Judy was born and raised in Cerro, New Mexico. She was artistic even as a child, submitting sketches to newspaper contests when as young as 8, even attracting the attention of art schools, though there was no budget for this luxury in her hard-working family.
She lived in Texas briefly as a young adult, then returned to New Mexico to build a house and business in Taos in the 1970s. Pastels became her medium, since supplies for this kind of artmaking was less expensive and did not risk losing materials due to lack of use, as she juggled her time in raising three daughters.
The pastel drawings she posted at her business caught the eye of famous Taos pastel artist Ouray Meyers, who invited her to attend one of his private classes at which she learned many techniques to better her growing skills.
Judy returned to Cerro 20 years ago to tend aging family and grandchildren. As time allowed, she turned to painting more frequently, working in oils and acrylics, capturing landscapes from the dramatic scenery of northern New Mexico, and for a time successfully marketing postcards of the area.