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 Scott L. Christensen  (1962 - )

About: Scott L. Christensen
 

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Lived/Active: Idaho/Wyoming/Nebraska      Known for: landscape, still life and marine painting

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Scott L Christensen
An example of work by Scott L. Christensen
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Raised in Lander, Wyoming, Scott Christensen settled in Jackson and became a successful painter at an early age. However, he never began painting until he was in college, but he credits his basic interest to seeing his wheel-chair bound grandfather painting. Christensen nearly had the same fate as he fractured a vertebra in a college football game, and switched his energy to art from a consuming passion for sports.

His initial dedication to art came from standing on a stream bank in western Nebraska, where it was quiet and beautiful. From that time, he studied numerous painting styles including Impressionism, Classicism, and Realism. He also viewed works by friend Dan Gerhartz and Swedish painter Anders Zorn, whose paintings taught him to soften edges. Christensen has also been much influenced by Russian painters Isaac Levitan and Ilya Repin.

He creates both plein-air and studio paintings from quickly done field sketches, and travels widely in the western United States, roaming the outdoors with a field box, a few tubes of paint and many sheets of canvas board.

Sources:
Art of the West
Southwest Art


Added note:
Scott L. Christensen created the artwork for the 2006 Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival poster.  The original painting titled Warm Valley Sun was auctioned at the festival and sold for $22,500.

Biography from Whistle Pik Galleries:
Given that Scott Christensen rarely picked up an artist's brush until his college years, some would say he came to the canvas late indeed. Yet in a sense, art was with him all along. One of the strongest memories of his Wyoming boyhood is visiting his grandfather, who, having been injured in a farm accident and confined to a wheelchair, gave himself over to painting. "What I remember best," Scott says, "is the smell of paint in that house." That, and the fact that some of the only times his grandfather was content was either in front of an easel or showing off his work to his grandson.

Christensen, whose paintings are now collected by people around the world, was reared in Lander, Wyoming, son of hardworking parents who passed on a strong commitment to excellence and dedication to athletic competition. In fact, Scott did not direct his focus to art until he was sidelined by a serious neck injury in college. The life as he'd known it for so long melted away like a June snow. In the year following graduation, with the encouragement of his wife Karen, he gave up a teaching and coaching position and launched a study of the great masters of traditional art, developing through this ongoing study a solid definition of good art. Early on, for example, he was struck by how the impressionists tended to sacrifice the drawing aspect of their art in order to get just the right vibration of pigment, producing works with an uncanny degree of light and atmosphere, paintings that fairly shimmered with color.

At the same time he strove to figure out how best to incorporate those aspects of nature that would make his painting stronger, without becoming a slave to the scene by trying to put in everything, pushing beyond what a painting could bear. For guidance he turned to the works of Sir Alfred East and Edgar Payne, men who were extraordinarily inventive when it came to selecting and arranging the most important elements of a scene. "You have to make sacrifices," Scott explains. "Maybe you're standing in a place where the sky and the mountains are very dramatic; the trees have incredible color and the water is vibrant. You have to decide what you want your painting to be about, render that element most important, and then paint everything else to support it."

Christensen's family is an important source of support. Karen, with a keen eye for the challenges presented by color and composition, is Scott's primary critic and a person whose opinion he trusts. Tony, Ashley, Meleah and Elise, ranging in age from 16 to 6, continuously remind Scott that painting is not the aim or focus of life, but instead painting contributes to the art of living.

Christensen's work has been exhibited in many prestigious museums and shows throughout the country, such as National Academy of Western Art, Pre de West Invitational at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK, the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK, National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY, Denver Art Museum, Kimbal Museum, Salmagundi Club in New York, Autry Museum, Salon d' Arts at the Colorado History Museum.

Scott Christensen has been a recipient of many honors throughout his art career including Arts for the Parks competition in 1991; Northwest Rendezvous Juror's Award of Merit in 1993 & 1994; Most Distinguished Alumni of Chadron State College 1997 and the Prix de West Award for his painting "Wind River Ice" in 2000. This painting as well as 61 others is reproduced in Christensen's 140 page book published in 2000 titled The Art of Scott L. Christensen.

