Philadelphia based artist Patrick Connors Studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
To my eye, the influence of the legacy Thomas Eakins left to the Academy — and to the city of Philadelphia — is visible in Connors’ similar fascination with the the play of light on the Schuylkill river, its banks, bridges and other landmarks.
Connors has taken the river and its bridges as his subjects multiple times, in different seasons, weather and time of day, and his strongly textural portrayals are evocative of the river’s moods.
On Connors’ website, you will find examples of these subjects — both in plein air and studio pieces — as well as still life, portrait and figurative works. You will also find a number of works from a painting and drawing program he taught in Rome over the course of several summers under the auspices of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.
In all of his work, there is a key element of light and dark — chiaroscuro in portraits and still life, sun and shadow in his landscapes. Also consistently evident is Connors’ adherence to the fundamental elements of the classical tradition, particularly anatomy and perspective.
I had the pleasure of meeting Connors at the preview for the Strawberry Mansion Mural Project here in Philadelphia in 2013, in which he was working with Bucks County artist Dot Bunn to recreate the kind of murals the historic mansion’s original owner might have commissioned in the 18th century.
I found that he and I had studied at the Academy around the same time, and though we didn’t know one another then, we had a mutual admiration for many of the instructors that were teaching and lecturing there at the time, including Arthur DeCosta, Oliver Grimley, Franklin Shores and Robert Beverly Hale.
Connors has gone on to teach in his own right. He teaches courses in Studio Anatomy, Cast Drawing and Head Structure in the Certificate/BFA programs at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and is also part of the Academy’s new Illustration program. He also teaches at the Graduate School of the New York Academy of Art. He has been invited to lecture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Drexel School of Medicine.
He will be conducting a plein air workshop at the Red Stone Farm Studio in Bucks County in October, and a drawing workshop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in conjunction with the upcoming exhibit: The Wrath of the Gods. (Presumably updates will be added to his website’s Workshops page.)
Connors has also recently codified his many years of experience in working with and teaching linear perspective into an online course offered through Craftsy: Essential Linear Perspective Techniques. The course consists of 7 video lessons, reference material and online interaction with Connors, and as of this writing is currently being offered at a promotional rate of $15 instead of $35.