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Subspecialties Imaging & Diagnostics

The Art of Eyes

Eyes have long been associated with beauty, serving as the inspiration for countless pieces of artwork. In this feature, we present this year’s best ophthalmic images, illustrations, and mixed media created by both ophthalmologists and visually impaired artists. Our take? You’re in for a real treat!

Alan Kong


Release the Cataract:

Fighting off a dense cataract with iris hooks.

Clover Fields:

When the lucky leprechaun's visual field may not be so lucky.

Residency Through the Eyes of My Coresidents:

Highlighting the happiness, diversity, and excitement in the eyes of my coresidents as we set off onto this journey of residency together.

The Brainstem and the 12 Disciples:

The 12 cranial nerves must all work together with the brainstem to maintain and preserve our senses, including vision. After all, the eyes are just an extension of the brain.

Alan Kong is a first-year ophthalmology resident at the Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. He obtained his medical degree from UCSF, and he recently completed an internal medicine internship at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center – one of the major safety net hospitals in Los Angeles County. Growing up, Kong always enjoyed finding new creative outlets, including drawing and painting. Near the end of medical school, Kong started an Instagram account to blend his passion for both art and medicine – more specifically, the eye. His art chronicles his journey from medical school to internship, and he looks forward to highlighting the highs (and lows) of ophthalmology residency training. 

Instagram: @DoctorKongMD

Carol Shields


Carol L Shields has been pursuing artwork for most of her life. As a teenager, she studied oil painting for several years with an impressionistic master artist from western Pennsylvania, called Nate Dunn. He instilled in her a strong sense of impressionism. Later, while in college, she enjoyed sculpture, clay work, and watercolor media, with a style that was more directed towards realism. More recently, her interests have been in the art of nature – primarily, floral photography and landscape acrylics with a touch of impressionism.  

Shields enjoys the freedom of expression, creativity, and relaxation that the various fields of art provide. The world of art actually enters into her daily profession in ocular oncology when drawing or interpreting an intraocular or epibulbar tumor.  Shields still enjoys accurate fundus drawing even though that has been partially replaced with wide-angle fundus imaging. She also enjoys an interesting fundus photograph or a unique OCT image. In fact, she was originally attracted to ophthalmology because of its visual basis.

Dorothea Laurence


Dorothea Laurence is a second year ophthalmology resident from Braunschweig, Germany. She completed her medical studies as well as her doctorate at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany.

Laurence is delighted when she can connect her hobbies with her profession. Aside from creating cartoons – such as her beloved ‘Dr Lizard’ featured in last year’s issue – Laurence enjoys illustrating to help her patients. Studies suggest that patients retain only 14 percent of the information given to them in their appointments; these illustrations aim to provide Laurence’s patients with visual instructions that they can retain. Laurence wanted to create something that could be easily printed, so she sketched the illustrations with a drawing nib and black ink.

*Illustrations may not be reused without permission

Fereshteh Azad


Inspired by childhood memories filled with awe for the intricate beauty of facial anatomy, the masterpieces of sculptors and Da Vinci's portraits, Fereshteh Azad’s artistic exploration has spanned the realms of painting, assemblage, and sculpture. Throughout Azad’s undergraduate and medical training at the University of Toronto and Wayne State University School of Medicine, she pursued her artistic interests, finding ways to intertwine her studies in medicine with her creative expressions. Now, as she nears the completion of her ophthalmology residency at Kresge Eye Institute, her dedication to both art and medicine remains unwavering. Azad looks forward to further blending the technical skills of eye surgery with the artistry of reconstruction and aesthetics by completing an ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship with ASOPRS.

George Spaeth


Although he is best known for being a world-renowned ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist, George Spaeth is also known for being a composer, poet, arranger of flowers, and painter. 

In this painting, Spaeth depicts a dramatic ocean in Maine. In his own words, “I tried to capture the wild beauty of the day.”

Greg Dunn


Greg Dunn is an artist who received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. While a graduate student, Dunn’s artistic experiments demonstrated that the qualities of neural forms fit seamlessly into the aesthetic principles of minimalist Asian art and sumi-e scroll and gold leaf painting. Dunn is now a full time artist based out of Philadelphia. He works to incorporate his knowledge of neuroscience, physics, and biology into the artistic process through both imagery and technique. Together with Brian Edwards, a collaborating artist and electrical engineer at Penn, Greg invented a revolutionary technique called reflective microetching that allows dynamic control of imagery and color in reflective gold surfaces. Dunn’s work hangs at universities, museums, and in private collections around the world.

