George Macpherson

  • Associate Elected : 18/03/1987
  • Academician Elected : 25/05/2005


  • Associate Elected : 18/03/1987
  • Academician Elected : 25/05/2005

George Macpherson RSA was educated at Golspie High School before attending Edinburgh College School where he graduated in 1958. Following a post-graduate year of study in 1958-59, George travelled to Spain for the Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship (1959).

In 1960, he returned to Edinburgh to take up the position of Lecturer in Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art. He held this position until his retirement in 1990. Latterly he lived and worked in East Lothian.

George’s painting took great inspiration from his childhood in the Highlands, living close by the River Shin. He also sought influence from a continued involvement with nature and also from his love of music. George was a piper of great repute and his abstract work sought to give a visual representation of the interplay between his understanding of piping, Gaelic song and the traditional dance tunes of Scotland.

He was also greatly influenced by the American Abstract Expressionists with a particular affinity to the work of Arshile Gorky whose oeuvre included a similar abstraction based upon natural forms. He quoted Gorky’s noting of the importance tradition plays to an artist in solving new problems. George stated in 2012 “For me painting is a matter of hand and touch, hand and vision, hand and shape, hand and impact”.

George held numerous solo exhibitions, most notably with the 57 Gallery in 1966 and 1968, with the Alan Alexander Gallery in 1975, The Scottish Gallery (1981), The Torrance Gallery (1986), The Stichill Smithy Gallery (1990) and the Scottish Arts Club in 2001. Important group exhibitions including the Contemporary Art from Scotland, Scottish Arts Council Touring Exhibition (1981/82); Celtic Connection, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (1995); Gathering – Scottish Printmaking, Galerie Beeldspraak (1995); An Leabhar Mor, touring worldwide (2002 – 2010); Highland – Works from the Royal Scottish Academy, An Lanntair (2008); and Confluence (with Alfons Bytautas RSA, Norman McBeath and Bills Scott PRSA) Gracefield Arts Centre (2008).

He was elected to the Society of Scottish Artists in 1966 and as Associate to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1987, being made a full Academician in 2005.

1958 -1959 Post-graduate year of study (highly commended).
1958 Graduated DA (Edin), from Edinburgh College of Art.

1960 -90 Lecturer, School of Drawing and Painting, Edinburgh College of Art.

1959 -60 Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship (Spain).

Solo exhibitions:-
2001 The Scottish Arts Club.
1990 Stichill Smithy Gallery.
1986 The Torrance Gallery.
1981 The Scottish Gallery.
1975 Alan Alexander Gallery.
1966 & 1968 57 Gallery.
Group exhibtions:-
2008  With Alfons Bytautas, Norman McBeath and Bill Scott: Confluence, Gracefield Arts Centre
2008  Highland in Stornoway (RSA), An Lanntair.
1981-82 Contemporary Art from Scotland, Arts Council Touring Exhibition.
2002-10 An Leabhar Mor, touring worldwide.
1999 Connections, Festival Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy.
1999 Royal Scottish Academy, Albermarle Gallery, London.
1995 Gathering – Scottish Printmaking, Galerie Beeldspraak.
1995 Celtic Connections, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
1995 Academician’s Drawings, Seagate Gallery, Stonehaven.
1994 Times Ten, Gracefield Art Centre.