Tag Archives: environmental changes

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.


A Nature Story




Endeavor, 20×24, acrylic on canvas, ©2013, Ann Hart Marquis

In my last post I talked about being a tree lover. Because I find trees so compelling, I am always on the lookout for just the perfect tree or trees who are begging to be painted. It’s not just any beautiful tree that calls to me. I am interested in trees who have a story to tell, like Endeavor.This tree is on Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park. Because of its poetic beauty and wind-battered formation it was one of the most photographed trees in the USA. One does not need words to describe what this tree has endured for generations.

Jasper Pine, photograph, ©1940, Ansel Adams

Jeffery Pine, photograph, ©1940, Ansel Adams

As inspiration for my painting I used a photograph taken by Ansel Adams in 1940. At that time this Jeffrey Pine was considered to be 300-400 years old. Sadly this pine died between 1976-1977 due to environmental changes caused by drought.




jeffery pine

Jeffery Pine, Photograph by Mark Borneman

It stood until 2003 when it fell during a severe wind storm. Although I finished painting this tree just last month, I did not know that it had died until I started doing research for this post. It is a poignant loss for me. It makes me wonder what has happened over the years to other trees that I have painted.