Sheri Chaffin has used her art for far more than self expression. Itâ€™s also been her comfort through the loss of her identical twin and her son.
â€œI was an identical twin, which definitely shaped my life. My older brother Bill was always artistic and influenced my interests. My mother was very artistic and created many beautiful crafts as did my late twin sister, Lynn, whom I lost to cancer this past January. I lost my son, Justin, in 2002. Painting was a great healing tool for me through this whole experience. I named my first show, â€˜Gifts from Heaven.â€™
â€œUnfortunately, in mid-April, I was diagnosed with lung cancer and am now fighting this new battle. I know that my art will be a great blessing here also,â€ Chaffin says.
Chaffin is a self-taught artist who taught high school mathematics for 31 years.
â€œI had always dabbled in art but never had the time to fully devote myself to it until I retired in 2002. My goal then was to become an accomplished watercolorist. I have always pursued just watercolors because the challenge is never ending,â€ Chaffin says.
Her brother, Bill Deel, an artist, is her greatest inspiration. She also worked with several well-known artists, such as Sterling Edwards and Steve Rogers, who caused her to stretch herself and try different approaches.
â€œMy style has become looser over the years and less detailed. I have learned to let the watercolors do their own beautiful thing. Watercolor is not as forgiving as other mediums. You must plan ahead, preserve your whites and accept that do-overs are very difficult. I enjoy dabbling with watercolor coasters, where I apply a print of a painting that I have completed onto marbled tiles. Also, I create watercolor jewelry where one can actually wear watercolors on their person,â€ she says.
Chaffinâ€™s favorite subjects to paint are animals, boats, birds and historic buildings. She says that geometry helped her to see the beauty in architectural design. She doesnâ€™t have a set schedule to paint but stays busy with commissions.
â€œPainting has a wonderful way of taking one away from the stress and worries of life and transporting you to a world of color and beauty. My art represents how I see the world. I like for my paintings to convey soft beauty. I would like for people to know that anyone can pursue art. Becoming an artist is more about hard work and passion than innate talent. Everyone has an artist within them,â€ Chaffin says.
Her work can be found in booths at local art and craft festivals, and she has a business Facebook page. You can find her on Facebook at Watercolors by Sheri Chaffin.
Renee Pitts encourages artistsâ€™ communities