I believe in Miracles

Miracles Portraits

Recently I started an ambitious painting with multiple portrait views based on the concept of joy. But then the world turned upside down. Life went from breezy days at the park, cookies at the grocery store with my kid and going out for draft beer and pizza with my husband to caution and shuttered businesses. I check the Hopkins COVID tally every night before bed, I can’t sleep if I don’t check it and I can’t sleep if I do. I can’t seem to focus on a painting about joy. 

Now is a time to focus on miracles and hope. My daughter is a miracle. There are at least 7 distinct reasons each giving her less than an 1% chance of conception and birth; she is my miracle. I never planned on having children. I didn’t think I could. Now I can’t imagine my life without her.  

Going Home, Melissa Muehleisen, 2020

As I progressed on the painting about joy I felt that my draftsmanship skills were lacking. Drawing, sadly, is actually a lot like riding a bike and if you have ever tried to ride a bike again as an adult after a decades long hiatus, you know what I mean. When I started my first engineering job we used bicycles to get around the 8 acre facility. I picked up a bike for the first time after 20 years and wow, the phrase like riding a bike took on a new meaning. It didn’t start smoothly. A few wobbly starts and learning to control speed made me wonder how I ever learned to do this the first time. After a little practice it came back. Drawing requires those rough starts too. After some practice it starts to come back, contours, shading and the ability to see scale start to come back. 

The unknowns around me, combined with my desire to increase my drawing skills led me to consider how to focus on miracles. So I started with the day my daughter was born. By starting with her first cry, her first nap, her first real clothes and her going home day, I kept my mind on miracles. 

Born 5 minutes, Melissa Muehleisen, 2020

I’m scared for our world. I’m scared for healthcare professionals and the man that used to help me get my grocery cart unloaded into my car while I wrangled a squirmy toddler. I’m scared for my sweet mail lady that is raising her young grandson. I’m scared for the garbage men and the farmers and the farm workers. I’m scared for the economy and my husbands job and my aging parents. But I believe in miracles. 

First Real Clothes, Melissa Muehleisen, 2020


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