12 Things About Joan

I have lived in Placitas, New Mexico since 1988. As an artist, New Mexico provides me with so many things that I need to nourish my soul.


Joan was born and raised in Summit, New Jersey. Actress, Meryl Streep, was born in the same hospital a little over nine months later.


Joan has always been an artist and began drawing and painting while in preschool. Her subject matter and media have changed over the years including oil, acrylic, pastel and now alcohol pens in her illustrations for the Piki books. Her subject matter has included portraits, landscapes, wildlife portraits on Native American-made hand drums and now illustrating her books.



Joan took piano lessons when she was very young. It definitely was not the instrument for her and she didn’t like doing recitals. Joan found one of her musical loves in 4th grade when she started playing the drums. She rather stood out through elementary school, junior and senior high and at the University of New Hampshire. She was the first girl snare drummer in all of those schools.



Joan’s other musical instrument is the hammered dulcimer. She taught herself how to play it and with two friends formed the Improbable String Band in Durham, NC.

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Writing books came late in life for Joan. Classmates in high school enjoyed hearing true stories she would tell, probably because there was always some sort of humor in them. And before the computer and internet age, she actually wrote letters! That is now a lost art.

College for website


Joan graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Art, from Quinsigamond Community College with an AS in Respiratory Therapy and from Duke University with a BHS as a Physician Assistant.

New Kids Collage


Joan’s love of being with and interacting with children has been a   part of her since she began working in healthcare. As a Respiratory Therapist and Physician Assistant, the majority of time she worked with children. Another way she works with children is as a volunteer Bereavement Facilitator at the Children’s Grief Center in Albuquerque, NM.


Joan has always loved animals, especially dogs and horses. She presently has two dogs, Piki, her co-author for the Piki’s Adventures series and Teddy, an adorable and sweet, but old, with poor vision and poor hearing blond German Spitz. Joan lives in Placitas, NM where there are free roaming horses that escaped from one of the local Pueblos a long time ago. She loves seeing them, especially when they visit her property.


Joan spends at least part of every summer at her family’s vacation cottage on Lake Ossipee in Freedom, NH. It is the exact opposite of her home in NM, but she loves both places.

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Joan has lived in eight states and has been to forty nine. Hawaii remains the only one she’s never been to it. But she did see Hawaii from the air when flying from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia.


Joan’s love for animals and the wilderness has taken her on various backpacking and river trips, day hiking and just being a tourist. Most of these trips were in the 1990s and were in the western lower forty-eight, Alaska and Canada. She always has her camera with her so she can capture the scenery and animals to use as subject matter for her paintings.


There are three things that put Joan in a really good mood. And during these now two plus years of COVID-19, Joan hasn’t always been in a good mood. The first is lying on her bed with Piki and Teddy acting as bookends, one on either side of her. The second is somewhat related and that is watching animal videos on the internet. Let’s face it, there is nothing cuter than puppies clumsily learning a new skill. And third is listening to music she loves, singing along as loud as she wants, while alone and driving her car.

{Please note: none of these puppies were hurt in this video}