Henington Fine Art Gallery

SJ Shaffer

SJ Shaffer

Artist's Statement

The Random House College Dictionary defines West as: 1. Coming or originating from the west, 2. Pertaining to or living in or characteristic of the west, 3. A person living in a western region or country, 4. Pertaining to a western church.

Traditionally Illustrative and Contemporary is how many have described my style. Being an established and well know Illustrative Painter, I choose to paint the recipe, definition, of the West. Known for big sweeping skies and broad landscapes; I paint the people, traditions and the cultures that make the West what it is today: A legendary and colorful tapestry of life intertwined with a reflection of its beauty.

The oceans and missions of Santa Barbara, California to the Native American Pueblos, rich history of the Pueblo Revolt on the historic land of New Mexico, the spiritual trail of Father Kino, our neighbors to the south, Mexico and the Alamo in Texas. Beautiful Saguaros and Agaves that grace the land and the burros that carry one’s wood are all present in my creations. With the return of my original technique, I was the winner of the much coveted Maggie Award for Best Illustrator in Los Angeles, California. Along with a strong following of collectors across the southwest, my professional history and reputation, numerous editorials and the distinct and true beauty of my art. Please enjoy reviewing my portfolio and I look forward to hearing back from you in the near future.


Raised poor on the streets and ocean boardwalks of Mission Beach, San Diego- SJ Shaffer was watched over by the saviors of the local homeless and street gangs. Protected by heroic Vietnam Veterans who gifted her with art supplies, and escorted to school on Harley’s by the reputable but infamous  California Hell’s Angels.

Importantly was the refuge she found in classrooms and miraculous teachers who taught her strive, self diligence, and to clench tightly to perseverance, integrity, and her true grit.

Guided by her God given Artistic talent, Shaffer paved her way to a future filled with reason and purpose. At seventeen years of age winning numerous ribbons in drawing, mastering Color Pencil, Shaffer was awarded the San Diego Kiwanis Merit and a scholarship to Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, in Los Angeles, California.

Graduating with honors and a BFA in Commercial Illustration, Shaffer went on to working as a freelance Illustrator for a variety of companies, and instructing at Cal State Los Angeles University.

Close to a decade of regimental sketch work for: Universal Studios, cheeseburger layouts for In and Out Burger, wonderful jobs with Sam’s Club, and the City of Los Angeles. Shaffer was nominated and won the renowned Los Angeles Maggie Award.

With this under her belt she made the inspiring decision to exchange the Ocean for the beautiful Blue Agaves, majestic Red Rocks, and the land of Arizona and New Mexico, expanding her technique towards the direction of Fine Art.

Truly Illustrative and Contemporary Shaffer chose to paint the recipe of the West; its legendary cultures, the intricate and spiritual symbolism, and treasured traditions interwoven throughout the land and the people.

The Historical Tapestry of the Native Americans, the Spanish, Mexico, and the Cowboys that have worked the land for generations. Let alone the mesmerizing Saguaros that accompany Burros that carry ones wood in prayer.

Shaffer was invited to the 7th Annual Cowgirl Up! Art from the Other Half of the West, Invitational Exhibition & Sale 2012, Wickenburg Arizona.  Mountain Oyster Club juried Western Showcase 2012, Tucson Arizona. She is an Associate member of the National WAOW; Women Artists of the West.   Illustrator for the Wine Festival Poster Santa Fe, New Mexico 2010. She was featured Guest Artist in the Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine in 2008. In 2007 the Discovery Channel Shaffer was spotlighted as one of  the Contemporary Female Painters of the West.

Editorials and Interviews include; Southwest Art Magazine, American Art Collector, Arizona Collectors Guide, Arizona Biltmore,Southwest Art’s Art Source Travel Guide, Tribeza Catalogue in Austin Texas  Art-Talk Rising Stars!, Santa Fean Magazine, Santa Fe New Mexico, Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine.

SJ Shaffer’s paintings are represented throughout the States of Arizona, Santa Fe New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.