Janice McBrien: Vibrancy Grows in the Garden and on the Canvas

Janice McBrien: Vibrancy Grows in the Garden and on the Canvas

Our second interview in Hartney, Manitoba was actually just outside Hartney at a beautiful little acreage with some wonderful family history. After our overnight stay at the local campground we set out the next morning to go find Janice McBrien and her husband Bill. They live on a farm that was once homesteaded by Janice’s father. He built the original cinder block house they now call home. Although Janice and Bill are both retired, the land they love keeps them working hard but is also a simultaneous source of inspiration.

Janice McBrien

Upon the usual greetings, Janice invited us in to their home, kindly offered us coffee and a chance to get to know a little bit about her and Bill and their life together. They shared with us stories of their ten years of life together in the Northwest Territories. They once owned a gallery and framing store there which occupied much of their time, but all the while falling in love with the landscape, flora and fauna. Bill gave us a word of advice; if we ever find ourselves living there make sure we are equipped with a parka and a bug suit. Sounds like worthy advice to me!

These days Janice and Bill enjoy what they call “picking”. They go to garage sales and pick up all kinds of treasures which Bill sells on E-Bay. His favourite find is vintage cameras. Janice loves her garden and spends a significant amount of her summer there. She plants seeds that she saved from the summer before to grow both annual flowers and vegetables. Fall brings with it the harvest of sixty tomato plants and a whole lot of canning.

Landscape from the Northwest Territories


When I asked Janice how she got started painting she explained to me that many years ago her son was taking a painting class and she was so thrilled with what he had done that she really wanted to give it a try. This ignited a passion for painting that has carried on to this day. Many artists identify their interests through whatever medium they choose to use. Janice loves colour and the flowers in her garden are the inspiration for her paintings. Growing up as a little girl, her family always had beautiful blooms filling the gardens and the vases. Janice takes her delicate and vibrant subjects and creates wonderful watercolour paintings in their honour. She has done oil and acrylic but she loves the challenge watercolour presents to her. As she says, there is no messing around that can be done. It is what it is and you either commit or you start over.

Click on the images below to view a larger aspect.

Watch the video interview below of Janice McBrien as she talks about her creative passion and we invite you to leave a comment for Janice as well.

3 Responses to Janice McBrien: Vibrancy Grows in the Garden and on the Canvas

  1. Doreen Senior says:

    Hi Janice,
    I really enjoyed reading about you and your art in Facebook. It’s also a great picture of you as well.
    Cheers,
    Doreen

  2. Sandra Hart says:

    Congrats! Awesome talent & such a beautiful collection of your work. The interview is such a neat idea & also will be a great family keepsake. We are so proud of you & honored to call your OUR Mom!

  3. Courtney Hart says:

    What a pleasant suprise to stumble across! You are such an amazing and talented woman, and that shines through your artwork and all things you do! Love you, Grandma!

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