Scottie (Robert) Wilson was born in Glasgow. He joined the army at the age of sixteen, serving in India and South Africa and also lived in Canada for fifteen years from 1930. A self-taught artist, Wilson began to draw in the 1930s and held his first solo exhibition in Toronto in 1943. On returning to Britain, he became a well-known character on the London art scene. Wilson’s distinctive drawings are decorative and fantastical. His favourite motifs include stylized fish, birds, flowers, trees, self-portraits and totem pole-like symbols. Preferring to use crayon, pen and ink as they allowed him to work quickly, he also experimented with gouache. Wilson’s work was admired by the Surrealists and by Jean Dubuffet and Picasso.