Joan Sears, who grew up in the wilds of Hyde County, is a self-accomplished artist. She began painting at age five with pokeberry juices and brown paper. She later received an oil painting set and mastered oils by age seven. She is experienced in designing, carving and painting and works in watercolor, acrylic, and oil paints. Many of her canvasses are non-traditional, being wood salvaged from old buildings, like heart pine and handmade windows.