“When we get
out the camera, our three children just automatically stand still,
they are so accustomed to posing,” laughed Mr. and Mrs. Jerry
McConnell, 17 Lake Drive East as yesterday they explained details
of Jerry’s career as a commercial artist. They say that Kevin,
4, Patricia, 3, and Sean, 1, make “cheap models,” because the
toddlers haven’t yet learned to ask for pay.
everybody in the State of New Jersey who has a telephone, viewed
a painting of the disastrous “Paterson Fire of 1902,” as portrayed
by Mr. McConnell, a freelancer. It was on the cover of Tel-Cast,
Bell Telephone’s monthly brochure.
this had been a horrendous accomplishment for the local artist
because the deadline date had been set for Jan. 15, and in December
he was in an automobile accident which injured his left hand.
Since Mr. McConnell is left-handed, he made the deadline in spite
of the fact that he completed the painting by handling the brush
with his hand encased In a cast.
have seen the car” his wife, Jane, Injected at this point. She
said It was completely demolished.
fire holocaust is depicted by Mr. McConnell with roaring flames
emanating from city buildings into which firemen plunge and douse
the red licks with water from hoses on horse-drawn engines, creating
skyward-Spiralling billows of black smoke.
said that Charles Lang, art director for TeI-Cast uses only New
Jersey artists. The Packanack Lake man obtained research material
from a book put out by a Paterson bank.
all he does, however. the local freelancer also prepares a lot
of “human Interest” covers for such magazine periodicals as “Jack
and Jill,” and has his creations on countless paper-back covers
as well as illustrations in texts and trade books.
of wild west scenes, with cowboys straddling horses on the plains
of the northern frontiers have been spotted in paper-backs, including
“The Odds Against Circle L!” and “The Bounty Lands.” He illustrates
Indians “war-whooping” around covered wagons in “The Stake Plain.”
And yet he
can picture a haunted house and a frightened women in “The Secret
of the Bayou,” and other interesting portrayals on the covers
of “The Hobo Horseman,” and “Mascarade Horseman.”
consistently has cover paintings in Catholic Youth and The Columbian,
(published by the Knights of Columbus).
is interesting because he starts with a polaroid camera (or larger
-professional cameras) on tripods to first capture his models
on the lenses. Several times, he himself has been duplicated in
one painting, with his poses taken on camera by his wife when
the occasion arises.
than not, his children and wife are the models - but, then again,
he uses their baby sitter, Barbara Steinbacher, and children of
neighbors on Lake Drive East; in particular, Kevin Monahan, son
of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Monahan, 35 Lake Drive East. Another subject
Mr. McConnell frequently employs, is Mr. James McCartin, an adult
Then he combines
the individual photos to paint for his assignments.
of Wayne for four years, the McConnells arrived here from Astoria,
Long Island. A 1949 graduate of West Orange High School, Mr. McConnell
had originally planned to be a draftsman, but a prolonged illness
In his senior year, changed the course of his career.
Wayne Today, March 27, 1967