Local Art Walk

Mikaela McLeish

In her vibrant oil paintings, Mikaela McLeish contains solitary figures in psychological spaces. Combining realism with expressionistic brushstrokes, McLeish’s paint application and process of painting mirrors her struggle for control. McLeish describes her imagery as, “a façade of serenity, which upon closer inspection breaks down into chaos. The distortions of the body created through the refracted motifs represent erasure and a loss of self.” McLeish explores the in-between space of reality and dream, public and private, absence and presence; trying to understand the psychological walls set by society.

Mikaela McLeish, born in 1992 in California, is a Pilipina Irish American painter. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2014. Mikaela has exhibited in San Francisco and San Diego, including the Diego Rivera Gallery, Cell Space Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute Courtyard Gallery, and Gotthelf Art Gallery pop-up show.

Mikaela is the recipient of the 2013 Gamblin Painting Prize, 2012 Allan Stone Painting Scholarship, San Francisco Art Institute Dean’s scholarship, Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship candidate for the Art Division of the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, Davis Projects for Peace alternate candidate. McLeish lives and works in San Diego teaching Continuing Education classes at the Art Institute of California- San Diego, hosting social painting events with Paints Uncorked, and creating new work in her studio.

Check out more on the artist website mikaelamcleish.com.