Featured Artist Joyce Mayer

Pen and pencil artist Joyce Mayer presents a collection of drawings rendered in exquisite detail. See more of her portfolio by visiting her website.


colored pencil drawing of a lighthouse scene

“Cove Point Lighthouse” colored pencil, 10″ x 14″


From childhood, growing up in Boston, I’ve always been interested in art. My attention to detail caused adults to comment by the time I was five years old. They were surprised at things I noticed whether in the material concrete world of objects or the more subtle micro-expressions in the personalities of those around us, both family and friends.


colored pencil drawing of lobsters

“One Hot Lobstah” colored pencil, 14″ x 17″


Whether this is a blessing or curse depends on who you ask. That characteristic bent showed itself in all its’ glory by the age of eight. I noticed that a gift from Santa and a gift from my parents had the exact same handwriting. Having a sickening sense of what it meant if I was right, I still had to pursue it with the person I trusted most, my father. I laid out my case as well as any Harvard lawyer might have and approached the judge. “Dad, see this book … didn’t you and Mum give this to me?” Yes, first fact established. “And Dad, this doll case is from Santa, right?” Yes indeed, second fact confirmed. “So why is the handwriting the same on both?”


colored pencil drawing of buttons and threads

“Buttons and Threads” colored pencil, 12″ x 16″


My Dad looked surprised momentarily, then smiled. “You’re right, we’re Santa, but don’t tell anybody else (six siblings). They won’t understand!” I don’t think my beloved father will ever know what he did for me right there. He enabled me to approach both art and life with that very same pursuit of honesty and diligence to details that tell a bigger story than a mere surface scan.


pen drawing of Lichtenstein

“Lichtenstein Landscape” pen and ink, 14″ x 20″


Today, and a lifetime later, that springboard is as fresh and motivating as it was as a little girl of eight. I’ve pursued artistic opportunities everywhere I saw them. I understood that being an artist is less about what you “do” and more about how you approach everything when you’re looking at the things people are glossing over, for no other reason than, it’s who you are. I painted quilts, as portraits, using both oil and acrylic to see which was better suited to the tiny details I needed. I’d had a few commissions for old style calligraphic quotes and sayings. The decorative aspects were something I very much enjoyed.


Colored pencil still life Italian wine

“Pomeriggio in Paradiso” colored pencil, 28″ x 36″


When I traded in my brushes and my art studio for a homeschool classroom, it would be nearly 25 years before an empty nest and a new studio would allow the time and opportunity for me and art (as I’d known it) to be reacquainted once more. I happened upon a local colored pencil workshop to complete my immersion into the unknown. I’d never used colored pencil as a medium before. Previously I’d worked with oil, acrylic, pen and ink. They were the best mediums for the detail work I was seeking. After that workshop, I was hooked on the quality of colored pencil to achieve the depth of color I was looking for, without the mess of paint.


detailed pen and ink drawing of a jungle

“Jungles of the Mind” pen and ink, 24″ x 30″


I was further encouraged to be published both nationally and internationally as real cementing of my direction. Just last year, I was one of four artists to exhibit in a show called Meticulous. It served to confirm once again that this was my niche. Meticulous detail, including colored pencil in my tool box now.


colored pencil drawing of a girl and kitten

“Three Little Kittens” colored pencil, 20″ x 28″


What feels like an almost icing on the cake commission is a 60” x 72″ Celtic Illumination manuscript style poem. It incorporates my love of calligraphic lettering, ink and colored pencil for the illuminated decorative parts. In this piece, all letters are hand drawn to maximize the boldness for a piece this large. With this, all aspects of my loves are present.


colored pencil drawing of a man hiding in woods

“Unseen Observer” colored pencil, 24″ x 24″


In other pieces, like Three Little Kittens, nothing is obvious. The adorable girl is not the subject; the three little kittens are, if you can find them. Unseen Observer is another not-so-obvious piece. There is a man in camouflage observing you. If you cannot find him immediately, I’ve done just the right amount of camouflage to hide the subject. Who knows what will come next? Do come along for the adventure!


Joyce Mayer invites you to follow on Instagram.



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  1. Yes, indeed, ” . . . a collection of drawings rendered in exquisite detail [!]”
    I especially liked “Buttons & Threads,” with the thread snaking outside the frame. “Pomeriggio in Paradiso”
    would work famously as a poster and/or an advertisement.

    • Many thanks for your comment and feedback! There’s but much more gratifying than to hear your work is “gotten” and the intention a success! To take the time to drop a note to that effect is so appreciated!! Thank you ever so much!

  2. Amazing detail. I like colored pencil too. Unseen Observer is my favorite.

    • Thank you for your comment Martha!! I love the feedback and to hear your personal favorites and thoughts! So appreciated!!

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