Jui Telavane


Jui Telavane is a recently graduated ophthalmologist from India, currently undertaking a medical retina fellowship. Since COVID-19, Televane has been incorporating ophthalmology into her art, re-imagining the eye using various unusual objects. For Telavane, doodling is like therapy and she now hopes to intersect retinal pathologies within her doodles. 

Instagram: @eye.dooodle

Kaitlin Walsh


Rods and Cones –

Kaitlin Walsh | Lyon Road Art |

I painted this original watercolor of the rods and cones. It creatively depicts the famous rod and cone cells as they flow into the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).

The Retina – Kaitlin Walsh | Lyon Road Art |

I painted this original watercolor of a retina, in a striking teal and green color scheme. The close-up nature and flowing, bold palette make it just the right amount of abstract.


The Fovea – Kaitlin Walsh | Lyon Road Art |

I painted this original watercolor of the histology of the fovea. The indentation on the right depicts the fovea, that area where rods and cones are most dense and visual acuity is at its highest.


Kaitlin Walsh is an independent artist specializing in abstract anatomical watercolor and oil paintings. From a young age, she exhibited an immense fascination with both art and medicine. She focused her studies on both disciplines, eventually receiving a graduate degree in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she took a combination of fine art and med school courses. Soon after graduation, Kaitlin had her first child, who spent several months in the hospital recovering from severe prenatal complications and an early birth. The experience inspired Kaitlin to focus her career on portraying the beauty and complexity of the human body through painting. After spending some time honing her craft and increasing her inventory, she launched her studio, Lyon Road Art, in 2015. She has now sold over 5,000 prints of her work and is a well-known name in the anatomical art community.

Kathleen Ho


Kathleen Ho’s study, “Abyss,” aims to capture the boundless details of the iris on a larger scale canvas to allow for a greater appreciation of its complexities. As a third-year medical student with an interest in pursuing a career in ophthalmology, Ho aims to continue the practice of her art alongside her medical endeavors. 

Nima Ghadiri


Consultant Medical Ophthalmologist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer

Nima Ghadiri is an ophthalmic physician who works in a holistic, integrative speciality at the interface between the eye and systemic medicine. 

The themes for all of Ghadiri's creations are variations of the human eye, and harnessing the power of machine learning to generate mesmerizing art to represent the complexity and beauty of the human visual system, and showcase a symbiotic relationship between science and art. In these artworks, Ghadiri uses Midjourney – a powerful program that uses neural networks to create captivating artworks from text prompts and customizable parameters.  Ghadiri strongly feels that considering the human eye through a multi-dimensional lens allows us to approach patient care with increased creativity and empathy. 

Ralph C. Eagle, Jr


Ralph Eagle has been interested in art all his life. Owing to both his father and maternal grandfather being avid photographers, Eagle has owned a 35mm Nikon camera since high school. Eagle’s subspecialty, ophthalmic pathology, emphasizes visual pattern recognition and imagery. Eagle is known best for the quality of his macro and microscopic images of eye disease. Eagle has won numerous awards for gross and microphotography in the Ophthalmic Photographer’s Society’s exhibits at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting, and has been the official archivist-photographer of the American Ophthalmological Society for more than 25 years. Alongside medical photography, Eagle likes to travel and has recently begun to photograph birds. He also enjoys designing neckties. 

Sara Riaz


Sara Riaz created “Eye of the Infinite” using mixed media when she was sixteen years old. Riaz says that the art piece is left up to the viewer’s interpretation.

Sara’s journey as an artist has been anchored by the visual arts classes that she took throughout her time in the public school system living in Ontario, Canada. She graduated from college studying psychology, ethics, and statistics, before completing graduate studies at McGill’s Department of Family Medicine and Biomedical Ethics Unit. Grappling with difficult ethical issues in medicine has helped Sara realize that art informs practice in the real world. 

Tanya Trinh


Dr Tanya Trinh is a Cornea, Refractive and Cataract Staff Specialist at the Sydney Eye Hospital and Principal Surgeon at Mosman Eye Centre. She is also the co-director of Australia's Keratoprosthesis Program. She has been learning to paint over the last 4 years experimenting with oils, acrylics and watercolours and is intrigued by the reverse approach from dark to light of oils and light to dark of watercolours. The process of squinting -  to deconstruct the proposed image and simplify it to purely tones of contrast in the beginning of the process - allows one to start viewing the world in an entirely unique manner.

