Margo Findlay and Jim Wilson

24 … Two studios, two artists, two approaches, one town, one world…

Margo Findlay with her art exhibited in her home - gallery.

This is what one was greeted to as they entered Margo’s home from the street. The space was her work, her moments. Here, Margo had all she needed. The expansive walls and high ceilings of Álamos provide studio – gallery space for artists.

Margo Findlay painting, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Far removed from the outside the artist goes inside..

Margo Findlay was born in Lewiston, Montana, 1906, and spent her childhood on cowboy ranches in the American old west. At the age of 17 she started to illustrate children books and then across a life that lasted 104 years she traveled, danced, and did what she what she did. After knocking on her door and coming in for a brief visit, and these photographs, I understood her way was not to talk about art, it was to do.

Margo Findlay at her easel, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

She is in control, she paints her world, her imagination, her colors...

I could not find much written about Margo Findlay. In one piece she was described as “expressionist artist”. She came to Álamos in 1964 with her artist husband, Harold Findlay. She never left. She is buried in Álamos, she is part of Álamos. Think of all the hours she spent painting, alone in her thoughts and technique. The artistic life requires self-discipline. A drive to create-make-reflect-share-react. An artistic life is one of being the art. Margo.

James F. Wilson painting in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Here is the office, workspace, and kingdom of a productive artist.

James Fenimore Wilson escaped from the New York art scene to spend six months in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. The year was 1990 and he felt a need to recharge his creative powers. Here he found another life. He met his future wife Lourdes, born and raised in nearby Navajoa, at the Plaza while she was visiting Álamos. They had two children and left Álamos in 2000 for Jim’s college teaching – painting position in Missouri.

James F. Wilson and painting, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Alamos became a part of Jim and Jim became a part of Alamos.

When I visited with Jim during the 90’s he was the most visible of the town’s working artists. His work was seen in homes throughout Álamos. His portraits became integral to the families that commissioned them. Jim’s extensive art background allowed him to talk with in-depth knowledge of art. Over the hundreds of years, Álamos has given refuge and wings to the creative spirit. It is as much a part of the landscape as the mountain.

A Day In the Life of Plaza de las Armas

This is a look at life in the Álamos plaza between 1993 and 1996. Much has changed since then but much continues as it has for hundreds of years. Photos and video editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music, “Mystic Hoedown,” is by the Dirt Brothers/SonicAtomics featuring Denver Clay and Anders.
2015 Anders Tomlinson and Denver Clay, all rights reserved.

A Way of Life
Behold a Cornucopia of Color, Shapes, Textures and Scents.The flora of Álamos is the many splendors of Sinaloan tropical forest and Sonoran desert living together in unexpected harmony. Many properties have gardeners watering, pruning, consulting, planting, cutting, raking, commiserating, trimming and… year round. Flowers and vegetables are planted in November for winter blooms and crops that last until May or June’s heat…

Mangos, papayas, bananas, palms, amapas, orchidias and other trees provide food and shelter for native and migrating birds. Cascades of colors come from flowering vines: blue veracruzana, orange trumpet, red, magenta and orange bougainvilla and… And the smells and scents that envelope one’s senses… Formal, informal… it all contributes to this symphony and riot that is the passing seasons in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.
Photos, editing and produced by Anders Tomlinson. Music is “Jardin de Colores”, written and performed by Samuel Delatorre Dorame, from his 2013 CD “Memorias de Álamos, Sonora.”

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