Still Life Painting with a Baseball Theme

still life painting


I love art and baseball, and I finally got around to putting the two together in a still life painting. Painted during the summer, in a time when I was helping to coach my son’s pee wee league baseball team, I had plenty of inspiration and distraction.

still life painting

“Summer Leather” Craig Shillam, oil, 14” x 24”,

Art & Baseball in a Still Life Painting

Now I have been making art in one form or another as far back as I can remember, and some of my very best childhood memories are wrapped up in playing baseball. As I was painting this still life piece and going to my son’s games and practices, it occurred to me that there were similarities between the two. Here are a few:

Still Life Painting meets PeeWee Baseball

  • Watching those kids play was very similar to how this still life painting went. Good and hopeful one day, and total chaos and despair the next.
  • For most, it takes a long time to be an adequate baseball player, as it does being a painter.
  • You have to keep doing and practicing the little things to step up your game and your art to higher levels.
  • The people with the most God-given talent are not necessarily the  ones who end up being the best that they can be. The ones that have some talent,  show up and give it their best shot consistently, and quietly keep improving day after day often achieve a higher level than those with more natural talent.
  • For most kids, a batting stance is like the ballet meeting roller derby. But just like painting, if you keep working at it, there are times when the result can be a thing of beauty.
  • There are as many ways for young kids to throw a baseball as there are ways to paint a still life painting. But once in a while it actually goes where it’s supposed to.
  • The umpire is like the art critic. If he should happen to agree with us, then he’s pretty good. If not, we have no use for him, and he should never show up again.
  • Some kid’s baseball games are like looking at a Jackson Pollock painting, and some are like a Norman Rockwell, but either way, I’m glad I was there to see it.
  • No matter how good or how bad the game, the practice, or the still life painting, tomorrow is a new day with an opportunity to improve.

  Still Life Painting Finished and the Season is Over 

It just so happened that the above painting was finished the night before the last game of the season. We lost 8-6, but it was a good game. So as the typical withdrawal from a summer of baseball sets in, my therapy is to start another painting, (although I think it’s time for something besides a still life,) and still play some catch in the backyard with my son.

Just in case you might be interested,  that’s my mitt on the right that I have had since high school, and yes I’m a lefty. That’s my daughter’s old mitt on the left. I used my son’s jersey, my wooden bat from high school, a 30-year-old can of glovolium, various baseballs from different years, and the hat is an official 1993 World Series hat. See more still life and landscape art at

 It was a fun still life painting to do, and I will probably do another one with a baseball theme down the road.

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  1. Surprisingly well-written and inofarmitve for a free online article.


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