Patrick Donovan was born in Hampshire, England, in 1944 and brought up and educated in Dorset, on the English Channel coast. He specializes in marine and military subjects using watercolour, oils, pen, ink and pencil.
He served ten years in the British Royal Air Force as a member of the Mountain and Desert Rescue Service, painting, sketching and cartooning whenever the opportunity arose. In 1970 a serious climbing accident forced Patrick into premature retirement from Service life and led to the start of a successful painting career. Since then, he has held numerous one man exhibitions in Kent and North Wales and his paintings of traditional French shipping have been exhibited in several venues in France including a one man show in Etaples.
For the last eight years the Royal Society of Marine Artists has accepted Patrick’s paintings for inclusion in their Annual Exhibition held in the prestigious Mall Galleries, London. Since 2006 he has been exhibiting at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, in Mystic, Connecticut in their exhibitions; “Modern Marine Masters”, the International Marine Art Exhibition” and the annual Holiday shows. He is a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) and his paintings are also to be found in many military establishments, museums and private collections in the United Kingdom and abroad. One of his images was used for a civic birthday card for Her Royal Highness the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday. His work has also helped raise funds for two Royal Air Force memorials: The Battle of Britian Memorial is on the north Embankment of the Thames near the Houses of Parliament; the second, commemorating those Service Personnel who have died on duty serving with the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Teams, is in the Church of St. Clement Danes on the Strand, London.
He devotes considerable effort to research for historical or modern commissions as he endeavours to be as technically accurate as possible. Preparatory work often finds him spending time armed with a sketchbook and camera on a variety of coastal and deep sea craft, including lifeboats. Research for a recently completed period painting necessitated many hours of scanning through periodicals and newspapers of local shipping events in the 1800’s.
Patrick and his wife divide their time between Kent and Boulogne, in northern France, renowned for its deep seafishing fleet and rich maritime heritage.