As an emerging artist with a concentration on representational watercolors, Joy Makon creates work that is based on observations of daily life. Landscapes and seascapes, often with figures incorporated into the composition, as well as botanic studies, all come from her neighborhood in Brooklyn, around New York City and from travels domestically and abroad.

Joy has had an amazing long-term career creating editorial content as a magazine art director and designer for titles and companies such as: Family Circle, Hearst, Weight Watchers, Target Stores, The New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Sixth and Spring Books, Scholastic, Inc., Harvard Business Review, Redbook, Scientific America. She continues to take on design work if the project is interesting and the schedule is flexible enough to allow time to paint.

A native of Philadelphia, Pa, Joy moved to New York City after graduating college and hasn't looked back since. Her studio is located in a 100-year-old Brooklyn home that she shares with her husband Solomon, two cats and two gardens.

Joy is a member-artist at 440 Gallery ( in Park Slope, Brooklyn and can often be found at the gallery on weekends.


As a dedicated observer of my surroundings I am always on the lookout for a subject to paint. When something stops me in my tracks—a jungle of antennas on a rooftop at sunset or Mont Saint Michel through a field of Queen Anne’s lace—I’ll document it carefully with photographs and then explore it back in the studio as a watercolor.

I’m selective about what I choose to paint. Not everything I shoot gets turned into a painting unless there’s some emotional connection to remind me of where I was, what I saw, how I felt. Landscapes and seascapes, often with figures incorporated into the scene, come from neighborhoods in Brooklyn and from travels domestically and abroad. Shape-defining light, distinct shadows, beautiful color and strong compositional elements all appeal to me. Most importantly, there’s always the sky. It’s often the deal-breaker when it comes to settling on a particular subject. Paintings take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to complete as I explore the unique chemistry of water, pigment and gravity on thick, beautiful paper.

I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. When I discovered craypas my work really took off. During summer workshops at Moore College of Art I had my first exposure to figure painting, still life and landscapes using acrylics and watercolors. I earned a BFA in 1976 from Tyler School of Art and I went on to enjoy a successful, creative career as a magazine art director and graphic designer. A few years ago I scaled back my design practice and now devote most of my time to making art.

Joy is a member of artist-run 440 Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

A full range of paintings is at


b. 1954, Philadelphia, PA
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York

  • 2014School of Visual Arts coursework
  • 2013Pratt Institute coursework
  • 1976Tyler School of Art, BFA
  • 2014The Color is There, Waiting to Be Discovered, Brooklyn Lifelong Learning at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2016Landscape: A Sense of Place, Site:Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2016Project Space Show, 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2016New Members Show, 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2015Wide Open 6, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2015Festival of the Arts, Park Slope Jewish Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2015Guest Artist, Kefauver Gallery, Damariscotta, ME
  • 2014Open Studio Tour, Park Slope Windsor Terrace Artists, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2015featured artist,
  • 2014featured artist, The Watercolor Gallery
18 Whitwell Place
Brooklyn, NY 11215