Swansea Shack, Swansea, CA. Original watercolor painting by Woody Hansen
Title: SWANSEA SHACK – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″
To learn more about this painting, including purchase information, click on image.


The registration for the 20th Manzanar Workshop founded by Henry Fukuhara (1913 to 2010), will be held from Thursday May 18th to Monday May 22nd, 2017. This year’s title: “Henry and Friends: A Legacy of Giving Back”.

This workshop will feature five days in the Owens Valley. There will be an emphasis on giving back to teachers and to the art community, our cadre of friends-of-Henry volunteer- artists will provide a total of eight demos and three critiques.

The list of artist instructors for 2017 includes: Dave Deyell, Dan Dickman, Phyl Doyon, Woody Hansen, Ron Libbrecht, Rea Nagel, David Peterson, Albert Setton. All have painted with Henry. Shelly Pearson will be the On-site Greeter, Facilitator and Energy Center. Weather permitting, workshop participants will gather at Alabama Hills, Diaz Lake, Keeler, Manzanar, and Owens Lake. Continue reading


EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066. Watercolor painting by WoodyHansen
Title: EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066 – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″
To learn more about this painting, including purchase information, click on image.

For the past several years I’ve had the pleasure of participating  in the late Henry Fukuhara’s (4/25/19-1/31/10) Manzanar Outdoor Watercolor Workshops. One of the on-site locations is, of corse, the site of the Manzanar Relocation Center, located in California, on the eastern side of the Sierra Mountain range, between the cities of Lone Pine, to the South, and Independence, to the North.


As the reader may know, Manzanar was created on the basis of Executive Order 9066. It was not one of America’s brightest days. Today, Manzanar is part of our National Park System and stands as a reminder of how easily our rights as American citizens can be threatened…and publicly accepted, with little question.


Executive Order 9066, occurred in 1942. This was as a result of World War II, and during President  Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. The order authorized the internment of Americans of Japanese, Italian, and German ancestry.

At 31 years of age, Henry Fukuhara and his family were among American citizens who were interned at Manzanar, one of many similar camps throughout the United States.

RELATED INFORMATION found by following this link.

I’m sure the reader can recall the phrase, History tends to repeat itself. Or, as philosopher Santayana noted, Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.


So, while at Henry’s Fukuhara’s18th Workshop, May 14-18, 2015, I painted three, half sheet watercolors, of which,  Executive Order 9066 is, to me  the most meaningful of the three.

The creation of the painting Executive Order 9066, doesn’t come easy. Truthfully, it is a struggle. I do eleven preliminary sketches/value plans before setting brush to paper. Prior to that the idea mentally incubates for the most part of two days and nights. Once the basic theme is determined, the problem becomes one of how to present the idea in an abstract manner.

The original concept is to place the phrase, Don’t Tread On Me, on one of the flag’s white stripes. Eventually, I realize this preconceived idea is distracting, taking precedence over compositional considerations, such as the small, white “9066” shape.

So, once the many red and white stripes are changed into one, big, bold earth colored rock-like shape I am on my way. I want the small, white, rectangular area simple and stark in contrast to the bigger, darker rock shape. I finally realize that by placing that same shape against several red and white stripes causes unwanted visual conflict.

I purposely elect not to add the term Executive Order, anywhere on the painting. I want “9066” to stand alone, to contrast against the rest of the painting. For those who know, “9066,” does it. For those who do not know, it would be in their best interest to do some research on the subject.

Perhaps the strength of this painting is that it leaves room for the viewer’s personal interpretation and reflection.  What does Executive Order 9066 have in common with the events of 1776? Furthermore, do those events have any relevance in the year 2015 and beyond? I think so.


Want to learn watercolor, or brush upon your skills? Check out my upcoming watercolor classes and workshops.

You’re invited to visit my WEB SITE, www.woodyhansen.com




This video answers the question, “What’s the world’s toughest job?” It does this by  offering random job applicants imaginary employment with unbelievable requirements, not the least of which is no pay! The reactions of the applicants are priceless and sobering.

Forget the Mother’s Day card, gift, roses and candy. instead show Mom this video. Okay, okay, after showing her the video…THEN give her the Mother’s Day card, gift, roses and candy.



STICKING POINT – Original Watercolor

Sticking Point, an original watercolor painting by artist Woody HansenTITLE: Sticking Point – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″
To see a framed version of this painting or to learn more, please click image.


Sticking Point as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “Something that people disagree about and that prevents progress from being made…”

We’ve all experienced many sticking points during our lives. What are some examples you might recall? Here are just a couple that immediately come to mind.


