TThe sky was on fire. The blend of colors, shades, lights and darks created a firestorm of beauty. This describes the art of Pauly Tamez…charismatic, energetic, familiar yet peaceful and striking. From a young age the world of creating art spoke to Pauly and he allowed the art to spring from his fingers in an energizing lightning bolt of talent like no other. Many times when Pauly is sharing his work someone will comment “Oh I know that place, I have been there…” even when Pauly has no specific ideas when he started the creation and he used no specific destination. His work is remarkable and his talent extraordinary. His work is spectacular, comforting, always familiar and creates a desire to own one of his works.
As a 6 year old, Pauly knew he had a talent. His idle time, his busy time, his productive time, his boredom always led to doodling. Doodling kept him focused. It gave him the control he needed to grasp the necessities in life. He filled pages, columns, notebooks, most anything he had in front of him with his doodles. Pauly was ADD before it was “cool”…lol and he learned to harness that disorder with his classmates. He was a favorite amongst his peers with his caricatures of his teachers, although his favorite topic was airplanes. His father having climbed the military ladder against all odds exposed Pauly to the wonderful world of airplanes. This filled his time and prophesied his future without Pauly realizing the impact His dad grew up in a humble family with few resources. Shoes were not a big priority to his family but he was determined to have shiny shoes and attract the girls so he joined the ROTC enabling him to bring a shine to his life with shiny shoes and lots of admiring girls for a man in uniform. It was a short hop to success in the Air Force. Pauly’s dad had wanted to be an architect but was discouraged due to being Hispanic and of a lower income class. But he was determined that it would not affect him and he learned to be a cartographer. He was a quick learner and soon stood out as a candidate for officer where he carved an impressive career. Because his father wanted better for his kids, Pauly was encouraged to seek a stable job but continue his art. His dad saved all of his drawings, cards and artwork over the years and gave them to Pauly prior to his death. He always encouraged Pauly to continue creating art. Pauly wanted to expand his creative portfolio. He yearned for a concrete teacher who could teach the meat and bones of art; the part Pauly did not know, the lessons he thought were necessary to fulfill his art desire completely. Pauly would eventually move to Boerne and find his destiny in art but to get to this place in life first he had to experience some life with art. Pauly was seeking the excitement every teenager dreams of doing…traveling to exotic places. Pauly and a friend decided to make good on those desires and he and a friend at ages 16 hitchhiked to the Hill Country whenever they could escape to draw and paint. They would make Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches and find their way to the Hill Country in search of that perfect place to paint and draw. They would spend the entire day just painting, sketching and absorbing life’s beauty. Pauly’s dad would get mad but all would be forgiven. One day Pauly was looking for more and hitchhiked to Colorado to sketch and paint. His dad was not so happy with that adventure but he knew his son was exploring his place in life he was happy when Pauly called him to let his dad know he was ok and would be home in a few days. Pauly was motivated by John Denver and sought to find his own Rocky Mountain High and he did. Pauly has kept journals over the years of his adventures and some have been lost in the moves and travels that are life. When friends and family who were the recipients of Pauly’s work found out he had lost some of these journals over the years, they replaced them with copies of work he had done through doodling and paintings that they owned. Pauly truly believes in giving away as much of his art as he sells. And there is no shortage of either. Each piece of work is a piece of Pauly. His work represents his soul.
Having spent most of his working life as an entrepreneur, he has been in financial services, owned and operated retail optical stores, and eventually became a Realtor always working to feed his family…a wife to whom he has been married for 37 years and their 3 children who are grown with families of their own, their 3 treasured grandchildren. Pauly always loved art and his increasingly evident need to learn more, create more and expand his talent with instruction led Pauly to seek out the best teacher he could find. Ironically, when Pauly had first moved to Boerne he visited an art gallery and the moment he walked into the artist haven he was immediately drawn to a painting way in the back and made his way to it. It was a piece of art created by Bill Zaner. Pauly was drawn by Bill’s ability to express the beauty and subject with the color, intensity and design. He was honored to get to meet the artist, Bill, who upon Pauly complementing his work, told Pauly, “Don’t BS me.” Pauly was able to express his admiration to Bill, and asked if he would give him lessons. Mr Zaner was impressed with Pauly’s personality but as politely as anyone who knew Bill Zaner can attest that his curmudgeonly manner allowed told him a resounding No. . Bill informed Pauly that he no longer taught lessons formally.
The Gallery owner suggested that Pauly go to Bill’s studio on Sundays to observe Bill. In Mr Zaner’s most agreeable manner, which was laced with some semblance of skepticism, replied yes but you must bring wine. Pauly complied and showed up to observe Mr Zaner complete with wine, sketchbook and tools ready to learn. And learn he did. Over the next several years Bill introduced Pauly to the intricacies of painting the necessary lessons to bring his already talented arsenal to a full fledged blast of superb. One of Bill’s favorite lesson destinations was the Big Bend National Park. Bill invited Pauly along for the experience of a lifetime. As Bill put it “It will change your DNA.” And as usual Bill was correct. The Chisos Mountains were spectacular. Before anyone else would get up, Bill and Pauly woke early before sunrise. Bill enjoyed the early morning sunrise with all of its colors, shapes, designs, and shades. He wanted Pauly to experience this morning glory. They talked about the sunrise and how the colors were mixed, shaped and shaded first thing in the morning before it morphed into what was to become day. The lesson was not lost on Pauly. He felt the necessity to come home early from that trip and he was already set to participate in 2nd Saturday market place at a Gallery in Boerne as an open call for artists. Pauly utilized his newly learned use of the palette knife in his painting. He chose a beautiful painting of mountains that day that was so admired it quickly sold almost before it was finished.
