Don Connolly is a well recognized Canadian aviation artist with work represented in a number of major museum collections including the Canada War and Aviation Museums in Ottawa, the RCAF Museum in Trenton, and in numerous provincial and military museums, both in Canada and the USA. His paintings have been seen frequently as cover paintings or illustrations in books and magazines such as Aviation History and Aviation Week & Space Technology.
He has been painting as a professional for over 25 years, and numbers his output of original (aviation) works as being “well over 2000". Prior to that time he served 15 years as a navigator, instructor and staff officer in the RCAF, resigning his commission as a Squadron Leader in 1966, to become a partner in opening and managing a chain of six bookstores and picture framing establishments in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, before resigning a dozen years later to answer the ultimate call to become a full time freelance professional artist.
He considers himself fortunate to have then teamed up with some co-operative commercial galleries, where he was permitted to work in a variety of styles and with subject matter ranging from land and cityscapes through portraiture, abstracts and sculpture. While he continues to do considerable work in these art forms, his passion for aviation inevitably led him into this field as well, and it now constitutes the larger part of his output.
Don has been one of the key figures in the formation and administration of the Canadian Aviation Artists Association, which was honoured by the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 2002 for its contributions to preserving the history of Canadian aviation. He is also a long time member of the American Society of Aviation Artists, and of the Canadian Aviation Historical Association.
He is a frequent contributor and prize winner at major shows in both the USA and Canada, and in 2003 was invited by the USAF Museum to display ten works in its first show of international aviation art, as the official representative for Canada.
He continues to work full time from his studio at his home in lake country, just north of Kingston, Ontario.