Creators and Artists

Patagonia, Arizona, is a small town located in the heart of the Santa Cruz Valley. Despite its small size, the town has produced several talented writers and artists who have made a significant impact on the world. Our ranch was once owned by Author and Editor Norman Cousins. He was drawn to the area because of its natural beauty, tranquility, and creative spirit.

Following are creators from the past and today that stayed and lived in Patagonia over the years.


Barbara Kingsolver:

Barbara Kingsolver is a bestselling author known for her works of fiction, including “The Bean Trees,” “Pigs in Heaven,” and “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.” She was born in 1955 and raised in rural Kentucky, but now lives in Patagonia, Arizona. Kingsolver’s work is known for its exploration of social and political issues, as well as its focus on the natural world.

Linda Hogan: 

Linda Hogan is a Native American poet, novelist, and environmental activist. She was born in 1947 and is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. Hogan’s works explore the intersection of indigenous culture, the environment, and the human experience. Some of her most famous works include “Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World” and “Power.”

Jim Harrison

It’s a rare talent for one to be gifted with both the pen and the paintbrush, and it’s a talent that Jim Harrison brings to life in a special way through his books. His books are the signposts in his passage as one of America’s foremost representational artists and touch on many of the subjects he loves.

(Mens Journal) This weekend brought with it the news that Jim Harrison had died at the age of 78. Harrison remained a prolific author throughout his life: earlier this month, his collection The Ancient Minstrel was published, the second book of his to be released this year.

Harrison remains a paradoxical figure: though he certainly had an outsized personality, a willingness to speak his mind, and an acclaimed body of work — there’s also no one single book that’s universally hailed as the best place to start reading him. While other writers of his generation may have favored grandiose and sprawling narratives, Harrison favored succinct and taut forms, with a particular fondness for poetry and the novella. Several of his works were adapted for film over the years, including the novellas Legends of the Fall and Revenge. For a time, Harrison did a substantial amount of writing for the screen: his credits also include the 1994 Jack Nicholson werewolf film Wolf.

Phillip Caputo

We stumbled across Phil’s book Crossers before I knew he lived in Patagonia. The tail of drug runners and their travels back and forth across the border is not only a great story but a chance to take in the sights and sounds of Nogales, Tucson, and the San Rafael Valley.

Caputo has won 10 journalistic and literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 (shared for team investigative reporting on vote fraud in Chicago), the Overseas Press Club Award in 1973, the Sidney Hillman Foundation award in 1977 (for A Rumor of War), the Connecticut Book Award in 2006, and the Literary Lights Award in 2007. 

His first novel, Horn of Africa, was a National Book Award finalist in 1980, and his 2007 essay on illegal immigration won the Blackford Prize for nonfiction from the University of Virginia.

He and his wife, Leslie Ware, a retired editor for Consumer Reports magazine and now a painter and novelist, divide their time between Connecticut and Arizona. Caputo has two sons from a previous marriage, Geoffrey, a professional guitarist with a day job as an electrician, and Marc, a political reporter for Politico.

File photo by Patra Kelly

Joe Brown

(Patagonia Regional Times) Well-known western writer and Patagonia resident JPS Brown (Joseph Paul Summers Brown) has written 15 books, and more than 200 short stories and received two-lifetime achievement awards for his contributions to southwestern literature.

Now 88, he has a long history in the Patagonia area. Born in Nogales into a family of ranchers, he is related to many of the founding settlers of the region.

Brown is, first and foremost, a cattleman and a cowboy. He received a scholarship as a heavyweight boxer (he even sparred with Rocky Marciano) to study at Notre Dame University, where he earned his degree, spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and worked as an alpine rescue instructor, a gold prospector, cattleman, a stuntman and a movie wrangler. His first book, Jim Kane, was made into a 1972 movie “Pocket Money” starring Paul Newman and Lee Marvin.


James G. Davis: James G. Davis is a painter and sculptor who was born in 1932 in Patagonia, Arizona. He is best known for his large-scale bronze sculptures, which often depict figures from indigenous cultures. Davis’ work is celebrated for its beauty and attention to detail, as well as its ability to convey powerful messages about cultural identity and the natural world.

Mimi Jardine: Mimi Jardine is a mixed media artist who was born in 1943 in Patagonia, Arizona. Her work is known for its use of vibrant colors and bold forms, as well as its exploration of themes such as the human experience, the natural world, and the passing of time. Jardine’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe.


Patagonia’s Bob Misiorowski

IMDB – Bob Misiorowski was born on November 25, 1944 in San Francisco, California, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Tombstone  (1993), Point of Impact (1993), and Blood of the Innocent (1994). Other credits as writer, director, or producer include: On The Boarder (1998), Shark Attack (1999), Air Panic (2001), Derailed (2002), Unstoppable (2004), Hardin (2015), among others. He has been married to Elise Besson Misiorowski since 1966. They have one child. 

