Brendan O'Connell was raised in Tucker, Ga and educated in parochial schools. Summers he spent in Europe learning languages as an exchange student. After graduating from Emory University with degrees in Philosophy and Spanish literature, he moved to Paris to teach languages and write a novel about painters. At twenty-two he picked up a pencil and discovered an innate ability to draw and paint. Six months later he quit his language-teaching job to devote himself to painting.
A British painter invited O'Connell to live in his castle in the south of France. There he spent a couple of winters alone, painting and thinking. In the summers he earned a living doing portraits and caricatures in the street in front of Notre Dame and in the south of France, an arduous task that increased his skill and deepened his commitment to personal expression. By nature O'Connell is a colorist. His work ranges from abstract expressionistic to photo based paintings. His interests rove widely between popular culture and mystical traditions.
Inspired by the iconic American painters, Marsden Hartley and Edward Hopper, after an arts education in Europe, O'Connell returned home to paint America. For the past seven years, among other projects, he has been executing paintings about Walmart, the quintessential contemporary shopping experience.
Presently he works out of a barn in rural Connecticut where he lives with his wife, landscape painter, Emily Buchanan, and their two children.