Beulah Watts (1872-1941), East Texas Pines, oil on canvasboard, 13.5 x 9.5", frame: 16.5 x 12.5"
Landscape painter Beulah Watts was born July 13, 1872, in Homer, Texas, growing up there. Although her mother did instill an appreciation of the beauty of nature in East Texas, which would later manifest itself in Watts's emphasis on wildflowers and pine trees, she received little encouragement in art as a talented child. Essentially self-taught, Watts would study briefly with Houston painters Emma Richardson Cherry and Hattie Palmer. It was only around 1912, when she was forty years old, that Watts would begin to paint the pine trees which would end in her producing one thousand pictures of this subject. As her children grew, Watts had earlier painted area wildflowers, many on china. She had married Reuben Vale Watts, later sheriff of Angelina County, in 1889, when she was seventeen and he thirty-four. They lived in Lufkin, Texas, where she raised her two children, and where she would remain for life. When her husband died in 1927, financial necessity forced her to commercialize her work to meet the medical bills her son's illness created. Long after her death, the Museum of East Texas, in 1986, put on a major one-person exhibition of Watts's paintings. However, she was well-known during her lifetime for her paintings of pines, exhibiting them in galleries and libraries in Chicago, New York, and on the Pacific Coast. One hung at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition, in Chicago, while another, Angelina Pines, was shown in the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition, Dallas. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of East Texas.