~H. T. Becker~
From the time he was a child growing up in Germany, Ted Becker was interested in art. His father, a dentist, was artistically inclined, but expected his son to follow him into the practice of dentistry. In grade school, however, Becker's constant doodling in textbooks led his teachers to confer with his parents. "They suggested I should be an artist - instead of a dentist, a notion not at all popular with my father at the time," Becker remembers.
At age 15, when he moved to the U.S., his legal guardian supported Becker's talent and prodded him to take training in art. Becker decided to enroll in the Famous Artists School where students were assigned to teachers who were also well-known artists. By a stroke of luck, Becker's assigned teacher was artist/illustrator Norman Rockwell. "I became a big fan of Rockwell in later years," notes the artist.
When his attention turned to interests more typical of a teenage boy, art took a back seat for a while. But Becker periodically returned to sketching, his first love, and began painting watercolors. Dissatisfied with his first oil painting, a seascape at sunset, the artist turned his attention back to pencil and charcoal sketches, and watercolor.
After several years of full time employment at a printing company, the aspiring artist decided to strike out on his own in the field of graphics. "I did it all," he explains, "signs, layout, designs, even brochures and letterhead. I even secured my own clientele."
He continued painting over the next six years, primarily in watercolor, then found himself drawn to oils again. "This time something clicked," Becker says, "I stuck to basics and gradually started to accumulate a solid body of work."
After attending an art exhibit at a local mall, Becker decided to display his work publicly and his first show was an overwhelming success. Over the next few years he diligently applied himself to elevating the quality of his paintings. "I followed a very disciplined schedule," says Becker. "I'd be at my easel early in the morning and work until mid or late afternoon."
Gradually narrowing his focus, the artist concentrated on themes related to the railroad. During this period, he discovered a fascination with light and a penchant for detail. Both characteristics, the luminous quality of light, and fine detail, also transform Becker's landscapes and gained for the artist a widespread audience of admirers. His painting is so detailed, in fact, that a single 24" x 36" painting can take up to six months to complete.
Becker's paintings represent a culmination of years of discipline and hard work. An artist in great demand, Becker maintains a rigorous travel schedule. He exhibits his work in shows around the country and has won numerous top prizes.