Headwaters Inspired Profile: Melissa Jenkins


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Painting inspires me to see beauty in the mundane

Melissa Mary Jenkins knows how lucky she is to have a studio that looks out over the ever-changing Erin countryside.

“When I started painting, I looked to nature for inspiration,” said Jenkins. “My art studio has windows on three sides so I can study the trees, fields and sky every day. I’ve become much more observant and notice small details, even during times of year that aren’t necessarily pretty. Painting inspires me to see beauty in the mundane.”

Walking her dog a few times a day reinforces Jenkins’ relationship to the landscape. It also gives her the opportunity to take pictures as reference for future paintings.

The landscape, by day and night

In addition to her nature paintings, Jenkins has created a series of night sky paintings, and in fact, held workshops to show others how to paint their own night skies. She notes her inspiration from Van Gogh who famously painted and wrote about the stars and night skies.

“I’ve done a few art workshops and am scheduled to do more”, said Jenkins. “I’ve helped both children and adults discover their painting talents. It’s rewarding to watch people loosen up and find real joy as they create their own art.”

Deep roots from a creative family

In her pursuit of an artistic life, Jenkins was very much influenced by her parents. “My parents were very musical and my mother went on to teach painting,” said Jenkins.

Today, she carries on the tradition with her twin daughters who both paint and play musical instruments.

A global and local audience

Jenkins’ work has found audiences around the world thanks to her Etsy store and Instagram posts. She has also displayed her work locally in shops such as Snowberry Botanicals in Erin.

“I’ve had notes from people saying that my paintings make them look at nature more closely,” said Jenkins. “I like that my art brings people back to the land.”

For Jenkins, creativity is the heart and soul of her existence. “When I paint, I delve into a world where there is no discipline, no structure and no ‘right’ way to do things. There is simply my canvas, my tools, my imagination and most importantly, my creative freedom.”