Tag Archives: environmental concerns

Taking a Stand

This is the first painting that I did in my new series. All of the paintings in this series come from my imagination. When I started painting this first one, I knew I wanted a group of trees in some kind of orange-ish motif with a limited palette. I started by painting the entire canvas in turquoise. As I remember, I then divided it roughly in thirds for the sky, trees and foreground. Next came the large group or trees in the middle. I randomly drew a few trunks and then built the tops of the trees as I added more trunks. Then I added white/ochre to the trees on the left. The foreground took on a life of its own.

It sometimes takes me a while to come up with a title of a painting. I don’t think that I have ever started a painting knowing what the piece would be titled. As soon as I finished this painting I titled it “Taking a Stand.”


Taking a Stand, acrylic on canvas, 20×24 inches, 2014. ©Ann Hart Marquis

Now that I am writing about my paintings I  can’t help analyzing why I painted what I painted and then realizing that some of my titles and paintings have more obvious meaning to me than others. So in this painting I realize that it reflects my, dare I say, personal and political leanings ​toward my personal well-being as well as the environment. I am now writing more about the plight of our natural world, contributing more to environmental causes, signing more petitions, and concluding that I must “take a stand” in a more direct way than I have before.

All of my paintings require that I ask myself and therefore, the viewer, to consider the beauty, fragility and health of our environment.

This painting is currently available.  If you have questions or want to  purchase please contact me. It is 36x24x1.5-inches, acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas with sides painted to continue the scene for a finished look. The price is $575 plus shipping.

Contact me if you live outside the continental USA for additional shipping charges.

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.


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?