Melissa McKinnon: Artist

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


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Honoured To Be An Inspiration: My Tree Paintings Interpreted By 8-9 Year Old Students Half-way Around the World In Canterbury, England

This morning I received the most beautiful letter that made my heart soar!

I’ve had classes research my work and use my paintings as inspiration for various projects in the past but I just had to share this one! The sheer volume of work, attention to detail and the depth of exploration and experimentation with materials is phenomenal – AND these artists are only 8 and 9 years old!!!

Aren’t these kids amazing!?!

I also want to acknowledge and thank Miss Apps for choosing my work as an inspiration. (It’s not every day that I get chosen over Monet and Picasso!) Her students are very lucky to have such a dedicated teacher who is passionate about the arts and who encourages her students to express themselves creatively. That is the greatest gift! Cheers to you, Miss Apps!

A mixed media piece.

A mixed media piece.

A letter from Miss Apps:

“My name is Roxanne Apps and I am a primary school teacher in Canterbury, Kent (England) and I teach a class of 30 8-9 year olds. For the last 2 weeks we have had what we call ‘Arts Week’ in our school, where each class is required to pick an artist and base all of their work around that one artist for 2 weeks. 

Most classes pick a classic artist such as Monet or Picasso but this year I decided to choose a contemporary artist for a change. I browsed the internet with my class for a creative contemporary artist with a set ‘theme’ that could inspire our work. We stumbled upon your website and instantly fell in love with your paintings (in fact I have become a bit obsessed!). We immediately decided to choose you as our inspiration.

We quickly set about gathering ideas for how we could recreate and interpret your work in our own individual ways. We made oil pastel pictures with black backgrounds and chalk birch trees, we made finger painted leaves with newspaper trees and we also wrote poems about how the colours of the trees make us feel or what they remind us of. There were many other things but it is too much to list! Our favourite piece of all was our joint class canvas. We used thick paints and glue sticks to create the leaves and used masking tape to create the outline of the trees before we scraped card dipped in black paint across to create the effect of the bark on the birch trees. Each child had a go at adding on the layers of leaves and we think you will agree that the finished result looks pretty amazing! 

At the end of the 2 weeks all the children and teachers worked hard to display our work in an exhibition in the school hall. Parents and members of the public were welcomed to come and peruse our artwork and also to buy some of it. The exhibition is still going and all of the money raised will go to a local charity that supports young adults with Downs Syndrome. 

Hundreds of people have turned up over the last few days to look at our beautiful exhibition and many commented on how lovely the work turned out. People were especially intrigued to hear about your work and commented on how stunning your paintings were! It was a nice change from all of the classic artists which surrounded us in the school exhibition. My class’ work sold like hot cakes and I believe this is because they were so passionate about your work that this was reflected in their beautiful pictures. 

I hope you are pleased to know that you have inspired little people who live thousands of miles away (and their teacher!) with your absolutely gorgeous paintings! The class are aware that I am writing to you and would love to hear a comment back from you if you have the time. 

I have copied and pasted some pictures of our hard work and also of the exhibition to show you what you have inspired us to create! 

I hope you enjoy looking through them!

Yours,

Roxanne Apps (Miss Apps)
Teacher and English Coordinator
Wincheap Primary School
Canterbury, Kent”

Aspen and birch tree paintings by 8 & 9 year old students in Canterbury, Kent, England

Aspen and birch tree paintings by 8 & 9 year old students in Canterbury, Kent, England

My Response Letter To the Class:

Dear Miss Apps and the very creative and hard working students of Wincheap Primary School,

Thank you so much for choosing my paintings to inspire you during Art Week.

I am SO proud of all you!

The paintings you created are so beautiful and creative. I love how you used different materials to create variations of your tree paintings, each one is unique and in your own style. I especially loved reading the poems that you wrote to accompany your paintings, beautifully done.

You must have worked very hard to create all of those works of art and I commend you for it! Above all, I hope that you had fun while doing it!

Making art is not about being born with talent, it is about being happy while you create. It’s about being dedicated and passionate about what you create. It’s about making art even if others (or yourself!) tell you it’s not worth it or it’s not good enough. Not everyone has to like what you create. Do what makes you happy and share it with the world, you never know who might see what you create and be inspired by it! 😉 (Like a class full of young artists from halfway around the world!)

Whatever you do, don’t stop creating!

I heard that your art exhibition was a huge success, congratulations! If you have any paintings left for sale, I would love to purchase one for my studio.

I also love that you are donating all of the proceeds to charity. I am a big believer in giving back to your community and I donate artwork to various charity fundraisers throughout the year. It’s a wonderful way to use your passion for art to help others.

Thank you again for sharing your beautiful artwork and poetry with me. I can’t tell you how happy it made me.

I wish all the best and please keep in touch. I’d love to see what you create next!

Creatively yours,

Melissa McKinnon

Aspen and birch tree paintings by 8 & 9 year old students in Canterbury, Kent, England inspired by Melissa McKinnon

Aspen and birch tree paintings by 8 & 9 year old students in Canterbury, Kent, England inspired by Melissa McKinnon

Poetry inspired by their tree paintings.