From time to time throughout history, we seem to experience a Congress composed of a significant group of individuals who refuse to put the needs of the country and its citizens ahead of their own greed and political self-interest. The result? One sticking point after another. Perhaps the best example might be our present Congress, arguably the most ineffective group of free loaders in history.


According to the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California (JAHSSC), there is, what might be termed an educational sticking point with regard to USC, the University of Southern California and their former Nisei students. The sticking point?  Unlike the University of California (Cal), and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Southern California (USC), decided to award honorary degrees, only to LIVING Japanese American students who were forced to leave the campus during World War II, but not to those who have since passed away. Good, but not good enough.

According to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, the evacuation (Executive Order 9066), meant that thousands of Japanese Americans would be prohibited from attending colleges and universities on the West Coast. With the urging of the University of California’s President Robert Gordon Sproul, and his colleagues, including UCLA’s Provost, Earle R. Hedrick, these academic institutions were helpful in assisting and helping transfer as many students as possible to educational facilities in the interior of the United States.

Meanwhile, USC’s, Nisei students faced a sticking point, an uncooperative USC administration, led by then-President Rufus B. von Kleinsmid. Read more about this situation by following this link.


Those of us who paint realize, if we are fortunate, every so often we get a painting that just seems to happen almost on its own accord, as if preordained.

The development of Sticking Point was completely spontaneous. There was no advance planning what so ever. Once started, the painting simply evolved in a nonobjective manner, a team effort, a symbiosis between painter, paint, and paper.

In my view, a nonobjective painting such as Sticking Point must be more than the result of haphazardly  slopping paint onto a surface and calling it nonobjective. A non-objective work must show some understanding of design, of the relationship between shape, value, and color. Whether this is accomplished consciously or subconsciously is irrelevant.

Sticking Point is currently one of my favorite works, and will most likely remain that way well into the future

ª For purchase information, go HERE.

ª Questions? Comment? Leave your message below, or on my Contact Page.

ª I invite you to visit my WEB SITE, www.woodyhansen.com


Photo0-Alabama HillsWoody kMansanar DemoLEFT- View of Eastern Sierra from Alabama Hills. Photo courtesy of Al Setton.
RIGHT: View of one of five 2013 demonstrations.

In its 17th year, the workshop is in memory of Henry Fukuhara (1913-2010) organized by Albert Setton, assisted by Michele Peaarson, and Dan Dickman. Dates of the workshop are Thursday, May 15, to Monday, May 19, 2014. Workshop fee: $110.

FEATURES: The workshop features five demos, 3 critiques, plus daily offices hours with distinguished artists: Jan Wright, www.jan-wright.com; John Barnard, ww.wjohnbarnard.com; Al Setton, www.alsetton.com; Dani Dodge, www.danidodge.com; Phyl Doyon, www.phyllisdoyon.com.

FEE: Fee includes a “Meet and Greet” party on Friday, May 16, 2014, and a no-fee group show in Fall 2014.

HOW TO ENROLL: To enroll: e-mail your name, address, phone, and e-mail address to Michele Pearson and send your check payable to Albert Setton, 1244 12th Street, Unit 5, Santa Monica, CA. 90401. For more information call Michele at 1 (310) 663-9582, or e-mail at michelep11@verison.net, or contact Al at 1 (310) 428-0051. Email: alsetton64@gmail.com.

ª Questions? Comment? Leave your message below, or on my Contact Page.

ª I invite you to visit my WEB SITE, www.woodyhansen.com

MANZANAR WORKSHOP, 16th Annual Henry Fukuhara workshop

Manzanar Workshop Watercolor painting of Manzanar Guard HouseWatercolor Title: MANZANAR GUARD HOUSE – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen
To see a framed version of this painting or to learn more, please click image)

The annual Henry Fukuhara Manzanar Workshop is going on this month in Lone Pine, CA. The above watercolor painting, “Manzanar Guard House,” is my attempt to recognize this important event held in Henry Fukuhara’s memory. This year’s four day workshop begins Friday, May 17, and runs through, Monday, May 20, 2013. The workshop features four demonstrations, and three critiques. I’m pleased to note I’ve been asked to do the Sunday demo at Manaznar, as well as sharing that afternoon’s critique with Al Setton.

This is my second Manzanar Workshop demo and my third critique. I’m looking forward to another enjoyable gathering of artists of all levels. This is definitely an event not to be missed. I’m told, as of this writing there are over 100 artists expected to attend this year, an increase over the 80 artists who attended last year’s workshop. Registration is still open. I hope to see you there.

