Updated: Dec 6, 2020

As I sat with bated breath watching one of the greatest calamities I had witnessed in the world of politics, I smiled wryly as the consequences flashed before me, one after another. Initially I could not believe what I was seeing. It just did not make sense. The whole world and its media were tuned into this very instant. The single most important moment of that person’s career to date was about to be pushed to its limit.

How on earth could the huge mechanism that I knew all too well fail right in front of my eyes and go into meltdown? What I was witnessing would have ramifications for years to come. This was the real modern world at play, live and in your face, and many people would seriously be in the firing line for it .............................. to be continued in "The Storytelling Artist - The Road to Controversial Art"

And with a bang, the first chapter kicks off combining an actual situation drastically affecting a particular individual with a catalogue of errors that would be talked about for years to come.

One of the largest painting that I have created started to unfold. It involved four individuals entwined by their individual actions coming to the notice of a fifth person, who brought a different view of their world to the attention of the media and subsequently to us, the public. The thrill of creating the scenarios that took place combined careful planning, a brazen attitude to succeed, and a rush of adrenaline to eliminate any thought of the consequences that await a failed attempt.

Of course, there are a limited number of people who can combine such skills and even less who can execute their actions, acquiring a story to tell late into the night in the bar with a group of close friends, let alone a whole country witnessing it live on tv.

Part One Chapter 1 of "The Storytelling Artist - The Road to Controversial Art" reveals who this celebrity is and what they have to do with me.


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Updated: Dec 3, 2020

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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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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