“This is a happy little place,” Sylvia Wilson says of the gallery she occupies with her daughter, Blakeley Wilson Pratt. Idyllic depictions of Americana draw customers into Wilson & Wilson Folkart Co, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Throughout the studio, richly detailed pastoral scenes come to life on art prints and stationery accented with a cheerful assortment of sunflowers, cats, and quilts. The pair opened the shop more than two decades ago—eager to establish permanent roots in the picturesque Victorian village after traversing the country for many years to sell their wares at crafts shows.
Entirely self-taught, Sylvia began her career embellishing duck decoys carved by her late husband. Blakeley’s earliest memories include sitting in her mother’s lap, awed by her creativity. “When I was 5 years old, Mom would paint an outline and then let me take a brush and fill in the image,” she recalls. “I learned to paint before I could write.” Sylvia looks back on these sessions fondly, noting that from a tender age, Blakeley’s innate abilities were apparent.
Working together is a joy for mother and daughter. The two possess an uncanny ability to share a single vision for a finished canvas before the first brushstroke is even applied. Blakeley prefers to focus on larger pieces, while Sylvia favors smaller compositions. But no matter the project, each artist seeks to complement the aesthetic of the other in palette and technique. Sylvia is quick to mention that her daughter is the better painter, yet Blakeley insists, “My striving goal is still to be as good as my mom.”
To learn more about cultural attractions in Northwest Arkansas, read “Font of Revival: Eureka Springs” on page 21 of the March/April 2015 issue of Victoria magazine.