The foray into painting stems from a fascination with photography which she also pursues in her spare time, capturing moments of stillness in an otherwise chaotic world. Her photographic efforts have won first prize in the ASCRS Ophthalmic Photographer’s Society Competition as well as honourable mentions, some of which can be viewed here:

Vempuluru Sai Vijitha


Vijitha S. Vempuluru is an ardent watercolor enthusiast. An ophthalmologist and ocular oncologist by profession, focus and attention to detail are pivotal to her practice and form the crux of her artform. Vempuluru’s interest in art dates back to school and she has since taught herself the basic techniques of watercolor painting through books and social media. For Vempuluru, the most fascinating aspect of watercolor is being unable to retract; it becomes really important to go from less to more, light to dark. This relates to Vempuluru’s ophthalmic practice when treating children with eye cancer – it is important to carefully go from less to more while skillfully balancing the risks against benefits. It goes without saying that art is a form of therapy: not only does it ease the stress of making critical decisions on a daily basis but also greatly improves focus, a powerful aspect of an ophthalmologist’s life. 

Abi Jameson


The Flowers Whisper | A portrait like this is how I like to reconnect to the faces I can’t see very well


Sunrise Whisper | A celebration of the mysteries of self


Heady Days | This was inspired by the way I see. My damaged optic nerves means my brain does not receive all the information and likes to blend foregrounds with backgrounds

The Time is Now | This is when the freedom on abstract allows me to use and interpret the strange things I see

Abi Jameson is a partially sighted award-winning contemporary artist. Her work, inspired by wisdom, inner-strength, and human connectivity, has been published and exhibited throughout Europe and is due to exhibit in London at the end of 2023.

After painting and exhibiting for 10 years in 2013, Abi lost her sight in one eye and half the sight in the other. Since this event, the way she sees the world has changed and is reflected in her artwork: colors are brighter, and messages are stronger. They are a small insight into her world of patterns, random marks, merging foregrounds and backgrounds, and missing information shown through the female form, dance, and female portrait.

Instagram: @abijamesonart
Twitter: @abijamesonart

Clarke Reynolds


Clarke Reynolds is registered as severely sighted but is also a visual artist. Reynolds uses Braille – the tactile coding system made up of a six dot cell – as a vessel to hold a word through the shape, color, and size of the dot. Over the past three years Reynolds has been exploring Braille as a visual language, and his work has been displayed in multiple solo exhibitions, including his first solo show at the capital in Quantus gallery. Reynold’s aim is to bring Braille into the 21st century through workshops, exhibitions, and public art, and to be a role model for people of all ages with visual impairment. Reynolds is also the patron for the charity VICTA, for visually impaired children and young adults.

Instagram: @blind.braille.artist

All images credited: 'Clark Reynolds/Quantus Gallery'

Douglas Knight


At the age of four, Douglas Knight was diagnosed with a brain tumor located on his optic chiasm. Although the tumor was treated with chemotherapy, Knight was left legally blind. Although his chances of becoming a jet pilot or F1 driver were over, he developed a passion for the visual arts. He has now become an accomplished visual artist, a professional tattoo artist, and an Indie Comic book creator who is making big splashes in all the right places. 

Instagram: @crosseyecomics
Twitter: @crosseyecomics

Fae Kilburn


Fae Kilburn is a Birmingham-based multidisciplinary artist and arts facilitator, with a Masters in Fine Art. She has a passion for printmaking and uses a variety of techniques including monoprint, silkscreen, collagraph, and etching.

Her recent body of work is “Transient Moments,” a series of print installations that creatively document Fae’s transition from partial-sight to blindness as an artist, and challenges others’ understanding of sight-loss. Creating disability awareness through art is an important part of her practice – as is making workshops and participatory events accessible and inclusive. Fae has successfully created commissions for several organizations and has been exhibiting consistently since 2015. Full details of Fae’s exhibition history can be found on her about page:

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About the Author
Sarah Healey

Communicating stories in a way that is accessible to all was one of the focal points of my Creative Writing degree. Although writing magical realism is a fun endeavor (and one I still dabble in), getting to the heart of human stories has always been the driving motivator behind my writing. At Texere, I am able to connect with the people behind scientific breakthroughs and share their stories in a way that is impactful and engaging.

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