Born and raised in the coal-mining country of Pennsylvania, Charles
Frace attended the Philadelphia College of Art and graduated with honors.
He became a commercial artist in New York and created adventure magazine
drawings, book illustrations and covers. After several years of this,
he moved to Florida where he met and worked with noted naturalist, John
He learned to trap and train great birds of prey, becoming an accomplished
falconer in the process. As a result, he began to paint the large birds
while continuing to do commercial art. His wife, Elka, thought he should
concentrate more on nature work and took one of his paintings to a Long
Island gallery. It sold before she returned to Florida. This was a changing
point in Charles Frace's career. Roger Caras, the wildlife author and
lecturer commissioned several of his paintings. And it was not long before
his realistic prints of wildlife began to gain acceptance by the public.
While Elka takes care of all the business details, Frace concentrates
on the depicting wildlife with painstaking accuracy. Doing only five
paintings per year. Charles considers field experience and other forms
of research an integral part of his painting. He believes it is not enough
for a painting to possess beauty or accurately catalogue the species.
Both must come together to achieve the desired effect, requiring in-depth
knowledge as well as flawless brushstrokes. The most difficult challenge
for Frace is not the actual painting, but its planning. Once the research
is completed, he spends days sketching many different versions before
choosing his final effort.
Print Shown: Undivided Attention