Maureen Chatfield Masters the Art of Patience

For 40-plus years, Maureen Chatfield painted for the love of it. Now the art world is loving her in return.

"I always painted," Maureen Chatfield says. "It is important to put the work in, no matter what."

Nearly two years ago, Maureen Chatfield received a mysterious phone call. It wasn’t unusual for her to get inquiries from buyers or designers who for years had served as the lifeline for her contemporary oil paintings, but this call was different.

“The ultimate happened to me,” the Tewksbury resident says. The caller was Marianne Rosenberg, whose family legacy includes representing Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso and, in recent years, successfully recovering treasures lost during the Holocaust. “When I asked if she was a collector, she said, ‘Yes. I’m collecting you,’” says Chatfield. What followed was a heady whirlwind that led to a show at Rosenberg & Co.’s Manhattan gallery.

Chatfield learned to paint as a teen. She loved the medium, but had reservations. “I was terrified of fully committing to the struggling lifestyle,” she says, so she found other work: modeling, acting, running a restaurant. Along the way, she racked up accolades and sold work, but shied away from a major show.

Her recent reviews were worth the wait. Art News called her “a natural colorist” and declared her work “stamped by the influence of Picasso.”

Timing is everything, she says. Now in her mid-60s, Chatfield paints full-time and teaches at Hunterdon Art Museum. “My nervous system is finally ready to handle  success. I hope my story inspires others to never give up.” See her work at Riverside Studio in Pottersville or her website.

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