Freemanart Consultancy  -  Conyers Barker  -  Canadian Artist -  His Life - Works - Paintings.

Dedicated to the memory of a great Canadian
Ernest Conyers Barker

Conyers Barker PHOTO

'The Horizontal Boy'

RCA. OSA. CSPWC. SCA. (Canadian Artist) 1909-2003

Photo by Peter Northcott  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

Ernest Conyers Barker Mother Earth

Mother Earth

 

Holland Marsh

 

A  Biography: 

By David Freeman

 

                                                                                                               

Conyers Barker PHOTO
Conyers Barker PHOTO
Conyers Barker PHOTO

Conyers Barker

'The Seeing Mind'  

The Last Photograph

© Jackie Freeman

Conyers Barker

Sketching in Algonquin Park in 1929

                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

Conyers Barker PHOTO GROUP OF SEVEN

 A very young Ernie 'Conyers' Barker slouches on on the far right of this early photograph by Charles Comfort, taken in 1932 at a CSPWC meeting (Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour) which was founded in 1925 by some of the most illustrious artists in Canadian art history.

The venue of this meeting was in the Library of the Grange, in the early days when there was only a handful of members.

Conyers is pictured here with Joachim Gauthier, the President of the society, Franklin Carmichael, A. J Casson and Tom MacLean. Charles Comfort himself was to become President  of the society in 1950.

The CSPWC founders were: F.H. Brigden, A.J. Casson, Franklin Carmichael, C.W. Jefferys, Fred S. Haines, L.A.C. Panton, R.F. Gagen, Thomas G. Greene, Robert Holmes, Franz Johnston, Andre Lapine, and E.J. Sampson. With Brigden and Panton formally tutoring Conyers in his art.

A friend of the great artist Franklin Carmichael, mentored by Joachim Gauthier, Tom MacLean, A.J.Casson and Franz Johnston, Conyers Barker was affectionately labled 'the Horizontal Boy' early in his artistic career by Dorians of the art world and distinguished members of the Group of Seven who were equally intrigued and puzzled by the linear stratum which he introduced into his painting.

 

Conyers Barker Aself portrait

Conyers Barker:

A distinguished self portrait


 
Conyers Barker PHOTO

______________________________________________________

A Biographical Summary of the life of : E. Conyers Barker

Algonquin painting trip in the 20's

Born: Toronto-18th March 1909 — Died: Barrie Ontario- 5th. December 2003

Taken from his biography by David Freeman

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Georgian Bay. E Conyers Barker                                                    

Georgian Bay. E Conyers Barker

Oil on canvas Board

          

 

  Conyers Barker was a fine Canadian representational artist, best known for his landscapes in watercolour, oils and acrylics of the varied, wild and distinctive landscapes of the Canada he loved.

 He was a significant, well loved and respected member of the Canadian art scene for many years and exhibited widely.

Yet Conyers wasn't to make the headlines, nor attain the dizzy heights of his mentors within the Group of Seven he knew so well, nor to ever receive the critical acclaim that he clearly deserved as an artist. Not at least until much later in his life.

 

 Conyers Barker, known as Ernie Barker back then, was born in Toronto in 1909, the son of a failing artist. Conyers studied at the Central Technical School under Lawrence Panton, Alfred Howell, Bernard Coghll and Peter Haworth and latterly under the acclaimed Canadian landscape artist  Frederick Henry Brigden down at the old Ontario School of Art.

At the early age of 17, Conyers won the significant distinction of having a painting hung at the Art Gallery of Toronto, later to become the AGO.  I remember fondly of him telling me that this was in recognition of his 'non conformative' linear approach to landscape painting'. This was his own ideographic invention with which he simplified and stylized colour shapes to suggest landscape forms. Others say however and why am I to question it, that it was because he has the guts to go against the grain?

Probably it was a bit of both.

