I am not a writer.
I am an artist, engineer, wife and mom.
For some time I hesitated to start a blog. However, what I have learned through career changes, new places and meeting different people all over the globe is that we can all learn from each other and somewhere in my words you might find a thought that rings true with you to make it worth your time reading.
I can’t say it more directly than Thoreau when he says:
“I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience.” (Walden)
I am an artist because I like to create. Whether it is capturing light through photography or creating light and shade as I enjoy the feel of paint moving under a brush, my enjoyment is in the creating and in the peace that comes with finishing a piece of art.
From the time I could walk I remember taking paper in my dad’s office and folding stacks of them in half to create books for writing and drawing. Now I watch my daughter pick up my brushes, bang them against a canvas and know she will enjoy this passion we call creativity.
To an artist, often the meaning of a piece of art is blatantly obvious and, in their mind, it needs no explanation or it is purposely ambiguous so that the viewer can create their own experience. Quite often it is only the artist that knows which of these is the intent. I came to discover that need for a gentle introduction to my work over years of exhibiting and conversations in galleries and at art festivals. When I am asked about specific pieces I have made and I provide even a 30,000 foot overview, I see that familiar look of understanding and recognition come across a viewers’ face. I have also learned the interaction does not end with my explanation, but sometimes that is where the viewers imagination finds lift off and they then enjoy a journey with the art on their own.
This new series of paintings is a glimpse into my small piece of the earth where I spend most of my time, in North Carolina. A few years ago my husband and I bought a house with beautiful existing perennial gardens. We where naively unaware of the demands of the space, but have learned to work with nature and I love the surprise blessings. Each of the blooms in this new series of paintings grew in our yard. My husband sets up the watering system for vegetables and I plant bulbs and try to maintain the invasive plant species. Some of the blooms last for days, some for weeks or even months in the case of this Calla Lily grown in shade.
"Adoration" 24"x24" by Melissa Muehleisen, 2018.
The title of this painting of two purple calla lilies interacting is “Adoration.” I think we all know that familiar look, when someone is in love. The head tilts, the eyes gaze, they are immersed. I see this adoration in the gesture of one bloom to the other. I remember making this gesture myself on a street in New Orleans, when I knew I had found my husband.