James Christensen

"Life seems to be more complicated than ever. And, all too often tooserious. I use my artwork to ease the burdens of everyday stuff. My characters deal with the same problems we all face in what we call life. Their unique point of view helps me put my owne problems in perspective with a smile-and hopefully yours. We are all on this journey together and anything we can to help each other is a good thing.

James Christensen

  James C. Christensen was born in 1942 and raised in Culver City, California.

He studied painting at Brigham Young University as well as the University of

California at Los Angeles before finishing his formal education at BYU. Since

then he has had one-man shows in the West and the Northeast and his work is

prized in collections throughout the United States and Europe.

Opulent, colorful, Shakespearean, extraordinary: All words that aptly portray

Christensen’s most popular artworks that have also been described

as “creations from the land a little left of reality.” He has created a

Shakespearean Island, an entire undersea world and a village of Mother Goose

characters. But when he isn’t giving life to other’s worlds, he paints a place

of his own. The result is a unique kinetic kingdom where recognizable human

emotions are often manifested as fish or fowl, utilizing the viewer’s own

imagination as no other artist can. His art includes unique people, places

and things that exist somewhere between adult dreams and childhood

memories. “I don’t think of myself as a fantasy artist,” said Christensen. “I

certainly have an affinity for myths, fables and ancient lore, but I also find

time to create landscapes and other subjects which include commissions.

Recent projects, for example, include a mural commission for a conference

center in Nauvoo, Illinois, a poster for the 2001 Utah Shakespearean Festival

and a sculpture for Nu-Skin. “What’s truly important to me is that my art is

introspective and in turn challenges the mind’s eye of those who view it

regardless of the subject matter.”

The artist has been commissioned by both Time/Life Books and Omni to create

illustrations for their publications and his work has appeared in the

prestigious American Illustration Annual and Japan’s Outstanding American

Illustrators. Christensen has also won all the professional art honors the

World Science Fiction Convention can bestow, as well as multiple Chesley

Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.

Christensen’s fine art appears as works of art in porcelain and brass from The

Greenwich Workshop Collection; artist-inspired products such as note cards,

silk ties and books are also available. His first book, A Journey of the

Imagination: The Art of James Christensen, was published to great acclaim in

1994. His second, the adventure fantasy Voyage of the Basset, has more than

75,000 copies in print. His subsequent book include the inventive Rhymes &

Reasons, published in May 1997, Parables (written by Robert Millet, 1999), The

Personal Illumination Series and The Personal Illumination Journal (2000), a

series of interactive journals, A Shakespeare Sketchbook (2001) and James

Christensen, Foremost Fantasy Artist (2001).

Christensen was recently designated as a “Utah Art Treasure,” one of Utah’s

Top 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and received the Governor’s

Award for Art awarded by the Utah Arts Council recognizing the significance of

Christensen’s artwork to Utah’s cultural communities. He was inducted into

the U.S. Art magazine’s Hall of Fame. Jim and his wife, Carole, co-chair the

Mormon Arts Foundation.


February 2009

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