Largely self-taught, Scott L. Christensen came to art via a circuitous route. He 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 recognized nature as his muse. The shift was precipitated by a personal catastrophe — while attending Chadron State College in Nebraska on a football scholarship, he sustained a severe neck injury that 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; he took a leap and enrolled in art classes. He eventually earned a degree in art education, but chose to paint instead of teach. Now he does both.
Over the years, Christensen has pursued painting with the discipline he once brought to sports. The atypical combination of athleticism, scholarly curiosity, and ardent desire to experience nature became the alchemy of his success. After nearly three decades at the easel, he is recognized around the globe, as evidenced by his invitationto show in Russia’s Ilya Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. Although finished at the easel, most of his paintings begin as plein air studies. They end up in prestigious gallery and museum shows like Prix de West and major collections such as the Grand Teton National Park Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.