John Austin Hanna
John graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Advertising Art and Design. As a 20-year illustrator in New York and Dallas he has been published in several magazines such as Automotive Quarterly, Car and Driver, Saga, Town & Country, Flying, Popular Boating, and Popular Science.
He has also done work for several large corporations such as Mercedes, Volkswagen, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, Borden’s, Pearl Beer, Coors Beer, Phillips 66, Shell Oil, Byron Nelson Golf Classic and Chili’s Bar & Grill. Mr. Hanna’s work can also be found in several books published by Harcourt Brace & World and McGraw Hill. He has done work for author Ian Fleming & Warner Bros.
Despite his successes as an illustrator, Hanna believes that his career really took off once he traded in the “big city skylines” for the rock houses, livestock, landscape and old barns of Fredericksburg, Texas. “My years in New York and Dallas as an illustrator were great, but I wasn’t really following my heart,” explains Hanna. “Throughout my childhood in Beaumont, I was always drawing and dreaming of becoming a ‘real’ artist. I finally decided that I had to pursue that dream”.
Hanna’s paintings are strong in dramatic light and rich in color. His paintings embrace a variety of subjects from landscapes, still lifes and portraits, set anywhere from the Texas Gulf Coast to quaint country homes on the back roads of Missouri. Some of his paintings portray the big picture, some zero in on a walked-over piece of life. “To me, life is more interesting if you look at it the way it is. Everything has its own innate beauty,” he reveals. “Something always triggers a painting: an old house, a rock wall, maybe just light playing on creek water. I never run out of things to see.”
John will be participating in the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation's The Art of Texas Parks Project at the Bullock Texas History Museum Show in 2023 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Texas state park system in October 2023. His paintings will also again be featured in The Briscoe Western Art Museum’s “Night of Artists” show in March of 2020. He is a member of the Oil Painters of America (OPA) and his work has been published by Somerset House Publishers. John was honored to be commissioned in 2005 by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to do an eight-phase depiction of the rodeo for their corporate offices. He and his wife, Sherry live in Fredericksburg, Texas.