Melissa McKinnon: Artist

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


Visit my NEW WEBSITE to see the most up to date selection of original paintings and prints on canvas.

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Contemporary Canadian Landscape Artist Melissa McKinnon

I am a Canadian artist, wife, and mother of two beautiful and spirited girls, based in Calgary, Alberta.

I create large-scale acrylic paintings with bold color and thick texture.

This is my creative website and blog, a place to share my artwork, my inspirations, as well as my personal artistic journey.

How it all began…

I have always been an artist at heart, drawing, painting and making a beautiful mess with whatever materials I could get my hands on. When I was 9 years old, sifting through my Grandma’s basement, I found an old set of oil paints. She let me have them and gave me free-reign to explore my creativity. It was an incredible gift, a “real” set of grown-up oil paints and brushes! From then on, while my friends were outside playing, I was at home watching old reruns of Bob Ross on PBS. With his inspiration in mind, I created my first landscape painting.

Many things have changed since I was 9 years old, but a few things have stayed the same –

my love of paint,

my need to create

and my desire for self-expression.

I have been painting and creating artwork ever since. It is my way of expressing myself and how I make sense of the world.


My children are my greatest creations and the biggest source of my inspiration.

They look at the world with fresh eyes – everything is new and exciting.

They are fearless and bold – expressing themselves freely without hesitation.

They see beauty in everything around them – they live in full color.

These are the qualities that I aspire to embody as an artist and express through my painting.


I paint with bold color and thick texture.

I mix each color by hand and apply the paint in thick layers to create depth and dimension. I sculpt and mold the paint using a variety of palette knives to apply the paint directly onto the canvas, creating a thick texture that can be felt as well as seen. The paint itself, up to one inch thick on the canvas, becomes a landscape that can be experienced and traveled by touch.

I want my paintings to come alive and be active on the canvas, to engage the viewer and bring them into the beautiful world that I have created.


For more information about me, my inspiration, or my process please contact me directly via email or the social media links below. I’d be happy to share my passion for creating art with you!

Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and participation is encouraged, so please leave me a comment below and let’s get to know each other!

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Painting In Progress – Over 4000 “marks” were applied to create this piece!
“Passion” 60″x60” Acrylic Painting on Canvas

40 thoughts on “ABOUT THE ARTIST

  1. A perfect morning, quiet, sunshine, coffe and your paintings to look at! Thank you for sharing them with me. Do you have any exhibits coming up in Calgary?


    • Thank you Kim!

      It’s a perfect morning for me too – a road trip through Southern Alberta with sketchbook in hand.

      I have a solo exhibition coming up in March 2014 and a group show at F2 in June. In the meantime you are welcome to view some of my work at TriYoga in downtown Calgary or book a time to visit my studio.

      Have a wonderful long weekend!

      All the best,

  2. So much joy in your work, love your color palette!

  3. hi, i really like your work, and i think that the way you paint birch trees is really inspiring. how do you paint them?? i am using your work as part of my art GCSE, because i am interested in trees. i was wondering if your work is abstract or realism, because i cant really tell! it looks like a mixture of both 🙂 i wish i could paint like you 😀

    • Hi Lola,

      Thank you for your message and for your interest in my paintings. I suppose you could describe my work as abstract realism. 😉
      Here is a brief artist bio that also describes my process:

      Melissa McKinnon is an internationally collected Canadian contemporary landscape artist living and painting in Calgary, Alberta. She creates original acrylic paintings with bold colour and thick texture. To create her contemporary landscapes, she sculpts and molds the paint using a variety of palette knives to apply the paint directly onto the canvas, creating a thick texture that can be felt as well as seen. The paint itself, up to one inch thick, becomes a landscape that can be experienced and traveled by touch. Her paintings come alive and are active on the canvas, engaging the viewer and inviting them into the beautiful world she has created.

      To see more of my work in progress and be the first to see new paintings as they become available, “LIKE” my Artist Page on Facebook:

      Good luck with the remainder of your studies and if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me again.

      All the best,


  4. Hi! I am doing an artist inspired furniture piece in my studio art class and I chose you and your work as my inspiration! I absolutely love your artwork and I think the way you apply the paint is so unique! Your color schemes are amazing and I love how you mix your warm and cool colors in your work! I was wondering if you have had any schooling and if you have a personal favorite piece. Are you okay with me “replicating” your style for my project? I would give all credit to you and it is not for sale or anything. I just wanted to get your okay before I went ahead and started! Thanks so much for sharing your artwork!!

