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"Paint for you” says painter and photographer RFM McInnis.

Painting Perter Pocklington in Edmonton, 1981

"Paint what is in you to give. Don’t aim it. Paint for you” 

Written by Lebene Mawuu, AGA Intern

Authenticity is vital to McInnis who says that when art is not made from passion, it becomes simply commercialism, and loses much of its value. “When art lacks passion, it becomes less genuine, and the quality of work tends to diminish,” McInnis states with dismay.

When asked about what the artist's role in society, McInnis had a surprising response: he firmly stated that art shouldn’t be aimed at society at all.  Instead, “art should be liberated from the artist's inner passions and inner being, without a thought for society.” Interestingly this renowned artist, despite having sold countless artworks, believes that an artist’s purpose shouldn’t be for society to accept their artwork, nor for it to sell. Instead, the aim should be that they create out their emotions, staying true to their authenticity.


With Leo Mole (and AY Jackson, our mutual friend)), Winnipeg, 2008



McInnis’ own passion for art has been brewing for as long as he can recall. At the age of just five-years-old, he would sit in his father’s restaurant in Grand Bay, New Brunswick drawing trains. With the encouragement of his elementary school principal, he began colouring-in wall paintings and Canadian historical scenes.

Despite later graduating with a diploma in fine and applied arts in 1961 from the Art Department of Saint John Vocational School, McInnis’ career path took a turn when he became a news reporter for the Saint John Evening Times Globe and Telegraph Journal. This opportunity developed his interest in photography, which he felt called to study further. He spent at a year gaining basic training in photography through the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1962.

Here McInnis found a way to turn his artistic passion into a viable career. “You could not make a living from art; from photography, you could” McInnis muses about his options at the time.

McInnis says that producing art has always come naturally to him “I was a failure at most other things due to lack of interest, poor memory and being single-minded toward art.” When there is no passion when working towards a project or gaining a skill, it's better for an artist to focus on what really drives them to create. 


Portrait of Maureen McTeer, Calgary 1982


His current studio is a bedroom in a senior’s residence in Montreal which overlooks the city. Yet, that creative drive is still a force in his life, and he still cherishes that moment “when intent and personal vision meet in the final result.”

“A painting is finished when one more brushstroke would be one too many, and one less would be too few,” says RFM.

RFM McInnis currently has seventeen art pieces available for rent and purchase at Art Rentals & Sales on the lower level of the AGA! Have a look today!





April 03, 2019


Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-5pm
Sunday: closed


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2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2C1