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Scott Robert Hudson: An Artist’s Life in Notebooks and Projects


Summary Note

Artist Scott Robert Hudson’s artistic practice is to investigate the socio-ecology and kinesthetic memory of place. Materials include artist journals from 1978 – 2019, conceptual renderings for installation proposals, a fire video project, interview transcripts, and essays.

Biographical Note

Scott Robert Hudson was born in 1958 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This is where his paternal grandmother Gwen Hudson ran an art studio where she taught oil painting lessons and did portraits and scenes of the Missouri River.
Growing up in Southern California in the 1960s and 70s, Hudson was instilled with environmental awareness as he learned of environmental disasters such as the catastrophic oil spill in Santa Barbara and Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River fire. After high school, Hudson initially studied illustration with Dale Harvey at Rio Hondo College. He also spent many afternoons in the home of the artist Yoshio Nakamura where he was exposed to Yoshio’s journals of wilderness field notes and sketches.

After shifting his focus to painting and sculpture, he graduated from CSU Chico in Northern California where he was greatly influenced by Ken Morrow, Lowell Jones and Jim McManus. He spent five seasons fighting forest fires for the U.S. Forest Service and in the off seasons for two of those years, he was the studio assistant for Lowell’s solar kinetic sculpture commissions. After this period, he spent two years in Seattle where he befriended the sculptor and sumi master George Tsutakawa.

In 1989, Hudson returned to Chico where he married Kathy Scholl in 1993. During this period, he was adopted by Chico’s fine woodworking community, especially Del Stubbs, Michael Sterling and Richard Silvera, where he learned about the physical, spiritual, and ethical nature of wood. He also spent three years as the unofficial artist-in-residence in the Vertebrate Museum at CSU Chico where he painted watercolors of North American birds from study skins. This began a life-long friendship with the biologist and author Ray Barnett.

Starting in 1996, Hudson spent five years in Minneapolis where Kathy earned a Ph.D. While there, he spent two years as an art installer at the Walker Art Center. In 2001, Kathy was hired as a professor in Iowa returning Hudson unexpectedly to his birth state. In 2014 they returned west purchasing a home in Reno, Nevada.

Scope and Content

Steeped in the natural history, history, politics, and land use of the bioregions where he has lived, Scott Robert Hudson’s artistic practice investigates the socio-ecology and kinesthetic memory of place. He has explored prehistoric sites such as the Paleolithic cave paintings of France and the concept of ancestral memory as a source for contemporary content. He keeps regular field notes of our natural world with particular interest in trees, birds, and nudibranchs.

Archive materials include artist journals from 1978 – 2019, conceptual renderings for installation proposals, a fire video project, interview transcripts, and essays.


This archive is organized in two series. The first series contains artist information, exhibition ephemera, and the artist’s notebooks. The second series contains projects, whether realized or unrealized, and bodies of work.
  • Series 1: Artist Information and Notebooks
  • Series 2: Projects and Bodies of Work

Inclusive Dates


Bulk Dates


Quantity / Extent

1 cubic feet



Related Archive Collections

  • CAE1201: Cedra Wood: Land Arts and Riverland Biosphere in Australia
  • CAE1308: Cedra Wood: The Arctic Circle

Related Publications

Foster, Tony. Arid Lands: Watercolour Diaries of Journeys Across Deserts. Over Wallop, Hampshire, England: T. Foster, BAS Printers, 1995.

Foster, Tony. John Muir's High Sierra: A Watercolour Diary. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh Art Centre, 1987.

Foster, Tony. Tony Foster: Exploring the Grand Canyon: Watercolour Diaries, 1988-1989. Penzance, Cornwall, England: San Francisco, CA: Newlyn Orion Galleries; Montgomery Gallery, 1989.

Container Listing by Series:

CAE2210/1 Series 1: Artist Information and Notebooks, 1978-2020

Series 1 contains artist information in the format of documents and artist notebooks.
  • CAE Box 21

    • 1-1 Artist Information, 1984-2020
    • 1-2 Journal (1), Chico CA, 1978-1980
    • 1-3 Journal (2), Chico CA, 1985-1986
    • 1-4 Journal (3), Chico CA, 1986-1987
    • 1-5 Journal (4), Chico CA and Seattle WA, 1987-1989
    • 1-6 Journal (5), Seattle WA and Chico CA, 1989-1990
    • 1-7 Journal (6), Los Molinos CA and Chico CA, 1990-1996
    • 1-8 Journal (7), Chico CA, 1991-1996
    • 1-9 Journal (8), Chico CA, 1994-1996
    • 1-10 Journal (9), Minneapolis MN, 1996-2001
    • 1-11 Journal (10), Cedar Falls IA, 2001-2005
    • 1-12 Journal (11), Cedar Falls IA, 2005-2008
    • 1-13 Journal (12), Cedar Falls IA and Reno NV, 2012-2019
    • 1-14 Field Notes, 1994-2019
    • 1-15 Drawings, 1985-2006

CAE2210/2 Series 2: Projects and Bodies of Work, 1989-2021

Series 2 contains project information, whether realized or unrealized.
  • CAE Box 21

    • 2-1 Lava Beds (1984 – 1994), 1989-1992
    • 2-2 Mollusks (1995), 1996-1997
    • 2-3 Demoke Wood Sculpture (1997), 1997-2006
    • 2-4 Convergence (Unrealized, 2002), 2002
    • 2-5 Bison (2005 – 2007), 2005-2009
    • 2-6 Effigy Mound (2007), 2004-2020
    • 2-7 Meteor Shower (2007), 2005-2007
    • 2-8 Prairie Fire (2010), 1997-2010
    • 2-9 Spirit in a Cave (2010 – 2021), 2020-2021
    • 2-10 Wild Horses (2013), 2009-2013
    • 2-11 Landscape as Witness/Reconciliation (2015), 2015
    • 2-12 Blue Lines (2020), 2011-2020
    • 2-13 The Great Flood (2020), 2007-2020