Melissa McKinnon: Artist

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

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A Personal Look Into My Creative Process and Inspiration for Two New Aspen and Birch Tree Paintings – From Contemporary Landscape Artist Melissa McKinnon

6 Comments

New Paintings and a Personal Look Into My Creative Process and Inspiration

I don’t normally share much about the inspiration behind each of my paintings; I want the viewer to have their own personal connection with my art, allowing the paintings to speak for themselves.

That being said, these paintings have become very special to me and symbolic of how I want to live my life and the impact I wish for my art to have on others. To give you a glimpse into my thoughts, and the process that I go through in my studio when I’m not painting, I’ve taken an excerpt from my sketchbook writing and I’ve expanded upon it below. Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts with me, I’d love hear your response. As always, I hope my art brings you happiness and joy!

If you’d like to skip the chatter below, feel free to dive deep into the paintings right away.

PAINTING GALLERY

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Paintings in progress – “With Wild Abandon” and “Love Is Love”

June was a busy month, full of year end school activities with my daughters and finishing my studio works in progress in preparation for our new summer schedule.

June was also a time of unrest in many parts of the world. War, terror attacks, mass shootings, the list goes on. In a time of uncertainty, divisiveness, and constant change in the world, it’s more important than ever to seek moments of peace and positivity in our lives. As humans sharing this great big planet we call home, we are all connected, regardless of age, race, gender or religion. When others are suffering, we are all affected.

I was in the studio painting when I first heard about the mass shooting at Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida. It stopped me cold in my tracks.  I was overcome with sadness, worry and a deep feeling of helplessness. Another mass shooting…another horrific senseless tragedy…more precious lives lost. It’s challenging, to say the least, to keep moving forward and to stay positive and optimistic in the wake of such tragedy.

For me, creating art is my way of making sense of the world. In times of darkness or sadness, I can go into the studio and lose myself in the paint. The sheer act of creating brings me joy. Often it’s less about the end product and more about the the journey of the creative process to find that source of joy and uplifting positive energy.

I’ve learned that looking at art and experiencing it first hand has the ability to change ones emotional state in the same way it does while creating it. I’ve witnessed people brought to tears while standing in front of a painting, myself included. Art has the ability to connect people and to change people.

My aim is to create works of art that connect with people. Paintings that are full of life and positive energy, that uplift and inspire. The greatest compliment I could ever receive as an artist is that one of my paintings made someone happy just by looking at it. How powerful is that?! I think we could all use more positive experiences like this in our lives.

“Melissa, we received our painting today and it’s gorgeous, even more beautiful than we saw online. The colours are so bright and cheerful, it makes me happy every time I look at it. Your painting has brought such joy to our home. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” A+G

That brings me to latest creations and how they’ve become a metaphor for life…

Originally started over a year ago, these particular canvases were soon left behind only half finished, as my attention was devoted to commissioned pieces and managing the deadlines of a busy studio.

Colourful Aspen Trees Birch Tree Forest Nature Art Painting by Canadian Contemporary Landscape Artist Painter Melissa McKinnon, Aspen tree art painting; Birch Tree Painting; Birch Tree Art; Art of Alberta; Western art; Canadian Western Art; Western artist; western painting; abstract landscape painting; abstract tree painting; Aspen Tree Art; Aspen Tree Paintings; bright colourful art; Autumn trees; Fall trees; Red art painting; green art painting; blue art painting; orange art painting; turquoise art painting; black and white art painting; purple art painting; yellow art painting; aqua art painting; Calgary artist; Canadian artist; Alberta Landscape Painter; art, paintings, Contemporary Art, Landscape Painting, Wall art, interior design, design inspiration, home decor, interior designer, paintings for sale, Decor, Interior design ideas, interior design inspiration, Calgary interior designer, interior design Calgary, Home, design, decor inspiration, interior styling, modern home, style, interiors, modern decor, home inspiration, interior decorating, Art In The Home, art, wall art, wall decor, modern art, fine art,Contemporary Alberta Artist; Alberta Landscape Painting; Calgary paintings; Calgary Fine Art gallery; Calgary; Alberta; Canada; Canadian Rocky Mountains; Banff; Canmore; Autumn aspen birch tree painting; colourful paintings; colourful art; tree art; colourful artwork; aspen tree; birch tree; artist to collect; original paintings; landscape paintings; oil paintings; acrylic paintings; tree paintings; paintings of trees; abstract paintings; abstract art; wall art; wall decor; modern; contemporary; fine art; art; art gallery; contemporary landscape painting; contemporary landscape artist; contemporary art; contemporary painting; aspen artist; Melissa Mckinnon; Aspen paintings; Aspen tree art; Aspen tree artist; Autumn Aspens; Autumn birches; Aspens; Autumn leaves; Birches; Big paintings; large paintings; impasto; thick paint; paintings with texture; palette knife; birch art; birch paintings; landscape painting commission; Painting Commission; Commission artist painter; custom painting; Aspen fine art; Colorado art; Colorado paintings; Colorado artist; Ontario artist; bright colors; bright painting; colourful painting; colourful; paintings for sale; home decor trends; art gallery; Decor; Interior design ideas; interior design inspiration; interior design; 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 art; birch paintings; lanscape painting commission; fine art; Aspen fine art; fall trees; fall; fall landscape.

“Love Is Love” Painting in progress – the ‘before’.

Fast forward to June 2016, when I rediscovered the paintings.  They were dark, dull and lifeless. I no longer felt a connection to them and that wasn’t the message I wanted to send out into the world.

