Over the past several years Mladenoff has concentrated on mixed-media oil painting, flashe/gouache, and watercolor by delving into ideas of natural history, botany, entomology, ornithology, geography, and history as they relate to contemporary culture. The current research involves the work of early American woman naturalists, earth and animal scientists, explorers, outlaws, musicians and athletes who lived during the 18th through 20th centuries. The paintings are a metaphorical classification of female mentors/alter egos that is grounded in the past but can be relevant to present concerns in contemporary painting. Through the work, Mladenoff learns about the history and lives of American women who were driven to make significant accomplishments beyond wife and mother, against a considerably unsupportive culture. The imagery that is created reflects her conceptual, philosophical, and psychological interests that engage with issues in contemporary art.