About Christopher Mackay

Updated 2020-06-14.

Portrait of Christopher Mackay
Christopher Mackay

After getting my bachelor of arts (Psychology, English, & Physics), I took a year of Fine Arts.

I learned much from Thaddeus Holownia, Tom Henderson, Dan Steeves, Rebecca Burke, Virgil Hammock, John Asimakos, and David Silverberg at Mount Allison University.

That foundation year provided an introduction to drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, history, and theory. It was a year where making art was essentially my job. The best learning happened — as it so often does— around the edges of the curriculum: the wry, winking, comments from Henderson; the understanding of the power of images from Holownia; context from Burke and Hammock.

I’ve always loved to draw (but somehow I forgot)

Working as a digital content producer and graphic designer scratched my creative itch just enough; making art seemed less important. Despite being early to digital imaging — from HyperCard, an Apple QuickTake 100 (640 × 480 px photos!), and Photoshop before it had layers — my artwork resisted making the leap from paper to pixels.

Fast-forward 20 years, past the heady, initial digital wave, to late 2014. I came across a great book on sketching that showed me a way back to drawing — whether using traditional or digital media — despite the doubts I’d nurtured for so long.

But what does it mean?

I rarely have any theme or goal or message in mind. I give in to my whims, which I’ve learned not to question. It can be a shape, a colour, a memory, or an idea — it doesn’t matter to me.

For me, thinking is the opposite of doing and over-thinking is a trap. I’ll figure out what a piece means (if anything) after I’ve done it. Maybe it will only have meaning as part of a body of work. Maybe it won’t mean anything.

I’m happy to leave deciding what things mean to someone smarter.

Design and art

My work as a web designer for artists and the broader art community has been rewarding. Among others, I have designed websites for

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