Jeffrey R. Watts is a southern California native. Growing up in rural San Diego county with an artist father, Watts demonstrated an early aptitude for the visual arts. But it was competitive sports that held his interest as a teenager. After an injury cut short his budding career in professional cycling, Jeff turned his focus back to art, enrolling at the California Art Institute in Calabasas. Watts was soon asked to teach at the institute and began to work as an illustrator in the movie industry. However, Jeff's goal to become an easel painter would draw him back to San Diego where he started a small life drawing and painting studio known as Watts Atelier of the Arts.