Chatfield began detailed drawing at an early age and formal painting lessons at 14 when her father, a mechanical engineer, recognized her artistic potential. Before painting lessons began however she would study color theory. Only when she could reproduce every hue her instructor assigned could painting begin. This early deep and organic understanding of color has shown itself in her work.

As a teen and only child she resonated with the solitude of Hopper and Morandi. Continuing her technical developement Sargents economy of stroke was like no other.

Manet’s subtle palette and Picassos fluid line work were aspirations as well And as she began to free herself from the literal into the lyrical she was heavily influence by the whimsy of Gorky and deconstruction of Diebenkorn, Kline, de Kooning and Rothko.