Kenn was born in Beaver Dam, WI and spent much of his childhood on the family farm near Burnett, WI. His fondness for nature became the catalyst for his art. Kenn’s parents encouraged his artistic education and following high school, he earned a B.A. at Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, WI. As a commercial designer and illustrator Kenn received many awards. Although he took pride in his commercial successes, his heart always belonged to the fine art of outdoor painting.
With his developing interest in the historic traditions of plein air painting, in 1984 Kenn decided to devote more time to his passion for painting and 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. His passion for painting has broadened his subject matter to include not only landscape, but also figurative, portrait, still life and nature. When asked what he likes to paint, Kenn answers, “anything under the sun and moon is fair game.”
Kenn has been featured in numerous art publications and books. His works have been juried into many shows across the country and bestowed with many honors including the prestigious Best of Show, Collectors’ Choice and Artists’ Choice awards. In September of 2006, Kenn was filmed while painting in Alaska for the PBS series Plein Air: Painting the American Landscape.