Jim Connelly may reside in Michigan, but his paintings suggest otherwise, telling the stories of cowboys, horses, and bulls with his bold, impressionistic style. His nationally recognized work has twice graced the cover of Southwest Art magazine, been included on the pages of magazines such as Cowboys and Indians and Western Horseman, and adorned the walls of leading galleries.
Jim is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America and was chosen for the Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition for four consecutive years. He has been selected for numerous other shows including the Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art show at the Legacy Gallery, the Greeley Stampede, the Richeson Small Works Show, the Bosque Conservatory Art Classic, and the Dana Gallery Featured Artist Show. He was also featured in International Artist Publishing’s book, How Did You Paint That?. Galleries such as the Hilligoss Galleries in Chicago, Illinois, the Dana Gallery in Missoula, Montana, and the May and Open Range Galleries, both in Scottsdale, Arizona, have all boasted Jim’s striking depictions of the American west.
Holding his MA in illustration from Syracuse University, Jim has also experienced success in his work for billboards, print advertising, magazine covers, and over 100 book jackets. Original illustrations have been shown across the country in the likes of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Hickory Museum of Art, the Society of Illustrators, and the Delaware Museum of Art.
In painting the traditional American west I have found a genre that suits who I am, how I want to paint and what I want to say. There is enough diversity and richness in this category for a lifetime of painting and exploration. Painting to me is all about learning the medium and growing as a picture maker. It is about always reaching for a better understanding of the world visually and then using that knowledge as a tool to tell a story with paint to the glory of God.