'He has an artist's ability to draw everything he’s ever found, to reconstruct the ships that he researches and understands and documents and to bring all this information together.' Dr. Margaret Rule
Painting was in Teddy's blood. His Grandmother was an established artist who was an inspiration to her daughters and their children. Going further back, Tuckers have been painting ships and Bermuda since the 1700s. Given this tradition it is no surprise Teddy was inclined towards and skilled in sketching and painting.
'I was pretty young when I started to paint – somebody gave me a paint brush and some set of paints – I always liked boats so I guess I started painting a row boat or something like that.
I’ve found, over the years, about I think 124, 125 shipwrecks – spent a lot of time, you might say, getting familiar with types of ships and the design, and I know quite a bit about what will and what won't float and how big a mast you put on it, and I know what the rigs were.' Teddy Tucker
At the end of the archaeological process Teddy painted the ship he had discovered, researched and come to understand intimately. By incorporating the forensic measurements of the remains, a deep understanding of ships' rigging and detailed research of shipbuilding methods and trends, he recreated those lost vessels with his brush. The result is an artistic extension of the precision sketches taken at the wreck site. Put to sea once more in his paintings, Teddy brought these ships back to life.
Having an artist as part of the team was a useful asset during the archaeological process. Teddy sketched the site, it's artefacts and interesting details of the ship. He illustrated the way in which the ship came to rest, as suggested by the evidence encountered underwater and also turned his hand to creating display models of artefacts, ships and wreck sites. Taken together with photography and detailed reports, it completed a broad presentation of their findings.
After years of exploration and research, Teddy compiled the Bermuda Shipwreck Map, a chart of the island's reef platform and the wrecks that he had studied. Each point on the map is accompanied by the painting for that wreck. The map is available for purchase from the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.