• Ian Mackenzie

Well, it is almost here. The first book that I have written. I cannot believe that I have done it. Just the hurdle of the final draft from the publishing company and the upload to Amazon and other online book business platforms. What could possibly go wrong?

The company have given me the launch date of the 10th of December and that is great, as the requests for Xmas stocking fillers will be fulfilled.

So, what is this book all about, I hear you ask?

At the beginning of the year, I sat down with a business guru named Paul Wakefield, who was looking at my art portfolio. He asked about my life story and how I came to paint the artwork I currently create. When he delved into my past and understood the reasons for my present thought process and lifestyle, he said that I must record this journey and write a book about it as it would inspire others.

This got me thinking and I started to hatch a plan. Was this another one of those crazy ideas I would have from time to time and result in a pile of unsightly notes and scribbles waiting to be filed away in the ‘to do’ draw for another day?

The question of who would really want to read a book about the stories that I have experienced, especially with my art which is a little more specific, kept ringing in my mind.

But there again, I have always been known for telling stories, leading an audience down a path or two of intricacies and detail which supported the final comedy punch line. Such was my delivery that others often mimicked my excited tone and comical dubious storytelling prowess. That was of course if I ever got back to the original reason why I was entertaining them.

When I considered my experiences and my love of art, I realized that there were several occurrences that resulted in the twists and turns of my journey. Then of course were the stories behind the artwork which started to come to fruition as I accounted for why I placed a brush on that canvas and made that particular mark.

And this started to form the basis of a book. One that would reveal my weaknesses and my attempt to rectify them, and one that would bring different pieces of my artwork together for people to see and understand the reasons for their creation, showing that artwork is much more than just the colourful picture on the wall in the other room.

The aim with this publication is to entertain the reader and inspire them to enjoy luxury artwork, and perhaps help a person or two to overcome their fears and also go on to create what they have always wanted to do, or were actually destined to achieve.

“The Storytelling Artist – The Road to Controversial Art” is due for release on Thursday 10th December 2020. Further details and purchase links will follow.


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  • Ian Mackenzie

If you are a follower of my Facebook art page called Ian Mackenzie Art, you will have noticed several videos this week of the build up towards the final piece of artwork called Bailey. This is a portrait of a Hungarian Vizla, one of the medium sized breeds of dogs, famed for its prominent position among sporting dogs.

I was asked by a friend if I could capture this family pet in oils in his familiar pose, grandly sitting one leg slightly cocked to the side. We met up and of course, I could not resist, as we chatted of days gone by and our mutual love of our canine family members.

Bailey had passed away and was deeply missed at home. He held such a prominent place within the family. This was obvious by the collection of photographs and the stories I heard of him accompanying them on many trips and holidays.

So, looking at the couple of photos we had chosen, I got down to work. The difficulty that I had was that different pictures gave various light and shade patterns, and I had to blend these into the main pose which was blurred and pixelated.

However, I was determined to ensure that Bailey would be something special, and as such, in order to achieve the photorealism I wanted, I had to ‘go large’. I doubled the usual size of the canvas and started sketching.

I applied the first undercoat of dark paint, a mixture of alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, and a touch of cadmium yellow. This gave the underlying depth to the fur. Then it was a careful construction of the shape of the face and body by applying thin layers of fur with a small brush to create Baileys structure.

In one of the videos I mentioned that the painting had 100,000 brush strokes. I was not joking. Painting both the face and the body needed such detail, and this was documented in the form of video and stills as the painting progressed.

Slowly but surely, Bailey started to emerge from the canvas. Proud and regal, he stood tall with his one leg characteristically slightly leaning to the side. The final touches were applied, with a background referring to a location the family spent time at with him, and he was ready for drying and varnishing.

Creating luxury art, no matter whether it is of a loved family pet or a controversial subject, is something that is close to my heart. A part of me is always in each piece, and in speaking with those that ask for work from me, I try my best to ensure that their thoughts and ideas are reflected in such creations. This point I believe is critical to producing artwork that will capture everlasting memories for those concerned. And in doing so, there is always a small deep-seated regret in parting with each finished canvas.

I guess this is not a bad thing as it keeps me connected with the journey each one took me on, and the enjoyment that others now have in owning luxury artwork that I was privileged to have created for them.

I never really understood how artwork could connect people so much until I started down this road, a road which is never ending and always adventurous with every junction, and a road that I never want to end.

Ian Mackenzie

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  • Ian Mackenzie

Well, like him or loath him, Donald Trump certainly knows how to capture the limelight. There have not been many days in his first term when he has not been on the tv or making a headline.

In his latest at the US Polling Station, he doubted the legitimacy of the postal voting system. So, what should we now read into that comment, or should we just ignore it as another one of his Trumpisms?

It was not that long ago that he inferred that there could be some benefits from disinfection as a medication for Covid-19.

I was sat at home watching the news trying to glaze over all the doom and gloom which was offered to us by the media, when again, the attention was drawn to the US with the President stood at his daily press briefing. This was back in April 2020 a long time before he had any signs of the illness, let alone being admitted to hospital to be treated for the virus.

I chuckled to myself knowing the media frenzy that was about to ensue. This comment flashed around the world immediately with countries condemning the comments, politicians being asked if they endorsed his idea with some of them left to flounder as they avoided that illusive direct answer.

There is something in this I thought. Chatting with mates on Zoom confirmed my new project, as the conversation centred around the image of Trump in hospital. I didn’t go as far as some of the suggestions with Trumps limp hair dangling over his face revealing his bald head perhaps with an inappropriate tattoo confirming a true political belief, laid up on a bed in a hospital corridor somewhere, with his wife searching frantically for their health insurance documents.

So, I started sketching my ideas on a canvas not really thinking what the image would subsequently become. As usual, I took photos and videos of the progress and filed them away and continued adding fine layers of quality oil paints, one on top of the other to create the photorealism depth I enjoy creating. The whole process took 2 months to complete and was finished by the end of June.

Around the beginning of October, it was reported that the President was showing symptoms of Covid-19 and shortly after was admitted into hospital. Of course, the stay was not long, and he soon returned triumphantly to rally the US towards the forthcoming election like only Donald Trump could do.

And now, with a week to go, after 4 years of a different type of politics in the US, he may very well defy the odds and pull a rabbit out of the hat, and return for a second term.

One benefit for me if he is voted back into office, is that I have the next great controversial idea to paint in my mind. Not sure which US political party it will please more, that may be down to interpretation. But what the hell, it could be a long winter!

If you would like to possess your very own Luxury Art shown on this website, or you have dreamt of owning a special piece of artwork created just for you but you don’t know where to start, just contact me below. I would be delighted to help you.

Owning your very own Luxury Artwork that will Evoke, Challenge and Inspire is just one step away. Don’t hesitate, get in touch with me now for your free consultation.

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