Local artist exhibits drawings, paintings and photographs of music sheets,
wild life and people using simple utensils, such as, crayons, white out and felt
tip pens, as well as the more traditional charcoal, pencil and acrylics.
David Beck, 44, a bank teller at Freedom Bank, in Elkader, is exhibiting his
art work at the Elkader Opera House.
Beck attended Central School in Elkader before going on to the University of
Iowa. Beck remembers doing his first drawing when he was 12, which would have
been around 1974.
“I got away from art around 1980 when I went to college. In 1987, after
college I was between jobs and I got back into painting again – a little,” Beck
Beck does not have a studio, he works on his card table in his living room, in
his own time. He uses simple utensils for drawing, such as, charcoal, crayons,
colored pencils, felt tip pens and even white out. For paintings, Beck uses
Aside of being an artist, Beck is also a talented pianist with a passion for
Ragtime and he performs in local entertainment venues, such as Schera’s and
“In 2004 my nephew and I went up to my closet and I found the unfinished
drawing Ragtime Betty by James Scott. That is when I began drawing again, ” he
Beck had begun this picture in the 1990s, and it was the first music sheet
that he drew. When he again came upon it in 2004, it was at the time he says
Sophia Landis was playing Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at the opera house and he
decided to finish it for her birthday.
“Finishing that drawing really was the impetus for me getting back into art,”
he said. “It was timing,” he added.
In the time that elapsed, Beck found that his abilities had not rusted but had
“I realized that it had been 14 years that I had forgotten about this and
other pictures. So, you sort of challenge yourself to see if you can still do it
– and I found that I had improved. Maybe I have more patience nowadays;
especially with faces. I think I just didn’t have the skill in those days,” he
After that point Beck began doing a series of sheet music covers because he
realized that there were wonderful covers that no-one was seeing.
Beck’s art can be viewed in the exhibition room, situated on the mezzanine