Tag Archives: environment

Irish Color

We just got back from Ireland. I am full of images of Irish color, cliffs, water, trees and too many other sights to name. I just soaked it all in. Although I didn’t take my paints, one of the things on which I concentrated was color. It was indeed so green. They were vivid, intense greens.

photo describing Irish Green

Irish Green

I have a tendency to paint with a more muted palette, so I am not sure yet how I will translate these images onto the canvas. I plan to start trying this week.

picture of Irish Green

Irish Green

If I was still at a place where I wanted to paint landscape, Ireland was the place to see. But I am an abstract landscape painter, so it is all a mystery to me at this time because I haven’t started to think about mixing paint. There is still a part of me that is processing all that I experienced there.

photo showing Irish Yellow Green

Irish Yellow Green

Ireland was magical and spiritual for me. Part of the reason that I found it so compelling was the beauty, but since we visited many megalithic sites, I was captivated by the mysteries of how and where people lived and expressed their creativity 5-6 thousand years ago.

photo showing Irish Red color.

Irish Red

Ireland is also being overwhelmed with invasive rhododendrons. Since they are so lovely, people don’t seem to mind these invaders.

photo of Irish Rhododendrons

Irish Rhododendrons

So you may be able to tell that I have no idea what I will paint when I am completely back from Ireland.


Joe Zammit-Lucia is a very busy man. If you read about him in my last post, you know about his stunning wild animal portraits. He is also a very dedicated and well-known environmentalist. Because of my priorities, when I first started to develop my website, I wanted to link to art as well as environmental blogs.

The Third Ray


Catherin Nelson, Danube Dusk, The Third Ray

In my search, one of the first art/environment blogs that I happened upon was “The Third Ray” (see the blog to find out what the third ray means). The subheading of this site is ART*SUSTAINABILITY* ENVIRONMENT

This blog, created by Zammit-Lucia asks the question of how artists have been involved in the debate about sustainability and how do they continue to be involved. “This blog takes a broad brief, covering works of art that address issues that have suffered from narrow labels such as ‘conservation’, ‘environmentalism’, ‘green’, ‘global warming’, ‘ecology’, ‘environmental art’, or, more nebulously, ‘saving the planet.’”

Igor Zenin, The Third Ray

Igor Zenin, The Third Ray

“The sustainability debate goes beyond issues of environmentalism and conservation to encompass the worlds of business, finance, economics, politics and social institutions.”

The Intersectionist

“The Third Ray,” although very substantial, is not Zammit-Lucia’s main blog, however. His primary blog is the “Intersectionist” and his primary focus is sustainability. One of his posts explained that our culture is focused on rational, data-driven decision-making, instead of imagining how people’s emotional involvement in our sustainability woes may lead to more personal connection and change.

Theintersectioist-Imagination not informaion

The Intersectionist-Imagination Not Information

Even the conservative EPA has a good definition of sustainability.  “Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony.”

Zammit-Lucia also posts for the United Kingdom’s, “The Guardian,” “Self-righteous environmentalism and results-driven management have led to sustainability fatigue. Leaders need to admit we’re at sea and try to refresh sustainability.”

Segmento-the third ray

Segmento-The Third Ray

He also organized and manages the WOLFoundation, a non-profit organization aimed at encouraging dialog and fresh thinking on subjects related to pressing questions in regard to society, politics, business and environment. Its purpose is to find ways to break out of conventional thinking and encourage the imagination. They act as a catalyst for anyone who has fresh ideas on how to improve well-being – sustainably.

He also blogs regularly for Stanford University’s Stanford Social Innovation.

I am sure that I have omitted other projects that he organizes or affects. Although he is very busy getting the word out about the sustainability of our planet, he is known to be a very friendly and social guy.

Charles Fréger-third ray

Charles Fréger, The Third Ray

My Inspiration List

Friday Night News

I usually do not expose myself to the “news” on a regular basis. On Friday, May 10, 2013, I did. That night during a 15 second segment, I heard that the carbon dioxide level had gone to 400 parts per million (ppm), the highest number for CO2 levels in recorded history. Out loud I said, “350!” I have a fair understanding of what that 350 means. That evening as I thought more about what I had heard, I wondered who I know realizes what the number signifies.

350ppm is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. It is the number that is linked to sustaining healthy life on our planet. It is the number linked with sustaining the planet. If we don’t reduce the number, it is predicted that it will continue to rise 2ppm per year. What does it mean, I wondered if in 10 years the number is 420?

 Time In My Studio

Since I don’t see the world rushing toward environmental health, I am concerned. I am an artist. It is easy for me to go into my studio and spend my time creating. Creating is a wonderful way to not have enough time to think about what I don’t want to think about. I do believe that my work brings people a sense of peace, an awareness of the beauty of nature and how fragile it is. That is one of the reasons why I paint.

African Acacia

African Acacia, acrylic on canvas, 16×20, © 2006, Ann Hart Marquis

So what do I do about 350, 400, 420? First I will finish this post, and then I will go and paint a little. I will think about more ways to be proactive. I also think that soon I may make a list and call it my Inspiration List (as in the drawing of air into the lungs). What is it that I now “want to do with my one wild and precious life?”


Do you understand what 400 ppm implies?

Go to 350.org and find out.


Eye of the Beholder


Dancing in the Sunlight

Dancing in the Sunlight, 14×14, acrylic on canvas, ©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Frequently, I impose my own story on trees like I did with Dancing in the Sunlight which are actual trees in the southwest of France. I say actual because once in a while I imagine a tree or more often a group of trees that tell a story that probably is a part of my personality. Italian Cyprus is such a painting. The theme of aloneness, individuality, or leaving the “others” behind pops up often.

Italian Cypress

Italian Cypress, 16×20, acrylic on canvas, ©2010, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD


Mist, 24×24, acrylic on canvas, ©2011, Ann Mart Marquis, SOLD

In Mist, I imagined one tree being bigger and more vibrant than the others because it is separated from them. There’s a little insight into my inner being.

Waiting For the Lion-Discreet

Waiting for the Lion-Discreet, 2011, acrylic on canvas, ©2011, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD

I also like to paint nature and trees in colors that come from my imagination or that I intensify to create a certain mood, like Waiting for the Lion-Discreet. 

I realize that my feelings about color are deeply personal and are probably rooted in my own experience or culture. For example, one of my favorite colors is green. I grew up as a “nature child,” surrounded by various shades of green. From grass to leaves to other lush vegetation, the color green is closely linked to the environment.  I see green as relaxing because it is associated with nature and growth. I suppose it is all in the eye of the beholder.

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity … and some scarcely see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.  William Blake

Do you have favorite photos or paintings of trees?