Born and raised in North-Central Texas, George Hallmark grew up with a love for drawing. His small high school had no art program, so Hallmark worked hard to teach himself. His first art-related position was drawing for an architectural firm, producing delineations while painting independently. Ever hard-working, Hallmark found gallery representation for his work and started his own commercial art business. He enjoyed success as a commercial artist before giving up the business to pursue painting full-time.
Hallmark’s early career focused on a wide array of subject matter, including cowboys and landscapes, before he returned to the architecture-based compositions that he is known for today. He enjoys traveling to western Europe and California to paint their unique buildings, and Mexico is where Hallmark currently finds the most inspiration. He and his wife visit Mexico regularly and have developed a deep appreciation for the architecture, the lighting and the lifestyles of the people, which Hallmark captures eloquently in his paintings.
Hallmark studied briefly under William Whitaker of Brigham Young University, learning from Whitaker the importance of repetition and dedication to build skill as a painter. Hallmark was also greatly influenced by Clark Hulings, who he imitated before developing his own signature style. Hulings, who was in his eighties by the time Hallmark got to know him, encouraged Hallmark to constantly continue learning and developing.
Hallmark continued his dogged practice regimen, and after much trial and error, arrived at what has become his signature style, which pairs rich, painterly layers with strikingly precise naturalism. “I try to paint something that looks almost photo-realistic from a distance,” he says of his technique, referring to his brushwork as “a happy medium—not too loose, not too tight.”
In 1988, Hallmark was voted the official Texas State Artist. Today, his work can be found in many prestigious private and corporate collections, including those of The Booth Museum, The Autry Museum of the American West, the Briscoe Western Art Museum, the United States Capitol, the Texas Capital, Texas Instruments, The Medical Heritage Collection, MBNA and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, which mounted a retrospective of his work in 2011.
George is an annual participant in the Prix de West Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale at the Autry Museum of the American West. George also participates in the Eiteljorg Museum’s Quest for the West show, The West Select Show at the Phoenix Art Museum and the American Masters Show at the Salmagundi Club. In 2014 he was named the featured artist at Phippen Museum’s Architecture in Art show. He is also an honorary lifetime member of the New Mexico Military Institute Alumni Association.