Artist Betsy Chaffin opens solo show at Art Base in Basalt |

Artist Betsy Chaffin opens solo show at Art Base in Basalt

Staff report

Betsy Chaffin’s “Slip Sliding” colorfully explores the moving of abstracted shapes as they mingle with figurative elements. As old ideas and concerns struggle to find new expressions, the paintings harbor a sense of hope. A cohesive collection of playful acrylic and mixed media paintings invite the viewer to question where they are in the world today.

“Slip Sliding” opens at the Art Base in Basalt on Friday, with a reception running from 5 to 7 p.m. and including an artist talk at 5:30 p.m. It runs through Aug. 2.

The title of the show comes from the Paul Simon song, “Slip Sliding Away” and was inspired by the lyric: “The more you’re near your destination, the more you slip slide away.”

“I think that it is a metaphor for life’s uncertainty — for the world we live in — that can be applied to art as well,” Chaffin, a part-time Snowmass Villager, said. “My drawings inform the work. I draw from nature, memory, other art and my photography. The paintings are metaphors for past experience and memory. Certainly color plays a major role — I think it is one of the first things that people respond to.”

Chaffin works in a variety of forms including painting, collage, photography and sculpture. She lives near Beaufort, South Carolina, and Snowmass Village. Her work is included in private collections throughout the U.S. Chaffin has twice been invited to be a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome.

The philosophy and basis for her work comes from participating in workshops at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, conducted by leading artists and art educators like Holly Hughes, Roy Dowell, Jane Hammond and James Surls.

“From being Board chair and a part of Anderson Ranch’s growth throughout the ’80s — to educational workshop experiences — it has been a privilege, an honor, to be a part of the Ranch,” Chaffin said. “Not only has it provided me with the equivalent of an MFA, it is where I have formed some of my closest life friendships.”