life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for plein air

Art amidst Nature

AG15 Cover HIGH RES jls copyThe 2015-2015 Art & Gallery Guide will be distributed all summer, and mailed with Kearsarge Magazine fall. Here’s a profile of one local artist, Deborah Bacon, who captures on canvas the breathtaking beauty of the local landscape.


Light. It is one of the reasons Deborah Bacon loves to paint outdoors. The light illuminates her landscapes, adds expression to her portraits, and challenges her skills as an artist.

Painting at The Fells 2014  “Time does not stand still when I want to catch that brief moment when the rising or setting sun touches the edge of a mountain, lake or tree and causes a glow that takes my breath away,” the Sunapee, N.H., resident says. “It is the play of light, or lack thereof, that causes our breath to pause.”

Bacon’s love of the outdoors is apparent in her work; her painting style is quiet, calming, atmospheric realism. Her art — created using the rich color of oils — makes the viewer pause, linger, and remember. “The Lake Sunapee area affords much of the landscape beauty that some painters travel hundreds of miles to find, and it is right here in my own backyard,” she says. “I get a great deal of pleasure and joy when residents and visitors recognize a location I have painted and admire the area beauty that I strive to convey.”

evening-on-herrick-cove-lighthouseBacon has been interested in art since childhood, and her career path has always involved art in some way. “In my early 20s I worked in advertising and graphic design, creating business logos and creating ads for newspapers and magazines. When I was in my mid-20s, I started my own art services and sign painting business, which I ran for approximately 20 years. I specialized in decorating and embellishing fine antiques and painting elaborate picturesque signs as well as murals,” Bacon says. But when computers began to take over and “replace the finely tuned techniques of the hand and brush, I decided to change directions because, as an artist, the computer did not satisfy my desire and need to create.”

She came upon an article about Fran Weston Hoyt, an artist in New London, N.H., who trained under Frank Vincent Dumond, one of the most influential teacher-painters in 20th century America. She became one of Hoyt’s students, and that was the start of Bacon’s PleinAir (painting in the open air) painting journey.

“PleinAir includes the best of two worlds — my respect and love for nature along with the satisfaction of pursuing my destiny as a fine artist,” she says. “In an advanced and electronic world that keeps us spinning and moving daily, I find that painting outside brings back an inner peace and balance.”

You can see her work at the Sunapee Landing Trading Co. Art Gallery in Sunapee, N.H., or online at

— By Laura Jean Whitcomb


Arts in the Garden on July 11

A tour of Newport’s gardens will appeal to your love of landscapes, your admiration of architecture, or your appreciation of art.

DSCN0118You don’t have to like digging in the dirt to enjoy a garden tour. In fact, you may not be inspired by the plants or flowers at all. The Arts in the Garden Tour, sponsored every two years by the Library Arts Center (LAC) in Newport, N.H., may appeal to your love of landscapes, your admiration of architecture, or your appreciation of art.

As you tour some of Newport’s most creative gardens, there’s the opportunity to watch artists at work. In 2013, more than 120 locals watched artists paint in plein air. Later, all the small unframed pieces are displayed in LAC’s West Gallery for a month and auctioned by silent, sealed bid to raise money for the LAC, a nonprofit regional cultural and arts center.

DSCN0138“Community arts programming is our mission, and the garden tour is a perfect example of that,” says Kate Luppold, executive director. “Viewing these gardens in our own community, and seeing local artists at work in them is truly inspiring and uplifting to all that see it. That inspiration causes all who take part in the tour to see this community in a whole new way — with added community pride and creativity — which can only lead to good things!”

This year’s tour will be helDSCN0065d on Saturday, July 11. Tickets, $12 in advance and $15 on tour day, are available at the Library Arts Center or Kathan Gardens.