As a young girl, Toronto-based abstract artist Mishel Schwartz used to hide on the stairs that led to her artist parents’ studio and watch them paint live models. Her artistic journey began with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in college, followed by a degree in Art History from McGill University in Montreal, QB. Mishel concluded her studies with a degree in Graphic Design from York University in Toronto. After almost 20 years as Creative Director for a Canadian home furnishings company, Mishel took a leap of faith and plunged into the pursuit of a career as a working artist. Her primary medium is alcohol ink. She discovered it by exploring the art scene on social media. Intrigued, she began experimenting and slowly developed a technique wherein layers of color are added and intricate details are carved out of the layers, giving her work great depth and mystery.
"I don't paint from photos or actual objects, but rather, I let the ink guide the art. I look at each piece as a kind of visual diary; a way to document beauty and express joy. Sometimes the forms are organic and real, and often they can even take on an imperceptible quality, much like the living world we inhabit.
The rich layers and textures of the natural world are my primary inspiration. I love the dynamic interplay of light and shadow and how sights and smells seem to seep into the canvas through inanimate forms. Using alcohol ink allows for great depth in my art, it has a mysterious fluidity and is very malleable. I can watch, almost as a third person, as one shape evolves into something else entirely; I add layers of colour and then carve into the dry ink to bring out a rich network of detail. The end result often takes me by surprise and makes me realize that you can find a delicate balance between control and freedom in your work and in your life."