Oil Paintings of Emergency Scenes

Seven artists won scholarships to attend the 2nd Annual Figurative Art Convention & Expo (FACE) in 2018. One of the recipients was McGarren Flack, Assistant Professor of Art Painting/Drawing and Art Foundation Coordinator for Dixie State University Department of Art. In this exclusive Q&A, McGarren tells us about his artistic path, including how his art has changed over time and one of his biggest challenges.

Contemporary figurative paintings - RealismToday.com
McGarren Flack, “Croup,” oil on aluminum, 76 x 48 in.

Figurative Art Spotlight / Q&A

Cherie Dawn Haas: How and why did you first begin your artistic path?
McGarren Flack: I started in college. I was planning on becoming a doctor and had to take an art class for general education. I didn’t like the teacher but I loved drawing. I wasn’t so good at it but because of my love I feel like I was able to cultivate my skills.

CDH: Was there a specific media or subject matter that drew you in?
MF: I have always enjoyed painting with oil and drawing with charcoal, mostly because they are traditionally used as a solid art form. I love the diversity I can create with both media. In terms of subject matter, the figure is most appealing to me because I can relate to the human connection and strive to project that in my art.

Contemporary figurative paintings - RealismToday.com
McGarren Flack, “Inner Demon,” oil on aluminum, 30 x 48 in.

CDH: How has your art changed over time?
MF: I use to paint beautiful women walking down the street or sitting there enjoying coffee. But for me that felt too “on the surface” and I wanted to create pieces that have more meaning. So I changed directions and now create art pieces with people in their most vulnerable state of being. I paint picture of various emergency scenes that I have been on as a Paramedic; this provides an awesome sense of closure and connection with other humans.

Contemporary figurative oil paintings - RealismToday.com
McGarren Flack, “Fell off the Wagon,” oil on aluminum, 76 x 48 in.

CDH: What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way? And how have you overcome it?
MF: It is pretty hard to sell art that the general public does not want to hang in their house. But I keep moving forward, trying to find a balance between creating art that I enjoy and creating art that the public would enjoy. But I think for my current artistic direction it feels more like a duty for me to create art of various EMS scenes. So I am not so worried about the latter thought.

Contemporary figurative art
McGarren Flack, “Hyperpyrexia,” oil on aluminum, 48 x 76 in.


Contemporary oil paintings - RealismToday.com
McGarren Flack, “Musical Chairs,” oil on aluminum, 48 x 76 in.

CDH: How did you originally hear about FACE?
MF: I saw it while searching some info about various figurative artists. I liked the artists I saw and wanted to attend and hopefully learn some good concepts and meet new people.

Contemporary paintings - RealismToday.com
McGarren Flack, “Serotonin Release,” oil on aluminum, 76 x 48 in.

CDH: What’s the most important thing you learned or experienced at FACE?
MF: Networking. There were fun after-parties that a select few were invited to, which is fine. I actually liked that I wasn’t invited to these parties because it forced me to get to know other people that I would not have met before. I met and networked with about 30 different people, all of which were talented and interesting people. So I am glad for the experience and the opportunity to meet and greet so many people from around the world.

See more figurative art by McGarren Flack at www.flackstudio.com.

Read about the 2019 Figurative Art Convention & Expo scholarship winners here.

Learn about the Figurative Art Convention and Expo



    • Hello, Connie, and thank you for your comment. I think it’s important to remember that not all art is created with the intention of selling it for someone else’s wall (although, of course there’s validity in that practice as well). Self-expression is a beautiful thing.
      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

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