May I Introduce Ken Backhaus?

Ken Backhaus: Weekend with the Masters art instructor

Kenn Backhaus was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and spent much of his childhood on the family farm near Burnett, Wisconsin. His fondness for nature became the catalyst for his art. Backhaus' parents encouraged his artistic education, and following high school he earned a graduate degree at Layton School of Art, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Cottonwood Beach by Kenn Backhaus, 2010, oil painting, 30 x 30.
Cottonwood Beach by Kenn Backhaus, 2010,
oil painting, 30 x 30.

As a commercial designer and illustrator Backhaus received many awards at both local and national levels, which included acceptance in the 30th Annual Society of Illustrators Show, in New York City. Although the artist took pride in his commercial successes, his heart always belonged to the fine art of outdoor painting. With his interest developing in the historic traditions of plein air painting, Backhaus decided in 1984 to devote more time to his passion for painting and the love of the outdoors. He found that capturing true color, value, atmosphere, and the mood of a subject was best done on location or through direct observation. He has also discovered the importance of his studio time in union with his outdoor experiences and enjoys the challenges of both.

Backhaus has been featured in numerous art publications and books. His works have been juried into many shows across the country, and his paintings have won such honors as the prestigious Best of Show, Collectors' Choice, and Artists' Choice awards. He regularly serves as an Acceptance Juror and Awards Judge for many shows around the country. In September of 2006, Backhaus was filmed painting in Alaska as part of a PBS series titled Plein Air: Painting the American Landscape. In 2009 Backhaus was one of the host artists and producers of a 13-part television series titled Passport & PaletteTM, which began airing nationally on public television. For more information on Backhaus, visit his website.

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.