Tag Archives: mood

Putting Paint on Canvas

Cyprus, day 1,  underpainting

Cyprus, day 1, underpainting

My painting process is usually one of layering paint on the canvas in a darker hue than is going to be seen in the finished painting. Parts of this original paint may be seen in very small areas of color on the finished painting or the color may influence the color layered on top of it, but that is what I am going for. The composition is only partial at this time. Here is an example of a painting after the original colors were put on the canvas.

The second putting paint on canvas process is to complete the composition and to start adding lighter and less intense tints, tones, and shades of color. Here is how the second layering process continued.

Cyprus, 2nd layer

Cyprus, 2nd layer

Notice that I added texture to the paint and changed the color and intensity of the sky for the second layer.





The final layer included extending the trunks, adding even more texture, adding highlights and generally adding tints to pop the color more.


Here is the last layer and perhaps the finished painting. I generally need to live with piece for a week or longer before I sign it and call it good.

Cyprus, complete

Cyprus, complete






I don’t have a title yet for this painting of French Cyprus trees. Any suggestions?

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?