McConnell studied portraiture in Philadelphia and New York. He also studied landscape painting with George Inness and continued his art training at the Academy Julien in Paris. Around 1883, he settled in Portland, Maine, doing commercial work which he sold to hotels and resorts. He painted a variety of subjects, including coastal and seascapes around Portland as well as White Mountain landscapes. His White Mountain paintings date from 1892 to 1921. His portraits hang in six state capitols, including Maine's. He exhibited at the Society of Independent Artists during his last few years and was a frequent exhibitor at the Portland Society of Art.
An accomplished artist, he was well known as
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