising – a famous institution with a rarified culture all its own. In the 80’s he branched out into TV and directed commercials for fifteen years, returning to still-life photography in the 90’s. By 2000 Mick had had enough and decided to return to his first love, painting. Mick sold his big London house and moved to a smaller one. This enabled him to study three years at The City and Guilds of London Art School, which undertaking changed his life.

He graduated in 2003 with a B. 1st Class (hons) degree in Fine Art Painting and won a few prizes along the way. Renowned for his depictions of the famous River Thames and London’s fast disappearing Victorian infrastructure, Mick has had eminent success at several group and solo shows in London, Edinburgh and Scottsdale, where his urban and water studies bring a fresh note to the Arizona art scene.

Mick now lives in north London (N19) with his wife Nettie, Bunny the cat and dog, Gizmo. He has two daughters, both now grown up and living as far away from Dad’s moods as possible! Nettie doesn’t think old dad has noticed their absence yet! They’re proud grandparents of two grandchildren. Despite persistent worldwide ravages in the economy the artist is, he claims, “as happy as Larry!” To see Mick Dean’s oil paintings and fine art in person, stop by our Scottsdale art gallery. We can consult with you on selecting a piece of artwork for your home or office.  

  • Stanley Grimm Prize award, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, 2008

“My work is concerned with the effects of erosion on the landscape and on the works of man within that landscape. Living and working mainly in the UK, one of the most predominant forms of erosion is water. Rivers and the tidal flow around our coast have a ceaseless effect, as does the rainfall. I find the tidal parts of the River Thames a source of great inspiration. At low tide a constantly changing river bed is revealed. Erosion is ceaseless and is a process of refinement that can reveal great beauty.

My current body of work is looking at the effects of rusting on ironwork, especially with regard to the remains of our industrial past. Our massive iron and steel industry once supplied the world. Very little of that is left but there are some surprising relics to be found in neglected industrial corners of England. The Olympics came to the East End of London in 2012. This area of London was transformed (my studio is in the middle of it) and I am trying to document some of places that disappeared under all the re-development. Much of the area has been derelict for generations and will benefit from the attentions of the developers.

Some of the “old” character of the East End will be changed forever. Already this has included the Docklands, the Victorian railway systems and many of the supporting industries. In seeking out the remains of the past I hope to document their passing and reveal their beauty in our increasingly modern landscape. As Camille Pissaro wrote to his son Lucien, ‘Happy are those who see beautiful things in modest surroundings or where other men see nothing. Everything is beautiful, all that matters is to know how to interpret it.’”

Mick Dean