The love Eric Dowdle has for people and places is expressed in his signature style of storytelling, depicting the world’s most recognizable locations through fun and detailed art.
Dowdle’s upbringing began on a rural Idaho family farm. He is the 10th of a 12-child family, 10 of whom are boys. The Dowdle family moved from Idaho to Wyoming when Eric was 10 years old. When he graduated from high school, the family moved once again to Massachusetts, where Dowdle’s love of folk art took hold alongside a love of culture and adventure.
Dowdle has been creating art for over 20 years, having first picked up a brush in his early 20s and parting ways with college to “go make something happen.” He did just that, setting out to explore and create. He has traveled to Kenya, China, the South Pacific, Europe and around the U.S. Today, Dowdle’s oeuvre includes more than 200 works and is collected throughout the world.
Dowdle’s paintings capture rich rural landscapes, cityscapes featuring local foods and customs, and the interesting people that work or live in these places. Dowdle doesn’t limit himself – he paints everything from holidays and national parks to sports venues, landmarks, beaches and cities, all of which reveal playful and fascinating stories when examined closely.
“When I travel the world, everything I see comes alive to me,” Dowdle says. “It wouldn’t matter if it was an event or a city, my job is to find the personality of the town and put it in the painting.”
Each painting is transformed into limited-edition puzzles and giclees, allowing collectors to connect and bond with his artwork in multiple ways. In 2010, Dowdle sold his first millionth puzzle, and in the following year, sold his second millionth puzzle.
Dowdle hosts his own PBS television show, “Painting the Town,” in which he explores locales, talks with inhabitants and shows how he integrates these experiences into his fun and lively paintings. He also hosts his own radio show, “Traveling with Eric Dowdle.”
In 1997, Dowdle was named the honorary artist for the Utah Sesquicentennial Celebration. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the Sesquicentennial Pioneer Patterns, which is on display today at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. One year later, he earned the Mayor’s Choice Award at the St. George Arts Festival held in St. George, Utah.
His collection of Utah paintings were published in 2008 in “Utah: Featuring the Art of Eric Dowdle.” In 2013 he published “Nauvoo: Featuring the Art of Eric Dowdle.”
In 2010, Dowdle was commissioned to create a painting of his hometown. Following the painting’s completion, he was inducted into the Green River, Wyoming Hall of Fame and presented with the key to the city by the mayor.
Dowdle and his family reside in Utah.