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Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

When 75-mile-an-hour winds ripped through Salem Oregon, last December, they toppled a tree over artist Mark Hallett's barn, smashed debris into his nearby studio and caused a three-day power outage. But Mark had two paintings to finish for the African dinosaur story, and losing electricity wouldn't stop him.
Coleman lanterns lent a nice glow,
he says of his emergency lighting, but it was hard gauging colors at night.

The painting arrived on schedule.

(Behind the Scenes, National Geographic, June 1996)

MarkSince 1974, Mark Hallett has expressed his passion for prehistoric creatures and ancient worlds by specializing as a paleoartist, a term coined for an illustrator who researches and recreates the life of the past.

Inspired by Charles R. Knight and other great artists, he has continued to draw, paint, sculpt and conduct research into how ancient life forms may have looked and behaved for a wide variety of American and Foreign publications.

His work has appeared in Life, Smithsonian, Natural History and National Geographic as well as scientific journals and popular books.

In 1986 his paintings toured museums in the United States, Britain, Europe, Japan and Australia, among them the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History. Some of these exhibits in turn opened other doors: Mark was chosen as artist consultant by Steven Spielberg to help create the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, and later created many of the scenes and leading dinosaur characters for Disney Features' epic film, Dinosaur!

Now a resident of Salem, Oregon, Mark loves the inspiration that living in his home provides. As an artist, author and naturalist, Mark reflects:


"My greatest desire is to excite the imagination and sense of wonder we all have about the natural world, and about the fascinating creatures and worlds that exist now and in the past. The magic of Earth's living things and the Universe beyond waits for us all to discover as children and adults, and we can never know when that certain image or turn of phrase we see or read will change our way of looking at the World forever. If my art and writing can contribute to that, I will feel great happiness and fulfillment."


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