The beloved Ethel Lewallen may no longer join us in life, but her artwork lives on.

Lewallen's collection will be on exhibit at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council's River North Gallery now through March 26. A reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. March 10.

Ethel began her artistic career after leaving the New York lights and moving to Hamilton County. She and her husband G.K., a Texas Rodeo Hall of Famer, opened western stores in Stephenville and Hico.

Ethel rolled up her sleeves and went to work painting signs for the storefront.

That's when she discovered her talent of combining colors and turning single brushstrokes into works of art.

Ethel enrolled as an art student at Tarrant County Junior College and began her career as an artist.

Despite her big-city upbringing, Ethel enjoyed painting cattle, horses, people, rustic western scenes and anything that inspired her imagination.

She was constantly motivated by those who doubted her ability to portray country and western life. Ethel strived for realistic detail determined to hone her creative skills.

Her artistic expression spanned more than three decades. She was a two-time nominee of the Texas State Artist of the Year and her work was featured in The American Quarter Horse Association Journal, Independence Cattlmen Magazine and the American Paint Horse Association Journal.

She joined her husband with her place on Stephenville's Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame in 2002.

Ethel's work is now a private collection of the Lewallen family. From time to time it is made available for public viewing.

The exhibit will also feature selected rodeo and ranch life sculptures by Paul Burke of Salt Spring Island, B.C.