Born in 1906 in St. Catharines, Ontario, Eric Riordon moved with his family to Montreal in 1908. He was educated at McGill University. After studying charcoal drawing for a year at the École des beaux-arts of Montreal, he went to Paris in 1932 where he trained at the Grande Chaumière and Académie Julian, then travelled and painted extensively in Europe. On his return in Montreal he painted in the Laurentians. He had an early interest in the sea and in 1940 joined Royal Canadian Navy; took a seven months training course to become Lieutenant and served as an executive officer in Montreal before being posted to the East coast for sea duty. He was promoted to second in command of a corvette engaged in anti-submarine and convoy duty. At the end of the war he held the rank of lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve. He snatched moments from his duties during this period to paint a series of wartime marines later used for a publication about the Canadian Navy at war. He died in 1948.
During the thirties Riordon became known for his fine paintings of the Laurentians. He also became known for his seascapes, beach, harbour and river scenes having found his subjects in Brittany, France, and elsewhere in Europe, also in North America, up the St. Lawrence, in Gaspé, Nova Scotia and Maine. In Ste Adèle he painted many of his Laurentians scenes.
His work was shown at the Paris Salon in 1933-34. He exhibited with the Academy of Royal Canadian Artists from 1937 to 1948. Thirty-four of his miniature sea paintings portraying a typical trans-Atlantic convoy run during the Battle of the Atlantic were exhibited across Canada in 1950-52.
Riordon was elected A.R.C.A. in 1946.
Source: Colin S. MacDonald, A dictionary of Canadian artists, Volume 7, Canadian Paperbacks, Canada, 1990