Poetry inspired by their tree paintings.

The inspiration…

The inspiration…

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Watch My Paintings Featured on The Marilyn Denis Show with Aly Velji Designs – The Best of Home Decor and Interior Design Products In Alberta

In case you missed it…

Here is the segment featuring my painting that aired last week on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV .

 Aly Velji did a fantastic job sharing his favourite artists and home decor products from his home Province of Alberta!

http://www.marilyn.ca/AtHome/segments/Daily/April2015/4_2_2015/FabFindsAlberta

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Interior design guru, Aly Velji, on the Marilyn Denis Show

Here are the paintings that were featured on the show:

“Summer Came and Never Left” 48″x36″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas

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“Summer Came and Never Left” 48″x36″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas

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“Summer Came and Never Left” 48″x36″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas (Detail Image)

and this brand new painting, fresh off the easel in 2015…

“Colour Fest” 24″x24″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas

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“Colour Fest” 24″x24″ Acrylic Painting on Canvas

To purchase these paintings or to commission a custom work of art, please contact me directly.

Worldwide shipping is available.

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My unique painting technique focuses on combining bright colours, thick layered texture, and intricate patterns throughout each painting.

To see more of my paintings available for purchase, please visit my PAINTING GALLERY.

To learn more about the process of commissioning a painting with me, CLICK HERE or send me an EMAIL.

To be the first to hear about new paintings, works in progress and news from my studio, 

Sign Up For My EMAIL NEWSLETTER!

Click To Subscribe: http://eepurl.com/rqj-L

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Artist Melissa McKinnon with her newest painting in her aspen / birch tree collection. “Inside Peace” 60″x48″ Acrylic on Canvas

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My Abstract Painting Featured in Bead Style Magazine – May 2015 – “A Colorful Painting Inspires A Wearable Work of Art”

Look for the May issue of Beadstyle Magazine – on stands April 7th!

My painting “Passion” is featured in the article “A Colorful Painting Inspires A Wearable Work of Art” – Page 57.

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Bead Style Magazine – May 2015 – Featuring “A Colorful Painting Inspires A Wearable Work of Art” – Page 57

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SOLD
“Passion” 60″x60” Acrylic Painting on Canvas

 Jewelry artist Christine Smith saw my paintings online and felt inspired by the bright and vibrant colours of “Passion” 60″x60″. As a result she created this beautiful necklace inspired by the painting.

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Necklace designed by Christine Smith inspired by the painting titled, “Passion” by Calgary Artist Melissa McKinnon

Follow the tutorial in the magazine article to learn how to make your own version of this necklace!

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Detail of the necklace designed by Christine Smith inspired by the painting titled, “Passion” by Calgary Artist Melissa McKinnon

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Detail of the necklace designed by Christine Smith inspired by the painting titled, “Passion” by Calgary Artist Melissa McKinnon

***

My unique painting technique focuses on combining bright colours, thick layered texture, and intricate patterns throughout each painting.

To see more of my paintings available for purchase, please visit my PAINTING GALLERY.

To learn more about the process of commissioning a painting with me, CLICK HERE or send me an EMAIL.

To be the first to hear about new paintings, works in progress and news from my studio, 

Sign Up For My EMAIL NEWSLETTER!

Click To Subscribe: http://eepurl.com/rqj-L

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9 Reasons To Buy A Painting – A Fantastic Article From Houzz

Why Buy An Original Painting vs. Prints?
Here are 9 Fantastic Reasons From Houzz That Will Change the Way You Buy Art

There’s no doubt that buying prints and posters is fun (and affordable) — but there’s a lot to be said for saving up for a piece of one-of-a-kind art. If you’ve been sticking with framed prints, let these 10 reasons tempt you into your neighborhood gallery to peruse the paintings instead.

1. Buying a painting supports the artist directly. Painters pour their hearts into their work, and it can be difficult to make ends meet in such a labor-intensive and competitive field. Enrich your home and feel good knowing your purchase is helping to support a local artist by shopping at local galleries.

2. Paintings are tactile. A print’s surface can never match the luscious textural variations of a painting. Whether done on canvas, wood or mottled watercolor paper, original paintings have a touchable quality that sets them apart.

3. Paintings are perfect for renters. If you rent, it can be difficult to personalize your space when you’re not allowed to paint the walls or make certain other changes. But hang a painting or two, and the space instantly feels more you. And unlike bulky pieces of furniture, a painting will fit in any home you live in, making it a wiser investment if you move frequently.

4. Paintings are one of a kind.There’s something satisfying about having a piece of unique artwork in your home.

5. Paintings are handmade. Like handmade knits, hand-thrown pottery and handcrafted furniture, paintings show the hand of their maker. This quality brings richness and personality to the home — factory-made furniture and slickly printed posters simply cannot compete.

6. A painting can make the room. A painting begs to be the focal point of a room. Whether your artistic taste runs to the bold and graphic or to vintage landscapes, the painting you choose is bound to have a big impact on your space — I can’t think of another thing that has such an ability to bring that wow factor to a room.

