Joe Anna Arnett

May 9, 1950 ~ February 3, 2024 (age 73) 73 Years Old


“We just have to be ready to make the jump, accept the challenge, and enjoy the journey.” ~Joe Anna Arnett


Joe Anna Arnett, distinguished artist, died the on evening of February 3, 2024, at her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after a long battle with cancer. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 33 years, James Asher. Together, they traveled the world, capturing their favorite scenes in paint. From India to Europe to South America and locations all around the United States, they shared adventures that inspired their art and enriched the lives of others.

Joe Anna is survived by two sisters, Rose Mary Banks (Michael) of Jacksonville, Texas, and Elsie Thurman (Andy) of Horseshoe Bay, Texas. She is also survived by 3 nephews, 2 nieces, 17 great-nephews and nieces and step-daughter Denise Davis of Arch Cape, Oregon. She leaves a host of friends around the world.

Joe Anna Arnett had an idyllic childhood with the sweetest parents one could imagine, as well as two wonderful sisters who were her best friends. A quiet child, she preferred reading and drawing over anything else and she identified herself as an artist early on. While the other children drew Easter bunnies, she drew the church they were pinned onto… in perspective.

While still in grade school, Joe Anna’s father, a builder, taught her linear perspective. Together, they would sit on the floor and draw buildings in two- and three-point perspective, a skill she taught others for decades.

When she earned a BFA from the University of Texas, Joe Anna realized she had no idea how to make a living as a fine artist, but could see herself becoming an advertising art director based on the skills she learned.

Her first job was with a large Advertising agency in Dallas. Soon, she felt ready to make commercials, which meant moving to New York. She landed a job at Young and Rubicam, which at that time, was the largest advertising agency in the world. There, she worked on accounts such as Merrill Lynch and People Magazine.

Joe Anna continued her studies at the Art Students League for four more years, and in 1987 moved to Santa Fe, where she met her soul mate, fellow artist and traveler, James Asher (1944-2019). Jim and Joe Anna married and then honeymooned in Kashmir for a month, setting the stage for a lifetime of traveling and painting together.

Some of her career highlights included participating in the prestigious Artists of America show in Denver for 11 years, the Prix de West at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame for 14 years, and being represented by the prestigious Zaplin Lampert Gallery in Santa Fe for over three decades. Joe Anna is now represented at McLarry Fine Art where there is currently a special exhibit of her masterpieces. She was named Master Artist of the Artists in America Show at the Denver Historical Society Museum.  Joe Anna was a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America, Signature member of Laguna Plein Air Painters and Master Signature member of Plein Air Artists Colorado, a master signature member of Plein Air Painters of New Mexico and an elected member of The Salmagundi Club.

Joe Anna wrote articles for many magazines and was the author of Painting with Passion, The Best of Flower Painting, Iand II and Sketchbook Confidential II. Her still life painting book, Painting Sumptuous Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers in Oil, led to invitations to teach workshops all over the United States and beyond.

Joe Anna was also a producer, writer, and master artist on “Passport & Palette,” the PBS art instruction and travel series.

Joe Anna was a member of Christ Church Santa Fe where she has enjoyed worship with many brothers and sisters in Christ. Since childhood, she has fervently practiced her faith in Jesus as her Savior.

The family suggests memorials to:
Christ Church Santa Fe, 1213 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87505
Scenic Haven Cemetery, Inc., PO Box 1887, Jacksonville, TX 75766


February 8, 2024

2:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Christ Church Santa Fe
1213 Don Gaspar Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Funeral Service
February 8, 2024

3:00 PM
Christ Church Santa Fe
1213 Don Gaspar Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87505


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