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It’s All About Perspective: Interview with Angus Wilson

Angus Wilson is a self-described Contemporary Post Impressionistic Painter. His ordinary subject matters are made extraordinary by his experimentation with color and dissecting lines meant to change perspective. When his career began, he thought he would be a landscape artist, but a happy little accident while painting a still-life changed his perspective as well.

A Familiar Muse (24x36) Acrylic on Panel © Angus Wilson

What motivates you to create the type of art that you do?

Color is what excites me. I’m passionate about working out how I’m going to manipulate the subject. When painting landscapes, I closely follow the information given. Similarly, if it were a portrait, I would represent what is in front of me. But with still-lifes, creatively, I feel free. When using ordinary objects like flowers or fruit, I am happy to change elements within the design and work out the best colors, styles, and aesthetics.

Iris & Plums with Violet Vase (38x28) Acrylic on Panel © Angus Wilson

Some of your works have vertical and horizontal dissecting lines, can you tell me a little bit more about this artistic choice?

It’s a change in perspective, which some may mistake as some sort of cubism. It’s a manipulation of the image. Picasso went through a phase of actually painting a frame into his work to remind viewers they were looking at a painting. Elements of truth from this go into why I use these lines. It breaks up the subject matter. I’m reminding people that you can have fun with art and do something different. I paint such traditional subjects we have all seen before and paint them in such a direct and simplified way. Then, the moment that I add a dissecting line, it completely changes the feel of the painting. It elevates the work and makes it more interesting and nuanced. It gives the eye something else to think about.

Tulips at that Certain Time of Evening (24x18), Acrylic on Panel © Angus Wilson

Can you tell me a little bit about your creative process?

I am more of a methodical artist. I think you will end up with a better painting if you plan it out beforehand. Most of my creativity comes at the very beginning stages, with sketches and thinking about where all the lines will be placed. I’ll carefully create a type of cloisonnism draft and plan out the black outlines on the canvas. Then I sit back and think about it and play with colors. For a larger painting, this can take about a day. I used to use smaller pastel sketches but now use an iPad to create the color plan. By this point, I know my painting very well. This laborious process of planning and then not using the reference is because art still needs that impulsivity. It needs that carefree energy. I’m well acquainted with my painting by then, and I can concentrate on the brush marks and bringing it to life.

Triptych Reflection & Variations on a Motif (30x30, each), Acrylic on Canvas © Angus Wilson

Has your practice changed over time?

In the beginning, I did more landscapes but eventually changed to still lifes and have been running down the rabbit hole ever since. My paintings have subtly changed over the years as I’m always exploring. In my more recent work, I have added different colored stripes on the edge of the painting to further add more creativity and color into the painting. The idea was motivated by the original test sheets that printers do with the color registry marks at the top of the page.

Have you ever encountered a “happy accident” while working on a piece?

When I began, I was doing nice work, but not distinctive. I was working on a still life and it wasn't really working out. I had a bunch of paint left on my palette and quickly added color blocks across the painting. I was left with this strange, and cubist-like painting. It was so different and much more exciting than the work I was producing at the time. This was my happy accident! I couldn’t recreate it immediately and this painting remained in my studio for months. I kept looking and pondering trying to articulate the same language as this nuanced little painting. It took many months to try to incorporate these ideas into my work and it ultimately became the catalyst that started this journey. I always thought I would be a landscape painter, but the creativity of this ‘happy accident’ pulled me into the still life genre. Now years later, I am terribly passionate about still life painting.

What advice would you give aspiring artists?

Follow your passion. There are so many disciplines within the arts: writing, music, sculpting, painting. It’s a different journey for everyone. Listen to your neurosis!

Majestic Form (36x24), Acrylic on Panel © Angus Wilson

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Santa Fe, NM 87501

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Angus Wilson © Angus Wilson

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