Ian Makenzie is an artist based in South Wales. He works in rich detailed oils on canvas. He has a unique eye for colour and precision and as such many of his paintings represent a photorealism style.

Ians influence to paint comes from the study of the subject, the emotion involved and the interaction with the surrounding environment.

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Many of his commissioned pieces have enthused not only the recipient, but also the painter himself by the overwhelming emotion of their positive reaction.

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Ian says "this reaction drives me to achieve more. In the first instance art allows me the escape we all desire. But it is the journey of creating a piece of art for someone else that intrigues me giving consideration to the response of the recipient come the final brush stroke"

His work is influenced by the contemporary paintings of Mitch Griffiths, closely followed by Mathieu Bassez and Istvan Sandorfi. He is also an admirer of the master of light and dark, Caravaggio.

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Working as a Police Officer in South Wales and in particular Cardiff Bay has given Ian a real insight into the stories of tough hard-working people, who grew up through hardship and difficult times.

Today, Ian tells of these stories through his artwork of a prosperous period of Welsh history, starting in the 1890’s when Cardiff Bay was seen as the most successful dockland in the world, exporting coal from the South Wales valleys to countries afar. The Third Marquis of Bute who owned the docks, become the richest man in the world, and the first million-pound cheque was written in Cardiff Bay.

However, with such fortune came a darker side to life. Gritty determined hardworking miners died young, sailors left and never came back, and the unscrupulous preyed on the poor. Times were difficult, work was hard, but life was certainly vibrant and never stood still. 

These five paintings are the first of a series of artwork telling the stories of Wales, South Wales and in particular Cardiff Bay in a way that has not been told before.

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Artwork