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Scott L. Christensen Biography
Painting is not simply the passion
of Scott Christensen, it’s his necessity, like breathing. Mind and body attune,
he moves through the process of creating each landscape just as a river flows
over rocks, and around islands, all the while seeking a mellifluous whole.
Obstacles of composition, color, and tone are transformed into opportunities
with each stroke of his brush. Christensen’s goal is to compose an aggregate
vision of nature’s beauty, while also delighting in the journey. “The process
alone,” he says, “is worth the effort.”
nearly three decades at the easel, Christensen is recognized around the globe,
as evidenced by his recent invitation to show in Russia’s Ilya Repin St.
Petersburg State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture.
His energy flows through his work, paintings that, in turn, move us, opening
our eyes to the beauty of places as varied as the California coast at twilight,
and the storied English countryside. They are luscious yet economical
landscapes that beg to be explored.
the absence of tradition, Winston Churchill said, “art is a flock of sheep
without a shepherd. Without innovation, it’s a corpse.” Christensen’s work
embodies both tradition and innovation. His singular vision is deeply informed
by the masters. He has studied Isaac Levitan, Alphonse Mucha, and Joaquin Sorolla,
among others, as well as Anders Zorn, whose luminous work inspired Christensen
to adopt a similarly limited palette. Equally present in Christensen’s work,
though harder to detect, are the effects of literature, music, and football.
His net is cast wide on account of his scholarly curiosity and uncommon past.
Largely self-taught, he came to art via a circuitous route.
in 1962, Christensen grew up in Lander, Wyoming, a place of extreme geography
and wild beauty. There his aesthetic developed. It was not until college,
however, that he would recognize nature as his muse. The shift was precipitated
by a personal catastrophe. While attending Chardon State in Nebraska on a
football scholarship he sustained a severe neck injury. It left him unable to
compete. Bereft, he sought solace in fly fishing and visiting his grandfather,
a wheelchair-bound amateur oil painter. The scent of oils stirred Christensen’s
imagination, so he took a leap into the unknown and enrolled in art classes. He
eventually earned a degree in art education, but chose to paint instead of
teach. Now he does both.
the years he has pursued painting with the discipline he once brought to
sports. The atypical combination of athleticism, scholarly curiosity, and an
ardent desire to experience nature became the alchemy of his success. Although
finished at the easel, most of his paintings begin as plein air studies. They
end up in prestigious gallery and museum shows, as well as in major
collections, like Prix de West and in the permanent collection of Grand Teton
National Park’s Craig Thomas Visitors' Center.
now paints at the highest level and he has created a world to foster his work.
In 2007, he moved from Jackson, Wyoming to Victor,
Idaho. He recently moved from his larger studio to a more centralized location in downtown Victor where artist peers gather and Christensen, a natural-born
teacher, hones his skill leading workshops.
on a Christensen landscape, just as he did the place that inspired it. If it
resonates with you, then he has succeeded as a conduit of nature’s true
expression. He hopes that you too will get outside and be uplifted by nature’s
beauty, but that in lieu of that, his paintings will more than suffice.