For Chuck Pauly, seeing some of his late wife's art work displayed at artCentral in Carthage was an emotional experience.
It was a chance for him to see again some of the works Elizabeth “Betsy” Pauly made years ago, but he hadn't seen because they hung in the private homes of those who bought them.
“It was very emotional because she's gone of course, but the pieces are really fun to look at,” Chuck Pauly said at the reception Friday marking the start of “The Beauty of Betsy Pauly,” exhibition at artCentral. “Some of these I have not seen in 20 years because they were purchased by people and they hang in their homes. This is a chance for me to see pieces that I don't even really remember.”
Chuck Pauly said the exhibition was a chance to see the evolution of his wife's art.
“Some of the pieces here were pieces that were at the beginning of her artwork, when she first decided to become an artist,” Chuck Pauly said. “And you can see the transition, as you look at them from the pen and ink, into the acrylics and some of the design elements that she then took into the watercolors, which is where she was last painting. So it's kind of fun to see the chronology of her artwork. It's been very nice to see.”
Pauly said Betsy Pauly loved floral scenes and his favorite of her many creations, a summer scene hanging in the main gallery at artCentral, captures that love.
“It also captures the detail that she put into her work with the outlining of it,” Chuck Pauly said. “So what she would do, after she had done the watercolor, she would go back with pen and ink and she would put in the borders and the design elements, so it was really a two-step process. And when you look back at some of the smaller pieces, you'll see the level of detail she put into them, so even a small piece, she spent a lot of time doing them. The outlines make the colors jump out a little bit, gives them a little bit of contrast.”
Chuck Pauly said Betsy's love for art was in her blood. Her grandmother was a self-taught artist and Betsy told him when they got married her dream was to paint more.
The couple converted a carriage house at their home in the Dallas area into a studio and she created works that were shown and sold in shows in downtown Dallas.
“Some pieces went into the offices, some went into peoples' private homes,” he said. “But that really encouraged her that she could be a professional artist.”
The couple bought a home in Florida and Betsy Pauly spent most of her time there, returning to Carthage with her husband for Marian Days and Maple Leaf Festival.
Pauly's law firm, Checkett & Pauly are the underwriters for this exhibit.
“I can't think artCentral enough, it was so generous of them to do this,” Chuck Pauly said. “It was their idea, they've done all the work in terms of gathering the pieces and putting it together. Again, the pieces that are for sale, or the prints, there are prints of several of her watercolors that she had done and those are for sale and the proceeds go to artCentral which there's no better and higher use for those pieces other than to put them in someone's home and let the proceeds go to help artCentral. I've been very appreciative of what artCentral has done.”
The Beauty of Betsy Pauly is on display through Sept. 17. Gallery hours: Fridays and Saturdays noon - 5 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. All other days call (417) 358-4404 to schedule a visit.