Conceptual Realism – Eric Joyner
Eric Joyner Beginnings
Eric Joyner attended Illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. In 1999 Joyner decided to work in fine art. This is after years of work as an illustrator. Perhaps, in part, because the subject matter was always chosen for him, he decided to paint only things he likes.
This is tin toy robots. In 2002, while watching the movie Pleasantville, he noticed Jeff Daniels painting a still-life of donuts. Thus inspired, he began what he calls the “mirror world war of robots and donuts.”
Occasionally, Joyner will paint in a few humans simple to show that robots and people can live in peace.
Media and Technique
Joyner paints with oil (regular & alcyd), on a base of gesso, on Baltic Birch or Luann board. He sometimes uses acrylic to paint the outline of a new work before moving on to oils, but he always paints the body of the work in oils. Various brushes include & synthetic sables, rollers, & house painting brushes.
Joyner states that he thinks of an idea, does some research, takes a few photographs of tin-toys from various angles and then does a few character study sketches. Joyner states he has over fifty tin-toys in his collection.
He then cuts a Baltic Birch panel to size, prepares it with gesso and then transfers the drawing to the board. He will then paint an outline in acrylic finishing the painting in oil. Finally, to seal the work he’ll spray on two or three coats of Damar varnish.
Robots and Donuts
In painting Robots and Donuts Joyner states the existing collection of tin toys and the ready availability of donuts makes both subject cost effective. He doesn’t have to hire a model or rent costumes.
His work has been compared by some to Norman Rockwell paintings and Joyner does state that one of his favorite books as a child was collection of Rockwell works. However, he claims Frazetta (book cover artist), J.Jones (graphic novel artist), N.C. Wyeth (book illustrator), The Brandywine artists, Andy Warhol & National Lampoon magazine.
Joyner has recently published a book called “Robots and Donuts.” The book is dedicated to Hanson Crockett Gregory, who at sixteen punched a hole in a ball of dough before frying it. Gregory claimed he did this at sixteen, aboard a tramp-steamer, in 1837. Why? He didn’t like the uncooked center. There is an unsubstantiated rumor that the donut hole was also introduced so the man at the helm could mount his cooked confection on the spoke handle of the ship’s wheel.