 Typically, Conyers always had done and always did do his own thing, never conforming to the norm in the shadowy days of his struggling earlier career, painting in the manner of the Canadian Group of Seven, much as the art world wanted, nor painting what others around him thought he should paint.

As a result, he sold barely enough to live on and often went hungry.

 

Despite the crippling disabilities he suffered daily as a result of contracting polio as an infant, Conyers worked assiduously throughout his life, especially up in Northern Ontario woods and the wetlands and forests of Algonquin Park. Following in the footsteps of his boyhood hero and earliest artistic influence, Tom Thomson. 

Conyers, always the free spirit, would drive into the wilds alone, often for days at a time with the help of a trusty block of spruce wood lashed to the accelerator of his old Ford car. This classic Conyers invention, compensating for the shortness of his polio stricken leg.

The artwork flowed and his independence shone as he always did. It would to the end. Yet Conyers' principal ambition, particularly during his middle years, was to become the finest abstract artist in Canada but this too was not to materialise. Primarily this has to be put down to the development of his own unique and distinctive style of realism which overtook him with a passion. It is this unique quality in his painting that brought him at last some long deserved commercial success and a little public recognition but that was late in a career as an individualist.

Traveling extensively throughout Canada, particularly to the Prairie Provinces and the Maritimes, explorer Conyers had also painted in Florida, the Caribbean & the Dominican Republic and 'over the pond' as he called it, in Scotland, Wales and England, where one of his paintings now hangs in the Queens collection at Windsor castle.

 

Formally, Conyers Barker was and will be remembered as an Ontario artist with his first studios in Toronto, then the town of Stayner and finally Barrie. This was his home town where he worked for many years as an illustrator and commercial artist for the vibrant young Canadian television station called CKVR, during its infancy in the 50's.

He loved it there.

Actively painting well into his celebrated nineties, the worst thing that can happen to an artist did. Blindness finally overtaking him the year before his death.

David Freeman:

                      

 

 

 

Conyers TV Graphics from CKVR now the NEW VR

    Tarzan CKVR  Tarzan CKVR 
Conyers TV Graphics from CKVR now the NEW VR
Conyers TV Graphics
     

Tarzan CKVR 

Channel  3 Title Board

   
           

 

 

 

Original works of art by
E. Conyers Barker:
Gods Country: E.Conyers Barker

 We are grateful to all of the owners and collectors of Conyers Barker paintings from around the world for allowing us to display them on this ever growing information site.

If you have a Conyers Barker painting, please contact us. We will be delighted to hear from you as we are currently compiling a catalogue raissone of his works.

Contact.  uk (at) freemanart (dot) ca

Gods Country: E.Conyers Barker

Watercolour and bodycolour on paper

Signed Bottom Right - Conyers Barker

19 1/4 " x 13 1/4 " (490 x 336) approx.

Inscribed verso.  

 

    
Starting the planting. Holland Marsh

 

 

Early paintings  in oils:

Starting the planting. Holland Marsh

Watercolour and bodycolour on paper

Signed Bottom Right - Conyers Barker

 

 

Ernest Conyers Barker

Ernest Conyers Barker

'Sanctuary'
Oil on canvas board.

"The Old Docherty House 4th Concession - Nottawasaga"

Ernest Conyers Barker West Hill
Ernest Conyers Barker

Ernest Conyers Barker

West Hill 1929 ORO-

Oil on board.

Ernest Conyers Barker
Spring West Hill, ORO 1929

Oil on Canvas board

Ernest Conyers Barker

West Hill 1929

Oil on Canvas board

E.Conyers Barker Algonquin trail
E.Conyers Barker algonquin stream
E.Conyers Barkerself portrait

E.Conyers Barker CN snow blower

E.Conyers Barker

An Algonquin Trail - Oil

16 x 12" Oil on card

An Algonquin Stream - 31

This oil on board went to

New Zealand

Self Portrait

Unfinished oil on board

CN Snow blower
Pencil Sketch

 

 Conyers Barker's works of art fall in to quite specific chronological categories They range from the atypical 'earlies' of the time frame, aka., Group of Seven influenced oils, to the period when he was seeking his own new evolution.

