John Austin Hanna

John Austin Hanna

John Austin 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.   

A native Texan who spent his childhood in Beaumont, Texas, “always drawing and dreaming of becoming a ‘real’ artist”, he graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Advertising Art and Design, and began his artistic career as an illustrator in New York.  

John moved to Fredericksburg in 1978 and began painting more of the things around him. “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 paint. To me, life is more interesting if you look at it the way it is.” 

Among many awards in his long career, in 2013 he was honored with the Donor's Award of Excellence at the Oil Painters of America National Show. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo commissioned him for a private collection of his work, and he has been included in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame show.

As a 20-year illustrator in New York and Dallas, he has been published in several magazines such as Automobile Quarterly, Town and Country, and Popular Science. Mercedes, Volkswagen, Lockheed Martin, Borden's, Pearl Beer, Coors Beer, Shell Oil, and Chili's Bar and Grill are examples of large corporations who have hired him. He has also done work for author Ian Fleming and Warner Bros.