Catherine's Story

photo of Catherine McKinnon steering and sailing on her wooden schooner Comet II

Born in Halifax and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where we McKinnons have deep roots, I create my paintings in the studio loft of a reclaimed 19th century barn. In fact, rescuing "The Barn" from the wrecking ball, dismantling its post-and-beam structure and then reassembling it here in Purcells Cove is by far the largest scale art/architectural project I have undertaken to date!

My style of painting is loosely representational, verging on semi-abstract. Working primarily with oil paint and occasionally watercolours, I strive to capture the pared down essence of subjects found on sea and on land in this coastal province of Nova Scotia, situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
After completing my studies in Drawing and Painting at Rhode Island School of Design in 2009, I moved back home to beautiful Purcells Cove near Halifax and spend the warm weather seasons sailing these waters on our wooden schooner, Comet II. The sights we see from our decks provide inspiration for many of my paintings.

My latest paintings can be viewed by appointment in my gallery, located in the lower level of "The Barn". To arrange your visit, please contact me by email:; by phone/text: 1-902-456-1654; or by Instagram DM.

I am currently accepting commissions for 2024.