Issue: 45

  Recent Paintings by Bill Hudson

Clamming in Lubec
Watercolor & Casein, 12" x 9"  
Old Port
Watercolor & Casein, 20" x 14"

The Approach
                                                                                                 by Bill Hudson
A few weeks ago, my oldest grandson Dan asked me for help. Dan is a tall, thin, friendly, good-looking 12-year-old with surfer-thick blond hair, a heart of gold, and a great smile. He is generous, considerate, intelligent, and popular with everyone in his school as evidenced by his being elected Class President last year. Dan is now in the 6 th grade of public school.
Dan told me he is not particularly happy in his school because his interests have become different from most of the other kids. After talks with his friends, he now realizes that of about 60 kids his age only 5 have similar goals. While others are focused on sports and academics, and although he has tried sports (baseball, golf, surfing, track, and life guards), Dan enjoys music, comedy, and working behind the scenes in his school plays much more.
With this realization, Dan now wanted to apply for acceptance to the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) where his older sister Maggie attends. Established in 1987, OCSA is an accredited, tuition-free, public charter school for 7 th through 12 th grades, serving 2,000 students, with thirteen art conservatories in the Schools of Applied Arts, Dance, Fine and Media Arts, Music, and Theatre. I was actually blown away by Dan's insight, his willingness to share his thoughts, his openness to the risk of rejection, and his maturity in defining a long-term development path with goals. I told Dan how proud I was of his decision and asked where he needed my help.
Dan said he was applying to the Production and Design Conservatory in the School of Theatre. He had an interview scheduled in one month and for this he needed to design a set based upon "The Three Little Pigs", to fabricate a scale model of that set, and provide three to six watercolors. And that is where I would come in. Dan was asking for some engineering and art training and he needed it now. Acceptance to OCSA is very selective and highly competitive.
It's the heart, afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
It's the dream, afraid of waking that never takes the chance. 
It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give,
And the soul, afraid of dying that never learns to live.
                                                 Bette Midler
I gave Dan a drafting board, a T-square, a 45 and a 30/60 triangle, some drafting tape, dividers, and some lessons in mechanical drawing. Dan was a quick learn and an even quicker draw. He picked up how to layout scaled engineering assembly and detail drawings with front, top, and side views using varied lines for visible and hidden objects, projections, dimensions, borders, center lines, and sections. He realized the value of those drawings in designing and fabricating a set. My goal was not to do the work for Dan; it was to teach him how by example, and then let him do it on his own, which he did well.
Next we went to my studio to do some watercolors. And there is where I learned a great deal more about my grandson and about a very different approach to life. We made some outlines for paintings on 9" x 12", 140-lb, cold press watercolor paper. Dan had little drawing experience so we used a projector to provide outlines for a wolf, pigs and a brick house. I sat Dan down at my easel with my watercolors and his sketches as I went down the hall to get a clean tub of water. When I returned a few minutes later, Dan sat there, brush in hand, with one painting nearly completed after using a pickle jar of old, dirty water. This was Dan at his best .... focused, unintimidated, no fear, and eager. He boldly went where I could not imagine. Without even an introduction to watercolor, he simply painted.
Until that moment I was worried that Dan would not be able to produce the necessary paintings in the remaining 3 weeks. But Dan produced 4 paintings in the next 3 hours. And each one got better as Dan learned from real-time experience about perspective, value, wet-on-wet, dry brush, etc., etc. Most people like myself would have taken time for some reassuring guidance and a little research, planning, and preparation before risking the outcome of that first brush stroke. Not Dan-the-Man. He's not comparing himself to others using SAT scores or batting average or seconds in the hundred yard dash. His heart is his metric.
Dan had his OCSA interview three weeks ago. He will be notified sometime in April.
Subscriber Announcements
48th Annual Watercolor West International Juried Exhibition
Call for Entries. Online Only. Deadline: June 22, 2016.
Juror: Robbie Laird. Approximately $20,000 in cash and merchandise Awards.
Entry Fee: for 2 entries is $45 for Members and $55 for Non-Members.
Only Transparent Watercolor. Exhibition October 15-December 18, 2016.
City of Brea Art Gallery, Brea, CA.
Prospectus available April 1st at
Upcoming Events    (for Bill Hudson)
April 1, 2, 3        Indian Wells Arts Festival 2016
June 11, 12        San Diego Festival of Arts (formerly La Jolla)

Fine Arts Framing  - best frames, people, prices ... 714-573-0040

West River Fine Art - museum quality giclee printing ... 949-551-5739


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Mahl Bridge and Clamps
 The Mahl Bridge and Clamps (sold separately)
 Retail Price: $59.99
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