Joan Watts attended private schools in the United States and England and studied art at various institutions in the U.S. She also studied sumi-e (Japanese ink painting) for two years in Japan. Her art has won awards in juried shows and hangs in many private collections. In addition to her art career, she spent twenty-five years as a successful fund-raiser in the nonprofit world. She retired in her fifties and moved to Montana, where for twenty years she was an occasional fishing guide and operated a bed-and-breakfast that catered to fly fishers from around the world. After retiring (again), she began, along with her sister Anne, editing her father’s letters for publication and resumed her painting. She has five children and nine grandchildren and lives in Livingston, Montana, with her husband, Johnny (Montana) Hale. Most of her life decisions have been influenced in one way or another by her father, Alan Watts.