About Me

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” — Paulo Coelho

I was born on the beautiful island of Antigua in the Caribbean. I was a curious child who loved science, reading and running around in nature. I also loved to draw and placed in several local and regional art competitions for kids. By the time I reached my teens, the only art I was creating were the doodles in the margins of my school notebooks.

What happens to a dream deferred?

I went to university and then I focused on building a career. I got a degree in computer science and accounting, and then pursued a designation as a chartered accountant. I worked in accounting and finance for almost a decade with “Big 4” accountancy firms Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC. I then worked in management for another ten years, and was honored to have been awarded “Corporate Leader of the Year” by the St Lucia Chamber of Commerce.

In 2015, my life changed forever. A mutual friend introduced me to the man who would become my husband. Although I couldn’t speak a word of French, and he knew little English, we fell in love immediately. I had spent my whole life living and working in the Caribbean, but I soon left everything behind to start a new life with him in France – for love.

That decision released something inside of me that had long lay dormant but was now ready to bloom. I wanted to create, not just order and plan and arrange. I wanted to observe, not just clinically analyze. I wanted to celebrate and explore beauty in a tangible way. On a whim, I started a 100 day art therapy project, first experimenting with drawing in colored pencils, and pastels and then painting in watercolors and finally in acrylics. The deep longings I had felt were finally relieved when I started painting portraits.

After almost twenty years of not creating any art, my dream deferred was now ready to explode — in a good way!

Making art has become both my passion, and my full-time career. I live full time in Vannes France, painting mostly portraits, in acrylics and oils.

So, what’s your dream?

8 comments for “About Me

  1. October 16, 2019 at 3:27 PM

    Your story is truly inspiring. Wishing you continued success on your journey.

  2. Andy Alexis
    February 9, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    You have opened up an insight to my knowledge that I never knew existed – Thank you once, more. I am highly interesting in reading more of your works.

    Best regards,


  3. November 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Dear Ms. Martin,

    Thank you for recommending my book, A Century of Wisdom.

    Can you help celebrate Alice’s 109the birthday this Monday, November 26, 2012 and throughout December with another mention of my book? In honor of Alice’s 109th birthday,I am donating all proceeds from the sale of A Century of Wisdom to the Alice Herz-Sommer Scholarship Fund at the Music Academy of Jerusalem where Alice taught for 37 of her happiest years.

    The Music Academy of Jerusalem is a world-class music conservatory and the tuition is only 9,000 sheckles or $2,500 per years. The Alice Herz-Sommer Fund can provide for many young artists who cannot afford the tuition to conservatories in New York or London. Gil Shaham, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Brofman and numerous other illustrious musicians began their studies at the Music Academy of Jerusalem.

    With gratitude for your interest,
    Caroline Stoessinger
    212 799-6086

  4. April 14, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Great blog! I came across your name on Twitter… then on Pinterest… Very nice blog… Nicely & elegantly done Pinterest boards.

    • April 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM

      Thanks very much for your comment, Marcus! It is a rare treat coming from someone with so many years of experience as a speaker and trainer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Betsy Manchester
    March 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Hi Joya – I just read your Emerson quotes to my mom (Betsy Manchester) and now she wants to follow your blog so I’m setting her up. Thanks!! Sue

    • March 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      Thanks, Sue! Welcome Betsy, I’m so happy to have you on board! You raised a wonderful daughter! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. T
    January 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    well…what have we here? ๐Ÿ™‚

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