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Eric Linwood Conklin

 (born 1950)
Eric Linwood Conklin is active/lives in Maryland.  Eric Conklin is known for trompe still life, perspective boxes.

Eric Linwood Conklin

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.

Eric 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.

Vikki's 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.

He 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

The 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:
WHAT paintings in oil on panel, canvas and paper
WHEN March 1 - 28, 2002
Opening Reception Friday March 1, 5-7 PM, Santa Fe

We 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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About  Eric Linwood Conklin

Born:  1950 - Baltimore, Maryland
Known for:  trompe still life, perspective boxes

Essays referring to
Eric Linwood Conklin

Trompe l'Oeil Painting