Poppy Balser made a few stops on the trip from her home in Nova Scotia, Canada, to the Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE), held last month in Tucson, Arizona. When she got out early to paint a sunrise at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Balser was ambushed by a TV crew.
“I expected glorious light, curious tourists, maybe some wildlife, and I did see all that,” Balser says. “What I did not expect was a TV crew. But there they were, appreciating the view of the canyon, just like I was. I enjoyed being able to share with them my enthusiasm for the scene in front of me and for the joys of plein air painting. I even had a chance to mention the Plein Air Convention in Tucson. Now, that is not something that happens to a Canadian plein air painter every day!”
“Catalina Mountain Morning,” by Poppy Balser, 2016, watercolor, 7 x 11 in.
Balser tracked down the two clips that showed up on TV. Here’s the one that focuses more on Balser. The artist was featured on “Good Morning Arizona,” a show broadcast on Arizona3TV, an independent station in the Phoenix area.
“Catalina State Park,” by Poppy Balser, 2016, watercolor, 11 x 15 in.
April can still bring tricky weather to the Grand Canyon. “It was a lot colder than I expected, due to the stiff breeze at the rim of the Canyon,” Balser says. “I wished I had packed my mittens. I have painted in colder conditions at home, but then I was wearing three layers of wool and super0thick winter boots. I hadn’t packed these things when I came to paint in the Arizona desert!”
“Picacho Peak Shadows,” by Poppy Balser, 2016, watercolor, 11 x 15 in.
Balser says, “In the end, the TV crew were like anyone else who stops to watch an artist at work. They looked, asked questions, and were admiring of the determination it takes to stand still in the cold and paint the unfolding view.”