Kilgore's Betty Boles is a 'painter of life' - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Kilgore's Betty Boles is a 'painter of life'

Betty Boles works on her latest painting Betty Boles works on her latest painting

Sixty-four years is a long time to do artwork, but one East Texanjust can't help it.

Let us introduce you to Betty Boles.

To her a blanksheet of paper already has something on it; she just has to fill it in.

Betty goes through pastels like I go through French fries.Not that she eats them ... they just disappear pretty quickly.

She began drawingwhen she was three or four, and has never stopped. Perhaps she takes after her father, who was an artist, too. The first thing she remembers drawing with his encouragement was a movie poster.

"They had The World of Susie Wong and we were in SanFrancisco, and dad took that paper covering off of the Sunday papers and he satme down with a pen and ink and said do it, and I did it," Boles said.

She had some art training, but didn't like being toldwhat to do. She's mostly self-taught. Her many paintings illustrate that shehad a pretty good teacher.

In the sixties, Betty worked for NASA.

"I was making charts of the shots and the astronauts andall the different things they had there," Boles revealed.

After that, she did a lot of freelance work as adraftsman for different companies around the United States. She ended up inKilgore to be with her mother before she died.

"When I came up here, I decided this was God's country.This was where I wanted to stay," Betty said.

Betty's mother stayed at The Willows Rehab and Nursing,where Betty herself is now undergoing some rehab. Betty volunteers and has beendrawing portraits of patients and their families. She likes doing actionpictures, but the portraits are special to her.

"It just brings out them. I've smiled for two weeks nowbecause I finished that two weeks ago. I wake up and I look over at that boy,and my whole day is brightened," Betty revealed.

As she draws, she feels she's getting inside her subject.

"It's thrilling to be able to draw life," Betty added, and she does seem to find the inner light in everyone.

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