About Richard Jesse Watson 


Desert Dog

"As a wee pup with a low center of gravity, I felt close to the desert sand and it's many dusty crawlers," Watson remembers. 

"My earliest memory is looking out across the Mojave Desert.

While my brains baked under a massive sun, I squinted out past the tumbleweeds and sagebrush, over land tortoises, and beyond those pre-historic horned toad lizards that bleed from their eyes.

And way out there on the horizon like steaming mercury, often shimmered a mirage."  

Richard's scientist father explained, "You can't get there.

That Shangri-La of cool water, shade and imaginary creatures is an optical illusion." 

"I beg to differ, Pa," Richard says. "I did get there!"

Watson's mise-en-scene is now Port Townsend, surrounded by water and shade. And the imaginary creatures? "As a children's book author and illustrator, my days and nights are filled chockablock with them." 

Richard's drawing of the sun, age 5 years


Once while camping on the beach above Mendocino, Richard and his new bride climbed out of their leaky tent at the nudge of dawn.

A gray whale lolled around in the seafoam just off shore. They studied one another and dove down deep into each other's eyes.

This intimate encounter kindled a passion for stories. From that moment, Watson knew he wanted to tell stories through his combined love of art and literature, played out in the visual storytelling of children's books and narrative fine art.  


Balance • Counterbalance


Plein air painting at the foot of Mount Rainier. 

Painting with Henrietta and Watson's students on the Big Island of Hawai'i. 


Creativity Begets Creativity


Family treasures: a gaggle of grandchildren. And their parents, of course!

Richard and Susi frequently take walks along beaches and trails.

photo credit: Miho Fletcher

International folk dancing is another favorite pastime.


Son, Benjamin, model for Tom Thumb, is now a writer and author of The Boy Who Went Ape. 

Daughter, Faith, is a writer, artist, songwriter-musician.

Son, Jesse Watson, author/illustrator of Hope for Haiti, illustrator of Soccer Fence, Chess Rumble, Ghetto Cowboy, I and I, Bob Marley and others. And designer of this website!