Michele Kishita

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The transmutable quality of water seems endless.  It is at once a vast frozen glacier and an invisible wall of humidity.  In a matter of minutes, water’s beauty and serenity can become a frighteningly dark and tumultuous rage.  It is a destroyer of life, yet without it life would cease to exist.  For these reasons, it has been the subject or the stage on which the subject has been activated for artists and writers since time immemorial.

My most recent paintings are inspired by Milton Avery’s serene landscapes and Katsushika Hokusai’s depictions of water.  I build up thin layers of acrylic paint and collage after which I juxtapose or intermingle silver or gold leaf, reminiscent of Japanese screens and scroll paintings.  In each painting I strive to capture the memory and spirit of the landscape from my childhood in rural Pennsylvania and my time living abroad in Japan.


Michele C. Kishita is a Philadelphia-based artist and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Writing at the University of the Arts.  She synthesizes her childhood memories of rural Pennsylvania and her experiences living abroad in Japan into mixed media landscapes. Her canvases begin with layers of broad uncontrolled washes, recognizable as a metaphor for the “noise” in her everyday life.  She slowly paints out and reduces the layers to only a small area of the pictorial space, revealing her desire to recapture the serenity of her childhood home and the simple and quiet spirit of Japan. Her paintings are in several private collections and have been shown in many group exhibitions in Philadelphia and internationally at the Sharjah Art Museum in the United Arab Emirates. Kishita received both her B.F.A and M.F.A from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA.

To see more examples of Michele’s work, you can visit her website HERE.

Interview on Studio Break: http://studiobreak.com/michele-kishita/