A traditional painter of Western scenes, he was born in Arcadia, Nebraska in 1917 and lived in Cibolo, Texas from 1980-on.
While he was living and working as a commercial artist in Chicago, the actor Vincent Price saw an exhibition of his work in 1965 and had a selection of his pictures brought to his apartment. He offered to buy all thirty canvases but Wilson refused to sell more than 24 because "it would have wiped me out."
Growing up in Nebraska, Wilson's uncle let him ride a cow pony until the horse and he went back into the barn "with the top half of the door closed."
During World War II, Wilson was in France as a photographer in the Army Engineers and attended classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Marseilles.
After the war, he studied with William Mosby at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and then worked in commercial art and as a designer until 1960 "when my Sunday painting avocation turned to professional full time fine art painting."
"Before 1970," Wilson said, "my paintings were mostly Midwestern scenes in oils and watercolors. As we returned to the West on painting trips, my paintings reflected my early heritage. I paint my oils on masonite, prepared with three coats of gesso, unsanded. I like the details of this. Sometimes it takes two or three days to develop a painting, but once I have this in my mind's eye I am enthusiastic and stay with the painting until it is done. It is not easy to portray something out of the past, but it is rewarding to see a fast running horse with dust flying emerge on the white panel."
Shows & Exhibitions:
National Show, Del Rio Texas
St. Mary's University, San Antonio
San Antonio Art League
Deer Path Gallery, Lake Forest, Illinois
Dagen Bela Gallery, San Antonio
Western Art Show of San Antonio
Union League, Chicago
Academic Artists Museum of Fine Art, Springfield, Mass
Northbrook Illinois State Fair
El Paso Museum of Art
H. D. Hudson Co
Wisconsin Natural Gas
General Telephone Directory.
Vincent Price Collection
Kurten Medical Center
Clearing Industrial District
DuPage Library system
Mr Carroll Sudler
Maine Township School District
Judge Philip Tone
Judge HG Hershenson
Frank Harding's Western Collection
Northwestern University Medical School
Dr George Sisson
Racine County National Bank
The Grainger Corp
Mr Michael Demas
Contemporary Western Artists by Peggy and Harold Samuels.
the artist's grandson
Compiled and submitted by Brian Meindl