Born in Glasgow, in 1888, Louis Freeman (known as Scottie Wilson) started his artistic career later than most, at the age of 44. Generally considered to have been at the forefront of 20th Century outsider art, he was known particularly for his highly detailed style.
After fighting on the Western Front in World War I, Wilson emigrated to Toronto, Canada, where he owned and operated a second-hand shop. It was here, that he began doodling with one of the fountain pens that was for resale in his shop and he discovered his passion for art. Wilson’s work embodies his personal code of morality, with the characters in his work being juxtaposed with naturalistic symbols of goodness and truth. Throughout his career, Wilson’s rejection of commercialism was unabated, and he continued to sell his work for a small fraction of the prices that the galleries were asking.
After moving to London in 1945, Wilson travelled to France in the early 1950’s at the persuasion of Jean Dubuffet. There he was met by Dubuffet and Pablo Picasso, who was also a fan of his work. In the 1960’s, Wilson began creating paintings on ceramics and, subsequently, was commissioned by Royal Worcester to design a series of dinnerware.
The evolution of Wilson’s style was notoriously non-existent and, the fact that he didn’t date his works, makes it very difficult to decipher at what point in his career they were created. His work featured in numerous exhibitions, which Wilson only allowed for very modest entrance fees to be charged.