John McConnell was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1948. He earned a B.A. degree in English at Michigan State University, followed by a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University. A practicing architect, he has devoted himself to oil painting since 1990 specializing in traditional landscape painting. He studied portrait painting with David Lowrey and landscape painting with Dennis Sheehan, both members of the Guild of Boston Artists. With the latter, he developed his love of late 19th century American “Brown School,” Luminist and Tonalist landscape painters, such as George Inness and Alexander Wyant.
In addition to his painting, John McConnell is a founding principal of McConnell+Partners Architects Inc in Boston, specializing in residential and small-scale institutional and commercial design. He is adjunct professor of American architectural history at Boston College, a lecturer at the Harvard Architecture School, and a lecturer-in-residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Finally, he is a Director of the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts, where he resides.
John McConnell subscribes to the notion that art is a way of expressing the invisible in terms of the visible. The “invisible” refers to the inner human realm of perception, philosophy and the urge to search for greater realities which underlie appearances and transcend the material world. For him the best place to encounter this transcending perception is in nature.
John uses his art to investigate a natural world he finds charged with spiritual values. For him, the urge to create art begins with a perception of beauty in the presence of nature. This strong emotion then compels an attempt to create an image that can reawaken the same feeling, both for himself and for others.
The John McConnell Gallery: