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The Pet Portraits of

rory mackay


The artist in front of The Fanjul Five Labs

London-born Rory Mackay studied Fine Art in Florence, Italy, where he fell in love with the old master’s style of painting. Upon return to the UK, he enrolled at the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London where he broadened his skill set with mixed media painting and printmaking. Combining his passion for animals with his talent for painting, Mackay began creating expressive animal artworks that soon saw him taking commissions from clients worldwide. The artist’s early work was predominantly contemporary, blending raw energetic brush strokes with vibrant swathes of color and mixed mediums such as charcoal, oil bar and encaustics. Carrying that vibrancy and energy forward into the more traditional commissioned portraits for which he has become known, Mackay’s oil portraits of pets are a style very much unto their own. Rich, lavish oils applied in a blend of bold and delicate brush strokes bring out a depth of character in his subjects that captivates the eye. Often incorporating a juxtaposed background that gives a nod to the pop-art of the 1960’s, the artist funnels the viewer’s attention to the subject, filling the canvas with the life and soul of a pet. Rory Mackay is a proud supporter of The Animal Medical Center of New York City, to whom a percentage of his proceeds are donated to help continue their tireless work. For information on commissioning a portrait of your pet, please email: studio@rory-mackay.com


Early works Taking a bold and avant-garde approach to some early animal works, Mackay fully explored the boundaries of space, color and composition in a series of attention-grabbing paintings created for his first solo exhibition in London in 2005. Using what he learned from two subsequent years of explorative painting, he began applying it to more traditional compositions and mediums in his oil portraiture studies. The vibrancy of color and texture remains ever-present in his commissioned works today, with an added sophistication and maturity to the execution.

Top left: ‘Did you say food?’, 2005 - 36x60” - Oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas Bottom left: ‘Murphy’, 2006 - 36x60” - Acrylic, oil bar and charcoal on canvas Top right: ‘Hunting Dogs’, 2008 - 24x30” - Oil on canvas


Client installation: Rocco - 36x48� - oil


and mixed acrylic mediums on canvas


Rocco - 36x48� - oil and mixed acrylic mediums on canvas


Magnus and Minnie - 24x30� - oil on canvas


Client installation: Magnus and M


Minnie - 24x30� - oil on canvas


Sophie - 18x24� - oil on canvas


Nacho & Panchito - 24x30� - oil and mixed acrylic mediums on canvas


Jim and Kristy Clark’s Schnauzers - 30x30” - oil and mixed acrylic mediums on canvas


Tarka & Mr Fox - 18x30” - oil on canvas


The Five Fanjul Labs - 48x60� - oil on canvas


With Mr. and Mrs. Pepe Fanjul With Antony Todd

With Mr. and Mrs. Chris Meigher

Solo Exhibition at Antony Todd Mackay was invited by interior designer Antony Todd to exhibit a selection of private commissions at his downtown New York showroom. Mackay exhibited seven different artworks commissioned by clients from Palm Beach and New York, all of whom generously loaned their paintings for the show. Exhibited client portraits included: Ivana Trump’s ‘Tiger’, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Clark’s ‘Three Schnauzers’ and Mr. and Mrs. Pepe Fanjul’s ‘Five Labradors’


Track Winner - 76x98� - oil and photo transfer on canvas


Riccio - 20x30” - oil on canvas


Goldens by the Pool - 18x24� - oil and mixed acrylic mediums on canvas


Client installation


You da Fox! - 30x30” - oil on canvas

In Perspective

A typical theme running through much of Mackay’s work is the unique compositional perspectives he employs. Often comical, and always endearing, his eye for capturing the ‘quirky and cute’ in a pet’s character has become a trademark quality for the artist.


Penny - 16x20” - oil on canvas

Safina - 18x24” - oil on canvas

Just me, my ball... - 24x30” - oil on canvas


Pluto - 24x24� - oil on canvas


Red Rover - 18x24� - oil on canvas


Tiger - 18x24� - oil on canvas


Tiger Trump Commissioned by her daughter, Ivanka Trump, Mackay was honored to have the opportunity to photograph and paint Ivana Trump’s Yorkshire Terrier, Tiger. Delivering the completed portrait to Mrs Trump’s Palm Beach residence, the famed socialite announced ‘My god! You captured him exactly!’


Han and Zoe - 24x30� - oil on canvas


Bubbles - 30x36� - oil and mixed acrylic mediums on board


Harvey - 30x30” - oil and mixed mediums on canvas

Beach Portraits Native to his home environment in Palm Beach, Mackay’s Florida clients often utilize the beach for atmospheric inclusion in their commissioned pet portraits. No stranger to the use of textured mediums, the artist renders magnificent backdrops of sensual, coarse sand that quite literally leap off the canvas, resulting in a dramatic juxtaposition of lushly painted oil and rugged, textured acrylic.

Jack Growler - 18x24” - oil and mixed mediums on canvas


Minnow - 18x24” - oil and mixed mediums on canvas

Zak - 18x24” - oil and mixed mediums on canvas

Casper - 18x24” - oil and mixed mediums on canvas


Shamardal - 22x32� - oil on canvas


Horse Portraits

Vizcaya - 22x30” - charcoal on paper

Beyond ‘mans best friend’, Mackay also proves a formidable talent in capturing the elegant qualities inherent to equine subjects. Horse portrait clients have included the Prime Minister of Dubai and Godolphin global racing magnate, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for whom Mackay painted the multi-award winning ‘Shamardal’ - a13yr old stallion, stabled at Darley in Ireland, where Mackay was flown to obtain original source images for his portrait.


Rory Mackay Oil Portraits  

London-born artist Rory Mackay studied Fine Art in Florence, where he fell in love with painting and honed his skills in the Old Masters sty...

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