Pauly’s first oil painting was of a beloved pet near a waterfall. He utilized oils and watercolors. It was as perfect as Pauly envisioned. Pauly is influenced by some of his favorite artists. French artists refer to outdoor painting as “en plein aire” meaning outdoors in the natural light. Painting in this manner brings a more natural rather than predetermined look. Much of Pauly’s work is done “in plain air”, he seeks the challenge of the color and light changes in the outdoor light as opposed to forced light inside. Pauly likes to sit outside sketching or even small painting a picture, something impressionistic in nature, then he takes it to a larger scale from his memory and his “notes” painting. He uses the smaller painting or sketch as a reference for his larger work. Oftentimes increasing the intensity of the design or color until he has achieved his goal, all of which he has created from his memory. Pauly and his talent allow him to finish a painting to his satisfaction within about 45 minutes.
One of Pauly’s best friends, David Caton, also a lifelong student of Bill Zaner’s, painted with Bill since David was 16 years old until Bill passed. David is one of the celebrated artists who are working on the Texas State Parks 100th anniversary. David has been instrumental in mentoring Pauly about art, and greatly influences his style.
Pauly records his visions of his work in his head. He observes constantly filing those perfect colors, designs, shapes, feelings, and moments in his mind and protects them with a few notes before actually sitting down to begin. Pauly has mastered the ability to breakdown a scene and then create it again from his mind with remarkable talent. An orange in a sunset is not just orange but a blend of such vibrant colors and strokes of his pencil or brush that it creates an explosion of art. Armed with techniques he learned from Bill as well as some of his favorite Masters such as Julian Onderdonk (known as the Dean of Texas Painters) and Porfirio Salinas, also a renowned Texas painter who was known for Impressionistic landscapes, Pauly’s landscapes earned him widespread honor among the best. The realism of his paintings and sketches drew such familiarity of places that people immediately recognized and had a connection with his work. Pauly describes a painting as being so real that even the bugs fly into them. His skies are his trademark and Pauly spends time ensuring that the sky is just perfect in each artwork with the blend of color, light and dynamic. Pauly uses techniques he has learned in photography referred to as the Rule of Thirds which is a technique which one mentally divides the picture into thirds both horizontally and vertically and in each third where it intersects there is an interesting to the eye and mind focal point which draws the eye to every area. He learned that not every focal point is directly in the middle but a good work involves the entire picture whether sketch, photo or painting.
A lesson that stood out for Pauly is that he paints not what he sees but what he knows. A rather vivid image Pauly shared is the eyes are the camera…the eyes receive the image through the lens which focuses on the retina then is carried to the brain through the optic nerve where it transfers to the arm and fingers as the stylus with hairs (brush) on the end to imprint it forever on paper or canvas. When painting the sky one must see all the sky from top to bottom. It is a mirage of color, texture, shape, design and dimension. Sky will never be the same again for this author. It is not just a blue or a gray with white fluffy clouds but a complex design of perspective. The sky changes from the top to the bottom. Pauly is truly an artist of all that is beautiful!!!
Pauly has never been particularly focused on painting Bluebonnets. While he finds them enchanting and beautiful he feels that bluebonnet paintings have been overdone. One day recently he came across a field of bluebonnets across from Curington Elementary School and decided he just had to capture their beauty and he did. The painting emerged a gorgeous blend of flowers and landscape that bursts with such realism one can almost smell the sweet fragrance and see the flowers swaying in the breeze. Pauly’s first love to paint landscapes and cactus. He has an extensive collection of beautiful paintings of cactus in varying types. Some while in bloom and some just in plant design.
Pauly has taken took classes at the Southwest Art Institute Center in the mid-70’s and did some focus on photography for a short stint where he learned some valuable techniques that helped him with his canvas and sketch art. His work hangs in a couple of Hill Country galleries and restaurants. Pauly is one of the first 12 artists invited to participate in studio Comfort Texas when it was opened and his first piece of art there was done live and it sold immediately almost before it was completed. Pauly sells his work in galleries, online from his Facebook and Instagram pages and he may be contacted at either of those places. The Galleries Pauly exhibits in are the Rivers Edge in Kerrville and studio Comfort Texas in Comfort. Pauly recommends admiring the artists online at either of these galleries and maybe find that one special artwork for their own home. Support our local artists please!!! Pauly teaches classes at Ms Sue’s Art Studio in Fair Oaks, call 210-551-3843 for times and dates. Pauly also has a Facebook page listed as Pauly Tamez Art. Pauly can be reached at 254-624-9016. He also displays his work at 2 of the local brewing companies Cibolo Creek Brewing Company and Silber Brewing Company. His website is www.ptamezart.com. Feel free to browse either site for fun art innovations and perhaps some introduction to art of your own.
Pauly’s favorite work he has done is always “the next one. “ He enjoys working outside as he finds motivation in nature with the natural vibrancy of color and design in the plain air. The freshness and bright natural light create challenges that Pauly loves. If you are looking to add to your art collection or perhaps looking for that perfect unique gift for family or friend or maybe just want to explore your own artistic talent then check out Pauly’s art pages and leave him a message. The sky is the limit!!!!