Born in Clarksville, Texas Lewis Woods Teel was a commercial artist who became a self-taught landscape and pastel portrait painter. The specialty for which he is known is realistic, atmospheric desert landscapes.
He was the son of a pioneer Texas family and was raised in El Paso and then lived for two years in Detroit, Michigan where he worked in an auto plant. After this job, he spent several years traveling and studying paintings in museums.
He returned to El Paso where he made a living from 1916 drawing pastel portraits and designing magazine covers, but on the advice of Joseph Henry Sharp, painter from Taos, New Mexico, he took up desert landscapes as his main subject in 1927. He also operated the "Desert Shop," a gallery for local artists.
He painted in southern Arizona in the late 1920s and 1930s including one lengthy trip in 1927. In 1928, he participated in the famous Texas Wildflower Exhibit in San Antonio, and his work can be found in the McKee Foundation in El Paso, Texas.