" For as long as I can remember I have always loved to draw and paint. On rainy days (of which we have many in the land of my birth, Ireland) I would spend hours and hours transferring the images which danced through my mind onto paper by means of a pencil or paintbrush. As I grew, the scenes I depicted were not just from my imagination but were from life. Art has become a visual diary of my journey, from childhood to the present day, in all its forms- real, imagined, spiritual and dreamt. I try to focus on the positive aspects of existence as much as possible in an effort to highlight the joy and light in what can sometimes be a gloomy world."
Joan Walsh was born in Ireland where she attended the National College of Art and Design (N.C.A.D.) Dublin from 1981 to 1985; she graduated with honors in Glass Design. She has been painting since childhood and received several honorable mentions in the Children's Texaco All-Ireland Art Competition. She became a member of the City of Dublin Vocational Educational Committee Deputy Reserve Teachers in 1987. Her work was exhibited in the Peoples Art Exhibition in Dublin, Ireland from 1986 to 1988. She also participated in group shows in the Bank of Ireland Exhibition Center in Dublin before moving to Martha's Vineyard in 1989.
- Since the beginning of The Vineyard Artisans Festivals she regularly exhibits her work there.
- In 1999 she was commissioned to paint The Flying Horses Poster, which is the oldest working carousel in the U.S.A. and is a National Landmark.
- Her painting of the shark-fishing tournament in 2000 won the Ruth Bogan Award at The All-Island Art Show
- Annual weekly one-person exhibition at the Sovereign Bank Chilmark, (The Bank Of Martha's Vineyard).
- In 2003 She created the original artwork for the book The Wampanoag Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard, written by Dr. Jerome Segel and R. Andrew Pierce and published by The Genealogical Publishing Co., Maryland.
- In 2004 she illustrated 'The Secret' a children's book written by Island author Merrily Fenner. The book is set on Martha's Vineyard and has been described by The Bunch of Grapes Bookstore as follows "This book has been something of an island phenomenon...we can barely keep it on the shelf!" Merrily's heartwarming story (an homage to her Dad's storytelling) and Joan's marvelous watercolors combine to entertain young and old alike."
- In March 2005 Joan and Merrily had a book-signing event in The Rathfarnham Bookstore, Dublin, Ireland. They were interviewed on 'The Funday Show' on RTE Radio 1, Ireland'. On Martha's Vineyard they appeared on Plum TV and MVTV talking about 'The Secret'.
- In 2005 Joan illustrated a book called 'Just About The Right Size' which was written by Author Patricia de Koven and came out in August 2005.
- In 2006 she illustrated ' Lobstering With My Papa' written by Author Billie Hancock and the book comes with an audio CD by storyteller Susan Klein.
- In 2007 she illustrated ' Little Streak Wing's Vineyard Adventures' written by Don Davis
- In 2008 Joan illustrated a second book written by Don Davis called 'Connie-Vineyard Pie Girl'.It is available in bookstores now.
- 'Lost Leprechaun, The Adventures of Bold Brave Seamus'written by Catherine Kelly-Mahon is illustrated by Joan Walsh and has been available since 2009.
- 2010-2011 Joan illustrated ' Barnacle, A Vineyard Friendship Story'by Steve Cramptom and published by Don Davis
- ' CHARKY CLAY' by DR. JAYand JOAN has arrived! December 2012,a delightful book for young children.