Joy studied at the Sorbonne, Columbia University, and the New York Studio School. She studied with Alex Katz and Meyer Schapiro, with several critiques from George McNeill and Philip Guston. She has been exhibiting for 49 years, at Dartmouth College, with Andre Zarre Gallery and at 55 Mercer Gallery. She was a MacDowell Fellow and a Yaddo Fellow.
Abstract color paintings and abstracted landscape drawings are her main interest. Her current addition of photographs to her work is driven by dichotomies between nature and humankind,for both formal and emotional reasons.