Eric Atkinson was born in Hartlepool, England, in 1928, he emigrated to Canada in 1969 taking the position of Dean of Applied Arts at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. He became a legend at Fanshawe College playing a huge role in the development of the Basic Course at Leeds College of Art. His teachings valued self-expression and creativity not only technical skills in the arts. He was also the assistant to Harry Thubron at Leeds College of Art from 1955 to 1961 before he succeeded him as Head of Fine Art.
Eric Atkinson is a major Canadian abstract landscape painter, he has had an extensive career as an artist and art educator. His abstract landscape paintings are not literal depictions, rather they are expressions of his interpretation of landscapes and the relationship between the process of creating art and the forces of nature.