Composite Experiments

For the past 10 years I had been working with carbon and glass fiber in my day job. I needed to find a way to bring fibers into what I was making. I missed the texture and the challenge. By experimenting with the two dimensional nature of the canvas by creating a texture that gently lifts off the canvas the eye has more paths to take.

I incorporated polyester and polymers into the surface of the painting to represent the layers of this well established perennial garden that surrounded the lily and added to the effect of morning light on the garden. The layers also represent the changing role I will play in the life of my daughter as time passes. The focus is still the red lily but there is more than just the petals and the bloom. 

Materials Science includes the study of metals. Electronic materials fascinate me for a myriad of reasons. The behavior of electrons commands endless fascination and study. As I started recording my painting observations in an engineering notebook I felt compelled to pursue a study of materials using the scientific method. In this series I combined my love of texture and composites with my fascination for electronic materials, specifically copper.

Copper Experiments (4) 8”x10”

Copper Experiment detail Copper Experiment Detail  Copper Experiments

In an effort to explore varying texture and color I produced a series of denim experiments inspired by the moon as a mother figure.

Denim 1 Denim II

Denim III Denim IV


During two different times in my engineering studies I had the opportunity to research water purification. The more I learned the more concerned I became. These paintings are a response to my concern about our water supply.   


Living in the United States, we seldom feel the pain of true water scarcity. It is often a seasonal phenomenon resulting in nothing more drastic than the banning of watering our lawns, but the problem is growing.

Water Pollution, 8"x10" Melissa Muehleisen, 2019 Water Pollution, 8"x10" Melissa Muehleisen, 2019


Water Pollution, 8"x10" Melissa Muehleisen, 2019 Water Pollution, 8"x10" Melissa Muehleisen, 2019