Seascapes and Landscapes

ATTENTION: All registered public program attendees are required to 1) read our 2021 Operating Plan, 2) visit our Getting to Shoals page to review the necessary travel and pre-arrival COVID-19 testing information, 3) register using the link in the Dates section below, and 4) complete our Overnight Participant Forms.  

Artist painting in the rocky intertidal

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 a week 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.

“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

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.

Departure from Portsmouth, NH:

Monday, August 23: 12:15 PM ET

Departure from SML:

Friday, August 27: 10:15 AM ET

Please note: Participants should anticipate the total boat transit time to be approximately 90 minutes.

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.

Cancellation Received:

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


Dustan Knight, professional artist

Dustan Knight is a working painter here along the New Hampshire Seacoast. She has an MFA from Pratt Institute in NYC and an MA in Art History from Boston University. Dustan is a Macdowell Colony resident, winner of multiple public grants and awards - including the NH State Council for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship Award, had her work published in a full-color book by Rockport Publishers in 2017, and has her artwork in corporate and private collections throughout the US. After twenty years as a Professor of Fine Art at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, she has returned full time to her studio. Dustan's artwork is powerful --emotionally and physically. She is inspired by the elemental forces of the natural world and imbues her textural painterly surfaces with a romantic imagination. Dustan's landscapes and seascapes have air and atmosphere; they capture the vitality of living things.

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 Instagram at billpaarlberg!

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. 

Gifts from the Sea Table by Carol Schwartz
Gifts from the Sea Table, Carol Schwartz



Wendy Turner 2001
Artist painting on the rocks.
Appletree on Appledore, Bill Paarlberg


Wendy Turner Color of Water
Wendy Turner. The Color of Water. Somerset Velvet Watercolor Paper Gicleé Print.


Event Type


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.


(603) 862-5346