“Don’t go over to the dark side!” warned a fellow watercolor artist when I mentioned wanting to try acrylics. But here I am, wading in. A familiar subject, a new approach. Using acrylics made me appreciate the lightness and delicacy of watercolor and the beauty of drawing that goes with it. But it also made me envious of the ease with which you can rework the paint and blend color on canvas.

Acrylic on gessobord, 8x8"

Acrylic on gessobord, 8×8″, click to view larger

This painting is dedicated to the Artist Nest Group in Anacortes, Washington, who took risks, experimented, and pushed themselves repeatedly throughout the four-day workshop I taught last month. Rest assured, I won’t be trading my watercolors any time soon, but it’s good to try new things every now and then.

25 Comments on “Testing

  1. Very nice. I know the temptation, too…but, like you, still can’t imagine not using watercolors. There is just something about the clarity of the medium that gets lost in other media.

  2. Very lovely. I like the brilliant colors. This painting has a beautiful 3-D quality to it, looks as if you could lift the eggs out of the nest. The nest looks very realistic as well. Nicely done.

  3. I love your artwork here, and I am working with acrylics and love it. I will never abandon watercolor, though. Why not do both, do it all?

    • Good point. I find that I sometimes get caught by too many “rules” in my head. This or that, the “right approach,” the “best” type of artwork. I sometimes have to remind myself that whatever works for you is best. Why not both?

  4. I really admire your nests Jean. This one is a beauty.
    Your colors are vibrant and I can’t get enough of the shadows around the
    Nest! Perfect!

  5. Well, thanks Jean. As one of your “Artist Nest” group, I appreciate your dedication – and that can be taken two ways. I didn’t paint a nest with you, but loved the ones others in the group produced. We still talk about how much fun we had with you, and how inspirational you are.

    • Hi Melissa- It was a fun week together! You produced some great work — and you know where to find that nest should you ever want to give it a try. Hello to all!

  6. Wow, Jean. It’s beautiful. You, my dear, are one talented artist in any medium.


    Juanita Roushdy President Friends of Hog Island P.O. Box 242 Bremen, ME 04551 http://www.fohi.org 207-529-2355 910-233-8548 (cell)

    Friends of Hog Island – Promises made; promises kept.


    • Thanks Juanita– my little Clean Sweep phoebe at Hog Island inspired me to try this. Always grateful for my continued connection there and for your good work and friendship.

  7. Oh, wow, Jean. This I so great and such a meaningful dedication for us! We miss you!
    Missy Walsh-Smith

  8. Love this nest, Jean! And yes, why not do both watercolors and acrylics, if you want – you get to decide. You are the creator and you can make your own rules! I loved the few days spent learning with you when you were here, and I look forward to doing it again!
    Sandra Starbuck

  9. Oh! So beautiful! I recognized this immediately! Thanks again for such a wonderful class! I learned so much, and really feel that your expertise has made such a difference in my artistic efforts!

    • Hi Jody- Thanks again for hosting that session. Hope you continue to find time for your art in your busy life…and keep the chickens away from the paint!

  10. Wow…your acrylic bird’s nest is beautiful! But I still love and favor your many versions done in watercolor. The transparency of watercolors has me hypnotized. Probably forever! 😊. Thank you sooooo much for the class you taught in the Anacortes Wa. area this September. It was fabulous…and I hope to join you someday again in the art of journaling. You were an exceptional teacher! 🎨💕🎨😍

    • Hi Kathy- nice to hear from you! I like the transparency of watercolor too. But it can be both wonderful and frustrating! There was something nice about being able to work in acrylic and change and add and stroke colors together. Still, I’m back to watercolor this week. Happy painting to you!

  11. Hi, Jean. The fall here is quickly becoming winter and we are putting the garden to bed. Maybe there will be time soon to finish my Foggy Fall! Have you moved indoors? Nice foray into acrylics – it’s fun to try a new idea. But oh, good grief, I’d hate the thought of another cabinet of new art supplies!! Where would I put them all? Happy fall, Carolyn

    • Hi Carolyn- How about no new supplies until Foggy Fall is finished?! I was outside sketching yesterday, though it is getting cold and today we had our first snow– Yikes! Not ready for that. Still hoping to see your finished pages…how about before Thanksgiving?? Cheers, Jean

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