Fine Art since 1990
55 Bellevue Avenue
Newport RI 02840
(401) 849-9166

Visiting Artist

Jessica Shaffer

Visiting Artist from March 1st to April 30th, 2023

Jessica Shaffer

Artist’s Statement:

My art reflects my love of nature and experience of living in coastal New England. I have spent my life on and near the sea, from my childhood on the Chesapeake Bay, to the past 40 years enjoying Narragansett Bay as a resident of Jamestown and South Kingstown, Rhode Island. My paintings are focused on capturing the essence of our local landscape. The colors of Narragansett Bay and its tributaries through the seasons fascinates me. While my landscape paintings are based in realism, I aim to have an impressionistic quality that represents the fleeting nature of the moment in time.
While my passion for art developed early in school, my more practically minded parents encouraged me to pursue a more guaranteed form of income; therefore, I have a B.S. in Ocean Engineering and M.S. in Oceanography. I spent many years researching whale bioacoustics before following the technical management track and retiring early to pursue my love of painting. I continued to take art classes throughout my professional career at our local art museum, art societies, online and most recently attending workshops of professional artists whose work I admire.
I began painting in watercolor during high school and continued throughout my life. The transparency and glow of watercolors are perfect for capturing the glittering sunshine and transparent waters of the coast. I have a small travel set that has accompanied me on my work and personnel travels across the globe and out to sea. I love to sketch in watercolor and indelibly capture the memories from my travels in my mind.
I began painting in oils about three years ago as I was attracted to the richness and texture that can be achieved with medium. I am enjoying learning the many different techniques available for painting in this medium.
As an outdoor enthusiast, I primarily paint en plein air. I love to hike, mountain bike, and kayak, bringing my paints along to pause and fully take in the environment. I find painting to be the best form of meditation for me. All concerns fade away as my mind becomes completely absorbed in capturing the light, color and essence of the landscape. I hope to create art that resonates with those similarly intrigued by nature and spending time outdoors.


Fine artist Jessica Shaffer has practiced en plein air watercolor landscape painting for thirty years, and began painting in oils three years ago. Her landscape paintings are based in realism, with an impressionistic quality that captures the fleeting nature of light. As an outdoors enthusiast residing in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, Jessica specializes in plein air painting the beautiful Rhode Island coastal landscape. During her travels as an ocean engineer working for the U.S. Navy, she painted watercolor sketches shoreside and at-sea across the country. Jessica retired from engineering in 2022 to focus on her career as a professional artist and enjoy hiking and painting across the country.

B.S. Ocean Engineering, University of Rhode Island, 1995
M.S. Oceanography, Graduate School of Oceanography, U.R.I. 1998

Recent Workshops Attended:
Fearless Flowers Master Class, online with Birgit O’Connor
Desert Landscapes, online with Birgit O’Connor
The Architecture of Light – Perspective in Color with Thomas Schaller, Gloucester, MA
Painting the Plein Air Landscape, in Oil with Don Demers, Chatham, MA
Color Relativity with Kami Mendlik, Landgrove, VT
Rocks, Water and Waves at Beavertail with Trish Hurley, Jamestown, RI
Painting Sky and Water, online with Kami Mendlik
Painting Trees, online with Kami Mendlik
Nature’s Elements, online with Christine Lashley

Artist Member:
Harbor View Artisans Cooperative, Wickford, Rhode Island

Juried Exhibits:
March into Art Exhibit, Wickford Art Association
Celebrate Spring, Spring Bull Gallery, Newport, R.I.
Narragansett Arts Festival
Scituate Arts Festival