It takes us through the rare new cubism and abstractionist periods to the travelling times in Florida, the Dominican Republic, Europe, the barns and finally to the Horizontals.

 

Traditional works in watercolour:

E.Conyers Barker Rainclouds Holland Marsh

E.Conyers Barker Blue Mountains Collingwood
E.Conyers Barker Manitoba wheat fields

Rain clouds over Holland Marsh

(Near Bradford Ontario)
Painted late in the Autumn, 1991

Inscribed and signed verso.

Watercolour on paper

10 1/4 x  7 1/2 " 260 x 194 mm.(approx)

 

Lake of Bays

Conyers Barker

13 1/2 x  9

Watercolour

Towards the Blue Mountains, September

Conyers Barker

Watercolour with pen and ink

10 1/4 x  7 1/2 " 260 x 194 mm.(approx)

Manitoba Wheat fields

E. Conyers Barker

Simcoe County snow: E.Conyers Barker

E.Conyers Barker Pines
Holland Marsh E.Conyers Barker
Conyers Barker Prairies
Snow over Simcoe County.

Eight Pines

Watercolour

Summer in Holland Marsh

Watercolour

Prairies 

Watercolour

 

 

 

Lake and Landscapes in watercolour.

 

Conyers painted many works in the areas surrounding the Holland Marsh and Holland Landing near Bradford, Ontario.

They are fresh and quite captivating images.

Manatoulin Island  Conyers Barker

Manatoulin Island

Watercolour

Elk Lake Road Conyers Barker 

Elk Lake Road
            Watercolour         

Conyers Barker painting

Meadowlands

Watercolour

Coyers barker Corn

Corn showing through.

Watercolour

Conyers Barker Fairy Lake

Shallows-Fairy Lake

Oil pastel painting

Vegetable Sheds Holland marsh Conyers Barker

Vegetable Sheds, Holland Marsh.

Watercolour

Grey Lake Conyers Barker

Gray Lake

Watercolour
                   

Lake Temagami Conyers Barker

Lake Temagami (4 known)

Watercolour

 

 

The Barns:

Barns and old farm buildings were a particular delight to Conyers Barker and often feature in his works.

Barns near Stroud Conyers Barker

 

Vespra Conyers Barker

Blue Barn Conyers Barker
Wilhemina Conyers Barker

Barns near Stroud, Ontario October 1991

Inscribed and signed verso & Signed bottom right .Watercolour on paper
10 1/4 x  7 1/2 "  260 x 194

 

 

 

12 th Line / Vespra

Drawing in ink.

One of Conyers most celebrated paintings was Blue Barn

There were very few limited edition prints made during his life, but here is one of the best.

24 x 18"

Signed: Limited Edition Lithograph

Wilhemina

Florida and the Dominican Republic.

 Works of art from this period are extremely rare and yet played an important role in the realisation and development of his unique style.

Conyers told me,..." it was here that I finally found myself."

Even more rare are his figurative subjects.

 

'Gold Tailings' Dominican Republic
'Gold Tailings' Dominican Republic

Florida Morning

Tamiami Trail - Hwy 41- Florida

Near Stuart - Florida

10 1/4 x  7 1/2 "  260 x 194 mm .(approx)

Florida Morning

Tamiami Trail - Hwy 41- Florida

10 1/4 x  7 1/2 " 260 x 194 mm.(approx)

Small boat heading out to sea.
Summer in Blue  Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic seascape
Small boat heading out to sea.

Summer in Blue

Dominican Republic

Dominican morning
15 x 11 " Signed bottom right
Dominican seascape

10 1/4 x 7 1/2 "

 

 

Abstract art and new cubism

Few and far between are examples of these rare works in the series. Life, Flight and Sail.


