Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1951 and raised in Flint, Michigan, Ken Christensen is an on-site landscape painter. He attended Michigan State University where he graduated with a B.A. in History, he was also part of an overseas study program at Bedford College, London and attended the University of Manchester in England for a full year. After college Christensen settled in Traverse City, Michigan, where he pursued a career as a freelance artist while also writing for the local newspaper. Frustrated by Michigan's long winters and missing Europe, he moved back to London in 1980 where he remained for nine years. During this time Christensen attended life drawing classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and was also an official copyist at the Louvre Museum. In the summer of 1988, he moved back to the U.S. to Petoskey, Michigan where he would split his time and spend winters in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Christensen taught watercolor and printmaking at North Central Michigan College while also teaching drawing and oil painting at the McCune Art Center.
Christensen paints with an intensity and bravura that reveals the glory and beauty of even the most mundane scenes. Rather than the standard postcard views, Christensen seeks out the particular that his personal vision can raise to the universal. His influences filtered down from the French Impressionists and Fauves. He paints with the vision, color, and verve of such painters as Van Gogh, Vlaminck, Marquet, and Derain, but with the American perspective of Hopper and Benton.