Jan’s Classes/Workshops

I’ll never forget the week at Ghost Ranch when my son and I were in your class – my first very emotional try at watercolor or any art. This was one of the places we painted. I can say that after the wonderful start you gave me, I have been painting and drawing for 12 years now, and think of you many times with thanks.
Marilyn Shotola

Yesterday I received an email from a juror informing me that my painting,  ‘Piggy Sue’ was among the 9 paintings chosen from Arizona artists that will be exhibited at Texas Tech University in the Western Federation of Watercolor Artists show.

As my first teacher, I thought that you would like to know just how far one of your absolute beginner students seven years ago has come due in no small part to the solid foundation with which you sent me off into the world of watercolor. 

Nancy DuBro


Painting/Sightseeing Adventure with Jan

December 2013   Jane Pfieffer

Blog-JaneI recently returned from a week long Intensive with Jan and Frank. It was a wonderful experience for me. First of all, Jan & Frank are warm, gracious people who seem to be very happy with what they are doing. The first morning we were there, Jan asked what my goals were for the week. I had learned about Jan through her book on color and was particularly interested in improving my “color sense” and use of color in my paintings. She is a wonderful teacher and through discussions, demonstrations and critiques, I really felt as through for the first time I was developing an understanding of how to achieve the effects I desired. That alone was worth the whole week as far as I was concerned, but there was so much more…Frank’s wonderful, creative cooking, the drop dead beautiful views from anywhere on Jan’s property, the interesting discussions at mealtime, our trip to the farmer’s market and Frank’s farm… I could go on and on.
We were also fortunate to be able to spend some time sightseeing around Costa Rica with Jan’s friend Francisco Torres as our tour guide. What a treat! Francisco is a very knowledgeable and charming and knew just where to take us to see the things that interested us the most. Our trip to find the “elusive Quetzal” was especially memorable – we saw four of them!
Jane Pfieffer, Tucson, Arizona

Intensive Painting Workshop  With Jan Hart

April 2012  Carolyn Worstenberg

Jan--Carolyn-painting-studioEither 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!
Carolyn Worstenberg, April 2012


Costa Rica Watercolor Workshops

After having just spent a week in Costa Rica with Jan Hart, I can honestly say that it was a fabulous, inspiring vacation!  After morning breakfast we met for our watercolor lesson which included demonstrations by Jan, personal feedback, critiques and plenty of painting time.  Jan is an excellent teacher!  I learned so much about color and design! The afternoons were spent with trips to the San Isidro farmer’s market, Liliam’s orchid farm, Frank’s coffee finca, and the beach.  While visiting we were able to get a feel for typical Costa Rican cultural and the very friendly people that live in this beautiful country. Several of us brought our sketchbooks along on these trips so we could document our experiences.  Sign up~you won’t regret it!
Missy Walsh-Smith
What a unique and valuable experience it was to paint with Jan Hart and other watercolorists in South Central Costa Rica. From the moment group members were greeted by Jan at our airport B and B we had a great rapport in our group that will last beyond the workshop. The site seeing, the accommodations and food were fantastic. Jan delivered excellent instruction and critics. Workshop members enthusiastically practiced Jan’s lessons outside of the regular class time under the shelter of our beautiful cabana surrounded by a river, gardens and our hotel pool. Many of us sketched and painted until bedtime, taking time for enchanting walks to see picturesque villagers in action on the lovely hilly and flower decked roads above our hotel and while eating and drinking under palapas. Jan’s workshop is a lovely medley of painting instruction and practice, site seeing and experiences with other painters and Costa Ricans!
Robbin Robbins, February, 2012

“The workshop was fabulous – just the right mix of painting and excursions. We needed every minute of painting time. The critiques were so helpful, it was a big part of the workshop and helped me actually finish some paintings!’
Susan Evans, Washington

“Overall a wonderful experience – a good mix of adventures, learning, social time – all centered on seeing color and painting in watercolor. Jan’s critiques and demos are – in my experience – unparalleled. Critiques are supportive and, at the same time, to the point. It is a testment to Jan’s ability to both inspire and also to teach technical fine points – that artists who teach and exhibit attend her workshops faithfully. The setting was perfect, with good facilities, great food and the friendliest staff ever. On a scale of 1 to 10: 11!”
Marietta Millet, New York

“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 our of my “Comfort Zone”‘.
Bonnie Smith, Minnesota

 Here’s a note of reflection on the workshop week. . .

The watercolor workshop was ‘one of a kind’ uniquely special! My expectations were met and then some. The course ran out of the norm and stretched us to be all we could be, physically, spiritually, mentally and physically. I was thrilled to be able to participate and learn new depths of art expression. Of course, many factors played into the week that actually enhanced it. Thank you all for becoming a loving unit! Love my paintings and my classmates. Most of all, Jan, you went over and above during the depths of grief. Loved my week and the lasting memories and friendships.

Janice Reeves, Costa Rica 2014


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.

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.

Dear Jan,
Your book is A B S O L U T E L Y beautiful. I think the subject: Exceptional color is just fabulous. You are right that anyone can use it. I love how you have the colors divided into different ways of looking at color. Your paintings are just beautiful. I commend the book company on the really exceptional color on the pages. You must be very proud of this book. I am so pleased to have it. I will take it to my quilting group in December and show it off.
Royce D.

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.



Dear Jan,

The book arrived today and I was stunned. It is so beautiful and so well done. I am starting to read it all tonight. You are to be congratulated. I know how very, very much work has gone into this project and you can tell it.

Lucette W.


Hi Jan,

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.

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San Jose, Perez Zeledon, San Isidro 11901,
Costa Rica, Central America