Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Artist drawn into dramatic scenery.(Balloon Fiesta)

Byline: Jane Mahoney

Artist Barry McCuan may have grown up on the dusty plains of western Texas, but he lost his heart to northern New Mexico the first time he saw its dramatic landscapes as a youngster.

The rugged mesas and blue skies of the Abiquiu area are the backdrop of the official balloon poster for the 2000 Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Of course, there are also hot air balloons afloat among the billowing, silent clouds.

"There is a challenge in painting New Mexico landscapes," said McCuan, who makes his home and studio in El Rancho between Santa Fe and Pojoaque. "I wanted this to be something pretty graphic."

McCuan, a full-time artist for the past 20 years, is best known for his compelling New Mexico landscapes sold through the Alexandra Stevens Gallery in Taos and the Eldridge, McCarthy Gallery in Santa Fe. …

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