Flower Paintings




France-based artist Thomas Darnell‘s work took my breath away the first time I stumbled upon it. His photorealist paintings of flowers are so sumptuous and beautiful they are disarming in their detail; blink a few times, those aren’t photographs. Born and raised near Austin, Texas, he quit his job and moved to Paris in 1993, and eventually to the south of France in 1994, chasing the light that so inspired the Impressionists to flock to the provinces. He “felt that if I didn’t do it then, I would regret it for the rest of my life.” A man after my own heart.

He also paints landscapes and abstracts, including a series focusing on smoke and air.



“Recently, Darnell has been exploring new concepts and reinterpreting past themes,” including, “psychological and philosophical theories of perception and reality, ideas on form and formlessness.” Sir, you had me at “peonies.”

All images copyright Thomas Darnell.

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November 14, 2013 / art / photo / LEAVE A COMMENT / 13


  • those flowers are breathtaking, but honestly the last two really stole my breath. i absolutely love them. and i almost started crying immediately when you described that he moved to the south of france to follow the light. oh my god. for some reason that just makes me feel so very emotional. to be that connected and passionate and aware, it’s just beautiful. i want that someday. xo

    • You should contact him and buy a print! How glorious would that be? Treat yo self for Christmas? I’m an enabler, I know. I love that you had such an emotional reaction to the south of France detail, too. I did as well. It’s so spectacular, isn’t it? That sort of beautiful bravery. xo

  • I don’t know, I just can’t get on board with the photorealism stuff. I think your photos of the alstroemerias are much nicer, really. Of course they’re beautiful paintings (duh), but… I don’t know how to say it. There’s just a “but” for me. I love that landscape though. Just adore it.

    • That’s nice of you to say, but you’re on drugs ;) I wish my alstroemerias were this nice! I understand though, this style might not be for everyone. It’s how I feel about most contemporary art, haha. xo

  • fantastic pics. I’m constantly intrigued by the skill required to paint photo-realism but I’m actually not sure I’d want to have it on my walls… but speaking of flowers and paintings. have you seen Marc Quinn’s flower paintings? stunning in a very surreal way. you might like them xoxo

    • There is such a level of detail and skill required to pull these types of paintings off is so impressive. I haven’t seen Marc Quinn’s flowers, I’ll go check them out! Surrealism isn’t entirely my cup of tea, but I’ll approach it with an open mind :) xo

  • Holy moly, those flower paintings are just incredible! Photorealistic art never fails to knock my socks off

    • I really thought the flowers were actual, giant photographs. Those petals look so real! xo

  • These are really beautiful – are prints available?

    • Not that I can find, but I’m sure you can message him and arrange something. Maybe. I’ve never heard of an artist not offering some prints (whether or not they’re affordable…that’s another question). xo

  • that 3rd painting is incredible!

    • I just want to bury my face in that bouquet of flowers. xo

  • I want the second from the last one. I love it and cant stop staring at it