Ted Cowart – Painter

Ted Cowart has spent his lifetime dancing with the call to be a painter.

At times it was the center of his world, his livelihood, his sole provider. At others, it was the hollow place in his daily life, the friend left behind, the talent set aside.

When he was just a few years old and living in Houston his parents gave him a large chalk board and boxes of colored chalk. He used them to entertain his parents' friends with drawings of objects, people and animals.

By the time he was eight he had won innumerable prizes for his drawings and posters. It led to a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston art classes. For the next ten years he attended the classes, working them around his regular schooling. As much as the classes benefited him however, he was also getting an education he was not aware of and one that would form the soul of his works today.

"During that time, I was surrounded by the classics, especially the great artists of the early 20th century," Cowart says. "Those art movements were a great influence on me."

Ted's college education began at the University of Houston, where he was a fine arts major and award winning set designer for university operas and productions. Shortly thereafter he heard about the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design. His calling suddenly had a destination.

With stubborn determination, he decided to seek admission and soon became one of the youngest students ever accepted. Comparing it to the most grueling of boot camps, the college put him to the test. He emerged on fire.

With new found thirst for experience and adventure, Cowart thought he might have to put things on hold when it came time to do military service. But his enlistment turned into an opportunity, not only to see the timeless beauty of the old continent but to expand his artistic talents (and income) painting portraits of officers and their wives. After the service, he remained in Europe, using his art to make ends meet. He traveled until money began to run short - finally finding himself drawing flamenco dancers in a Barcelona restaurant.