 

Conyers Barker Abstract

 

Conyers Barker Abstract

Ten

Flight North

Conyers Barker Abstract

Space Platform 3

 

Space Platform 4

Conyers Barker Abstract Mankind

Mankind

Released as a limited edition print.

 

 

It was this tiny little creation, a single tree that was to become a signature feature in Conyers work. It was created to symbolise Conyers love of nature, his mother earth  and his faith in God.

It appears consistently throughout his latter works becoming sometimes more graphic and simplistic.

 

Conyers tree studies

Northern Pines Conyers Barker

Northern Pines

Watercolour

Conyers Barker Tree line

The Tree Line

Watercolour

Conyers BarkerRocky hillside

Rocky Hillside

Oil on Board

Golden Autumn Conyers Barker

Golden Autumn

 

Lone pine. Conyers Barker
Conyers Barker Ice
Edge of Forest Conyers Barker
Conyers Barker Forest

Lone Pine

Watercolour

The big push - Lake Ice.

Watercolour

Edge of the forest

Watercolour

Edge of the Forest

Oil on board

 

 

________________________________

It would be the stratified landscapes that were to become Conyers Barkers trade mark and these can be seen developing in the earlier, more traditional watercolour art which he produced so plentifully.

Much rarer are his more figurative works, sought after these days by collectors and investors, alongside his early abstact examples which ventured into his world of the obscure right through to new cubism and his few and far between still lives.

____________________________

 

 

 

Conyers Barker Self Portrait

Self portrait

 

 

 

Innisfil Beach

Fishing on the Severn

 

 

 

Summer on Simcoe

EXHIBITIONS: His exhibit inclusions and solo shows list is as creditable as it is extensive:


Royal Canadian Academy. in 1932 and 1936.
New York Worlds Fair, 1938-9
Ontario Gallery Toronto 1975,1976.
Art Gallery of Ontario
Royal Institute Galleries, Picadilly, London 1937
Royal British Colonial Society.London
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1937
Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Art Gallery Hamilton, Guild Gallery Calgary,
Elliot Museum Hutchinson Island, Stuart Florida 1989.
Eaton`s Art Gallery Toronto
A.A.M in 1939,
Simcoe County Museum in 1975.
MacLaren Art Centre-A Major Retrospective 1995-
McMichael Gallery, Kleinburg
Olga Korper Gallery, Leo Kamen Gallery, Robert McLauglin Gallery, Oshawa,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conyers Barker participated in numerous shows including those

of societies of which he is a member.

O.S.A, C.S.P.W.C. , R.C.A. 1990. CSGA

(Ex President)

Other exhibitions incl: United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, (British Embassy) Romania and the United Kingdom and the International Art Exhibition in Japan

Barker: Represented in Major Collections:

Her Majesty the Queen Collection.

Windsor Castle


Canadian Russian Cultural Exchange, Moscow.
Art Gallery of Ontario.
City of Toronto Public Collection
Geneva Conference Center, Hiram Walker Corp. CIBC, Toyota Canada, Police Fed. Pacific Art Sevices,

Simcoe County,

RVH,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geranium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References.


Horizontal Boy. A Biography of Conyers Barker. D Freeman


Canadian Art, its History and Development - Wm.Colgate
Canadian Landscape Painters.

AH Robson 1932

The Index Of Ontario Artists.

H.Wolff - Toronto1978.


Canadian Art Sales Index
Collectors Dictionary of Canadian Artists.
Ontario Index of Canadian Artists
Davenports :

Art Sales Index.

Exhibition Notice, Eatons Art Gallery Toronto 1985, including reproduction of landscape by the artist.
Maclaren Art Centre Barrie 1993.

 

Barrie waterfront

 

Conyers Barker

An OBITUARY

 

CONTACT

uk (at) freemanart (dot) ca

Copyright 2003 Freemanart:


Unauthorized use of the images illustrated is prohibited

and protected under
International Laws of Copyright.

 

 

 

 

 

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