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Painting Life Boldly

Rebecca McWatters shares her life experiences through the canvas.

For artist Rebecca Pelley McWatters, the third time was the charm. After more than 25 years in business and two careers in the tech and finance industries, she returned to her first love: art. 

Rebecca received an art scholarship to Baylor University and took fine art classes there, but ultimately graduated with a degree in marketing and economics. Fifteen years ago, she left corporate America and began taking art classes once again. 

“Art has always been my real passion,” says Rebecca. “I’m a lifetime student of art. It keeps me informed of the past as well as my contemporaries.” She is sincere about continuing to learn whenever and wherever possible. 

Her art career flourished in the Dallas community, where she did a lot of shows big and small. She describes these experiences as fun, but challenging. At one show in particular, the Texas wind blew her tent around and her artwork was destroyed - a pole speared right through the center of the canvas. But she embraced the life of an artist. 

“As a working business professional, I realized that there are so many artists that are so fabulous that just have to be the right place at the right time,” says Rebecca of her desire to create opportunities for other artists in the community. As her artwork gained notoriety and started appearing in galleries around Dallas, Rebecca was also volunteering in the community regularly at places such as the Dallas Homeless Shelter, teaching in continuing education classes and creating her own festival. This took shape as the juried “Clayton Mountain Fine Art Festival,” which exhibited both established and emerging artists from Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma and from 2016-2018.  Rebecca wanted to provide both seasoned and upcoming artists an affordable new marketplace to exhibit and sell their creative artwork.

This year, Rebecca has transitioned to an online gallery, though Dallas remains her number one market. Her artwork can be found in residential and commercial spaces from coast to coast. 

When you see her artwork, with a few distinct styles, one thing is the same across the paintings - the gorgeous use of color.  Her new impressionism style brings a bold fresh approach in both brushstroke and palette, and she is recognized for her vibrant, creative and expressive brushstrokes. Early early, as a young teenager, Rebecca was influenced by artists such as  Norman Rockwell, Jackson Pollock and those of the French impressionism era. 

“I really like the broken brush strokes and use of complementary values,” says Rebecca.
I still incorporate that into all my different styles today. No matter if it’s gardens, or abstract animals. I enjoy the brilliance of those impressionists and post-impressionists.” 

Another major inspiration for Rebecca’s art has been her travels. Artist workshops and art history studies led her abroad to Europe and the United Kingdom. Trips to Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean brought new awareness and a humbling appreciation of other people and their culture. 

“My best work is when I paint what I’ve experienced and seen and it’s touched my heart,” says Rebecca. “I want to share those feelings through my artwork and I hope that people feel drawn to and share my experiences. I am so grateful for the new experiences - not only the travel, but being in the art world, it brings about new opportunities for deeper relationships with people, places and cultures. It prioritizes life very quickly.” 

She believes that art is a documentary of history, culture - life and life experiences and strives to look for the beauty hidden in the unexpected. “I get a sense of awe in God’s creation, in the simple things.”

You can find Rebecca’s work, both originals and prints, on her gallery at