7. Paintings make a house feel like home. Paintings you’ve owned for a while become like old friends. Simply pulling out your paintings and putting them up can make any space, no matter where you are, feel like home — even more so if you happen to have paintings handed down to you from your parents or grandparents.

8. Paintings inspire. Looking at a painting you love refreshes your spirit. Why not give yourself the gift of daily inspiration by saving up for a small painting you adore?

9. Curating your own art gallery is fun! Will you find yourself drawn to pastels, portraits, still lifes or landscapes? Representative art or abstract? Choosing paintings helps hone your personal aesthetic. And let’s face it, being the curator of your own personal art gallery is a really fun job.

Read the original article on Houzz.

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

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Art Marketing: Crafting A Brand You Believe In With Melissa McKinnon (As Featured on Heather Allen Online)

Earlier this year I was interviewed by author and art marketing guru Heather Allen for her new book “Let Your Creativity Work For You”. Chapter 8 is all about me and how I approach art marketing and branding for my creative business.

In preparation for her book launch in November, I have been featured on her WEBSITE & BLOG:

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Interview with Melissa McKinnon: Crafting A Brand You Believe In

“Melissa McKinnon is a Canadian artist with a recognizable style. Using a palette knife, she shapes acrylic paint on canvas to create almost magical scenes. She describes herself as a “Mother of two spirited girls,” who loves to paint in vibrant colors and thick textures.

Melissa is featured in my book in Chapter 8, “Crafting a Brand You Believe In.” Having yet to meet her in person, let me tell you how her brand introduced us online…

If you’ve ever used a Google keyword search to find images, you’ll be able to visualize this scenario. While browsing the Google image search results for “handmade cards” and “artist thank you cards,” one picture managed to stop me in my scrolling tracks.

A crisp, clean image of four vertical greeting cards standing boldly against a clean white background looked like something out of a magazine. Just a few images to the right, the same style and vivid colors with white borders against a black background connected the dots and created a lingering impression.

The colors and contrast caught my eye. But the professionally executed photography is what drew me in and elicited a “click.” The image led to a webpage that was equally crisp, clean, and bold. Bright blotches of pure hue saturated the site of independent artist, Melissa McKinnon, who paints and sells out of her home studio in Alberta, Canada.

Interview-with-MELISSA-MCKINNON

Melissa’s images, paired with my Google search terms, introduced us in the right place at the right time. Someone like me—not necessarily searching for artwork at the time—happened upon her website as a result of what I like to call, “Search Serendipity.”

The connection to Melissa’s artwork could have ended right there in the search browser. Instead, the images opened the door for Melissa to gain a new admirer and for me to have another chapter case study.

Here’s what every artist needs to know about branding:

A brand is more than a logo design. In fact, a brand is created from many cohesive elements, much like your artwork. And, if we want to dip into a little analysis, we can divide branding into two categories: (1) explicit and visible branding, and (2)  implied and invisible branding. Both categories work together to open doors and represent you exceptionally well.

And here’s the good news: As an artist, you already have a recognizable and consistent style in your art. So, rather than spinning wheels to come up with a brand style, use your artwork as the baseline for your branding. Here’s where your brand can come to life:

VISIBLE BRANDING

  • your marketing materials and collateral
  • any digital marketing (including your website and social media accounts)
  • your photographs and images of your artwork
  • the fonts and graphics you use in your communications
  • the packaging and/or framing that puts your work on a pedestal
  • your materials, style and craftsmanship
INVISIBLE BRANDING

  • the vision you have for your art business
  • your driving mission that fuels you in creating your work and sharing it with the world
  • the way you interact with people and the business principles that keep you grounded
  • the type of news and press you receive; your overall public relations strategy
  • your pricing strategy and place of sale (which form an impression on buyers)
  • Branding elevates your artwork and opens doors!

    The professional approachability communicated by Melissa’s website, paired with the branding consistency across all of her social media platforms (FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest) quickly converted me from being a mere website viewer just moments earlier to being a fan.

    Melissa’s brand is explicitly stated through her stylized graphics, fonts, and online presence; it is a reflection of her artistic style. Her brand is implicitly shared through her communications, customer relationships, and the thoughtfulness that goes into every detail making her brand a reflection of her personality too.

    So valued reader, use branding to create an irresistible first impression. Creating a well-packaged brand that gives attention to both your artwork and to you as the artist makes a world of difference to prospective buyers, especially those who find your artwork online. Use your artwork and style to inform your brand thoughtfully, and you’ll stand out from the crowd!” ~ Heather Allen

     

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    Interview with Melissa McKinnon Contemporary Canadian Landscape Artist

    The book, “Let Your Creativity Work For You” is available for pre-sale now and will be available in November 2015. (Please note that I do not receive any monetary compensation from the sale or promotion of the book.)

    ***

    To see more of my paintings available for purchase, please visit my PAINTING GALLERY.

    To learn more about the process of commissioning a painting with me, CLICK HERE or send me an EMAIL.

    To be the first to hear about new paintings, works in progress and news from my studio, 

    Sign Up For My EMAIL NEWSLETTER!

    Click To Subscribe: http://eepurl.com/rqj-L

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    Contemporary Canadian Landscape Artist Melissa McKinnon

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