Watercolors by
  Bill Hudson     
Monthly Newsletter 

Portland Head Lighthouse
Watercolor & Gouache, 15" x 22"
by Bill Hudson

The reference image for this painting was obtained on YouTube.com. The video is entitled:

North Along The Coast of Maine
by Jack W Cox

YouTube, Baby
...by Bill Hudson

As a maritime artist, my approach has always been: travel, meet with local watermen, take hundreds of reference photographs, pick the best, and begin painting in my studio. Well, with old age and the pandemic, I’ve made several recent changes to that approach.

A lot of my travel is now to medical facilities. And the people I meet, my “new best friends,” are doctors and nurses. While visiting, I’ve noticed that most waiting rooms have a large screen TV with some form of nature scenery running constantly. Many images capture my artistic interests, so I asked one receptionist, “Where do you get these videos? Do you subscribe to some service?”

“Oh, no,” she said. “They’re available free on YouTube. Just go to ‘Search’ and enter ‘scenery’. Then you can specify locations.” I couldn’t wait to get home and try it.

I quickly discovered a gold mine. I typed in “scenery” and then added descriptors like “Oregon coast,” “Chesapeake Bay,” “Chincoteague Bay,” “Greenbackville, Virginia,” “Coastline of Maine,” “Crabbing,” “Lobster,” “Ireland,” etc. I’ve now spent hundreds of hours happily visiting my favorite places, sometimes off-season, with aerial views.

For example, the coast of Maine, in the summer, is my favorite location on the face of the earth. I’ve hiked, scaled rocks, taken boats, and gotten to locations before sunrise to capture reference photographs for paintings. But, with YouTube, I can sip coffee while watching a video of lighthouses taken by a drone, flying 100 feet above crashing waves, off the coast of Maine, in a winter rain. I could not have recorded such events in my prime, in the best of health.

Now, I can position myself facing normal to my TV, with camera in hand, and take pictures in a darkened room to minimize reflections. Subsequently, I modify or enhance the photographs (crop, saturation, hue, contrast, lightness, sharpness, etc.) with any image application. These altered photographs have become references for future paintings.

On the lower left is a photograph taken directly from my TV. On the right, is my modified image which I used as reference for the above painting.
Taken directly from the TV
Modified with PhotoStudio Expressions
Personally, I believe if you use another person's image for profit, you are ethically obligated to get their permission and credit them as the source. In my previous years, I've only used two images of other photographers. Both were appreciative of my request, which included a modest compensation, and both granted permission. I feel this may happen more in the future now that I'm acquainted with YouTube.

You may not be legally obligated to get permission since copyright law is complex and loosely defined with many loopholes. The Copyright Act of 1976 addresses “fair use” which permits some copying and distribution without permission or payment to the copyright holder. Factors considered for “fair use” are: (1) the purpose and character of one’s use, (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) what amount and proportion of the whole work was taken, and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

I wanted to thank each of you for your continued interest in this Newsletter. I particularly appreciate your responses. If you wish to make any art related announcements or comments that may benefit the readers, feel free to submit them for the next issue.
Discovering Value and Purpose
by Bill Hudson
Released June 3, 2021

Paperback .................$ 18.99
eBook ..........................$ 9.99
Past Newsletters
Past Newsletters are listed chronologically by title in the Newsletter section of my website www.BillHudsonArt.com/newsletter/
Events & Galleries
Singulart, an online gallery selling original art from juried artists with free global shipping and returns. I recommend Singulart for any collector or contemporary artist.
Fine Art America, is an online print-on-demand gallery which sells nearly all my images. These are available in a wide range of sizes on many substrates and objects including: coffee cups, shirts, towels, greeting cards, puzzles, phone cases, and tote bags.
Art Instructor, Laguna Methodist Art Association, Mondays in January, 9:30 to 12:30