Ernest Conyers Barker, was born in Toronto in 1909. He contracted polio as an infant which affected him for the rest of his life. Barker studied at the Central Technical School under Lawrence Panton, Alfred Howell, Bernard Coghll and Peter Haworth. Followed by oinstruction by acclaimed Canadian landscape artist Frederick Henry Brigden at the Ontario School of Art. By the age of 17, Conyers had one of his paintings exhibited at the Art Gallery of Toronto, later to become the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Barker enjoyed painting landscapes with an individualistic style, he refused to conform to the expectations of the art world. As a result, he barely sold enough paintings to live on. Barker worked continuously throughout his life, he made many trips to Northern Ontario woods, wetlands and forests of Algonquin Park. Many say he was following in the footsteps of his boyhood hero and earliest artistic influence, Tom Thomson.
Rumours indicate Barker aspired to be one of Canada's greatest abstract artists, however his true passion remained in creating landscapes and embracing realism. He gain wider public admiration late in his artistic career.
Barker traveled extensively throughout Canada, particularly in the Prairie Provinces and the Maritimes, as well as making trips to Florida, the Caribbean,Dominican Republic, Scotland, Wales and England. One of his paintings now hangs in the Queens collection at Windsor castle in London.
He worked in Barrie Ontario for many years as an illustrator and commercial artist for the vibrant young Canadian television station CKVR, during its infancy in the 50's.
Barker was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Ontario Society of Artists, Canadian National Society of Painters, and the Society of Canadian Artists.
He died in 2003.