Seascapes and Landscapes


ATTENTION: Registration for 2023 is NOW CLOSED. Please check back in the spring for Summer 2024 programming options.

Since the late nineteenth century, Appledore Island has been a haven for both amateur and professional artists - painters, poets, musicians, and more! In this tradition, we invite you to join us for several days of drawing, painting, and printmaking. This workshop is an opportunity for artists to immerse themselves in the rugged seascapes and landscapes of the Isles of Shoals and translate Appledore Island's vibrant palette onto paper or canvas.

Daily demos, sketching sessions, and instructor reviews will culminate in a final art exhibition for the Appledore Island community. Plus, each day will present new opportunities to learn about marine life and explore Appledore Island's unique coastal and marine habitats. Bring your own art supplies and work at your own pace. A list of suggested materials will be provided by the program leaders.

Artist painting in the rocky intertidal

“I return each summer because my body registers the joy I feel when I am there. It is exciting to be in this natural painting environment with scientists at the Marine Lab who can open your eyes to aspects and elements of the environment you’ve not noticed.” - Barbara Houston

  • (603) 862-5346

    Price: $1,285

    Price is per person. All-inclusive with: overnight accommodations, all meals, snacks and beverages, all program activities, and round-trip boat transportation between Portsmouth, NH, and Appledore Island. Space is limited due to our vessel and housing capacities, so reserve your spot soon! This program is open to adults 18 years of age and up.

Curious what you'll do during this program? Here are some activities that may be included!

Printmaking session: Try your hand a making ocean-themed prints.

Intertidal Exploration: Discover creatures in the tidepools, bring them back to the sea tables, and sketch or paint them.

Watercolor Workshop: Improve your skills or begin your watercolor journey. 

En Plein Air Art Sessions: Enjoy creating art in your favorite medium outside around the island with mentorship from the program leaders.

Art Critique Sessions: Share your artwork with other participants and program leaders to get helpful feedback and improve your skills.

Gallery Show: Share your creations with your fellow artists and the SML community!

Isles Cruise: A boat-based tour of the neighboring islands that make up the Isles of Shoals.

Bird Banding Station: Learn about the songbirds that use Appledore Island along their annual migration. Observe the workings of an active bird banding station.

Garden Tour: Visit Celia Thaxter’s Garden with a narrative about the human history of Appledore, with a focus on the 19th Century Hotel Era.

Swimming & Snorkeling: An opportunity to swim or snorkel in the sheltered Great Tide Pool.

Seabirds Lecture: A talk about gulls, terns, and other seabirds living on the Isles of Shoals from our resident ornithologist and director of seabird science.

Sustainability Tour: A walking tour that highlights the technological innovations on the island (water conservation, solar, and wind power) that contribute to the sustainable infrastructure of the Shoals Marine Lab.

Sunset Social Hour: Enjoy a libation on the porch with time to socialize with participants and instructors.

Lobster Bake Dinner: Enjoy fresh lobster caught that day from the waters around Appledore Island and prepared by our fantastic kitchen crew.

Island Environment: Appledore Island is a rugged landscape with uneven, slightly steep and rocky paths. Access on/off the island is via a floating dock, a steep ramp, and a set of stairs. Sturdy walking shoes are required. Please review our Safety at Shoals page for any questions about boat safety, island terrain, medical access, or dietary needs.

  • Participants should be prepared for time aboard research vessels and moderate-to-strenuous hikes around Appledore Island to various field sites.
  • This program is intended for adults interested in learning more about the marine environment. No university credits are awarded.
  • If four nights is too adventurous, consider a day-trip Appledore Island Walking Tour, with tons of natural history information packed into just one afternoon!

Cancellation Received:

  • At least 30 days before departure = 100% refund
  • 29-15 days before departure =  50% refund
  • Less than 15 days before departure = 0%

SML boats will run rain or shine, so long as the captain deems it safe to travel. Passengers should come prepared with appropriate clothing in the event of rain or high winds (ocean spray). If the captain deems travel unsafe, boats schedules may be impacted until the weather passes. Communications regarding any weather-related delays will come via email and telephone from SML's main office.

    Coming soon.



    bill paarlberg

    Bill Paarlberg, professional artist

    Bill Paarlberg loves to draw and paint watercolors and is especially interested in the many uses of the sketchbook. He works from the studio in his backyard in Kittery Point, and outdoors whenever possible. He has painted at the Isles of Shoals every year for the past dozen years and was Artist-in-Residence at Shoals Marine Lab in 2018 and 2019. Check him out on his website and on Instagram at @billpaarlberg.



    carol schwarz

    Carol Schwartz, professional artist 

    Carol Schwartz is inspired by nature, as an observer, and as an artist, as is evident in her 60 picture books, largely nonfiction, about nature and specifically with an ocean theme. She has an MFA from the University of Hartford in Connecticut and a BFA earned at the Kansas City Art Institute and Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been in many national exhibitions such as Focus on Nature XIV and XV and she teaches at Rhode Island School of Design, Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Hartford, and New England College. See more of her work on her website.

    Seascapes and Landscapes Photos

    • en plein air seascapes
    • seascapes workshop
    • artists easel on isles of shoals
    • seascapes-artist
    • gallery night seascapes
    • printmaking seascapes