Audrey Flack

Audrey Flack 1931

Marilyn: Still Life, Vanitas, Trompe l'Oeil -

Audrey Flack was born in 1931 in New York. She is an American photorealist painter, printmaker, and sculptor. She specialises with realistic paintings which take realism to a whole new level. The example above is one of her paintings. It looks as if was the real thing and it really gives this impression because of the detail in this image.

The image was painted in a 96x96 inch canvas with oil paints over acrylic.

My first impression was that it was a photo of some sort and it didn't come to my mind that in any way, anyone could paint with such detail.

As I look at this artwork, I can see a variety of every day objects significant to the artist such as photo's, fruits, candles, cups, brushes, roses and other items. This tells me that the artist did the responce influenced by herself. I think that it strongly links with my project because she drew paintings with objects collected by her. Painting it with such realism shows that she wants this image to be a memory and wants it to be a photo to remember.

I think that each of the formal elements have been used in this artwork. I can clearly see color, tone, line, texture and shape. I think that the tone and color have been the key to make this artwork this realistic. The tone, just like in real life shows all the deepest shadows which is something we see everywhere in real life. The color is very vast and deep and it clearly shows how the object would look in real life. Every reflection in the fruits and glassy objects shows a light reflection and anywhere we look, we see those types of reflections.

The artwork sets me into a calm mood, but at the same time irritates me the longer I look at it. While doing the response, I wasn't able to get the realism I wanted into my response. I found creating a response very difficult and had many troubles doing it e.g. get paint outside the line and having to wait to for it to dry and cover it again and mixing all the colors all over. The artist shows that it is possible to get this amount of detail and this is why it gives me that calm mood. I think the artist created this mood just by making this piece of art as real as it is. Unlike artists e.g. Picasso where everything is square and triangle, this artwork is easy to look at and simply makes you enjoy what you see.

I really like this artwork because before, I didn't know that you can get such realism with paints and brushes. I was only able to do such things with pencils and to be able to control a brush to the extend of a pencil is very amazing.
The process of this artwork must have been extremely difficult and was time taking. I'm not sure if this artist made many mistakes, but if she did it must have been even more difficult because the color mixing takes a very long time to get right. At least in my case. The artist was most probably using sevel brushes at once which is why this problem might not have been the biggest one.


As a responce to Audrey Frack, I used my box file and took some of my objects to arrange them in a similar style in which the artist did. I painted a very realistic picture of of what I saw in front of me. I used water color paints for 1 responce and acrylic for the other. Each one of the objects needed to be place where it was clearly seen and where it could show it's significance.

 I decided to put the tiger toy on top of the wallet. This turned the tiget into center of attention when you look at the piece. It is the thing you notice the quickest when you look at the image. It stands on a leather wallet which has a biscuit wrapper inside. The wallet was very diffiult to paint since it was a mix of various shades og black and grey which are exptremly hard to get the exact color. It stood below the tiger because it was the darkest object in the image which also made it stand out just like the tiger. Next to te wallet is my old Oyster card. It leaned on a laptop stand which was right behind it. The wallet also leaned against it. On the stand there was a small epectromagnet hanging down and a badge from this school below it. I didn't get to finish painting the piece because I found it very difficult to paint.

I'm usually bad at drawing realism, but I can handle it using chalk or pencil. Paints however are the opposite. I cannot control the brush the way I control the pencil as the bottom wiggle around too much when I apply the paint. Audrey Frack also painted on very large canvas which  allowed her to be very accurate while painting. I used an A3 sheet which is not enough to be able t get into the very deep details and tone. Using a larger scale paper would lead to time loss and waste of paint.


In my first responce, I used water color paints. I also used an A4 sheet of card instead of A3 which I used in my later responce. I started by marking out where each object is. Then slowly outlined each shape and pattern. I applied thick black paint onto the wallet area. I wanter to cover it before anything else since it was the centre piece. I could then work my way around it and do everything bit by bit. I ten added the oyster card. It took a while to get the perfect green and required me to use more 2 coats to get the thickness in the color. Once it dried, I used a tooth pick to apply the letters and numbers on the oyster. This was the hardest part as even with the needle tip, I couldn't get the letters perfectly right. I then worked my way up and drew the tiger along with the green stick. By this time, the black paint in the wallet dried out which allowed me to work into it. I lacked time so I started to rush a little with the letters. I didn't have enough time to put in much tone either, but in my opinion it looked similar to the actual wallet.

When I switched to acrylic, I used an A3 piece of paper so that I could put more detail into the piece. I used A4 first and traced the image of the collage which then got scanned and printed out in A3 for me to work on. This was an improvement as in the last responce, I didn't trace, but drew roughly what I saw. Acrylics were more difficult to use, but allowed me to get more tone in my drawings. The main downside in using acrylic, was that I needed to use many layers of paint on top of another which was very time consuming and mixing the colors over and over again made it even longer. I know that Audrey Frack had all the required time to paint these so I couldn't get as close to realism as she did.

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