Chaffin describes her paintings as “haiku poetry, rather than novels. The paintings are responses to a specific time, place, or person; for instance, the mood of being by the Colleton River one day.” In her new series at Charles Street Gallery in November, the paintings are made of cross hatches, which are indirect ways of mark-making.
“I began using the cross-hatch marks when I began painting oil over tar,” she said, “I liked the physicality—the way the oil reacted to the tar and the fact that I could scratch through the paint and expose the tar. It almost has a sculptural aspect to the surface.” Chaffin lives and works on Spring Island, South Carolina, in a variety of media including painting, collage, photography and sculpture.
“The cross hatches came out of doddles I was doing,” Chaffin explanied. “I keep journals of my ideas and drawings. Many of these drawings a mere notations and the cross hatches showed up in these notations. I found myself doing a series of larger ink drawings using the cross hatches. From there they made their way into the paintings. It was a little serendipity. I want the work to be open ended so that viewer conjures for themselves what the work is about.”
Charles Street Gallery is an established source for Lowcountry and International art, presented within a carefully renovated house surrounded by a lush garden in the middle of Beaufort’s historic district. The reception with Betsy Chaffin on Friday, Nov. 2nd is lavish, fun, and open to the public. 914 Charles Street, 521-9054, http://www.thecharlesstreetgallery.com