Shawn Mackey Works

Shawn Mackey

My goal to create art that is timeless. When a painting catches your eye, you have to wonder whether it was created today or a hundred years ago. The combination of vintage imagery with a contemporary application draws you into the art making you feel as if you were there at that place and time.

You become part of, or a character in, the scene.

My art combines figurative realism with abstract expressionism. I couple the subject matter with techniques that reinforce one another. The figurative elements of my work are designed to evoke memories, while the abstract elements are to evoke emotion. The contrasting yet complementary nature of these two elements creates a cohesive whole that stimulate your mind and emotions.

Using layering, additive, and subtractive techniques creates a sense of ageless beauty. These techniques further obscure the time and place. Scraping with a palette knife, adding burlap or an old piece of canvas to add texture,and creating a weathered look further enhances the vintage feeling you experience.

The techniques I use are constantly evolving; experimentation is part of my process. I am a creator and to be good you must take chances, try new colors, new subjects, and new techniques. When a client falls in love with my art, it brings me immense joy. Knowing that I created something that will bring them back in time, back to a place where they were happy and wanted to capture the moment, this is why I am an artist.


Shawn Mackey was born in Edmonton, Canada in 1984. Growing up in the long cold winters of Canada, he had many indoor hobbies. The one hobby Shawn loved most was drawing. His parents, who were both teachers, would bring home boxes of scrap paper for him to use. Some of his favorite subjects were Italian sports cars, architectural drawings, as well as a variety of superheroes and cartoon characters. Shawn once had his younger brother dress-up in a Batman costume to use him as a model to sketch his favorite superhero.

Shawn’s talent was apparent at a young age. When he was eight, Shawn was selling drawings of sports cars to his classmates. As his passion for drawing and painting grew, it became a distraction at school. On a few occasions Shawn received lectures from teachers for setting up a “tattoo shop” in the school bathroom. Much to the relief of parents, Shawn only used colorful markers to tattoo his classmates.

After high school, Shawn put his artistic talents on hold to focus on university studies with a plan to become a lawyer. One year into the rigors of college life, lled with classes on politics and economics, essay writing and class projects, Shawn longed for a change. He had a need to fulll the creative passion that burned inside him, so he enrolled in an art class during summer school. In the Fall, upon returning for a new school year, Shawn transferred into the university Fine Arts program.

He said, “I considered entering the architectural design program, but I realized that painting was
where my creativity could ow freely. My goal is to tell a story and invoke a deep emotional response
with my art.” During the time spent earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Shawn began developing
his powerful and expressive style of painting, blending impressionism, abstract and renaissance

Shawn met his wife Jenn while working at an Italian restaurant. As Shawn tells it, “My wife and I
applied for work at dierent restaurants but, as fate would have it, we both ended up working at the
same one. I worked as many hours as I could just to spend time with her.” In 2015, Shawn and Jennifer
were married on a beach in the Bahamas, with a close group of friends and family.

After graduating from The University of Alberta with his BFA in 2007, Shawn decided to follow in his
parent’s footsteps. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education and became an art teacher. It was during this
time that Shawn had his biggest artistic growth. For ten years, he immersed himself in the work of
the great Masters. From renaissance artists like daVinci and Michelangelo to impressionists like
Monet and Renoir, he studied the nuances of their style and technique. Through this decade of
study, teaching, research and practice, Shawn’s technique matured into his own unique style of
painting that denes him today. His art can be found in ne art galleries from Hawaii to London.

Today, Shawn and his lovely wife Jenn, along with their Siamese cat “Gossamer,” enjoy spending time
with family and friends, while he pursues his life-long passion for painting. “When my art evokes an
expression of pleasure and intrigue on a client’s face, it brings me great joy. I love to hear their comments
about the feelings and memories they experience from my art, especially when sharing
laughter and a glass of wine with them.”