Joan Stuart Ross’s work is inspired by imagery of growth and generation. Her explorations and inventions of color relationships, their juxtapositions and dynamic arrangements, are all intrinsic to her work. The crux of her art’s search for life force, energy, and meaning is to engage color as value and depth.


The vigorous forms in Joan’s paintings, prints, and drawings are inspired by kinetic natural shapes such as the poplar tree, the hydrangea blossom, and the oyster shell. As Joan layers color and mark, pictorial forms, rhythm, repetition, and diversion lead her to reveal the luminous spirit of things.


University of Washington, Seattle, WA:

Graduate Study: Education, Creative Writing

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA:

Master of Arts, Masters of Fine Arts

Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT

Connecticut College, New London, CT:

Bachelor of Arts

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Massachusetts College of Art&Design, Boston

Artists Studied Under: 

Keith Achepohl

Josef Albers

Marguerite Hanson

Mauricio Lasansky

Richard B. Lukosius

William Ashby McCloy

Virginia Myers

Nathan Oliveira

Gabor Peterdi

Jack Tworkov

Museum Collections:

Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem, OR

Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA

National Museum of Women in the Arts, D.C.

Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA 

Tacoma Art Musem, Tacoma, WA

Wing Luke Museum, Seattle, WA



Alexis Hotel

Bank of America

Bank of California

Bellingham Technical College

Capital One

City of Seattle 

Davis, Wright, Tremaine

Edmonds Community College

Eisenhower, Carlson, Newlands, Foster, Pepper

Harborview Medical Center



Island Hospital 

Junior League of Seattle

King County Arts Commission

Madison Hotel


North Seattle College

Oregon State Printing Plant

Overlake Hospital

Paul Allen Collection

Pan Pacific Hotel

Pierce County District Court

Portland State Office Building 

Sheraton Hotels

Skagit Valley College

State of Washington

Swedish Orthopedic Institute

US West 

University of Illinois 

University of Iowa 

University of Washington, Suzzallo Library

Western Washington University

Willamette University


Body of Work:

1973-80: Paintings from Nature (available) 

1973-80: Poplars by the Ship Canal (available) 

1977-current: Monotype/collage (available) 

1981-83: Silver Fox (available) 

1981-88: Play Within a Play (available) 

1981-88: Gray's Brain (available) 

1981-88: Jungle Fruits (available) 

1993-00: Work from Rome (sold out) 

2000-current: "Text" Paintings (available) 

2012-current: Layered Grids (available) 

2016-current: Encaustic Collage (available)  

2017-current: Oyster Portraits (available) 

2018-current: Evolution & Prescience (available) 

2019-current: Smoke Tree (available)

2020-current: Crossword Drawings (available) 

2020-current: Brave Space (available)