Ghost Ranch, New Mexico – USA 2017

Painting the Light and Color of Ghost Ranch

This workshop is postponed to 2018. Please contact Jan if you wish to be placed on the “Interested” list for further information.

September 4  – 10, 2017

“Untitled (Red and Yellow Cliffs)” Georgia O’Keeffe.

I moved to New Mexico from Seattle, Washington in 1993. It was Georgia O’Keeffe who enticed me to consider this move. When I saw her painting of the red and yellow cliffs I thought to myself that there surely could not be a place that looked like this. The colors! I had to find out. After a visit there in 1990 I vowed to return. And in early September, 1993 I moved to New Mexico to be close to this landscape and to learn to see it through the eyes of Georgia O’Keeffe.

Painting the sculpted sandstone cliffs and golden cottonwoods of Ghost Ranch became my obsession for fifteen years. After moving to Costa Rica in 2008 I still return each year to once again breathe the sage scented air and look for the reflected light in the crevices of the rocks. I invite you to join me for this small workshop there in early September, 2017.

Ghost Ranch, 2017


  • Monday, Sept. 4  Arrival by dinner at 5 p.m. Greeting and Introductions
  • Tuesday, Sept 5   Demo, Discussions and Painting in studio and en plein aire   Focus: Pigments, Color & Color Relationships; Techniques
  • Wednesday, Sept 6  Demo, Discussions and Painting in studio and en plein aire   Color & Color Relationships; Values, Shapes, Glazing, Backgrounds
  • Thursday, Sept. 7   Demo, Discussions in AM; Light, Shade and Shadow;  Echo Amphitheater painting after lunch: Understanding rocks and landscapes
  • Friday, Sept. 8  Demo, Discussions in AM; Plaza Blanca after lunch: Painting the vibrancy of the neutrals; Night painting
  • Saturday, Sept. 9  Demo, Discussion and Painting in studio: Finishing and Details
  • Sunday, Sept. 10   Farewell after breakfast



The fee includes five full days and six nights – all meals, accommodations on the mesa above the main level of Ghost Ranch, studio space in RoadRunner on the mesa, and all instruction by Jan. You are responsible for getting yourself to and from the ranch. We’ll share transportation to visit nearby places – Echo Canyon, Plaza Blanca, etc.

  • Private room with private bath on Mesa     $1900.00/person
  • Shared room for two people with private bath on Mesa    $1450.00/person
  • Private dorm room with communal bath on Mesa       $1450.00/person
  • Local – attending workshop, meals, no accommodation   $850.00/person

Please see Accommodation photos  here

  • The dorm rooms are like bunk houses, bringing to my mind years ago at church camp when I was young. Most have a sink and are rustic.  I’ll be staying on one of these.
  • The private rooms are more modern with a private bath.

Moonlight Echo Canyon, jh copyDeposit and payment schedule:

  • Private room/bath    $450 at registration ; $725 by July 4, 2017; $725 final payment by August 4, 2017    Payments to Jan Hart via PayPal or direct deposit to Wells Fargo bank (Jan has details)
  • Shared room for two with Private bath OR Private dorm room on Mesa     $400 at registration; $525 by July 4, 2017; $525 final payment by August 4, 2017   Payments to Jan Hart via PayPal or direct deposit to Wells Fargo bank (Jan has details)
  • Local Option   $300 at registration: $275 by July 4, 2017; $275 final payment by August 4, 2017

Please email Jan to register. Max. students 12 on first come basis.  I need 10 people to respond that they are coming by January 31, 2017 to reserve the places with Ghost Ranch. 





Past Itinerary for Española Workshop – just to give you an idea about the subject matter, etc.

