Joan was born in Philadelphia and lived in Pennsylvania until 1995, when she moved to Phoenix, Arizona. She moved to Sierra Vista in 2002.
She started drawing as soon as she could hold a pencil, and as an only child, her best friends were crayons and coloring books. Her father and grandfather were professional photographers and her mother, a photographic colorist. She played with her mother’s oil paints and extra photos her father printed for her. At ten years old she tried a paint by numbers kit and was soon painting on her own. Soon she was doing commissioned pet portraits.
She worked as a medical technician while raising her family, but also spent many years studying botany, horticulture and landscape design. She won many ribbons for her miniature landscapes and twice was awarded the prestigious Garden Club of American Certificate of Excellence in the Philadelphia Flower Show.
She continued to draw, doing many botanical illustrations for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Orchid Society, and the Delaware Valley Water Garden Society, which she founded but most of her creative energy went into gardening and landscaping. She started painting again when a friend asked her to paint a portrait of his dog.
Joan is mostly self taught, but did take classes at the Philadelphia College of Art and Scottsdale Community College. She also studied sculpture with Scottsdale artist Ernest Berke. She teaches portrait drawing in Sierra Vista and enjoys experimenting with a variety of media and subjects.