About

Jean MackayJean Mackay
Wallingford, Connecticut
Jeanmackay (dot) art (at) gmail (dot) com
I am an educator, writer, artist, and naturalist—but not always in that order. I grew up in Troy, New York, traveled widely in my twenties, and set down roots not far from where I began. In 2015, I moved to Connecticut and now have a whole new state to explore.

What draws me in? As you can see from my sketches and paintings, most of my work is about nature, and I’ve long used art as a way to take a closer look at what’s around me. In recent years, I’ve also been drawn in by the way art can capture small moments of everyday life. Now, the pages of my artist journal include drawings of travels, meals, family foibles, and seasonal cycles, alongside salamander migration or dragonfly sightings.

Thanks for being drawn in by what you see here…and do add a comment to share your thoughts!

All images on this site are © of Jean Mackay.

No rights of reproduction, nor any rights to the paintings/images, unless permission is granted by the artist.

61 thoughts on “About

  1. Jean, I love your artistic point of view ! Thank you for sharing your art and insights. Quite a talent, you are. Please post more!

  2. This is beautiful! How nice to have your artwork in one easily accessible place–thank you for creating this blog. We have always loved seeing your art and now we can keep up to date with the new additions. The fact that you write so well enhances the paintings. I don’t know how you fit so much into each day. We send love and congratulations.

  3. Hi Jean. Thank you so much for thinking of me and forwarding me the link to this page. You are such an amazingly gifted artist – I love everything you do. Please let me know how I can purchase some of your prints. Also, and I know you’re going to love this – maybe it will remind of our college days – the plural of metamorphosis is metamorphoses. FYI.. Just saying. Love you. Tammy

  4. Jean: This is some beautiful art and inspiring thoughts–love it! I hope you & the family are doing well. I miss our (long ago) summer lunches. Love! Frank

    • Hi Frank! Thanks for checking in! I miss our brief get togethers too! Thanks for being part of my early ramblings into the heart of the American wilderness…I wouldn’t be where I am today without that.

  5. A dear friend ours in Belgrade, Maine shared this site with us. My wife and I have a life long love of plants and the environment in which we all exist. The exquisite drawings, coupled with neat, concise and emotion- packed observations of detail are clearly the result of someone who really “tunes in”.
    I love this!

  6. Jean, your work is breathtaking! It is inspiring me to keep painting and to keep trying to understand the world around me through little moments in life – which sometimes seem to matter just as much as the entire world.

  7. Wow Jean – Your talent never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for sharing your artwork, your creative perspective, and your inspiration with all of us.

  8. I feel very lucky to have such an amazing artist in the family and always look forward to seeing what is next for you. I do love your dragonfly art.

  9. Jean your work is just stunning! Do you teach classes or can you recommend where one even begins to start learning such a wonderful hobby? I live in northern NJ and would travel – parents live in Lake Sacandaga.

    • Hi Jill- Thanks! I teach workshops locally on occasion and I’d be happy to try to meet up when you visit again, but in the mean time, you might check with a local arts center or nature center to see if they offer any classes. I also recommend that you just keep drawing! Try subjects that are relatively simple– maybe seeds, acorns, leaves, and other founds objects in nature to start. The more you draw, the better you’ll get.

  10. I love your work and journal! I have so many questions! What sort of sketchbook do you use? Did you at one point study calligraphy in some capacity? I ask because your scoll is lovely! Thank you for sharing your skilled work!! Very inspiring!

    • Thanks Tam- Ask away! I’ve used all sorts of journals over the years- Moleskin, Strathmore, Canson Mixed Media– but I’ve been using Stillman & Birn Beta and Zeta series sketchbooks for the last year or two and I really like the quality of the paper and binding and the size of the books. I don’t have formal training, but I have been practicing calligraphy and studying various letter forms and illuminated letters for a very long time. One reference I especially like is “The Art of Calligraphy” by David Harris. I took at peak at your blog and enjoyed your sketches. Glad to provide a little inspiration!

