Angus Macpherson is 'giving a message' through his art

Albuquerque artist ‘interested in telling a story and giving a message’

“September Dream,” Angus Macpherson, 44×64 inches. (Courtesy of Angus Macpherson)

Renowned for his incandescent cloudscapes, Angus Macpherson paints from memory and feeling.

The Albuquerque artist stars in a 40-year retrospective at Sumner & Dene Gallery through Aug. 27.

Aside from those billowing clouds, the artist paints aspens reaching for the sky and snow scenes that make viewers want to snuggle in their cabins and read by firelight.

Angus Macpherson in his home studio. (Courtesy of Angus Macpherson)

Macpherson’s Albuquerque roots dig deep. His grandfather worked for the railroad in 1889. He also served as the business manager for the Albuquerque Morning Journal, the city’s first newspaper. Macpherson still visits his grandfather’s old cabin in the Pecos. His father was a lawyer and then a judge who wrote the city of Albuquerque charter.

“I’ve been painting the sky in Albuquerque since 1983,” he said.

Macpherson majored in business at the University of New Mexico, but still managed to sneak in some art classes. A former ad salesman, he worked at both the Albuquerque Journal and Tribune. But the canvas kept calling.

Like most good parents, his encouraged his artistic passions but viewed them as a hobby.

“I felt very, very serious about it and kept doing it,” he said. “I was persistent.”

“Aspen Stand,” Angus Macpherson, 66×44 inches. (Courtesy of Angus Macpherson)

At 31, he risked it all by becoming a full-time painter. Since then, Macpherson has boasted gallery representation in Santa Fe, Aspen, Colorado, Tucson, Arizona, Scottsdale, Arizona and in New York.

“Business has been fabulous the last five years,” he said. “I had times of mild starvation. I think it’s closer to naive, blind luck.”

“You spend so much time being interested in it and I keep doing it,” he continued. “I’m interested in telling a story and giving a message.”

Macpherson doesn’t take photographs or paint plein air. Instead, he mines his memories of the Sangre de Cristos, the Pecos Wilderness and the Sandias for source material. Color awashes his canvas in a sea of acrylic lights and darks.

“I work a lot like a watercolor painter,” he explained. “The paint is real wet.”

He has always looked skyward.

“This time of year knocks me out,” he said.

He says a New Yorker critic once wrote, “As the decades go by, the paintings don’t change, but your perception does.”

“I’ve always felt this sense of wonder and awe from kicking around this planet,” Macpherson said. “The celestial heavens just knock me out. Things might seem dire on earth, but what a trip this is.”

“Wonderland,” Angus Macpherson, 12×16 inches. (Courtesy of Angus Macpherson)

“Wonderland,” with its crescent moon dangling over the treetops, captures that passion.

“September Dream” emerged from the east side of the Sangre de Cristos. Pink cotton candy clouds hover over the pine trees.

“Aspen Stand” reveals his trademark perspective of gazing from the ground up as the trees’ arms reach skyward.

“I’m fascinated by these giant columns that are all over the mountains,” he said. “We live in a very vibrant and colorful place of extreme lights and extreme darks.”

Today he exhibits his work in Albuquerque, in Santa Fe and in Houston. He still paints in his mind when he’s supposed to be sleeping.

“I get up in the middle of the night and I think, ‘I know what to do now,’ ” he said. “Like any calling, you get to be obsessed.”

Home » Entertainment » Arts » Albuquerque artist ‘interested in telling a story and giving a message’


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Artist unveils message of peace in Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Kyle Holbrook hopes to bring awareness ... Kyle Holbrook hopes to bring awareness to gun violence during national tour
2
Virgil Ortiz set to unveil Meow Wolf installation
ABQnews Seeker
Throughout his career, Virgil Ortiz has ... Throughout his career, Virgil Ortiz has pushed boundaries through art. The Cochiti Pueblo artist is teaming up with Meow Wolf to create a permanent ...
3
Jim Eckles digs deeper into the mystery of Victorio ...
Arts
Historian to present new findings on ... Historian to present new findings on who Doc Noss was
4
Composer looks to continue moving crowds
Arts
Richard Cameron-Wolfe joined Spanish composer Agustín ... Richard Cameron-Wolfe joined Spanish composer Agustín Castilla-Ávila and Austrian composer Wladimir Rosinskij to perform 'Nomads-Oasis.'
5
Chester T. French came to Duke City to help ...
Arts
French opened his mortuary, called C.T. ... French opened his mortuary, called C.T. French, Undertaker, in 1907, at the corner of Fifth Street and Central Avenue
6
Albuquerque artist 'interested in telling a story and giving ...
Arts
Angus Macpherson stars in a 40-year ... Angus Macpherson stars in a 40-year retrospective at Sumner & Dene Gallery through Aug. 27.
7
Four climbers that can scale your chain link fence
Arts
Silver lace vine, honeysuckle, trumpet vine ... Silver lace vine, honeysuckle, trumpet vine and Virginia creeper can all climb and deliver some good color.
8
'The Milagro Beanfield War' author gets personal with latest ...
Arts
'I Got Mine: Confessions of a ... 'I Got Mine: Confessions of a Midlist Writer' is about the ups and downs and the ins and outs of John Nichols' vibrant life.
9
Mohsin Hamid's novel is a fever dream of a ...
Arts
The overall effect is a light ... The overall effect is a light fuzziness that makes any topic approachable, but makes everything hard to fully grasp and focus on.