Scottie Wilson (6 June 1888 – 1972), born Louis Freeman, was a Scottishoutsider artist known particularly for his highly detailed style. Starting his artistic career at the age of 44, his work was admired and collected by the likes of Jean Dubuffet and Pablo Picasso and is generally accepted to be in the forefront of 20th century outsider art.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland at 24 Ropework Lane, Wilson dropped out of school at the age of 8 to help subsidize his family's meagre income by, amongst other things, selling newspapers on the street. In 1906 he enlisted with the Scottish Rifles and subsequently served during World War I on the Western Front. At the end of the war he emigrated to Toronto, Canada, where he owned and operated a second-hand shop.
At the age of 44 he began doodling with one of the fountain pens that he collected for resale in his shop and discovered his passion for art. In his own words:
“I’m listening to classical music one day – Mendelssohn – when all of a sudden I dipped the bulldog pen into a bottle of ink and started drawing – doodling I suppose you’d call it – on the cardboard tabletop. I don’t know why. I just did. In a couple of days – I worked almost ceaselessly – the whole of the tabletop was covered with little faces and designs. The pen seemed to make me draw, and them images, the faces and designs just flowed out. I couldn’t stop – I’ve never stopped since that......