Born 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 that left him unable to compete. Being in nature, especially on the streams fly-fishing, is where he found solace. At the same time Christensen was required to take an art class in order to graduate from college. There was no looking back.
Over the years Christensen has pursued painting with the same 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. Christensen now paints at the highest level and he has created a world to foster his work. His work has been included in the Prix de West since 1992, winning the Prix de West Purchase Award in 2000.
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.” 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.
Meditate 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 in lieu of that, his paintings will more than suffice.