ART! Places We Love – at Jessica Hagen Fine Art & Design

PLACES WE LOVE – Paintings by Rob Diebboll, Jill Madden

A celebration of the best of summer on the coast; from beaches to shorebirds and dogs to sunshine.

Exhibit ends September 5th.

Rob Diebboll was born and raised in rural Michigan. His parents, a painter/potter and a weaver with an interest in art and American crafts, demonstrated art as a way of life. He migrated east to attend Bennington College and later settled in Massachusetts. His paintings reflect his surroundings, the environments where he has lived and traveled – the coast and islands of Massachusetts and Maine, the Adirondack Mountains and the Caribbean.

Rob primarily works outdoors. Composing as he goes, he begins with quick gestures, later fleshing them out from memory. Other paintings he ponders for years, singling out an iconic subject. He uses painting as a tool for seeing and understanding the relationship between objects in space. He exposes these relationships by omitting extraneous information and simplifying what he sees. Complex figures are reduced to simple shapes delineated by emboldened colors. Light is distilled to flattened planes and distance compressed by eliminating the horizon.

Over the years, both landscape and the figure have dominated the subject matter of Rob’s paintings. He explores the subtle balance between a landscape holding people versus people inhabiting a landscape. By laying these two worlds side by side he gives each a new context. He defines a relationship between people and their environment, one individual and another, a person and their shadow, the viewer and the subject, or even two shapes or colors. With unobtrusive gestures Rob constructs a psychology. He may adjust the distance between figures, consider their scale within the landscape, or shift the curve of waves upon the sand to express serenity or tension, humor or gravity.

Jill Madden explores the changing landscape, often painting directly on site in National Forest, Wilderness, and Wildlife Areas. She hikes or skis into locations in transitional light, creating observational work of the twilit landscape. She often returns to the same locations to observe spaces in different seasons and light.

Jill grew up in coastal Rhode Island, attended Middlebury College where she studied Mandarin Chinese and art. She studied Chinese ink painting in Hualien, Taiwan for two years, taught Mandarin and art in Sitka, Alaska for several years. then returned to the east coast to attend graduate school.

After studying at the New York Studio School, Jill received a post-baccalaureate degree from Brandeis University, and an MFA in painting from Boston University, where she held a Constantin Alajalov scholarship, and studied with John Walker and John Moore. Jill’s work has been shown throughout the United States and in Ireland and England. While a resident artist at the Vermont Studio School, Jill studied under Lois Dodd, who remains a strong influence. Jill is the recipient of several awards, fellowships and residencies – both nationally and internationally.

Jill currently lives and paints in Weybridge, Vermont. 

View Jill & Rob’s art, here:


Jessica Hagen Fine Art & Design always has the most interesting selection of art in a beautiful, friendly gallery – ready and waiting to accommodate you.

Jessica Hagen is the owner and director of Jessica Hagen Fine Art & Design, located in beautiful Newport, RI. Ms. Hagen founded the gallery in 2005 and curates the gallery’s collection of painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewelry.  

Jessica Hagen Fine Art + Design features works of art created by living artists from throughout the northeast and beyond. Styles range from realism to abstractionism, with a focus on quality, originality and beauty. The gallery boasts an exceptionally large collection of sculpture and facilitates commissioned works, acting as liason between client and artist. In addition to her duties as the gallery’s director, Ms. Hagen designs and exhibits her own line of gemstone jewelry.

All one-of-a-kind works of art purchased at the gallery are exempt from Rhode Island State sales tax.

Hagen represents dozens of artists. She has shopper friendly options for those concerned about in-person shopping:

For those who are not comfortable visiting the gallery in person, they offer:

  • No contact curbside pickup
  • No contact / no charge local delivery
  • Shop by FaceTime
  • Book private shopping time for up to four people
  • Purchase gift certificates by phone or email

When shopping in person, face coverings and social distancing is required.

9A Bridge Street
Newport, RI 02840

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Thursday & Friday 11:00-4:00
Saturday 11:00-5:00
Also by appointment Mon-Wed

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