Born in Tennessee in 1879, George Demont Otis was pursuing studies at the Chicago Art Institute by age fourteen. Further studies in New York and Pennsylvania brought friendships with many significant artists of the day, including Robert Henri, John Sloan, and Winslow Homer. However, it wasn't until Otis had pitched for three seasons as a professional baseball player before he committed to full-time career in the arts. From his Chicago studio (also later in Colorado and New Mexico) Otis would travel often, including painting trips with his close friend Thomas Moran, the famous Rocky Mountain School artist.
Having first traveled to California in 1900, Otis arrived again in 1919. Upon establishing a studio in Burbank, his artistic career blossomed, becoming part of Hollywood's 'roaring twenties' scene. Otis was an active exhibiting member of many leading art associations in California and nationally. By 1930 he had moved again and soon established his permanent studio-home in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. In addition to a distinguished art career, Otis was also an ardent conservationist, playing an active role in the formation of the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate Recreational Area.