Beauty in Watercolor: Jan Morris

JanMorris1Since 2001, local artist Jan Morris has been teaching watercolor painting for the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, and has been a frequent fixture  at the Conservatory for the last three years.  In addition to the Conservatory, Jan teaches at the Japanese Garden and the Montlake Community Center.

Jan has been painting since 1979, when she  bought some instruction books and supplies. She is mostly self-taught. The beauty of her work and technique, however speaks for itself.

In each of her classes, Jan encourages self expression and all styles of painting.  New students are encouraged to join, and the first class of each session includes time spent with beginners explaining materials and supplies, and how to shop for them.


The next session of classes will start Tuesday, November 19.  The subject is the study of the shadow shapes that give plants their volume and depth in a painting, and will be working on the plants that bloom during the holiday season.

“The most rich and beautiful colors are found in shadow shapes, and are especially beautiful in holiday plants,” says Morris

When asked what makes the Conservatory special to her, Jan replied, “Plants are my favorite subjects.  I could paint in the Conservatory every day.   Even when I am at home painting, I usually paint flowers and leaves, so the Conservatory is a perfect place for me.  With the new arrangement of benches in the Seasonal House, it is an inviting place to teach water-color.

 Also, the staff and volunteers at the Conservatory are really great.  They make all of the students feel welcome and valued. “

In addition to painting, Jan and her husband Chuck operate The Hardware Distillery in Hoodsport, WA, located near Hood Canal. The distillery manufactures spirits meant to be paired with specific foods, which accentuate the qualities of both the spirits and the food.

JanMorris3“Some of the labels for our distilled spirits are from my water-color paintings, including three that were painted at the Conservatory,” adds Morris.

Original artwork by  Jan Morris is now being sold in the Palm House Gift Shop including a selection of framed artwork, greeting cards, holiday cards and thanksgiving cards.

Many of the original pieces used for the cards have been painted in Volunteer Park or the Conservatory.

For more information on Jan’s art classes please go to and come to The Palm House Gift Shop to see her beautiful work.

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