Literature Inspired Composite Paintings

Ocean Triptych inspired by Henry Beston's The Outermost House

Ocean Triptych by Melissa Muehleisen, polyester organza, acrylic and polymer on canvas, 2019


The Wave by Melissa Muehleisen, 18"x24"

"Two thirds of a mile out, the wave is still a sea vibration, a billow. Slice it across, and its outline will be that of a slightly flattened semicircle... the last shape of sea inhabited by the pulse." (Henry Beston, The Outermost House)


Ocean Energy by Melissa Muehleisen, 12"x24"

"...the wave crashes, its mass of glinting blue falling down in a confusion of seething, splendid white.." (Henry Beston, The Outermost House)


Water Shoals by Melissa Muehleisen, 18"x24"

"Within thirty-five feet the water shoals from two feet to dry last moment of energy and beauty and then vanish all at once into the sands" (Henry Beston, The Outermost House)

In the Ocean Triptych the multilayered composite approach to building up the surface of the canvas has multiple advantages. The layers of fabric add a texture to canvas, creating a surface that makes you want to reach out and touch. Additionally, because organza is translucent, layers show through the layers on top and by combining colors and layers of color an iridescence property is established. The effects of color are discussed by Faber Birren in his Principles of Color, 1987.


Seagull Triptych inspired by Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

"Well this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anybody who wanted to discover it; that's got nothing to do with time. We're ahead of the fashion maybe. Ahead of the way that most gulls fly."

- Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull 


"Who is more responsible than a gull who finds and follows a meaning, a higher purpose for life?" (Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull)


"For each of them, the most important thing in living was to reach out and touch perfection in that which they most loved to do and that was to fly." (Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull)



"...he had a blazing drive to learn to fly... a blurred gray shape roaring out of a dive." (Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull)