Joan was born and raised in Red Lodge, near the beautiful Beartooth Mountains in South Central Montana. She has always loved the West, the wildlife that inhabits it, and art. As a little girl she enjoyed drawing and painting pictures of mountain scenery, wildlife and cowboys. One day when she was thirteen, she was watching her Dad work on a wood carving of a moose. She asked if he would show her how to do that and he agreed. With the use of his carving tools, a lot of coaching and for the first several pieces him finishing the detailing for her, her carving career began. It took a lot of mistakes and pieces that never saw completion before she began to get the knack for it. Her only education in carving has been her Dad’s guidance, a couple of instructional carving books and her own mistakes. Within a few years her Mom had taken her work to stores that purchased some of her pieces for resale and picked up a gallery in her home town for her as well. When she was in her early twenties Joan began taking her work around to art shows in Montana and Wyoming. Since then she has acquired several collectors, has her work displayed in galleries and has received several awards including two years in a row “Best of Show” at the National Art Show in Dubois, WY. Joan Carves using mostly power tools such as a band saw, angle grinders, flex shaft grinder (primary tool used) die grinders and some knife work as well. She uses only hardwoods and usually finishes them with low gloss tung oil to bring out the natural beauty of the woods she chooses to carve in. All of Joan’s carvings are signed on the bottom and are marked with the year of completion. She also numbers each piece. The number signifies that carving’s place in sequence of all the carvings she has ever completed for the enjoyment of collectors.
Joan comes from a family of twelve children. Her brother John is an artist as well, (western oil paintings) and they enjoy each other’s company and critique while traveling to art shows.