How Much is Enough?

In just a few weeks, I’ll be heading to St. John’s to sell my artwork at the Craft Council of NL‘s Christmas Craft Fair. I have tons of new prints already in stock, but not a lot of paintings left. So this fall in the studio, I am painting more and more Smudge Herring pieces to bring to the Craft Fair.

Yesterday, I was asked if I should be painting something else. Do all the people who like my Smudge Herring paintings enough to buy one already have one? How many Smudge Herring paintings are too many? Is my Smudge Herring market already glutted? Maybe I should be painting something else, but I don’t want to. Does that make me a hopeless entrepreneur or a good artist? Both? Neither? What do you think?



I’m working on a new painting today, and I find that it really helps to take a picture of the work in progress instead of just standing back to look at it every now and again. For some reason, it looks very different to me that way. Sometimes I wonder if I’m really seeing what’s in front of me, or if the image in my head is more prevalent.

This is another Ship Island under the ice image, abstract as it seems. I think it’s about half way there…

Studio Work

I’ve made some progress on this piece today, from my UNDERNEATH series of works. Another couple of afternoons and I think I’ll have it… Then I’ll have to wait for it to dry before hanging it at the café. It’ll look much better on the big white walls over there!

I like to photograph my paintings while I’m working on them. Somehow they look different through the lens of the camera, and I usually like the image better in the photograph!

While I’m painting, I’m listening to Mark Critch read his book, Son of a Critch. I was laughing out loud even in the 1st chapter, which is great considering the background information for my decision to create underwater images. Something that I have learned, is that listening to funny people like Mark Critch really does help with my mental health. The Reader’s Digest people were bang on with their “Laughter is the Best Medicine” pages!

Icebergs at Norton’s Cove

Many years ago, I wanted to learn how to paint in oils. There was a workshop being offered at the Anna Templeton Centre in St. John’s which I wanted to attend, but couldn’t make my schedule work with. I called up the artist who was to teach the class, and I asked if she’d consider coming to Norton’s Cove to teach a weekend class if I could wrangle up a few students. I was thrilled to hear that she was certainly interested in doing just that. That’s how I met Tara Bryan in 2009. We’ve shared a fabulous friendship for ten years now.

So when I sold a large piece of artwork that hung in a prominent space at the café a few days ago, I naturally thought of one of Tara’s paintings to hang on the big empty wall. Here is the result:

Visitation (moving marble)
Oil on linen 96″ x 156″
Tara Bryan 2010

The painting (which is composed of three panels) is available for sale, and we can ship it anywhere. You can find it in the online shop here. You’ll find more of Tara’s iceberg paintings at the café soon, as we plan to showcase her work here over the summer.

Drawing & Painting Classes

New art classes will be starting on March 12th and running for 10 weeks.  Classes will only go ahead if there are a minimum of three students registered for each class.

A big welcome to Austin King, who has agreed to take on the role of Instructor for this series of classes. Austin is a graduate of Memorial University’s Grenfell College with a Bacelor of Fine Arts.

Classes will center around drawing and painting.  For all levels of ability.  I look forward to being a student for all these classes!

Joanne Wiley draws during a 2013 class at Norton’s Cove Studio

Please call, email, or text Janet to register for any or all classes.

Each Wednesday, the same class will be offered during the morning [10am-noon] and again at night [7-9pm] in order to fit more of your busy schedules!  The dates are:

March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14.

Each class will cost $20 including HST and most materials.