Melissa Mary Jenkins
Hi, nice to meet you! Tell us about yourself and what you create.
I am Melissa Jenkins of Melissa Mary Jenkins Art. I paint abstract landscape paintings for the boho modern home.
What was your AHA moment?
I was a high school teacher for several years before I began painting. I would say that I was always a creative person, from a musical and artistic family, but I didn’t begin painting till about 10 years ago. A good friend of mine and a very talented artist @kylahkussmannart began painting with me to help guide me through the loss of a pregnancy. I was immediately hooked on the magical feeling that arises from creating a piece of art.
Where do you draw your energy and inspiration from?
Inspired by natural surroundings, my paintings reflect the fluidity of the seasons and the movement of my soul in nature. I live in a lovely rural setting in an old stone farm house surrounded vibrant landscapes. My studio is framed by windows looking out onto dazzling golden fields, towering pine trees, a flourishing apple orchard and a natural pond. I embark on daily outdoor adventures with our twin girls and puppy named Mylo, in which we sketch the lines in nature and then warm up by our wood stove and translate our sketches into abstract landscape paintings. My paintings reflect the colours of the seasons, the lines of the hills surrounding our home and the trees dotting the horizon.
What are you go-to’s as far as podcasts, books or blogs?
I absolutely love listening to @littleyellowcouch podcast! I am also an avid reader of novels and often find quotes from the novels that I am reading that inspire my Instagram posts or paintings. As for blogs, I love following along with fellow Canadian artist @hollyyoung77 as she explores houses and designs that she is inspired by.
What is the most challenging part of running your business?
The most challenging part of running an art business is that I have struggled with Lyme Disease for several years, and even though I am finally in a healing phase, I struggle with energy. I have so many creative ideas floating around in my mind, but sometimes there just isn’t enough energy leftover to accomplish all my ideas.
What is your favorite part of running your business?
I absolutely love the thrill of accomplishing the dreams and goals that I set out for myself. I also cherish the friendships and connections that I have made with clients, shop owners and online artists and creatives.
What is the best advice that has been given to you?
The best advice that I have ever received is from my mom. She is a big believer in making dinner at the beginning of the day, so that no matter what happens (or what creative tangent that I embark on), you always have dinner made and therefore fuel for your mind and body.
What is your favorite thing about the handmade community?
I absolutely love that the handmade community is so supportive in my creative endeavours. I also value all of advice and help that I have received in running a creative business, but most of all, I appreciate the authenticity of the relationships that I have fostered.
Who are some people you admire or look up to in this community?
This is such a hard question to answer because the creative world is brimming with role models. I wholeheartedly admire Desha Peacock of @deshapeacock because she lives a life empowered by her dreams and works really hard to help others do the same.
I also admire Kayla Gale of @slow.season whose mantra is “open minds, open spaces and a slower season”. Each time that her posts pop up in my feed, I feel instant peace and a sense of simplistic beauty inspired by her figurative art.
If you could work on that one dream project, what would it be?
My dream project would be to work with an interior designer to have my art help create a boho modern space for clients.