Joan Coffey received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics with a minor in Art from the University of Illinois, where she began painting in watercolors under Edward Betts and also began oil painting. After graduating she took drawing classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and later studied figure drawing at the American Academy of Art. She studied traditional art for six years in the studio of the late California Art Club Artist Joanne Rossman, using charcoal, oils and watercolors. She continues her education through self-study, through workshops and by painting as often as possible.
In her studio Joan creates paintings from her sketches, which are sometimes supplemented with reference photographs she has taken. She also creates her own greeting cards, which she has done all of her life. During the past few years she has spent agreat deal of time painting en plein air, something she first experienced in college. She has participated in plein air workshops and classes, including ones taught by CAC Artists, including Robin Hall, Frank Serrano, Debra Huse and Gerald Brommer. In addition, she is a Charter Member of the Plein Air Artists of Riverside, affiliated with the Riverside Art Museum. Joan is a member of the Riverside Community Arts Association, an Artist Member of the Riverside Art Museum and an Associate Artist of the California Art Club.