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Doctor Fights COVID Fatigue Painting Serene Nature Scenes & Other Subjects

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

An anesthesiologist at Loyola Medical Center and Advocate Health Care, Usha Kolpe M.D., embraces her medical role helping others, but at home cares for her own spirit by enjoying oil painting. Scroll down for more artwork....

Artist: Usha Kolpe, M.D.

Town: Oak Brook, IL

Medium: Oil; Acrylic

The pandemic has relentlessly challenged and stressed the heroic members of our medical community. When someone’s daily job is to pull patients back from the brink of death, or worse, not being able to save them, what do they do to save themselves, their sanity, so they can get up and do it all over again the next day?

Meet Dr. Usha Kolpe from Oak Brook, IL, an anesthesiologist and amateur artist, who renews her spirit through a brush and palette – painting her way into a brighter perspective. As a busy doctor, her work often includes placing COVID patients on ventilators. And, in the beginning of COVID, before much was known about the virus, Usha said each day felt like war. To help counteract her own fears about this puzzling disease, Usha would come home and dive into her painting. Between 2020 and into 2021, she painted 50 canvases!

“This is why I turn to nature,” Usha says. “Observing it or painting it makes me so happy, and reaffirms for me that life is good.”

Indeed, nothing about Mother Nature escapes her eye from watching how trees bend in the wind to the shapes of clouds, its variety and abundance continually fascinate her.

Usha doesn’t create her artwork from photographs, but draws instead from her imagination. She also paints from her memories. A favorite is scenery she viewed as a child visiting her grandmother’s isolated and mountainous region in India. Recreating these pastoral scenes helps her connect to her younger self.

Although she didn’t draw much growing up, she found herself turning to painting in her 20s. Her hobby has since grown. She now enjoys working in a designated studio set up in the brightly lit sunroom of her home.

ARTIST STATEMENT: “Nature is a real doctor that heals the soul, gives peace, and motivates the discovery of endless new frontiers of life. Forests, trees, flowers birds, bees, all tell the story of the possibility of joy and grace to embrace. I tried to capture these elements in full or in a fragmented manner to show the beauty of nature that creates positive emotions, happiness, and peace within me and for the viewer.”



Dr. Kolpe, at home, poses with another one of her colorful, finished canvases.


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