Melissa McKinnon: Artist

Melissa McKinnon is a Contemporary Canadian Landscape Artist living and painting in Calgary, AB.

The 3 Stages of My Love Affair with Painting


I have a love / hate relationship with each and every one of my paintings. It’s a vicious circle and this is what it looks like:


Like all new relationships, my love affair with a blank canvas begins with excitement, butterflies in my stomach and limitless fantasies of how wonderful our future will be. The lust stage. It’s the feeling that nothing this special or profound has ever existed before. This love (the new painting) will be unlike all the others that have come before it.

This lasts until I get to the point where I absolutely hate the piece that I am working on and I convince myself that I have ruined it beyond all hope. This happens every time.

This is when my painting and I take a break. Sometimes our break-up lasts overnight and sometimes for several weeks.

But like a moth to a flame we always reunite.


Inspired and excited once again, we join in passion and creativity. There are always challenges, but we persevere and learn to work through them. This is the trust building, love stage.


Nonetheless, there comes a point when the painting is almost finished and I find myself holding back, hesitant to put paint to canvas. This is the commitment (or fear of commitment) stage. The point when you have to make a decision; flake out and give-up or to plunge in headfirst and just go for it. It’s always scary at first, but once I commit, it’s incredible, and it’s like the painting completes itself. From that moment on I am forever in love with that painting.

I am currently working on 5 new paintings for the new year and I am in a different stage of love with each one…and I’m loving every minute!

“I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.” – Jackson Pollock
"Tonight I Dream In Color" (Close-up detail of texture) 48 x 60 Acrylic on Canvas

“Tonight I Dream In Color” (Close-up detail of texture) 48 x 60 Acrylic on Canvas

Calgary artist, Calgary painter, original paintings, landscape paintings, acrylic paintings, birch tree acrylic paintings, oil paintings, tree paintings, aspen tree acrylic paintings, art, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff, Canmore, lake louise, Edmonton, artist, painter, professional painter, contemporary landscape painting, contemporary landscape artist, contemporary art, contemporary painting, aspen artist, Aspen paintings, Aspen art, Aspen painter, Aspen tree forest painting, birch tree painting, birch tree paintings, Autumn Aspen trees, Aspen forest, Aspen landscape, Aspen tree art, Aspen tree artist, Aspen tree paintings, Autumn, Autumn Aspens, Autumn birches, Aspens, Autumn leaves, Birches, big aspen art, birch tree art, birch tree paintings, lanscape painting commission, fine art, Aspen fine art, painting inspiration, thick texture painting.

Author: Melissa Mckinnon Artist

I am a Canadian contemporary landscape artist. I love to paint large scale acrylic paintings with vibrant color and thick texture. To see my work, visit my website and blog at:

3 thoughts on “The 3 Stages of My Love Affair with Painting

  1. lol – that’s awesome!
    You’re working on 5 paintings at ONCE? My mind only seems capable of being in one creative place at a time. Do they at least fit together as a series? I’m so amazed.
    Thanks for sharing a window into how your process goes – it’s fun to see.

  2. I wrote on one of your cards today for a friend, and put a special note in there telling her to make sure she checks out your blog!

  3. Yes, 5 Paintings at once! 4 are in a series, one of which is nearing the “commitment” stage. The fifth painting and I are currently on a “break” – but I’m in love with it so I feel like we will reunite soon 😉

    Thank you for your support, I’m glad that you love my greeting cards!

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