A Baltimore native, Conklin trained as an architectural delineator and worked as a commercial artist for several years before entering the family trucking business.
Later, Conklin studied trompe l’oeil and Dutch Old Masters, and has a fascination with optical illusions, anamorphic images, and perspective boxes. He also studied with noted still-life painter Scott Royston. He prepares his own oil paints by using dry pigments mixed with black oil. His panels and canvas are prepared in the traditional European method, using rabbit skin glue and Paris whiting as a ground.
He is a member of the Maryland Hall School for the Arts, Delaplaine Visual Art Center, The York Art Association, The Maryland Federation of Art, and The Trompe l’Oeil Society of Artists.
In 2002, the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London purchased one of Conklin’s works, “The Game’s Afoot,” a “mystery painting” where the viewer, using clues provided in the painting, solve the mystery of the title.