    • I wanted to do you for an art project i am soppesed to write about you and recreate 2 art pieces using the technique you use which is dots. I need more information on how art affected your life and your painting style through the years please tell me i need help.

  5. In class its art week . my teacher chose you because you are still alive .Also your paintings are so amazing .

  6. hello! I’ve heard that your an preety amazing artist and I chose you for my art project and its on a bio and I have some questions…

    when were you born? Birth and date PLZ

  7. Love your art. What do you seal your paint with?

  8. Good Morning,

    I am looking to purchase art work. Where can I view yours? Afaf

    • Thank you for your message Afaf.

      You can view all of my current paintings available for purchase by clicking on the ‘Painting Gallery’ tab at the top of this site.

      I also specialize in custom painting commissions if there is a particular size or subject matter that you are interested in.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions or would like help selecting a painting.
      Take care,


  9. I will love to learn more techniques from you. Thank you in advance.

  10. I admire your work. It’s an extrodinary process you have. I can relate with my wood paintings. Well done!

  11. yr paintings r vivid in bold color with a striking effect that capture my heart.🐉

  12. I am currently studying GCSE art and design and my topic I have been given is the seasons. We have to choose analyise and interpret an artists work that we find connects to our theme and we find interesting. I found your work really inspiring and I have chosen to write about some of them . I was just wondering whether you could tell me what made you choose to paint trees and use this technique ? Thank you

  13. Hi, my name is Grace. I love your art and I am doing a canadian artist project and I was wondering if you could give me a little bit of a biography, like were you were born.
    Thanx yours truly Grace.

  14. I need a famous living artist for my homework…and I think I will choose you.😃

  15. When were you born? What are your parents’ names and jobs? What was your primary school? How many paintings have you created? Please answer these questions because I need them for a project. Thanks.

  16. your style is so distinctive…painting is a departure for me…from my life up to five years ago..I have dabbled and played and sold a few and am still changing…and love every piece I have ever created…wish I could find a niche for myself…as you have, that is so lovely I want to stay there…but I am a wanderer and always will be…I try to paint fast since I am seventy-one…

  17. Dear Melissa McKinnon,
    We had an art project to recreate a famous painting from a Canadian artist. For my project I chose to recreate one of your pieces. We also, to go with our art projects, had to make a slide show about the authors life. I was wondering if you could answer a couple questions for me.
    1. What is your birth date and where were you born. (Which hospital, and in which city)
    2. Do you have any stories from your childhood that lead to you becoming an artist?
    3. could you write a short summary about your childhood?
    4. Where did you go to school/what degree did you study for?
    5. What would you say are your influences or your style?
    Thank you so much, you are an amazing artist and I would be amazed to be able to have a chance to hear back from you!
    Lizzie 😉

  18. Hi Malissa,

    I am artist Mahfuza Beauty from Bangladesh . I love your style of painting and writing style of your portfolio .

  19. Hi i would just like to say , your work is amazing and I have chosen you a one of my artists for my GCSE art coursework. You are very inspiring. 🙂

  20. Hi, I love your work and am doing a project on you for school (called Art Speaks) and I need to some more info! Basic stuff, like year of birth and first inspiration. Thank you!!

  21. Hi Melissa! I am doing a project in my art class about a Canadian artist, and one thing I cannot find is your birthday! Could you please help me out?

  22. hey Melisaa! Im Diana in school I am doing a project in art where I pick an artist re create there painting and talk about them I am almost done but need a few facts on your birthday and your childhood and life. Is there any chance you can help me out?

  23. Hello Melissa! I am doing a Canadian artist project in school and I chose you. There are a few facts I could not find on the website. I was wondering if I could ask you some questions? Thanks!

  24. Beautiful work, such an inspiration!

  25. Hello, I am thinking of studying your work for my A level art project as i’m exploring abstract / expressionist landscapes. I wanted to ask what makes you choose landscapes such as the seaside and your reasonings behind your work – I think they are absolutely beautiful.

  26. Your paintings are beautiful!Have you had formal training?I am 53 years old and have begun painting this year,due to health concerns,it has really been a journey.but seeing how wonderful art can be is inspiring!Thank you!

  27. you paintings are amazing but I need to know when you was born so can u help me out please.

  28. I love to do the textures flowers or leaves like the ones on your birch trees, but I have tried everything to make them look good and round, but I just end up ruining the leaves. Any suggestions?

  29. hi Malissa i’m doing you for my art study and was wondering were I could find some more of your art work

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