Learning from JanJan offers ways to learn through Videos, Legacy Tutorials and Books.
Casa de CorazonAn artist finds her home in Costa Rica – the journey from refuge to creative community.
Visit or Paint with JanVisit and/or Paint with Jan – for a morning, a day or a week.
Thanks for stopping by. I am Jan Hart – a not so young anymore watercolor artist and teacher, author and writer with a passion for color, consciousness, Costa Rica and animals – not necessarily in that order. Originally from the United States, (California, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico) I now live in a small Tico community in the southern zone of Costa Rica, just above the city of San Isidro de El General. I and my animal family of dogs and a parrot live a simple and pretty quiet life here. From this place I continue to do what I do best – write, paint, teach and welcome guests and students. Please browse through and see if there is a way we can connect. Pura Vida!
Casa de Corazon
Jan’s Featured Products
I went away from your workshop finally able to call myself an “artist”. Before your workshop I felt very inadequate as an artist. You changed that feeling with your encouragement and supportive critiques. I am so excited to finally use COLOR in my paintings. Before your workshop I seemed to use drab color schemes (Wyeth) because I felt comfortable with drab colors. Now I see how exciting Costa Rica (rain forest) colors can be. Thank you! I’m so glad I went to Costa Rica and finally stepped out of my “Comfort Zone”.
5 Day Intensive Workshop
Either a person who is new to international travel or an experienced traveler should feel very comfortable with the authentic experience that Jan Hart has created in Costa Rica. From the time that I left the airport in San Jose and met my English speaking driver Barnaby and throughout the week that I was in this Spanish speaking Central American country Jan made sure that the whole trip went smoothly. Her experiences living in Costa Rica for the last couple of years are evident in the decisiveness with which she is able to plan out the most interesting places to visit.
With her ability to give painting guidance in a constructive and gentle way Jan works easily with beginning as well as more advanced students. During the week I was able to improve the way I paint backgrounds, and better understand how to make the center of interest advance and the background recede. We painted both from photographs and on location near the beach along the Pacific Ocean. I had taken a class from Jan last fall in Espanola, but for me watercolor painting seems to be a skill that takes repeated exposure to ideas thus allowing deeper understanding over time. Some of the ideas that I was introduced to in Espanola weren’t solidly understood. This five day intensive workshop gave me the time with Jan that I needed to paint, receive supportive instruction, and if I chose, to repaint pictures which incorporated the suggestions that she made. I think that I made great advances in my painting skills.
I finally understood how to make the center of interest advance and the background recede. We painted both from photographs and on location near the beach along the Pacific. Thank you, Jan!
The Book, 'A Watercolor Artist's Guide to Exceptional Color'
I LOVE your book! I have read it, underlined most of it, and are in the processing of reading it again. As a fairly new watercolorist, I yearned to understand color pigments and their behavior. I have bought over a dozen books and have found yours to be the absolute best! Thanks to your insightful and incredibly informative writing I now understand color and the art of watercoloring on a much deeper and more gratifying level.
Thanks again for writing a great resource!
The Book, 'A Woman Awakens: Life, Afterlife'
Wow, I was not prepared for such a compelling story. Because I’ve come to know Jan through social media, I bought this book to learn more of her personal journey. On one level, this can be read as the story of one woman’s health and financial challenges that led her to leave the United States and start over as a single woman living in Costa Rica, and all the discoveries that inevitably came with adapting to a new culture. This alone reflected uncommon courage, resolve and imagination. She navigated the challenges of this transition with humor, warmth and flexibility, all of which are reflected in her delightful writing. That’s what immediately struck me about this book — how well it is written, and how eminently qualified Jan was to write it given her unusual combination of strengths as a fine artist, a scientist and a very able writer.
But then things got interesting — she met a man and they bonded deeply. And then he died, and she had to cope with the greatest loss of her lifetime. At this point Jan’s journey became highly unusual — I’ve never read anything like it. If a lesser writer were telling what happened, I would have given up and closed the book. But Jan explains it in a way I can accept and understand, and that I find inspirational. I commented to Jan recently, “You examine the subject of life and death very thoughtfully and without fear. I found your approach uplifting and reassuring.” Jan’s response was, “All of us live at the interface between life and death, even when we don’t know it until we are pulled out of the water or wake up the next morning.”
I think any reader who picks up this book will be richly rewarded with much to consider, and immense reassurance about the possibilities of both life and death.