Joan Norris

Taos, NM Website | Instagram | View All Works

I live in the beautiful rural village of San Cristobal, New Mexico at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, with my husband Barry.

In 1977, when Barry and I were in our mid-20s, we moved to Chiapas, Mexico to work in a small private museum in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Na Bolom. We eventually adopted two sons and loved our work so much that we stayed for 15 years. It will always be a place we return to, as our grandchildren are there, and many friends.
In 1992 we moved to San Cristobal, New Mexico. I trained and worked as a licensed midwife at the Northern New Mexico Birth Center, a career I had long wanted to pursue, and delivered hundreds of babies in Taos and surrounding counties before retirement in 2014. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to serve northern New Mexican families in this way.

It was during my travels to home births through the diverse landscapes of northern New Mexico at any hour of the day or night that my heart was opened to the splendor that we live in. Although I had never painted before, I started to experiment with watercolor and eventually took a plein-air class through the university. Creating art was a way to bring a sense of calmness into my everyday life. When I retired, I turned to painting with great joy!


Both of my pieces in the Taos Today show are soft pastel and painted in plein air. Pastel is a very endearing medium. Because I hold the pastel in my hand, this application of color to a surface feels very intuitive. I love to experiment on papers and boards, using various under paintings. I work in plein air as well as in my home studio.

Works by Joan Norris

View All Works by Joan Norris