Paramedic John: a portrait of the man and first responder

This is an oil portrait done on a fine art grade canvas and measures 20″ x 16″ with a 2″ gallery wrap – I prefer to do deep gallery wraps and normally paint them either Prussian Blue or Black unless the person who commissioned the piece wishes for another finish.  It will be sealed in 3 months time: oils take a frustratingly long time to dry and cure properly.

All my friends have been tested in some way by life.  They are all without exception people who have given to others and many have been hurt in the process.

John Julian is a man who has given to others not only through his work as a paramedic but in his personal life: he is a supporter and caregiver of others.  His childhood set him up to be a paramedic.  I firmly believe that cops, fire fighters, paramedics and corrections officers are made in childhood: they are tested in some way that creates a need to protect others from harm.  John is no exception to this.

In this portrait of him and his best friend I wanted to portray not only the deep bond they share but also why they share it.  The chaos that surrounds them signifies all that was and has been, all that is.  Yet they are centered and grounded.  John’s face is both his internal struggle, his fight with his pain and injury is darkened and shadowed, the eye is wary and watchful.  The external smiling John is the face we all see and his smile never wanders too far, this eye is smiling and carefree.

We are none of us single dimensional beings but I find doing portraits of my friends and those I meet along this journey of life who have been tested are the most fascinating, difficult and rewarding of all.

Hugh Tull ( was kind enough to photograph this for me, very grateful to have a photo of one of my pieces not taken with my iPhone.


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