About the doctor artist: Dr. Michelle Rivera

Artist Michelle Rivera at her easel painting a dog

I am a Harvard trained, practicing physician specializing in breast imaging. I began painting in my garage studio in 2005. Over time, my art has provided a healthy outlet for my emotionally challenging career. 


Read Harvard Medicine Magazine's profile of Dr. Michelle Rivera

I paint at a pretty frenetic pace. I like to transfer all of my energy on to the canvas. Sometimes that means that I'm literally throwing paint-- and singing (as you can see in my photo) along to loud music! As a result, there's paint all over my studio space -- even on my computer, but I think that my energy is apparent in my paintings!

Dogs are so fun to paint! My inspiration for painting dogs is Sparky, our big, loving rescue lab mix. He was such a big love, always ready to play in his lethargic way. His fur was so dark and shiny that it often reflected atmosphere and looked blue, although it was jet black. He had a huge blocky head and tiny, wide set brown eyes. He was just adorable and he's the spirit behind every dog painting that I've ever painted. 


I have been selling my canvas prints at big box stores around the world, but now I'm excited that I can sell them directly to the super awesome folks who like my art.

As you can tell by now, I love to paint and so I do it as often as I can. I also love doing commissions, so please feel free to contact me if you're interested in one.

Michelle Rivera And Her Other Passions


My "Fetch" series was created in response to new and dangerous healthcare rules that call for less and later breast cancer screening. I was so upset by those new rules that I went straight to my studio and painted furiously. Two hours later, my first "Fetch" series pup was finished and it was 36x48" big!


NBC Charlotte visits Dr. Michelle Rivera's studio


My love for art mirrors my passion for improving women's chances of beating breast cancer. If you'd like to learn more about my grassroots effort to support continued annual breast cancer screening beginning at age 40, please visit @American Women Unite for Breast Cancer Screening on Facebook. Please also check out the video I created about breast cancer screening:



I am also a big supporter of charities in Charlotte, NC and I donate lots of artwork to assist in their efforts. The largest is ART Unleashed, to which I donated 13 paintings this year. It's an art sale that benefits three local animal welfare charities. My daughter, Mia, started ART Unleashed 3 years ago and it has raised over $60,000 to help Carolina area animals in need.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Michelle