Renay Shaffer (Canadian, b. 1973) is a self-taught painter with a passion for pastel and watercolor. Born in White Rock, a small seaside town along the west coast of Canada, she formed an identification with nature from childhood onward. Forests and beaches became a place where she could daydream and process her thoughts, soothed by the constancy of tides and seasons. Her drawing as a young girl was briefly coached (and greatly influenced) by then-emerging master photorealist painter Rod Penner. After a tumultuous young adulthood her artistic potential was re-awakened at age 30 upon going back to university and enrolling in a drawing class alongside a psychology major. She spent the next decade learning to paint murals, commissions, and a small body of work in her spare time that was shown in many group shows including a solo show “Limited Visibility” at Point Gallery on Saltspring Island, BC. In 2017 she began painting full time and has since created a collection of large-scale pastel seascapes, while also painting miniatures for DailyPaintworks.com and the occasional commission. Her artwork is in private collections throughout Canada and the USA. She is a member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast.
Renay won the Wakeham/Sutherland award in Pastels USA 2018, has been featured twice in International Artist magazine and has an upcoming editorial feature in American Art Collector.
In the studio, Renay is currently focused on grounding work (a counterbalance to world news and US politics) exploring our connection to the earth in the form of trees, uplifting flowers, and “water I can see the ground through”. She lives and works in Bellingham, Washington, USA with her husband Matt and two very vocal rescued Siamese cats, acutely aware of the blessing of being able to paint every day.