2017 Workshops

Coco Reef has kindly offered our workshop participants 15% off lunch after the workshop.

Click here for their menu:   Cafe Coco lunchnov2016

For more info on Poppy Balser:



Poppy Balser, Biography

Poppy Balser has always lived near the ocean. She grew up in Canada, on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. Despite a wish to pursue art as a career, she chose to pursue what her parents called a “more responsible choice”. She put away her paintbrushes, and went to Dalhousie University to study pharmacy.

Poppy settled with her husband in his hometown of Digby, Nova Scotia in 2000. That was when she once again picked up a paintbrush. She has not put it down since. She studied watercolour painting on her own, reading every book on watercolour in the local library. She has continued a path of self directed study, by choosing workshops by master painters and participating in a local life drawing group. For the last 10 years she has cut back her pharmacy work to part-time in order to develop her artistic career. Now she is overjoyed that painting is her full time pursuit.

Poppy now specializes in painting en plein air. She focuses on landscape scenes, especially her local coastal areas. She is inspired by the seashore and boats of the Bay of Fundy and the surrounding landscapes. Her works can be found in private collections across North America and in the collection of the Art Bank of Nova Scotia.

Artist’s Statement:

“ I am proud to live on shore of the Bay of Fundy, an area with great natural beauty. I use my paintings to bring indoors to my viewers the atmosphere and light of my local environment. I paint en plein air as often as possible. Painting outside on location helps me to examine and explore these subjects closely. With my plein air sketches for reference in the studio I make larger, more deliberate works. I paint things as I see them, making fresh and spontaneous paintings which glow with luminous colour.”


  • 2017, Best Vehicle, April/May Plein Air Salon Competition
  • 2016 Second Prize, Bold Brush Painting Competition, September 2016
  • 2016 Second Prize, King’s Landing Paint the Past Plein Air Festival
  • 2015 Best Watercolour Award, Bermuda Plein Air Festival
  • 2015 Grand Prize Award, Montague Plein Air Festival
  • 2014 Artists’ Choice Award, Montague Plein Air Festival
  • 2013 Outstanding Watercolor, September BoldBrush Competition
  • 2010 Outstanding Watercolor, August BoldBrush CompetitionGalleries:
  • The Flight Of Fancy, Bear River NS
  • Amicus Gallery, Chester, NS
  • Bluefin Pottery and Hand Creations, Digby NS
  • Art Sales and Rental Gallery, Halifax, NSGroup Membership:
  • Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, Elected Member
  • Outdoor Painters Society, Associate Member
  • Annapolis Regional Arts Council
  • Plein Air Painters of the Bay of Fundy




Chris Marson watercolour workshop 2017

After thirty years of putting paint on paper Chris has a few ideas on how to avoid and fix the problems that get in the way of realising your vision.

He will share strategies and techniques that will allow you to paint more expressively and effectively.

Everyone stands at the easel  with an idea of a wonderful painting already in their head  but then execution gets in the way.

We will look at ways to make the process easier and more rewarding, understanding why some techniques and arrangements work better than others will move you much closer to making  successful paintings.

Some of the areas we will touch on:

Preparation and planning for values and effective composition.

Manipulating the picture plane to enhance your viewers experience and give them a sense of place.

Damage control, how to see problem spots and eliminate them

Colour and value strategies.

Painting techniques, how to put the brush on the paper effectively.

I will be painting in watercolour in order to take advantage of the speed of execution but most of the ideas presented will apply to all mediums.

Visit Chris’s website at www.christophermarson.com to see his work

Day 1:   Tentative Willowbank

Day 2:   The heart of St. Georges (Turkey Hill)

Time:  10:00 a.m. –  4:00 p.m. for both days

Members   Both Days –  $175    One Day  $100

Non Members   Both Day –  $200    One Day  $125

Prices include picnic lunch both days.

FEBRUARY 18, 2017

Relief Block Printmaking –  Alanna Baird





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