In February, the Inn at Sunset Hill hosted two Plein Air workshops for artists Stapleton Kearns and David Drinon.
Plein Air painting is the act of painting outdoors in the open orpainting objects that the eye sees. The Inns property provides several majestic views that attract artists from all over New England and Canada. Both classes were set up in the Inn’s Function room and connecting porch which provides a panoramic view of Cannon Mountain and the Presidential range whilst providing some protection from the elements.
Stapleton Kearns and David Drinon are two accomplished artists and teachers. Both primarily work with oils or watercolors and prefer Plein Painting to anything else. Although some of the pieces are finished in their studios, the artist’s work long days while at the Inn, to create their landscapes and learn together. It was a special treat for the staff to see the progress at the end of each day. As the views inspired the artists, their work and enthusiasm inspired all of us.
Stapleton Kearns is a professional Landscape painter who has been creating amazing detailed work for more than thirty years. For nearly ten years his studio and home have been based in New Hampshire. Stapleton travels all over the country teaching workshops in Landscape painting. He has written multiple essays on painting and art. He has a successful Blog and online tutorial that many artists benefit from. Stapleton calls his workshop here at the Inn the “Dreaded” Snow camp where artists come to be “worked like a borrowed mule”. He starts the session with a detailed demonstration where he will share several painting skill building exercises. Class numbers are capped off at a dozen artists so that Stapleton can walk from canvas to canvas and work individually with each artist. The group ends each day with a slide show and dinner. Everyone does indeed work hard with this workshop however, they seem to always have an incredible time and many will be booking again next year. Stapleton Kearns Fine Art can be found at
David Drinon is a “Scape Painter” of land, sea and cityscapes and takes on a more expressionist style. His use of color is amazing. David was born and raised a New Englander with his roots in Maine, he has lived all over New England and currently has a studio in Lowell Massachusetts. In 2013 David transitioned out of his financial career to become a full-time artist and follow his passion. In 2015 he was selected to be the Artist-in-Residence at the Whistler House Museum of Art. David has most recently been juried-in to the North Shore Art Association in Gloucester as an artist member. David also starts his session with a demonstration of techniques followed by one on one work within a small group of students. Mr. Drinon workshops focus a bit more on the emotional journey taken with each new painting. He puts an emphasis on working in nature and artists absorbing the locations they are in as they are painting. It would be difficult not to absorb the nature surrounding these artists as it was quite windy during their outdoors sessions. A bonus to this workshop was learning the best ways to keep your canvas from blowing away. The ongoing joke was this group was “suffering for their art”. However, the changing weather did not dampen their spirits, in fact it seemed to add to the excitement of the experience. This group of hardy folks would gather each night in our “Snug” to enjoy food, drink and grand stories. David Drinon site and blog boasts “Have easel will travel” we all look forward to his group traveling back our way next year. David Drinon’s work can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Inn at Sunset Hill has a history of Inspiring artists. Daniel Francois Santry (1858- 1915) was Artist in Residence at the historic Sunset Hill House for twenty-three years; some of his most popular views include Mount Lafayette in Spring and Old Farmhouse, Franconia. Prints are still sought after today. Whether you join an existing workshop or wish to book one of your own The Inn at Sunset Hill has a natural beauty and a historic culture that will prove to entice and inspire. If you would like to learn more, please contact us at email@example.com or call 603-823-7244. Please note course bookings are done directly with the featured artist.