Michele Kishita is a Philadelphia-based artist who grew up in the vastly different landscapes of rural Central Pennsylvania and the Arizona desert. She uses colors found in nature that are not typically associated with “natural” colors and focuses on water as her primary subject. Kishita lived in Japan and spent time as a Japanese print specialist and consultant, authenticating, translating, and appraising woodblock prints for auction houses and collectors. Her paintings are strongly influenced by the graphic, stylized quality of Hiroshige and Hokusai, as well as the compositions of ukiyo-e. Kishita’s paintings are in a number of private/corporate collections and shown extensively on the East Coast. She has been published in Fresh Paint Magazine and The Artist Catalogue, as well as several literary journals, and was selected to exhibit at the Sharjah Art Museum in the United Arab Emirates, which ran concurrent with the Sharjah Biennial. Kishita received both her BFA and MFA in painting from the University of the Arts.
My work is a dialogue between the wooden surfaces on which I paint and the trees from which those panels were built. By transforming a tree’s rounded mass into flat, rectangular sheets, man imposes control over nature with straight lines and angles. Despite the tree’s new shape, the undulations of what it once was emerge from the boxy surface. The panels are a record of man’s relationship with nature while also highlighting life's central interconnectedness. The measure of a tree’s growth and the amount of water taken annually, is evident in the wood grain’s concentric circles; thus, the history of the landscape is contained within the tree itself. In my work, I strive to tease out the landscape that is inherently a part of each panel, while expressing the visual contrast and harmony where man-made structures and nature intersect.