Growing up in Boston in the 1950’s, Dennis Sheehan and his family had easy access to the Atlantic Coast and often went there. Rich in scenery, it fueled his budding interest in nature and acted as a catalyst for his desire to capture that beauty. Frequent family visits to Cape Anne, an area abundant in art and filled with art colonies, solidified what he knew from an early age. He wanted to be an artist. The second of four boys in his family, he is the only one who had an interest in the arts. But his father's avocation, although he worked as an educator, was creative writing along with a love for music. Realizing his young son had a passion for art, Dennis and his dad would go to museums and art shows. After high-school graduation, Dennis spent the next four years at Vesper George School of Art in the Boston area. He studied under Robert Hunter Douglas. Dennis was searching to find where he belonged in the art world. Hunter's traditional and realistic style hugely impressed him. Feeling that he needed more education, Dennis went on after graduation to Montserrat School of Visual Art, also in Boston, for two more years. He traveled throughout New England and Europe, especially England and Scotland taking photographs so he could paint them later.
Dennis' beautiful, oil on canvas landscapes usually depict dusk, dawn or immediately before or after storms with light being the focus of the painting. Darkness or shadow areas play an important part, as well, because they allow the light to emanate from his paintings. It is clear when viewing Dennis' work that his many years of studying have resulted in a technique few artists achieve. When asked if there is a message in his art, Dennis says, "I want people to see what they see everyday, but don't see, such as sunsets. I want them to re-look at things they see day in and day out."