Plein Air Painting Locations – Public

Public Locations for Painting

This is a list of public locations that are wonderful for plein air work. Some are too small for the organized LAA painting group, but are great places to go by yourself or with a friend to sketch or paint. If you know another public location that you can add to this list of favorites, please email Jocelyn at and we’ll update this list on a regular basis.

Deep River

Deep River Landing
161 River Street, Deep River
This park is the end of the line for the Essex Steam Train, where passengers then embark on a river cruise. Views of a gazebo, a small island, the railroad and its passengers, the Lace Factory building, and (of course) the Connecticut River.


Riverview Cemetery
North Main Street, Essex
Park at the end. There is a small sitting area with benches. Views of North Cove (Essex) and a windmill.

Essex Boat Launch
Go north on North Main (starts at the roundabout by Talbots), turn right one block up on Bushnell Street. The entrance to the boat ramp area is just past Teal Street on the left.
Racks of stored boats, small sitting area on a platform, moored small sailboats, views of North Cove.

Town Green
12 Main Street, Essex
As you are going down Main Street, park behind the Post Office for easy access to the park. Views of the shops, gazebo, people picnicking, Middle Cove and a marina.

Old Lyme

Old Lyme Boat Launch
Rt 156 and the Lieutenant River
Old Lyme, CT
This small boat launch is just south of Ferry Road. It is great for sketching people fishing and launching kayaks and canoes. The tides and time of day greatly impact the scenes of the bridge to the east and marshes to the south and west.

Duck River Cemetery
3 Bittersweet Lane, Old Lyme
Located about a half-mile from the Old Lyme Congregational Church on the left. Bear to the right for a bridge over the Duck River.

Old Lyme Congregational Church
2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme
Classic New England church.

Elizabeth Karter Watch Rock Preserve
45 Shore Rd, Old Lyme
Short walk to the beach. Better on days with a bit of a breeze.

Ferry Landing State Park
398 Ferry Road, Old Lyme
Easy access and views of the Railroad Bridge, the river. A boardwalk runs south along the river, under the RR bridge, and has an elevated platform overlooking thatch beds and salt marshes.

  • A Century of Inspiration

    July 30 – Sept. 16, 2021

    A Century of Inspiration is an exhibit dedicated to celebrating the 100th anniversary of our beloved gallery. We are asking artists to look back at the work of the original art colony for inspiration. Bucolic landscapes with cows or sheep, woodland interiors, gardens beside a cottage, mountain laurels in bloom, bridges, porch scenes, moonlit nocturnes, portraits and so much more would be appropriate subject matter for this show. LAA is not looking for copies of the originals or asking artists to work in a style that is not their own, but to be inspired by the subject matter, color, and spirit of the founding members of LAA.

    All participants will be eligible for the following prizes, 1st $500, 2nd $250 and 3rd $125. 

    Open to all LAA member artists. Please download the prospectus for more details.

© 2015 Lyme Art Association. Design by Lise Gazzillo.