Ted Watts (b. 1942) is famed for his complex sports montage mixed media illustrations and display paintings which blends a classic Renaissance fine arts approach rendered in a contemporary illustrator's style.
The former football and track athlete is considered a pioneer for having transformed college sports art publicity from a cartoon dominated market during the mid-century to an illustration art preference on campuses during the last quarter of the twentieth century.
A 1966 Bachelor of Fine Art Degree graduate of Pittsburg (KS) State University, he has produced free-lance illustrations and display paintings professionally for over thirty-five years in the relative anonymity of Oswego, Kansas (pop. 2,237).
Since opening his own art studio in 1972, Watts’ 40 +year catalogue of art is mind boggling. He has prepared over 6,000 pieces of artwork - most with a sports theme. Included in his "stats" are over 1,250 cover illustrations (including 65 national award winners), 1,500 display paintings and portraits, 600 posters and calendars, 95 limited edition art prints and three murals.
His name is most recognized nationally for a stunning 77 art portrait series of “The Heisman Trophy Winners” on display in the College Football Hall of Fame - South Blend, IN and a panoramic 33' x 10' Oklahoma Sooners Football mural on the OU campus in Norman, OK; and a 172 portrait series for the University of Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame in Lawrence, KS.
His art hangs in all of the major sports Halls of Fame in America.
Notoriously reclusive, Watts is known by the public and the media more for his portraiture, detailed compositions and distinctive "lightning bolt" artistic signature than his rare public appearances.