Charlie Mackesy; The Artist

He never went to art school but spent three months in America with a portrait painter where he learned about anatomy and how to deal with bed bugs. His journey with the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse has consumed him; a incredible work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart.

Pictures: charliemackesy.com

The young Charlie Mackesy went to Radley College for a little while and Hexham Queen Elizabeth High School, among others, but seemed to prefer ferreting, drawing cartoons and swimming in the River Tyne. He attempted university twice but left both within a week. Though he never went to art school, he spent three months with a portrait painter to learn. 

Charlie’s work features in books, private collections and public spaces, including Highgate Cemetery in London, in hospitals, prisons, churches and university colleges around the UK, and in women’s safe houses around the world.

Later on, Charlie began as a cartoonist for The Spectator and a book illustrator for Oxford University Press before being taken on by galleries. He first exhibited drawings in London, in The Park Walk Gallery, and has since exhibited in galleries in New York, London and Edinburgh.

“A wonderful work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart.”

Richard Curtis

Today, Charlie’s work features in books, private collections and public spaces, including Highgate Cemetery in London, in hospitals, prisons, churches and university colleges around the UK, and in women’s safe houses around the world. He even produced ‘The Unity Series’. A collaborative set of lithographs with Nelson Mandela in 2006. 

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“Love, friendship and kindness – this book speaks a universal language.”

Bear Grylls

His journey with the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse has delighted many horse enthusiasts worldwide and has been shared by thousands or even millions on Instagram. Charlie himself, lives in their world a lot of the time and has loved making the book. The fact that his work is now collected into a book, pleases many hearts.


Experience the world of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together, in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love.

Especially in these times of uncertainty, this book will bless you with peace and love. Experience the world of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together, in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love.

“When the dark clouds come… keep going.”

“At the back of our brains, so to speak, there was a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life was to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder.” 

G. K. Chesterton

Thank you my dear friend Elke Christine Hol for giving me this incredible book!

Order the book

Therese Stub Alhaug
Therese Stub Alhaug

Editor

Therese is the editor of Equilife, and is truly dedicated to equestrian sports and horses. She started riding as a little girl, and enjoys her free time with her two horses back home. Portrait interview is her favorite topic, as it has the gift to inspire others through peoples stories, knowledge, training and general life-philosophy, and certainly, their lives with horses.

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