Testimonials – Books

A Woman Awakens: Life, AfterLife

There are books you remember for a lifetime. Because they resonate with your own experience. Because you are deeply moved by their vulnerability & honesty. Because they open something inside you that was just then ready to see the light. This book is memorable for all of these reasons.

And for many, you will feel invited into an adventure that you yourself may have dreamed of: living in a country as lively & beautiful as Costa Rica. The journey that Jan shares could only have been undertaken by someone who had the courage to ‘jump empty-handed into the void’, as she did in her original move to Costa Rica. By someone who trusted her intuition—despite her formidable scientific training. By someone who was wholly open to life–& perhaps that happens to those of us who have been broken open, as we see in the tales of her last years in The States.

It is clear from the many photos of her extraordinary watercolor paintings that she is a gifted artist–& clearly makes the connections between her art & her life: as mirror, as prophecy, as a great vision of her perceptions of the natural world– both inner & outer. But she is also a gifted writer, & you are carried along by her story, with all the attendant emotions that she herself experienced.

Her book made me feel in good company, knowing that another person had experienced so much of what I have. It made me feel grateful, that I have not had to face such losses. It made me feel hopeful, that there are people who take every experience & turn it into a stepping stone to becoming more conscious, compassionate, alive.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. And I am looking forward to her sequel, “Notes in the Night” so that I can again be inspired by the magic of a woman awakened.

– Willa K., 2017

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.

– Dan P., 2016

The Watercolor Artist’s Guide to Exceptional Color

 Hi Jan,

I just have to tell you, I just received your new book and I am beginning to work with it. It is unlike anything else that I know of in the marketplace. It reminded me all over again why I was so excited about working with you. We are intently interested in the inherent chemical properties of each pigment and the way that chemical reaction leaves a visual trace. Way to go – the book is just gorgeous. I am having so much fun trying out some of your color ideas.

– Cheryl L.

The Watercolor Artist’s Guide to Exceptional Color

I have just finished reading Exceptional Color from cover to cover, word for word.

What a wealth of information! This book is a treasure trove of helpful information and tips for the experienced watercolor artist as well as for the beginner. The illustrations of palette choices, complementary colors, different sets of primary colors, color schemes, diagrams, and examples of paintings of various subject matter help supplement your explanations in the text.

– Eugenia H., 2008

The Watercolor Artist’s Guide to Exceptional Color

 Dear Jan,

I have just received your book and I am speechless. I need some sort of teeny tiny font to show you how completely in awe of you I am! I knew when we were in Espanola that we were being taught enormous amounts of really new, really important info – but looking at the book makes it even more clear. There is SO MUCH on every page!!!

– Shelby C., 2008

The 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!

– Missy C., 2012


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