1950 (Baltimore, Maryland)
Photo of Eric Linwood Conklin
Often Known For
trompe still life, perspective boxes
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Trompe l'Oeil Painting
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following, submitted April 2003 and updated September 2004, is from
the artist, Eric Linwood Conklin, born April 20, 1950, Baltimore,
Maryland and living in Davidsonville, Maryland|
Subject matter for which known: Trompe l' Oeil, Still Life, Perspective Boxes, Genre, Anamorphic Illusions
Style of work: Traditional Realism
Method/Mediums: Old Dutch Masters, hand-mixed oils and individually prepared panels and canvases.
was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised near the city of Annapolis.
His mother, Thelma Helgoe Conklin, was an artist in ceramics and
porcelain. At age five, Eric and his twin sister April, were always in
her studio to help. Eric still has a hand painted ceramic mug with a
scene of the family cat chasing a mouse and a small green ceramic
alligator with golden eyes.
Eric began his art study in grade
school with the encouragement from Louis Schatt, a teacher who took
great care in promoting all styles of art to his students. It was here
that Eric painted his first oil painting. In the mid sixties, Eric was
part of a concentrated group of artists that Louis Schatt mentored and
followed to their graduation. Of the group, Eric's paintings were
always very tight with a high degree of detail. After graduation the
group separated and their lives took different paths. Eric trained to
become an architectural delineator but failed to find work and took a
job as a commercial artist. After several years and as many jobs with
no clear direction for his future, his father convinced him to work in
the family trucking business.
In 1981 he met Victoria Lynne
Davis and the couple married in 1984. Eric's father did not have a
retirement plan and therefore could not support himself and his wife at
the time of his retirement. With a handshake agreement between the two,
Eric and Vikki decided that they would purchase Eric's fathers portion
of the company. Their plan was to work together and help support Eric's
parents. The couple took second and third part-time jobs to meet their
commitment. They were never late with their commitment.
commitment and encouragement allowed Eric the time to study art. After
the death of Eric's parents, the couple decided to direct full-time
attention to Eric's future in art. Both went back to school, Vikki
taking business management and art courses, and Eric furthering his
knowledge and skill in Trompe l' Oeil and Dutch Old Masters. Eric
studied two years with noted still-life painter Scott Royston from the
Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore and then with private ateliers
at the Maryland Hall, School of the Arts, in Annapolis, Maryland.
furthered his education with an intense study of optical illusions,
anamorphic images and perspective boxes. His love for trompe l'oeil
paintings was spurred by the optical illusions in paintings by Peale,
Harnett, Haberle and Van Hoogstraten. Eric's fascination of the Flemish
and Dutch Masters persuaded him to build the first working model of a
Perspective Box in the 21st century.
Eric's commitment to his
art is in the tradition of the Old Dutch Masters. He prepares his own
oil paints by using dry pigments mixed with black oil. His panels and
canvas are prepared in the traditional European method, using rabbit
skin glue and paris whiting as a ground.
Eric lives and works
in Davidsonville, Maryland. Imagination, antiques and humor are
trademarks of his paintings. When asked "whatever happened to your
teacher Mr. Lou Schatt? Eric's answer "he comes by the studio just
about every week, just to keep me in line." Eric's paintings are in
private and corporate collections worldwide.
Eric is a member
of the Maryland Hall School for the Arts, Delaplaine Visual Art Center,
The York Art Association, The Maryland Federation of Art and The Trompe
l' Oeil Society of Artists.
In September, 2002, the Sherlock
Holmes Museum in London purchased one of his works titled "The Game's
Afoot", 16" X 20". It is believed to be the first "Mystery Painting"
where the viewer (with clues provided in the painting) uses the clues
to solve the mystery of the title.
In 2004, the Club
Bertelsmann Publishing Company in Germany bought the rights to his
Sherlock Holmes Mystery Painting to be on the cover of the reprint of
Umberto Eco's book, "The Name of the Rose" that was released in
Germany, Switzerland and Austria in October 2004.
Elegant Island Living- Best of 2005, "Trompe l'Oeil," Judith Ellington, February 2006
Contemporary Artist Magazine, Sishuan Institute of Art, P.R. China,
September 2004. Nin Jia, Editor (full article about Eric Conklin)
Numismatist, April 2003, 'Fool the Eye Numismatic Art With a Twist', by Cathy Clark
The Contemporary Artist Magazine, Sichuan Fine Art Institute, P.R.China, Ning Jia Sept. 2004
Territorial Restoration Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas
Best of Show: 2001, York Art Association, York, Pennsylvania 17402
2000, Works by Contemporary Maryland Artists
First Lady Frances Hughes Glendening, Exhibit III
Conservatory Room of the Government House in Annapolis, Maryland, the Governor's official residence.
WHO Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists:
LARRY CHARLES, DONALD CLAPPER, ERIC CONKLIN, GERALD HODGE, MICHAEL MOLNAR, GAYLE B. TATE, GREGORY WEST
WHAT paintings in oil on panel, canvas and paper
WHEN March 1 - 28, 2002
Opening Reception Friday March 1, 5-7 PM, Santa Fe
are very pleased to announce the opening of an exhibit of America's
most accomplished trompe l'oeil artists. The Trompe L'oeil Society of
Artists was formed to showcase the paintings of contemporary masters of
the genre. The exhibit will feature paintings by its members: Larry
Charles, Donald Clapper, Eric Conklin, Gerald Hodge, Michael Molnar,
Gayle B. Tate, and Gregory West.
The art form of trompe l'oeil
distinguishes itself from other forms of realist painting by its intent
to deceive. With the use of perfect perspective and clearly observed
light, described with realistic colors, the 'trick' is to make the
onlooker believe that a surface is not flat, or that a space exists
where there is no space. Translated from the French, trompe l'oeil
means "trick the eye". These seven painters have taken the art form to
its extreme in excellence and accomplishment. Still life subject matter
includes hyper-realistic images of taped paper objects, currencies,
chalkboards, stamps, and old photographs - perfect three dimensional
images to the eye and remarkable two dimensional realities to the touch.
|Biography from Edgartown Art Gallery:|
|Maryland painter Eric Conklin is a “Trompe l’Oeil” artist who paints in traditional oils on Belgian linen or panel. “Trompe l’Oeil” (pronounced “trump loy”) is a French phrase meaning “to deceive the eye,” and describes an illusionistic style of oil painting.|
Eric also composes still-life paintings with a story or theme. After considerable research he develops paintings that portray a message of beauty and detail on the surface, but often convey a deeper subtle meaning, or an ironic sense of humor. “The Six Senses” oil painting was chosen to hang in the exhibit “Works by Contemporary Maryland Artists 2000” at Government House in Annapolis, Maryland.
Eric Conklin’s works are often influenced by the many artists he enjoys studying, from the Dutch and Flemish masters to contemporary American painters. Imagination and humor are trademarks of his works. An avid antique collector, Eric includes many unique items from his collection in his paintings. Early in his career, Eric worked as a commercial artist and as a silver engraver, acquiring detailing skills used in his work today.
Winner of “Best in Show” at the 2001 York Art Association Show, Eric Conklin’s work has also been shown at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, and at a one-man show at Barnes & Noble. In 2003 Conklin’s oils will be in two museum exhibitions: The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum. His works are part of many private and corporate collections. The Arkansas Territorial Restoration Museum in Little Rock and the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London, England have Conklin’s work in their permanent collections.
Eric is represented in Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who in America. He is a member of the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, the York Art Association, the Maryland Federation of Art, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and The Trompe L’Oeil Society of Artists.
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