Tag Archives: Stone Voices

Theresa Sweeney: Eco-Art Therapy


Howler. © Theresa Sweeney

Howler. © Theresa Sweeney

I first became aware of the work and writing of Theresa Sweeney a year before she died when one of my paintings was featured in the journal, Stone Voices: Connecting Art with Spirit. Dr. Sweeney wrote a column in the journal for three years. Her writing centered on healing the self and the earth at the same time through art. She was an artist and founder of the new blended psychology, Eco-Art Therapy.

What'd Up, Theresa Sweeney

What’d Up?  ©Theresa Sweeney


Baby Ella. ©Theresa Sweeney


Since my art focuses on painting nature in order to emphasize its fragility and beauty, I was immediately drawn to her perspective. Here is a segment of her writing that appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Stone Voices.

“My art is a celebration of our connection to Nature. It inspires us because it reaches that non-verbal knowingness deep inside that we are part of something much larger and wiser than ourselves. I like to think of my art as a porthole into that world.”


Theresa Sweeney was on a mission to reconnect people with the purity, wisdom and spirit of nature within and around us. I think that I now want to read more of her work.

I’m on the Cover of Stone Voices!

Last summer two artist friends from Chicago suggested that I submit a portfolio of some of my paintings in a call for submissions that the art and literary journal Stone Voices was requesting. At that time, I was not familiar with this journal, but I looked at the it and the guidelines and decided to go for it. The request was for images that explored the concept of The River.

I had just completed several paintings that explored moving water or objects floating in water, so I already had the images that I hoped were suitable. After the winners had been selected, I was sent an email that said, “If your name is not listed below, your images were not chosen.” I carefully scrolled down the list of names and much to my surprise there was my name. Of course I was very pleased. I scrolled down further and again to my amazement one of my paintings had been chosen Best in Show. This is it:

Adrift, acrylic on canvas, 24x24 inches.  ©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Adrift, acrylic on canvas, 24×24 inches.
©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Because I was included on the winners’ list, I had the opportunity to send in a complete series of paintings, my artist statement and my bio for the possibility of being included in upcoming issues of Stone Voices. I submitted my series. Next I was told that my portfolio was accepted and would be in the Spring Issue. I received a preview document online of the magazine and was again taken aback to see that one of my paintings was on the cover. When I received my copies of Stone Voices and was very happy to see a ten-page spread of my work.


AnnHartMarquis-Stone Voices-cover

Ann Hart Marquis-Stone Voices, Cover Image

I suppose the moral of this short story is to say there is nothing like good friends, and if you don’t take some risks, you will never happily find yourself in an unexpected place. One of my favorite personal sayings is, “All they can say is no.”

Have you ever taken a chance that led to somewhere that you didn’t expect to go?


Portals to the Unconscious of a Nature Lover

When I think about what I want to paint I have many choices that appeal to me. I always like to paint trees and not so realistic landscapes. Usually, my trees and landscapes have a metaphorical aspect to them. Occasionally, an idea will come to me straight from my unconscious with little awareness of meaning to me. When that happens, it is always a challenge for me to try to intellectually and psychologically explore the concept that I have decided to paint. Many of my paintings have given me and others an idea of what may be lurking in my unconscious. For example, I have painted chairs in a jungle, ladders in a meadow and a tree leaving home.


Heaven’s Door, acrylic on canvas, 16x20. ©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Heaven’s Door, acrylic on canvas, 16×20.
©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Last year I had such an experience with four paintings that I completed. They were of doors that were somehow associated with water. Some people saw the doors as monoliths or pillars. Perhaps they are. While I was paintings this series, I gave little thought to the meaning of individual images. After I finished four paintings my practical self told me to stop. I stopped. I did not allow myself to explore more images of portals, thresholds, or entrances although I now see that there are hints of doorways in subsequent paintings.

Untethered, acrylic on canvas, 24x24. ©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Untethered, acrylic on canvas, 24×24.
©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Passage, acrylic on canvas, 16x20. ©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Passage, acrylic on canvas, 16×20.
©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Stone Voices

Adrift, acrylic on canvas, 24x24. ©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Adrift, acrylic on canvas, 24×24.
©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Much to my surprise this was a successful group of paintings. Two sold before I could formally show them and two were in my last show. One of them Adrift (left), received the Best in Show award for “The River” competition in the art and poetry journal, Stone Voices, Summer Issue.

Once in a while I look at these images and still try to figure out what I was trying to say. Sometimes doors are the opposite of entry ways. They can be blockades, barriers, obstructions. I am not sure what metaphor they represent or why they are in the water.

Do you have any insights for me?