Margo Findlay & James 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 Alamos provide wonderful 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 Alamos in 1964 with her artist husband, Harold Findlay. She never left. She is buried in Alamos, she is part of Alamos. 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 Alamos, 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 Alamos. They had two children and left Alamos 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 Alamos. 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, Alamos has given refuge and wings to the creative spirit. It is as much a part of the landscape as the mountain.

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