Michael-Che Swisher's work is inspired by her love of animals. As a child, she dragged home every injured squirrel, bunny, and bird. As a adult, she became a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator and fostered many kittens. The artist often had baby opossums and squirrels as residents and at other times, a house full of playful kittens.
With each painting, the artist focuses on color and texture to highlight the animal's unique personality. Michael-Che's style is instinctive. Colors and tools are selected as the painting develops. Brushes, painting knives, and other unexpected tools are utilized to create the artist's characteristic levels of texture. Mixing colors on both the palette and canvas allows the artist to experience the joy of manipulating thick layers of paint.
Michael-Che lives with multiple sclerosis which at times interferes with her painting, weakening her eye muscles and more recently her arms. In early 2013, the artists experienced severe muscle weakness in her arms and shoulders and a loss of fine motor control in her hands. She was unable to paint for the rest of the year.
Today, the artists paints with the assistance of a mobile arm support that holds her arm up which she is unable to do herself. Despite the pain and challenges involved, Michael-Che is determine to paint. The MS Society asked her what it meant to paint again. Her response: "It means everything!"
Some days the artist can control the movements of a brush. Other days, it can be interesting. If her right hand is not strong enough to hold a brush, she'll let her left hand take over. The artist will find random objects and embark on an exploration of textures, turning something she can't control into finding new ways to express herself.
Before turning to fine art, Ms. Swisher was an illustrator for seven years. She illustrated four children's books and her artwork is displayed on dinnerware, bed & bath items, in magazine, and advertisements. Michael-Che's paintings can be found in private collections throughout the U.S. and in Japan, Australia, Great Britain, Korea, and Canada. She has been featured in galleries across the country and is currently represented by Eisenhauer Gallery in Edgartown, MA and Nancy Dodds Gallery in Carmel, CA.
2010 Delicious, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 Celebration of Craftswomen Show, San Francisco, CA
2009 Tiny, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 Tiburon Art Festival, Tiburon, CA
2009 Mischief, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 Delicious, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 City Streets, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 Felines, The Glenn, El Cerrito, CA
2009 Solo Show, The Lightroom Gallery, Berkeley, CA
2008 Celebration of Craftswomen Show, San Francisco, CA
2008 Tiny, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2008 Tiburon Art Festival, Tiburon, CA
2008 Mischief, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2008 Delicious, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2008 Solo Show, Moraga Art Gallery, Moraga, CA
2008 Solo Show, Kensington Library, Kensington, CA
2007 Celebration of Craftswomen Show, San Francisco, CA
2007 Tiburon Art Festival, Tiburon, CA
2007 Solo Show, Tilden Park Nature Center, Berkeley, CA
2007 Jewel-by-the-Bay Paint Out, Alameda, CA - Award: Preview Exhibition, Director’s Choice Award
2006 For Animal Lovers, Solo Show, Frank Bette Center, Alameda, CA
2006 Our Artists, Albany Community Center, CA
2006 Nature, Bosikos & Bosikos, Oakland, CA
2005-2006 Wildlife, Lindsey Museum, Walnut Creek, CA
2005 Show Your Colors, Frank Bette Center, Alameda, CA - Award: Best in Show
Cost Plus World Market
City of San Francisco