Ted Christensen Biography

Ted Christensen




Painter and printmaker Ted Christensen was born in Vancouver, Washington, on March 20, 1911. He began as a self-taught painter, borrowing from the landscape surrounding his hometown beginning in 1938. With the entry of the U.S. into World War II, Christensen enlisted in the Army; after only a few months a gunner, he incurred a broken neck and was honorably discharged from his duties. Rather than return home, he enrolled in courses at the Otis Art Insistute in Los Angeles, CA, and then the Museum School in Portland, OR, on the G.I. Bill. In 1949 he moved to Sausalito, CA, where he set up his first permanent studio.

Christensen's style included Abstract and Impressionist influences. He was known for his outdoor scenes and he was frequently on the road, painting en plain air, even in wintery conditions. He traveled throughout the U.S. from coast to coast, and taking special interest in the Southwest and the West Coast. He recorded the landscapes and cityscapes of New Mexico, California, and Hawaii, as well as Europe. He exhibited widely throughout the U.S.

In 1968 he  was the recipient of New Mexico's Wurlitzer Foundation Grant, and in 1983 was selected as a Treasure Artist by the Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts Commission. From 1952 to 1960 he was an art instructor at the College of Marin.

In the 1980s Christensen settled permanently in Sonoma, California. He lived and worked there, continuing to exhibit until very near his death in 1998. His works are held in the University of New Mexico and in the permanent collections of museums in Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, and California.