Joelle's life revolved around her love of horses, both in her work and in the rest of her life. She lived with her mother, Sally, on twenty acres in Alfalfa, Oregon, along with seven horses. Sally contributes as secretary for Joelle's business, as well as chief cookie baker. She has become known as "Cookie Mom" at Joelle's shows for the cookies that she brings.
Joelle spent her mornings with the horses and painted in the afternoons and evenings. The horses came first in her life just as they came first in her daily schedule.
Her favorite subject was horses, and these she painted with true passion. "The art came from the horses," she explained. The love of horses was always there and so was the art, but the horses came first."
All of Joelle's subjects were real horses, real places and real people. She did not pose them for her paintings, but tried to capture a slice of life in a documentary style. Many of the horses in her paintings are her own, as they were close by. She made at least two trips out of the area a year to gather material.
Joelle's work is a reflection of her experiences on ranches throughout the West. Her paintings are records of contemporary Western life, her legacy to future generations.
On August 5, 2005, Joelle lost her valiant three year battle with cancer. Though her physical presence here on earth is and will always be greatly missed, her legacy of work will live on.