Featured Art: Ahh, North Rim Grand Canyon

watercolor painting

Ahh, North Rim Grand Canyon by Risa Waldt, member at large

Watercolor (20 x 20)


A native Tucsonan, Risa Waldt grew up in the desert and soaked up visions of that landscape while horseback riding along the Rillito River. She fell in love with light expressed in watercolor and began painting in 1973. Her preferred subjects are the Grand Canyon, wildlife, and historical features of Arizona.

An award-winning member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild, Waldt is also a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, D.C.), an associate member of the National Watercolor Society and the American Watercolor Society, and an active member of the National League of Pen Women and the Arizona Watercolor Association.


  1. This is a fabulously colorful impression of the North Rim – a view less commonly seen as vistas of the South Rim are more often painted, perhaps due to it just being easier to get to from Flagstaff. And to see it so vividly portrayed in watercolor by Ms Waldt is thrilling. The North Rim was almost inaccessible to all but the most intrepid tourists a century ago (except by horesback perhaps) and that was the case for NLAP Tucson Chapter member Effie Anderson Smith (aka Mrs. A.Y. Smith – 1869-1955) whose oil paintings of the South Rim in the 1920s were among her finest, though there is no question Smith (my great-great Aunt) would have greatly admired the mastery of color and sense of distances and technical control that Ms Waldt has achieved here. Smith loved watercolor but could only get close to Ms Waldt’s mastery of the Grand Canyon using oils. Her brush strokes were too large, she said. It is always wonderful to see how a native Arizonan depicts a scene from their home state, and it is clear Ms Waldt has studied the mountains and canyons and geology lovingly in great detail and she is completely in tune with the spiritual qualities of the landscape. Thank you for sharing this.

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