Ben Hotchkiss was born in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1945. A year later his parents moved to an isolated small town in western Connecticut. Something of an outcast by the time he reached high school, Ben completed his secondary schooling in the gritty urban surroundings of Queens, New York. After a brief stint in college, Ben left the East Coast for southern California, where he "took in the hippie experience" moving frequently and working a variety of "bottom rung" jobs. Hotchkiss’ father was a commercial artist who worked in oils, and as a child Ben visited his father’s studio frequently, watching him paint and browsing his art library. Ben began dabbling in art by sketching and doing watercolors, but by his late teens he had abandoned making art. Years later, in his mid-thirties, he returned to watercolor, and eventually began creating abstract oil paintings, which he continues today. Inspired by things in his environment that attract him, Hotchkiss strives to express the mystical elements of his own intuitive nature through his abstract paintings.