About the Artist

Jolyn Wells-Moran - Biography

Welcome to Jolyn Wells-Moran's Artist's Statement and Biography

Painting the spirit of nature in oils



Jolyn Wells-Moran uses her sense of nature (the art) and medium (impasto oils) to paint what she considers to be the spirit of nature. She says she determines the “character” of each essential element in a scene, the relationships to each other, and then describes those in a drawing, with further description on canvas in paint for a texturally expressive surface. This is while considering the fundamentals of painting — motif, composition, values/contrasts, color harmony and focal point — in addition to impressionist brushwork, contrasting color and transparency/opaqueness.




Jolyn Wells-Moran is recognized as a studio and plein air painter in the western US and Baja Califonia, Mexico. She started drawing and painting in earnest as a child and later completed college art courses in Design, several in Painting, Drawing and Art History. She taught drawing and watercolor courses for a community college in her twenties and in 2004, she began painting in oils and attended the Marchutz School of Drawing and Painting, Institute for American Universities, Aix-en-Provence, France. While there, she painted at Cezanne’s home in Aix, followed Van Gogh’s footsteps to Arles and St. Remy, painted other villages in the area, then in Monet’s Garden in Giverny. In 2016, she traveled and painted in Tuscany, Italy and in 2017, she painted in Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as on the Baja Peninsula. She regularly paints in the Pacific Northwest and Baja.


Her instructors have also included such teaching artists as Michael Situ, Kathryn Stats, Eric Jacobsen, Mitch Albala, Jim Lamb, Jill Carver and others at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Whidbey Fine Art Studio and Pacific NW Art School both on Whidbey Island, Washington. She studied with Slava Koralenkov, Russian impressionist, and Kathryn Townsend, who both paint in a Russian impressionist style, in 2017 and 2018.


Wells-Moran has shown in many juried shows, including those run by the California Art Club, the City of Ventura, the annual PAWA juried show at the American Art Co. in Tacoma, the Port Angeles Center for the Arts’ Plein Air Competion, the Kitsap Arts Festival, the Magnolia Arts Festival, the Shoreline Arts Festival, the Edmonds Arts Festival and galleries in the Pacific Northwest and Mexico. Most recently, she has been in three solo shows in Seattle, including ArtsWest in West Seattle last year and has won awards in local, national and international exhibitions.


She is a Signature Member and President of the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists (PSGNA) – a professional artists’ juried group operating since 1928 -- and is a member of Women Artists of the West (WAOW), Plein Air Washington Artists (PAWA) and American Women Artists (AWA). This month, January 2020, she won the "Award of Excellence in Art" in an international landscape painting competition held by Light, Space & Time Gallery and in another with Artavita. Jolyn is represented by Galeria Mangos in Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico, and will show in, at minimum, the Puget Sound Group’s Great Annual NW Art Exhibition at Red Sky Gallery, Seattle, WA, for the month of June. She currently also has several pieces in the juried Mercer Island Aljoya Show, a four month exhibit through February 22.

Most Recent Newsletter




Teaching Children Art in Mexico


By PleinAir Today Editor

August 16, 2018


norrissglasses.comThe kids just show up. I never know how many or who will come, but each class is at the same time on a certain day each week, says artist-instructor and outdoor painter Jolyn Wells-Moran about her art classes in Mexico. Children she has never seen before hear about it and drop in, for a total of anywhere from three to 18 students per class. She doesn't charge, there's no registration, the students range from four years old to 15, and Wells-Moran has never met their parents. Artist-instructor Jolyn Wells-Moran, known as maestra "Yolene" by her Mexican students.


norrissglasses.comThe kids get themselves to and from her casita in the small pueblo (village) of Pescadero (fisherman) in the state of Baja Sur. She sets up tables and chairs on her patio with all the materials they'll need for plein air painting lessons and waits with a lesson plan to see who her students will be that week. She says that sometimes a few of the kids just stop by, sometimes to get pencil or paint and, at other times, asking to stay and get an impromptu lesson. Wells-Moran says she tries to accommodate them if and when she can. They tell her that theyre bored, and shes pleased to fill that need with painting, the one passion shes held throughout life.


The structure is much like an adult painting workshop in the U.S., but Wells-Moran's Spanish is somewhat limited, and the kids speak very limited English, so she has to look up many of the particular words needed to describe concepts, tools, and methods. A gringa (non-Mexican) friend sometimes translates. It can be a circus at times, especially if there are any two kids who are wound up and were all struggling with language comprehension and a complex topic, but I mostly stick to perspective, composition, color, and values. Overall, though, Ive been amazed at their seriousness about the art and their focus on it, says Jolyn. One thing she hasn't been surprised by, though, is their joy and excitement in plein air painting. After all, she loves it too. Many of these kids have made real progress. I see it all the time, often even when natural talent hasn't been apparent at the outset.



We use tempera paints and white butcher paper as our main materials. Quality art materials are difficult to come by here. The subjects are still lifes that I set up, the natural environment or objects of a natural origin set on a table, reports Wells-Moran. She says there isnt much opportunity for the arts in the pueblos schools, and most of the kids wouldnt be able to pay for classes, but the rewards are inherent. Those proud and happy smiles when they hang their works in Galeria Pescadero (my clothesline) are some of my happiest days.


Jolyn Wells-Moran, PhD, is a full-time artist and has been teaching in Mexico since 2015. She has been visiting and living in Pescadero part-time for more than a decade, and otherwise resides in Shoreline, Washington. She shows her work in galleries, juried shows, and other venues, and has won local and international awards. She focuses on plein air and studio landscape oil painting, intent on capturing the spirit of nature. Her website is http://norrissglasses.com.


Jolyn Wells-Moran - Biography