Day 1   Light and Color and Color Relationships and the pigments

  • 9:00  Get settled. Introductions. Slideshow. Demo by Jan
  • Understanding and using color relationships and fewer paints to achieve color unity and excitement.  Letting the color wheel show you how to mix paint.
  • Learning how to let the Pigments Do the Work.  Watercolor pigments have personalities. Learning which ones push, which ones drop, which bully and which need to be nudged in order to display their beauty is part of the watercolor artist’s education and continued growth.
  • Understanding the basics of light, reflected light and the wonders of the cast shadow.
  • Afternoon to paint until 4! 

Echo Canyon rocks at night. Unfinished and rather abstract.

Day 2  Color and Light Continued …..and More!

Practicing painting more with fewer paint strokes, more paint.  Planning the color scheme BEFORE!



  • 9:30.  Critique of our ‘adolescents’ from yesterday!
  • Demo by Jan.
  • Our subject matter for this day will be the cottonwood tree in full color, painting around the light.Sometimes we paint fast, without little or few pencil lines. This is often terrifyingly wonderful and can produce some unforseen and unplanned excitement in a painting. The painting can then be refined later! Other times we paint deliberately slowly, one stroke or leaf or petal at a time, adding in nuances that delight us. We’ll be using a 3/4″ or 1 inch flat brush with lots of paint and learning how to connect shapes with one stroke in order to unify and balance!  And we’ll learn to really load our brushes!
  • For finishing we allow the painting to have its voice! Sometimes it is useful to put away the photo reference entirely during finishing and be open to the emergence of what the painting itself is wanting.  We’ll learn about ‘path of dark’, ‘path of light’, dark accents, colored accents, connecting shapes, glazing…..
  • Afternoon.  Painting until 4!

Day 3.  Painting Rocks in the Landscape under direct sunlight

 Simplification. Abstraction. Direct painting. Design!  Telling a Story. Breaking the Rules….

  • 9:30.  Critique of our ‘adolescents’ from yesterday!
  • Demo by Jan.
  • I’ll introduce some of the lessons I’ve loved most from O’Keeffe using the subject of the Echo Amphitheater Rocks in afternoon light.
  • Afternoon.  Painting until 4!

Plein aire sketch done at Ghost Ranch looking out to the Pedernal. Ink line added.

Day 4. Plein Aire Painting in the Land of Georgia O’Keeffe

  • We’ll be car pooling up to Ghost Ranch, Echo Canyon, and possibly Plaza Blanca – to see and be in some of the places O’Keeffe painted – and we’ll paint a quick plein aire sketch wherever we are.  I will plan to do a watercolor sketch at Echo Canyon. The sketch can be the basis of a studio painting later – or may simply glow with the recognition that you caught a moment in watercolor!  Perhaps we’ll meet for dinner at Angelina’s….we’ll decide!

I hope you will join me for this painting adventure in one of my favorite places – Española, New Mexico – just 1/2 hour north of Santa Fe and 45 minutes south of Ghost Ranch!


Iguana-Alert-jh edited-1  Iguana Alert, painted in New Mexico, 2013

Tax & Cancellation Policy for all Jan Hart events:

Appropriate state taxes will be added where required. There are no taxes required for Costa Rica. Spaces are reserved on a first deposit received basis. Your deposit is 1/3 of the total charge for the workshop. Once your place has been reserved, there will be a non-refundable cancellation charge of $150 prior to 75 days before the event. The cancellation fee for less than 75 days before the event will be charged according to expenses incurred. The final 2/3 of the total is due 30 – 45 days before the event. No refund less than 30 days before the event unless a replacement participant can be found. We reserve the right to cancel any event, in which case we will make a full refund. Any refund due will be paid within 30 days after the event. Thank you.

The best way to find out more about a particular workshop is to email me and ask. I check my emails regularly and will get right back to you – usually within a couple days.


To register for a workshop, email Jan to tell her you would like to register. She will let you know the details and how to submit your deposit.

1 Comment
  1. Hi Jan,
    Your New Mexico workshop is quite exciting. Please tell us the fee for the workshop and an estimate of lodging costs.

    As a resident of Seattle, I’d also like to know the fee for your Seattle workshop.

    Thanks, Eve

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