"I'm a long-time people-watcher. Faces tell stories and I want to record them."
Born in Chicago, Joan Martens was raised in Oakland, California. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1960, earning her teaching credentials. Marriage and family assumed priority over Joan's desire to draw and paint. During this time, she taught pre-school for nine years, and later taught elementary school.
Primarily self-taught, Joan enrolled in a commercial art class which won her a year's scholarship to the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She also attended illustration classes at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
Joan Martens' versatility includes free-lance illustration, with one of her favorite commissions being an historical coloring book about the Napa Valley that she also authored. She is also known for her editorial cartoons published in two Napa Valley newspapers.
Many of Joan Martens' paintings have received award-winning recognition, and they are found in private collections in California and across the country. She is a member of Wine Country Artists, the National League of American Pen Women and the Society of Children's Book Writers.