These guys are a big deal.
Their artwork is in galleries at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas and Laguna Beach, California.
Lisa Wilson’s and D. Arthur Wilson’s paintings, pastels, sculptures and characters are in private collections all over the world. And they’re two of the most optimistic and engaging people one could encounter in the fine art world.
Last year, they opened their signature gallery in Key West, the Wilson Signature Collection Fine Art Gallery, 407 D Front St., featuring all of their own creations.
“COVID was a creative time for us to write, to paint, to play with different mediums we’d wanted to try for a long time,” said Lisa Wilson. “This gallery is the culmination of that COVID creativity.”
The Key West gallery shows the world what happens when two married artists have nearly two years of pandemic-prompted isolation in which to make art.
“Oh, we also became yoga instructors during the pandemic,” said Lisa, who describes her thickly textured works as abstract impressionism, created with 10 to 15 “veils of color, so once it all cures, you’re really able to look through the painting.”
Her “Sacred Motion” series mimics the ocean waves, with some works installed in authentic portholes. She also recently introduced abstract bronze sculptures to her repertoire, several of which are available at the Front Street gallery.
While Lisa Wilson wants “the unpredictable” and is eager to hear others’ interpretations of her work, her husband, D. Arthur Wilson, who sold his first painting to his high school geometry teacher, approaches his work methodically.
D. Arthur Wilson’s wildlife paintings, done in pastels that are deceptively rich, and specifically the eyes of the animals, have earned him worldwide acclaim.
“I have thousands of photos from Africa,” he said, introducing “Zeus,” the bronze elephant in the gallery.
In fact, the Wilsons, through their artwork, have raised more than $1 million for wildlife conservation organizations.
“We like to give back and support causes in the local community,” Lisa Wilson said.
And through Nov. 15, they’ll donate a portion of all sales at the gallery to the Anchors Aweigh clubhouse in Key West, which hosts recovery meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
During the pandemic, D. Wilson began work on his “Heavy Metal” series of paintings — locomotives, airplanes, even a VW bus — to highlight the adventure of the journey.
And then there’s Rhupert — the lighthearted ostrich created by D. Arthur that’s decidedly less predictable than the detailed, spot-on wildlife sculptures and paintings. D Arthur paints Rhupert in front of the Duval Street sign; on a Key West beach, at the Eiffel Tower and within Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
“Rhupert reminds people to always be themselves and to not take life — or themselves — too seriously,” D. Arthur said.
The Wilsons seem to have mastered that part of their artistic philosophy, and the friendly nature of their fine art gallery is proof that fine art can also be fun.For more information visit wilsonsignaturecollection.com.