Don McKinlay was born in Bootle in 1929, Liverpool. Between 1946 and 1950 he attended the Liverpool School of Art and from 1960 onwards pursued a career as a lecturer at St Helen's School of Art, Manchester School of Art and Manchester Polytechnic.
He is a multi talented artist producing works in painting, sculpture, etching and collage. He has been commissioned to create works for Lancaster Priory, (Madonna and Child) Westminster Abbey, various churches in Liverpool and possibly his greatest commission, to create a crib (the original having been destroyed) to accompany the Kneeling Madonna by the renaissance sculptor, Della Robbia, owned by Liverpool Cathedral. A member and exhibitor at the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, he is undoubtedly one of the finest artists to come from the North West of England.