He has taught workshops at Disney Animation Studios, Scottsdale Artists School, Fredericksburg Art School and the Fechin Institute and is published in Southwest Art, Art of the West, Persimmon Hill and American Artist. , Jackson, Wyoming, and Scottsdale, Arizona; Whistle Pik Ga

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, III:
Given that he rarely picked up an artist’s brush until his college years, some would say Scott Christensen came to the canvas late.  Yet, in a sense, art was with him all along.  One of his strongest memories of his Wyoming boyhood is visits with his grandfather, who, having been injured in a farm accident and confined to a wheelchair, gave himself over to painting. “What I remember best in that house,” Scott says, “is the smell of paint.”

Christensen’s work has been exhibited in many prestigious museums and shows throughout the country, including the National Academy of Western Art; the Prix de West Invitational at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City; the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming; the Denver Art Museum; the Salmagundi Club in New York; the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale at the Autry National Center of the American West; and the Salon d’ Arts at the Colorado History Museum.

Christensen has been the recipient of many honors throughout his art career, including the Northwest Rendezvous Jurors’ Award of Merit in 1993 and 1994; Most Distinguished Alumni of Chadron State College, 1997; and the Prix de West Award for his painting Wind River Ice in 2000.  This painting, along with 61 others, is reproduced in Christensen’s 140-page book The Art of Scott L. Christensen.

He has taught workshops at Disney Animation Studios, Scottsdale Artists School, Fredericksburg Art School, and the Fechin Institute, and his work has been featured in American Artist, Art of the West, Images West, Persimmon Hill, Southwest Art, Western Art Collector, and Wildlife Art.

Christensen and his wife, Kristie, currently reside in Victor, Idaho, where he recently completed construction on his new Craftsman-style studio and elegant exhibition space where collectors are welcome to visit.

Source:
Masters of the West,
Autry National Center


Biography from Claggett/Rey Gallery:
Scott L. Christensen has firmly established himself among the ranks of the finest plein air painters, demonstrating a sophistication of design and subtle use of color. His extraordinary artistic growth and subsequent success has been meteoric, gaining him national recognition that many artists wait a lifetime to achieve.

Christensen rarely picked up an artist’s brush until his college years. Yet, in a sense, art was with him all along. Some of the strongest memories of his Wyoming boyhood are visits with his grandfather, who, having been injured in a farm accident and confined to a wheel chair, gave himself over to painting.

His work has been exhibited at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Okalhoma; the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma; the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; Kimball Museum, Park City, Utah; Salmagundi Club, NY, NY; and the Autry Museum, Los Angeles, California. His many honors include "most distinguished alumni" at Chadron State in 1997 and in 2000 he earned the distinguished Prix de West award.

Christensen taught at Disney Animation Studios and took the artists trekking into the rugged Wind River mountain range. He teaches at Scottsdale Artist School, Arizona; Fechin Institute, Taos, New Mexico; and the Fredericksburg Art School, Texas.

Biography from Christensen Studio:
Scott L. Christensen is a painter with the curiosity of a scholar and an uncommon past.  Largely self-taught, he came to art via a circuitous route.

Born August 20th, 1962, Christensen was raised in Lander, Wyoming where he was exposed to the great outdoors at a young age.  He attended Chadron State College in Nebraska on a football scholarship, but sustained a spinal injury that left him unable to compete.  Recalling his love of wild places, Christensen then made the unlikely career choice to become a landscape oil painter.  He pursued painting with the discipline he once brought to sports and earned a degree in art education.

After college Christensen moved home to Wyoming, eventually landing in Jackson. He sought tutelage from Bob Barlow, Clyde Aspevig, and William Reese.  Then, on a trip to Sweden in 1994, Christensen was inspired by the work of Impressionist Anders Zorn to adopt a palette limited to primaries, plus white.  He has also been greatly influenced by such masters as Isaac Levitan, Alphonse Mucha, and Joaquin Sorolla.

Although finished at the easel, most Christensen landscapes begin as plein air studies and, fresh off the easel, they are sought by prestigious galleries, museums, and collectors.

Christensen lives in Victor, Idaho (just 18 miles from Jackson Hole, WY).

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