Bob is an active member of the arts scene in Patagonia and has done screenings at our Tin Shed Theater of his movie, Tombstone. He does a complete play-by-play of what was happening behind the scenes. 

Movie and TV Production

There have been a number of films shot in and around Patagonia. Some of these include:

The Outlaw Josey Wales
(San Rafael Valley)

Links to Patagonia/San Rafael/Sonoita filmed movies at IMDB

John Wayne had a special relationship with southern Arizona. He was a frequent visitor to the region, and he owned a 26,000-acre ranch in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, near the town of Oracle. The ranch was called the “Red River Ranch” and was a working cattle ranch where Wayne raised Hereford cattle. He bought the ranch in 1961 and owned it until his death in 1979.

Wayne was known to be a lover of the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing on his Arizona ranch. He also used the ranch as a filming location for some of his movies, including “Rio Lobo” (1970) and “McQ” (1974).

Wayne was also involved in local civic activities in southern Arizona. He was a member of the Tucson Conquistadores, a philanthropic organization that supports local youth programs and sports events. He also supported the University of Arizona and was a major donor to the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California.

Overall, John Wayne’s relationship with southern Arizona was one of admiration and appreciation for the region’s rugged beauty and outdoor lifestyle. His legacy continues to be celebrated in the region, with several events and attractions dedicated to his memory.



Movies Produced At Empire Ranch – Sonoita


Many well-known western movies and TV series were filmed on or near the Empire Ranch (Sonoita). This list and additional information can be found at The Empire Ranch Foundation. They include (in alphabetical order):

  • 3:10 to Yuma, Glenn Ford, Van Heflin (1957, Delmar Daves)
  • A Star Is Born, Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson (1976, Frank Pierson – Honeymoon House)
  • Another Man, Another Chance, James Caan, Geneviève Bujold, Francis Huster (1977, Claude Lelouch)
  • Bonanza, Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, several shows (1959-73 TV series, various directors)
  • Broken Lance, Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Richard Widmark (1954, Edward Dmytryk)
  • Desperado, Alex McArthur, Yaphet Kotto (1987 TV, Virgil W. Vogel)
  • Duel In the Sun, Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, Joseph Cotten (1946, King Vidor)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming (1957, John Sturges)
  • Gunman’s Walk, Van Heflin, Tab Hunter, James Darren (1958, Phil Karlson)
  • Gunsight Ridge, Joel McCrea, Mark Stevens (1957, Francis D. Lyon)
  • Gunsmoke, James Arness, Dennis Weaver, Amanda Blake, several shows (1955-75 TV series, various directors)
  • Hombre, Paul Newman (1967, Martin Ritt)
  • Hour of the Gun, James Garner, Jason Robards, Robert Ryan (1967, John Sturges)
  • Last Train From Gun Hill, Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn (1959, John Sturges) Monte Walsh, Lee Marvin, Jack Palance (1970, William Fraker)
  • Night of The Lepus, Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun (1972, William F. Claxton)
  • Oklahoma!, Gordon McRae, Shirley Jones (1955, Fred Zinneman)
  • Pocket Money, Paul Newman, Lee Marvin (1972, Stuart Rosenberg)
  • Posse, Kirk Douglas, Bruce Dern (1975, Kirk Douglas)
  • Posse, Mario Van Peebles, Stephen Baldwin (1993, Mario Van Peebles)
  • Red River, James Arness, Bruce Boxleitner (1988 TV, Richard Michaels)
  • Red River, John Wayne, Montgomery Clift (1948, Howard Hawks)
  • Return of the Gunfighter, Robert Taylor, Chad Everett (1967, James Neilson)
  • Ruby Jean and Joe, Tom Selleck, Ben Johnson (1996 TV, Jeffrey Sax)
  • Terror In Copper Valley – Director Christopher Cain – Patagonia Film (1990 USA Network)
  • The Big Country, Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston (1958, William Wyler)
  • The Cowboys, John Wayne (1972, Mark Rydell)
  • The Furies, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Huston (1950, Anthony Mann)
  • The Last Hard Men, Charlton Heston, James Coburn (1976, Andrew V. McLaglen)
  • The Outlaw Josie Wales, Clint Eastwood (1976, Clint Eastwood)
  • The Wild Rovers, William Holden, Ryan O’Neal (1971, Blake Edwards)
  • The Young Pioneers, Linda Purl, Roger Kern (1978 TV series, various directors)
  • The Young Riders, Stephen Baldwin (1989-92 TV series, various directors)
  • Tom Horn, Steve McQueen (1980, William Wiard)
  • War Arrow, Jeff Chandler, Maureen O’Hara, Jay Silverheels (1953, George Sherman)
  • Winchester ‘73, James Stewart, Shelley Winters (1950, Anthony Mann)

Patagonia, Arizona may be a small town, but it has produced some of the most talented and celebrated authors and artists of our time. These artists have left their mark on the world and continue to inspire new generations of creatives.