  11. So happy to have discovered your work, via Shari,s blog. I can’t find where to sign up for your site. I confess to being cyber challenged, please sign me up.
    Thanks, Bobbie

    • Hi Bobbie- Glad you found me! Welcome! Look on the main page for the site– in the right hand column you’ll see a box that says “follow.” Click that and add your email to sign up. — Jean

  12. My best walks are along the beach at low tide when all the interesting sea creatures are uncovered exposing themselves twice a day during the summer months. The water is warm and the marine breezes smell wonderful. Your sketch is lovely; many of Maine’s sea animals are the same as those in the Northwest waters.

  13. I’ve been to the Maine coast only once and it’s charming with lots of interesting coves to explore. Our beaches have lots of logs, driftwood, sand and rocks, shells from dead sea life, glass and assortment of debris.

  14. It was a joy and blessing to meet you at Audubon Camp last month. Your beautiful art and journals have inspired me to revisit my love of drawing and calligraphy, which I stopped doing a long time ago. I was in the Raptor/Rapture Session that ran concurrently with Arts and Birding, however second only to banding the juvenile osprey, you are the best take-away from that magical week at Hog Island.

    • Sandie- That is the sweetest note! It was a pleasure to meet you and I’m so happy that I provided a bit of inspiration– I hope you do find your way back to drawing/calligraphy. Should you ever want to share some work with me, I would love to see it. My e-mail is above. Im also happy to recommend some books that may be of interest and further inspiration. All the best!

  15. Jean — this is the first blog I’ve ever followed. You are amazing — love your artwork, such a range — quirky to intimate detail! Welcome to Connecticut, there’s plenty of new material for you to delve into here!

  16. I have no art training but I would love to create sketch books like yours. Is the workshop in VT full? Please let me know if you are going to do any other workshops.

  17. Hi Jean, It was such a pleasure to spend the day with you in Vermont. Seeing you and your beautiful journals in person was wonderful. I hope you can come back and do it again at the Landgrove Inn sometime next year. Thanks again for the inspiration. Claudia

    • Thanks Claudia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the workshop– I did too! I also enjoyed looking at the paintings on your website– beautiful work! I’d love to return to VT next year…would you suggest the best way to connect with the Landgrove Inn?

  18. Hi Jean and thanks so much for dropping in on my brushes with watercolour – much appreciated. And congratulations too on you work – It treads the line fabulously between freedom and meticulous – really superb!

    • Thanks John. I loved your paintings and if I could paint landscapes I would want them to look like that. Glad we’ve been introduced to each other’s work through Doodlewashed.

  19. helll jean, thanks for sharing your art i love this stuff ( i am a writer/poet) and would love to get back into watercolors but chemically sensitive any words of wisdom or knowledge 🙂 if u have no worries thanks again for this beautiful blog, donna marie

    • Hi Donna Marie- Thanks so much! I don’t know much about chemical sensitivity; it would seem that watercolors would be among the easiest art supplies to handle since they are water based and you aren’t really touching the paint. Looks like you have a good creative outlet with writing/poetry– keep it up!

  20. Hi Jean congratulations for your beautiful and inspiring work! I love your Journals they are lovely, some of your drawing remind me the book of Edith Holden “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” 😉 I discovered you on Charlie Blog Doodlewash and I enjoyed your Feature. Charlie is a nice friend and a wonderful artist. My name is Carolina and I am an artist designer I love to express my creativity with different mediums beside watercolors. I hope that you will visit my Blog sometime and since then Cheers! I follow you now so I wont miss your next post 😉 Carolina

  21. Thank you for sharing! Beautiful work. Learned of you through fellow art journalers (is that a real word? 🙂 in the Bloomington (Indiana) Watercolor Society. Feel a kinship…

  22. Lovely site, Jean – Nature and art go hand in hand IMO, I bet you find springtime very inspiring, I know I do!!! Think I will follow you and see where you lead me! 😉

  23. I just found you through the Nature Journal Club on FB, so happy that you posted there and linked your website! I’m about to move to the east coast (MD) so maybe I can even take a workshop sometime!

    • Hi Katheryn- I’ll look for your work on the NJC site. I enjoy seeing what’s posted there…only found that site a few months ago. Thanks for being in touch! Good luck with your move!

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