Having trained as an artist in his youth, Templin was arrested in 1937 when he was just 17 years old. He was sentenced to five years in a labour camp in Kolyma on suspicion of engagement in a counter-revolutionary plot. In 1945 he was exiled to Magadan, Siberia. Working for the Magadan State Theatre as a theatre designer, he met his future wife, a fellow artist, Nina Lugovskaya. By the 1960s Templin joined the Vladimir School of Artists and dedicated himself to painting landscapes which celebrate the variety and vastness of rural Russia.