Hearing the news of yet another mass attack on innocent people was heartbreaking. Like many others, I felt overwhelmed and full of sadness for the world. The ray of light that day was the incredible amount of love and support that was shown from people all over the world standing in solidarity with the victims and their families. People not afraid to voice their opinion and stand up for those they love. Because love is love. The one thing we all need more of in this world, is love.

With that as my inspiration and driving force I completed the paintings, giving them new life. I put everything I had that day into these pieces.They have been completely transformed, from dull and dark to gloriously brilliant and full of unabashed colour. You can still see bits and pieces of the dark underneath but they now stand tall and proud, offering a bright beacon of light where once there was only only darkness.

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Love is in the air!

So, I have to share this with you…! This is a close up detail of one of the paint strokes in “With Wild Abandon”. In this process, I use a palette knife loaded with a selection of various colours and as I ‘pull the stroke’ the colours blend and create the varied blends and texture. The result is spontaneous, always different and could never be duplicated. It’s one of the things I love most about this series – each and every stroke is unique and beautiful in it’s own way. 

Do you see the heart?

It was completely a serendipitous ‘happy accident’ but once I saw it I had to leave it! It’s become a symbol of everything these paintings and my work as a whole, stands for.

With that, I’m pleased to present the two newest paintings in my aspen and birch tree collection, “Wild With Abandon” and “Love is Love”. May they fill your heart with happiness and joy.

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“With Wild Abandon” 48″x36″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas $3450

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“Love Is Love” 36”x48″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas $3450

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“With Wild Abandon” {Detail} 48″x36″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas

Colourful Aspen Trees Birch Tree Forest Nature Art Painting by Canadian Contemporary Landscape Artist Painter Melissa McKinnon, Aspen tree art painting; Birch Tree Painting; Birch Tree Art; Art of Alberta; Western art; Canadian Western Art; Western artist; western painting; abstract landscape painting; abstract tree painting; Aspen Tree Art; Aspen Tree Paintings; bright colourful art; Autumn trees; Fall trees; Red art painting; green art painting; blue art painting; orange art painting; turquoise art painting; black and white art painting; purple art painting; yellow art painting; aqua art painting; Calgary artist; Canadian artist; Alberta Landscape Painter; art, paintings, Contemporary Art, Landscape Painting, Wall art, interior design, design inspiration, home decor, interior designer, paintings for sale, Decor, Interior design ideas, interior design inspiration, Calgary interior designer, interior design Calgary, Home, design, decor inspiration, interior styling, modern home, style, interiors, modern decor, home inspiration, interior decorating, Art In The Home, art, wall art, wall decor, modern art, fine art,Contemporary Alberta Artist; Alberta Landscape Painting; Calgary paintings; Calgary Fine Art gallery; Calgary; Alberta; Canada; Canadian Rocky Mountains; Banff; Canmore; Autumn aspen birch tree painting; colourful paintings; colourful art; tree art; colourful artwork; aspen tree; birch tree; artist to collect; original paintings; landscape paintings; oil paintings; acrylic paintings; tree paintings; paintings of trees; abstract paintings; abstract art; wall art; wall decor; modern; contemporary; fine art; art; art gallery; contemporary landscape painting; contemporary landscape artist; contemporary art; contemporary painting; aspen artist; Melissa Mckinnon; Aspen paintings; Aspen tree art; Aspen tree artist; Autumn Aspens; Autumn birches; Aspens; Autumn leaves; Birches; Big paintings; large paintings; impasto; thick paint; paintings with texture; palette knife; birch art; birch paintings; landscape painting commission; Painting Commission; Commission artist painter; custom painting; Aspen fine art; Colorado art; Colorado paintings; Colorado artist; Ontario artist; bright colors; bright painting; colourful painting; colourful; paintings for sale; home decor trends; art gallery; Decor; Interior design ideas; interior design inspiration; interior design; 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 art; birch paintings; lanscape painting commission; fine art; Aspen fine art; fall trees; fall; fall landscape.

“With Wild Abandon” {Detail} 48″x36″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas

Inspired by this painting?

To purchase “With Wild Abandon” or “Love Is Love” please contact me here.

Worldwide shipping is available.

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Author: Melissa Mckinnon Artist

I am a Canadian artist and mother of two beautiful, spirited and loving girls, living and working in Calgary, Alberta. I love to paint large scale acrylic paintings with vibrant color and thick texture. To see my work, visit my website and blog at: www.melissamckinnon.wordpress.com

6 thoughts on “A Personal Look Into My Creative Process and Inspiration for Two New Aspen and Birch Tree Paintings – From Contemporary Landscape Artist Melissa McKinnon

  1. Hi Melissa Really like the LOVE is LOVE painting ! IS that where the small heart appeared in the painting?

    thx

    Monika Siebert, DID Colourist + Designer HAUS Couture (403) 650-1514 http://www.hauscouture.design

    Confidentiality Warning: This message and any attached documents are only for use of the intended recipient(s), are confidential and may contain privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use retransmission, or other disclosure is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and then delete the original message. Thank you.

    • Thanks Monika! The heart appears on “With Wild Abandon”. Both paintings are full of love, positive energy and have become poignant pieces in my collection. The spontaneous heart is pure magic, I thought of you right away!

  2. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your process and inspiration. Your work brings the world much needed joy.

    All the best, Tami

    >

  3. I just discovered your site through Pinterest. I am LOVING your work. This is not the style that I paint in myself (obviously not everyone can do it) but I adore pallet knife paintings and work with bright colors and textures like this! I look forward to exploring your work and website!

  4. Hi Melissa!
    I’m very fond of your paintings of landscapes but I would like to know how you create the clouds/sky. I’ve tried figuring it out but my clouds don’t look right…please tell us how you paint your clouds and sky.
    Thank you.

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