Conklin has been the Canisteo-Greenwood art teacher for three decades
I was born in the early 1960s in Elmira, New York and grew up in the town of Horseheads.
I had a few physical hurdles as a child because I was born with Cerebral Palsy. My Parents always encouraged me to work hard and pursue all of my dreams at whatever I wanted to do even though it might be more challenging for me than a lot of other people around me. Ultimately their encouragement made me a stronger person and have a strong will to do as well or better than people around me.
I attribute my first artistic inspiration as a child to my grandmother. She was a painter and sketch artist and belonged to an artist guild from the Elmira area. I spent many hours watching her paint and remember that even when she was talking on the phone she would be filling sketchbook after sketchbook with her doodles and drawings she created for her next paintings.
As a Jr. high student I had some outstanding art teachers that kick started my passionate interest in formal art training. When in high school I took every art class I could fill my schedule with. It didn’t stop there because post high school I attended the local community college and took every art class they offered. While studying I was also hired to be the studio hand in the Art Studio.
Though I knew that I had the passion for creating Art, I didn’t know what avenue to direct that passion down. That is until I met my future wife. She was a Music teacher in the Horseheads school district but grew up in the Canisteo valley. We married and as I was finishing the training there she encouraged me to go into the educational field. I seemed to have a natural connection with children and inspiring them with the same passion I had with creating. I then started a four year degree at Roberts Wesleyan College in North Chili, New York. My wife and I moved back to the Canisteo area because she was hired to come back to her Alma mater at the Canisteo Central school. I finished my degree and did my student teaching at Canisteo High school. The teacher that was my mentor while student teaching decided to take a one year sabbatical so I was hired to have a one year temporary position to cover her position. When she made the decision to not return the next year I was hired as the permanent Art teacher. I taught in the Canisteo Greenwood district for thirty years making it my life career.
I also have a huge passion for the outdoors. I love outdoor/Nature Photography, Painting, Drawing as well as hunting and fishing. This love for everything outdoors has a close connection to most of my Artwork.
After a thirty year Art teaching career and using most of my creative energy teaching kids what I loved I have spent the last three years trying to get back to my personal honing of the craft. I have made many sets of hand painted cornhole boards that started as a favor for a friend who wanted me to make a set for him. I have been sketching a lot in between deliveries while working for a delivery service, teaching adult painting classes at my country home, and I painted a thirty two foot mural for the Sweet Acres Creamery in Geneva, NY. My Wife and I also have an Art and Music inspirational Ministry doing Chalk drawings and Music with a Christian Theme for churches and camps.In between all of that I try to Photograph as much nature images as I can.
I hope to inspire people who view my Art to be more creative, love the outdoors, and see the beauty in nature all around us. Also for those Artists who are just beginning an interest in making Art, no matter what age, to persevere when trying new techniques, and enjoy just creating!
If you would like a Print of any of my drawings, paintings, or, photographs,or if you would like to commission a piece of Artwork my email address is [email protected]