Jessica Lee Ives (né Jessica Stammen) uses paint to explore and experience her adventure-filled relationship with the landscape of her home state of Maine and beyond. "I paint out of love — love for the world and for the human capacity to know the world through movement, recreation, and adventure. Kinesthetic intelligence and imagination are very important to me; so is the sensation of wonder. That a small movement of paint can capture a large movement of body through water, and that we can know the world’s beauty through both these actions, is astounding. It’s time we start picturing ourselves in the landscape more."

When not in the landscape herself, or in the studio, Jessica maintains an energetic online presence through her newsletter, Instagram, and almost-weekly small work sale. She contributes to Happier Outside, The American Guide, and is editor and curator of The Maine, an online publication devoted to “an artful dialogue about the wonders of the state -- and the state of wonder."

Jessica received her B.F.A. from The Cooper Union School of Art and was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women of 2003. Her work as an artist-in-residence at Ground Zero in New York City after September 11, 2001 earned her the Clark Foundation Fellowship with which she pursued her M.A. at New York University, combining work in the fields of art, religion, and public service. View Jessica's current CV here.


Hardcopies available for purchase from Courthouse Gallery Fine Art.



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The works are like free verse, expressive yet disciplined, and always based on places where Ives has spent time.
— Carl Little, "Artist Of The Outdoors"
 

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[Jessica’s paintings] reveal her intense, personal engagement with the complex, often mysterious, act of seeing.
— Suzette McAvoy in MH+D
 

Endeavoring to open eyes, [Josef] Albers created narratives, metaphors, and myths to help his students see what was before them, and that pointed the way to a reality far beyond the facts. Fact: Lines, shapes, and colors are set down on paper. Myth: The lines breath, the shapes dance, the colors sing together. ‘The aim of life,’ Albers wrote, ‘is living creatures. The aim of art is living creations.’ That creations were not creatures made them no less real. The concern of the artist and the poet was not objective reality, but the experience of the reality. To transform fact into myth is to get at how things are experienced. By restoring the miraculous to the real, Albers sought to work magic on his students as well, to refine them — an alchemist turning lead into gold.
— from Josef Albers: To Open Eyes

People say that what we are seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive.
— Joseph Campbell

Jessica Lee Ives talks about her career and work at Courthouse Gallery Fine Art on May 27, 2016. Ives' work was in "Fire and Water: Janice Anthony and Jessica Lee Ives," a two-person exhibition that explores each artist's interpretation of two opposing natural elements at the gallery from May 20-June 18, 2016.


Jessica and friend Shannon swim across Penobscot Bay from Ducktrap Harbor, Lincolnville (on the mainland) to Grindle Point lighthouse on Islesboro. They are escorted by a kayak and a sailboat. The water is about 65 degrees. It takes two hours to make the three-mile crossing.


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In these oil-on-panel paintings, Ives shows bodies in the water, swimming, jumping and playing. She paints from the perspective of the water’s surface, below the surface and looking down from above. These are masterful works because of her handling of bodies in motion and the fluidity of the water. We see bone structures and muscles that feel sculptural, water bubbles exploding from a swimmer’s plunge and the sun playing tricks on the rippling surface.
— Bob Keyes, "Camden artist takes the plunge with solo Ellsworth show"

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Click to start MaineToday slideshow

Jessica is a loose, fluid painter with a clean, keen sense of color and movement.
— Bob Keyes, "Artist At Work (And Play)"
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Click for full Maine Sunday Telegram feature