Category Archives: Environment

Tree Nut

I particularly love trees. I grew up in northern California surrounded by old oak and eucalyptus trees and the redwood forest. My earliest memory of trees was standing among ancient redwoods, astonished at how far they traveled up into the sky. I also remember touching a huge redwood’s trunk thinking how soft and cool it felt. Trees were and still are a wondrous form of life.

California Redwoods-Donna M.

Redwoods, 16×20, acrylic on canvas, ©2009, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD

Since humans began sharing stories, trees have been recognized as a symbol of ever-lasting life and creativity and to some, spirituality. In primitive times, trees were used in all aspects of life. They were symbols of power and human’s desire to be one with nature. They provided food, shelter, and heat from fire. It is no surprise that the tree is seen as one of the earliest symbols of the sacred.

When I think of trees, I think of grace, color, timelessness, history. There are a few trees that are more than two thousand years old. Some common types live five hundred years or more. It is not surprising that early people thought of them as immortal, demanding respect and reverence.

Today, it may be that the most significant meaning of trees is that they sustain life on the planet. Their existence is crucial to ours. Their beauty is a magnificent gift.

Any tree nuts out there?

Sunset, 12x12, acrtlic on canvas, ©2011, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD

Sunset, 12×12, acrtlic on canvas, ©2011, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD

Red Moon

As I described in my last blog, I like to think of myself as an artist and an environmentalist. My hope is that in some small way my art will help bring attention to the state of our natural world. I am not interested in painting the destruction that is present around the planet. I want to capture the beauty that exists even in unlikely places.

Sometimes the reality of our environmental changes is difficult to ignore. Reality “comes on little cat feet” or sometimes comes in huge boots dragging almost too much destruction for our consciousness to deal with. I live in New Mexico where we have been experiencing a severe drought that has been going on for years. The fire warnings are always HIGH. Drought is no less devastating than unusually severe rain and snow storms—it just takes a little longer. I am not a poet, but I wrote this poem two years ago as an enormous forest fire in Arizona crossed into New Mexico.

Red Moon

Road Home, Summer, acrylic on canvas, 2009, ©Ann Hart Marquis

Road Home, Summer, acrylic on canvas, 2009, ©Ann Hart Marquis

The moon is red-orange tonight
like a lovely slice of Georgia peach, no longer its glistening blue, cool, silvery self.
A ravenous fire burns west of here heading this way,
sending its message in odious grey smoke.
Small flakes of black charcoal settle on the white of my perfectly unsoiled, spotless canvas.

I do not want to paint the moon tonight or try to capture the brittleness of dry parched air.
I do not want to paint in colors of
cadmium red, grey, black.
I do not want to think about desert wildfires or the disappearing rain forests.
I want to think about mauve, lime green, cerulean blue.

That’s the problem isn’t it?