Michael J. Deas


You’ve probably seen Michael Deas’ work without realizing it. In addition to his revitalization of the Columbia Pictures logo (above) Deas created the illustrations for some the most popular commemorative stamps ever released by the U.S. Postal service (James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn and others).

His beautifully realized illustrations have been on the cover of magazines like Time and Commuincation Arts (in which he was the subject of a cover story) and he has received numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators.

He initially wanted to be a realist painter, unfortunately at a time when realism was being pronounced prematurely dead by the art establishment, and turned his attention to illustration.

He carries his admiration for traditional technique into his working method for illustration. He paints in oil on prepared wooden panels, first creating a detailed underpainting on top of which he builds his final color in glazes.

6 Replies to “Michael J. Deas”

  1. Wow, that’s one of the first interesting subjects in an article on art that I’ve seen in a long time! I always wondered about this Columbia lady, have paused my DVD player to look at it, tried to come up with gags about it… well, now I know! Thanks!

  2. Wow, Columbia is so good. When I was younger I could draw it, and I can still do it. Remember the logo, where her torch light grew bigger and bigger and when it shrunk it left “Columbia pictures” behind? And what about the one where the torch turns into a sunburst? and the one where the lady danced? I love Tristar too. But Columbia’s the best to draw.

  3. I purchased a 42″X31″ print of James Dean by Michael Deas (same image as stamp, except it says James Dean at top, is signed by Michael J Deas in bottom right corner and doesn”t have the 32 cent logo)about 8 years ago…I can not find it anywhere online, and was trying to do some research on it’s value…I love the print, and have told my husband, that even if it is worth nothing “money wise” it will always be priceless to me!! I was wondering if anyone else had ever seen this print before?

  4. I have several signed origional Michael Deas works, and a reproduction of the Columbia Lady. He and I were friends in grammar and high school, and he was the most talented artist I ever knew. I have no idea what your print is worth, but some galleries have sold limited edition signed prints of Michaels for $1500.

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