The Absolutely, Utterly Amazing Paintings Of The Alamo By Veteran And Artist Mark Lemon.

by Daniel Russ on July 25, 2012

Interior At The Alamo (Folks, this is a painting!!!!)

Interior At The Alamo (Model)


I don’t know exactly where to start with Mark Lemon. He is a hybrid being, half artist/articulate historian – half Captain America. In 1978 Mark Lemon graduated the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. A year later he swore out an oath to the flag and committed to the United States Navy. In the next 9 years he served in a variety of rather interesting and exciting roles across the world, not the least of which was an operative with Special Boat Unit 12; this is one of the precursors to today’s special-forces, these units were called “swick”, for SWCC, or Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen. He was the first officer appointed in charge of an ACU-5 assault hovercraft with over 1100 hours at the controls. Then he joined NCIS and later retired from the Navy as private investigator.


That, apparently, wasn’t enough.


In 2008 Lemon began pursuing art and his deeply held fascination for the amazing events that transpired during the two-week siege of the Spanish Mission that we now know as the Alamo. In 1836, about 2500 Mexican Regulars under Santa Anna pursued 250 Texians and ambushed them in the mission that is located in San Antonio. The Alamo was a garrison manned some months after Mexican Army was outmatched at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Texians were slaughtered, but, as my mother would say, the rest you know.


After The Siege Of The Alamo, March 6, 1836

After The Siege Of The Alamo, March 6, 1836


Mark Lemon is an incredible artist. Once you see what he does, it’s hard to believe that he spent over a decade training to “visit violence upon those who would do us harm” (George Orwell). I do not have the vocabulary to describe exactly what he does. Photo-real might be one way to express it. Trompe l’oeil perhaps? I mean you look at one of his paintings and you think: “Is this a daguerreotype? How could someone take this photo before cameras existed?”  Then you look closely and you exclaim: “Oh my god this is a painting!” You look at the people and the impression you get is that these were real people, their faces redolent of soldiers whose images have been captured unawares. Mark Lemon literally brings the Alamo to life. The thing that makes it all the more ineluctable is that every jot and tittle of it is grounded in the actual history of the battle. The position of a gun emplacement, the final disposition of a corpse, the angle of the sun, it’s all about as real as the Siege of the Alamo will ever get. He paints diffuse light so accurately and in moody, elegant strokes that you can’t quite figure out what exactly he is doing to to put this on canvas. If nothing else go to the Emily Morgan Hotel, the Official Hotel of the Alamo in San Antonio and see the giant painting of the Alamo behind the check-in desk at the hotel. This is the Alamo in all it’s pain and glory.


Mark has been featured twice on the History Channel in documentaries: “What went down: The Alamo ,” and “America’s Book of Secrets: The Monuments.” He has written for True West Magazine and illustrated the book “13: The Alamo Book of Days”. I recommend you try and join his Facebook page as he often shares his latest work.


Official Alamo Painting In The Emily Morgan Hotel



SW Portion Of The Alamo

SW Portion Of The Alamo



Congressman David Crockett, from Tennessee, died at the Alamo March 6, 1836. A photoillustration from 2010

Congressman David Crockett



After The Battle

After The Battle



If Mark Lemon taught history, you can be sure that students wouldn’t forget it all ten minutes after the final exam. They would read his writings by flashlight under covers at night and they would look at the pictures and imagine what it was like to be there.


Buy Mark Lemon’s book : here


Artist, Historian, Special Operations Soldier, Mark Lemon.

Artist, Historian, Special Operations Soldier, Mark Lemon. Don't Be Fooled By His Suave Demeanor. He Would Make Short Work Of You.






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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Louis September 18, 2017 at 6:27 am

As “The Alamo” was a garrison of the Army of Texas, and there was a siege of about 13 days before the attack, I would not call the battle an ambush, more like the penultimate attack of the siege.

Jerry Laing (aka, Alamo Jer) May 8, 2018 at 11:20 pm

Daniel Russ: You stated “The Alamo was a garrison manned some months after Mexican Army was outmatched at the Battle of San Jacinto.” This is not true. The Alamo was manned BEFORE the Battle of San Jacinto. The battle of San Jacinto occurred on Apr 21, 1836. The Alamo siege began on Feb 23, 1836, and the final assault, battle, and fall of the Alamo was on Mar 6, 1836… 6 weeks BEFORE the
Battle of San Jacinto. The Alamo was the catalyst for San Jacinto.

By the way, Mark Lemon is a good friend of mine.

Daniel Russ May 9, 2018 at 5:31 am

Thanks for setting me straight. The relationship Mark and I had has evaporated in the swamp filled moat that is left vs right politics. Still, he is quite a talent. I will fix the copy later.

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