Medical Still Life #1 Final v2, oil on Gessobord, 8x8"

Medical Still Life #1 Final, oil on Gessobord, 8×8″

My attention, time and energy have been focused on elder care and family needs rather than art for the past couple months. Creating a still life out of medical supplies (plus a couple of caps from used-up tubes of oil paint) made sense on the day I started the project.

I intended this to be a one-afternoon painting but each time I thought it was finished there was one more thing to “fix” or change. Fiddling with it became a way to squeeze in a little painting when time and energy permitted. I finally called it done so I could start something else (a series of rather dark self-portraits, which I’ll be posting soon).

To show you all the fiddling, I thought a slide show might be good. Click on the image or link below to start the slide-show if you receive this post in your email.

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Oil Painting, Still Life
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Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. 🙂 I’ve never seen a still life of medical supply before.
    But why not – it’s something that is used and needed so often.
    Have a very HAPPY week 🙂


  2. Love trying to draw and paint. Have been at it only about 3 years–couldn’t draw a box before. I have had little “formal” training, but I have made some progress. My passion is trying to draw faces to really look like the person. I have learned to draw from photos or pictures. I find when I try to draw from live model, I am terrible. What I think I lack, in any case, is the benefit of technical/skills training. I think I have some talent for observation because I can “sketch” what I see. I’d like to continue the joy of trying to draw and paint well, but I want it to be fun and not so much work. I sketch and try to draew something everyday. Indeed, I am prolific if nothing more.I believe any creative pursuit should be fun and enjoyble.

    Any suggestions, shortcuts, miracles?


    • Thanks for sharing your story Lottye. I think the key to making it enjoyable is to appreciate the process and focus on learning rather than the end result (easier to say than do!). Of course the more you practice, especially with a little study from books, videos or good teachers, the better you get. The problem most artists have though, is that the better you get the higher you raise the bar, so it always feels it’s not quite good enough (or far from it, especially when comparing yourself to others.) Another key seems to be to find a way of working that is enjoyable to you–if you like short studies do that, not long, painstaking, detailed ones. Do a bunch of small work, keep starting over rather than trying to get one piece perfect. I guarantee each time you do it gets easier and more fun.


  3. These medical supplies are beautifully rendered. What I love most about this painting is the element of surprise you have created with that little piece of medical tape you have painted so realistically in your background. I really had to do a double take to make sure it was accidentally stuck on your painting or if you intentionally painted it!

    It was really great speaking to you last week. Thank you so much for all of your insights and recommendations.


    • Thank you Julie! I’m so glad that little “trompe l’oeil” piece of tape worked! I enjoyed speaking to you too. Don’t hesitate to call again. And I’d still love to see some of your work!


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