The current Manzanar Workshop line up is as follows:

Friday, May 17  (Manzanar Workshop)

9:00 AM  Dan Dickman demo at the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center.

3:00 PM Al Setton critique at the Lone Pine Film Museum.


Saturday, May 18 (Manzanar Workshop)

9:00 AM Chris Van Winkle demo at Alabama Hills.

3:00 PM  Bill Anderson critique at the Lone Pine Film Museum.

Sunday, May 19 (Manzanar Workshop)

9:00 AM  Woody Hansen demo at Manzanar.

3:00 PM Woody Hansen and Al Setton critiquet at the Lone Film Museum.

Monday, May 20 (Manzanar Workshop)

9:00 AM Willie McFarland demo in Keeler. No critique the last day. Workshop ends around noon.


Workshop Contact Information

Michele Pearson, 310-663-9582

Al Setton,  310-428-0051.

Questions? Leave a comment here, or on my Contact Page.  For Manzanar Guard House purchase information, go HERE.


Original Watercolor by Woody Hansen, Happy Scarecrow

Watercolor Title: HAPPY SCARECROW – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen
To see a framed version of this painting or to learn more, please click image)

The creation of a watercolor painting can be a crazy ride.  For example this watercolor came into being over several years, stretching from 2009, to 2013! The actual working dates are 06/17/09, 11/26/12, 11/28/12. 11/29/12, 12/03/12. and 04/05/13! The time spent painting on each date, of course varies from minutes to hours. Such an approach to creating a watercolor is not the norm for me, but then neither is placing a scarecrow in a painting.

So why the scarecrow? The scarecrow is the result of a spontaneous, multifaceted, serendipitous, event involving some small degree of risk and what might be termed poetic or artistic license. But wait, there is more, or as the late Paul Harvey might have said, “here is the rest of the story.”

First, the concept of poetic or artistic license is fascinating. Consider the title from the 1962 novel by the great Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes. That title seems quite creative, despite  some opinion that the original line might have been based on a phrase from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Despite poor grammar, someone certainly used originality and poetic license to his advantage and for our entertainment.

Second, there is the 1974, song lyric from “Tin Man,” sung by the group, America.  The lyric goes, “But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t, didn’t already have.” What wonderful, imaginative word choice! Damn the grammar police, this is artistic risk-taking at it’s best, especially the repeat of the word “didn’t!”

Now, with the previously stated concept in mind, it is on that twenty-ninth day of November, 2012, that  I become aware of a serendipitous shape in the form of a scarecrow. At this stage it is little more than a blob of paint, a suggestive shape.  However, I reject the idea of a scarecrow randomly stuck in a rather rugged, rocky, semi-mountainous, landscape painting. What’s a solitary, scarecrow doing in a place like this, instead of on a farm-like landscape where he might be better placed? At first, it just doesn’t make sense.

Still, I can see with just a little nudging here and there, a cute, happy scarecrow could appear. A “cute: scarecrow? Perish the thought! Develop him further, or paint him out?  I decide to put off the decision. Back goes the painting into the unfinished stack.

Nearly a half-year later, on April 5, 2013, this watercolor is rescued from an ever-increasing stack of unfinished paintings. what to do about the scarecrow. Then I recall seeing, a month or so earlier an actual happy looking scarecrow sitting proudly on the seat of an old, rusty, tractor. Beside the archaic tractor, in a rather rugged, rocky, semi-mountainous, area is a sign reading, “Tractor Bob.”

Ironically, at about the precise moment of thinking about Tractor Bob, I become aware of the background music I paint by.  Into my ear canals something beautiful this way comes,”But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t, didn’t already have.” Serendipitous. Artistic license. Take a risk. Instantly, the decision is made. In a few strokes of a pen and brush that blob of paint, that suggestive shape gives life to a “Happy Scarecrow.” Artistic police be damned.

Questions? Leave a comment here, or ar my Contact Page.  For purchase information, go HERE.

Free Friday, March 22, 2013

Watercolor done with sponge
Watercolor: Untitled and Unfinished


The watercolor seen above is a first stage, unfinished, 15 x 22 inch painting, created this morning. A 35 second video explains all. To see the windy video, click HERE.

To see the finished painting, watch this space.


1. Join us for Free Fridays. To learn how, click HERE!

2. Fun filled, indoor watercolor classes begin next Wednesday, March 27. Last call. More Here!