VOA TV – Painting Pictures of the Grand Canyon

It is a clear morning on the south side of the Grand Canyon. This is the starting point for Linda Glover Gooch. Little by little, the image starts to form. Thousands of people take pictures of the Grand Canyon every day in hopes of capturing its beauty. Linda Glover Gooch could have stayed home and copied a photograph of the canyon. But she says that would not be the same.

LINDA GLOVER GOOCH: “Oh, there is a huge difference because you are in the atmosphere. You feel the air. Photos are nice, but they still lose some of the feeling that’s out there. And you experience it, you know, firsthand, so your emotions are there at the same time as you are doing the work.”
This is what artists call plein air painting, in which the changing light and environment affect the work. Scott Kraynak is with the National Park Service.

SCOTT KRAYNAK: “It’s painting quickly in nature to capture fleeting moments in nature of the light.”

The National Park Service invites artists to make paintings that will later be sold. The money helps to pay for the building of an art gallery. Kraynak says many people first came to know the Grand Canyon through paintings.

SCOTT KRAYNAK: “Not many people, I think, realize the importance of art in the national parks. Art first gave people a glimpse of what these areas looked like in the West, before TV and Internet. Art was a big factor in these areas being set aside. Art was big factor of popularizing national parks.”

The works of Linda Glover Gooch can be seen in places like the Lawrence Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her paintings offer images of nature and the desert to collectors who want to take some of the beauty home with them.

LINDA GLOVER GOOCH: “I want to get that light on that point because it’s only going to be there for an hour more, maybe, or a little less. It’s really bright.”

Gooch spent all day at the Grand Canyon to produce this one small painting. But she says there is nowhere else she would rather be.

LINDA GLOVER GOOCH: “Words can’t explain it. It is just a gorgeous place. It’s challenging. It’s always changing. The weather is never the same. It gives you a lot of views. You could paint the rest of your life out here and always see something different.”

In the end, her painting of this one part of the canyon is complete and ready for showing. However, the ever-changing appearance of the canyon makes her want to return and paint another day. I’m Steve Ember.