Born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin in 1951, Kenn Backhaus spent much of his childhood on the family farm near Burnett, Wisconsin. His fondness for nature became the catalyst for his art. Backhaus’s parents encouraged his artistic education and following high school, he attended Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Upon graduation, he embarked on his professional career in design and illustration receiving many awards at both local and national levels, which included acceptance in the Annual Society of Illustrators Show in New York. Although Backhaus took pride in his commercial successes, his heart always belonged to the fine art of outdoor painting. With developing interest in the historic Plein Air style of painting, he 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 and the mood of a subject was best done on location or through direct observation. His passion for painting has broadened his subject matter to include not only landscape, but also figurative, portrait, still life and wildlife.