Tag Archives: Trees

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?

Tree Nut

I particularly love trees. I grew up in northern California surrounded by old oak and eucalyptus trees and the redwood forest. My earliest memory of trees was standing among ancient redwoods, astonished at how far they traveled up into the sky. I also remember touching a huge redwood’s trunk thinking how soft and cool it felt. Trees were and still are a wondrous form of life.

California Redwoods-Donna M.

Redwoods, 16×20, acrylic on canvas, ©2009, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD

Since humans began sharing stories, trees have been recognized as a symbol of ever-lasting life and creativity and to some, spirituality. In primitive times, trees were used in all aspects of life. They were symbols of power and human’s desire to be one with nature. They provided food, shelter, and heat from fire. It is no surprise that the tree is seen as one of the earliest symbols of the sacred.

When I think of trees, I think of grace, color, timelessness, history. There are a few trees that are more than two thousand years old. Some common types live five hundred years or more. It is not surprising that early people thought of them as immortal, demanding respect and reverence.

Today, it may be that the most significant meaning of trees is that they sustain life on the planet. Their existence is crucial to ours. Their beauty is a magnificent gift.

Any tree nuts out there?

Sunset, 12x12, acrtlic on canvas, ©2011, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD

Sunset, 12×12, acrtlic on canvas, ©2011, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD

What’s in a Name?

I am a nature lover, a meadow wanderer, an adorer of trees. I like to think that I am an environmentalist. I primarily paint nature because I am inspired by its beauty and because I want to remind my audience how lovely, fragile and vital it is. It has become a mission to me. In my loftier fantasies, I like to think that I am a defender of the natural world. I want to help light a spark in the minds of people who see nature as something to be cherished and protected. My hope is that my art will touch some small ember of proactive responsibility in others to help spread the idea of how crucial the environment is to our existence.

I like to think of myself as an expressionist painter. I am not interested in painting a realistic nature scene. Most of my paintings revolve around a metaphor. Sometimes I like to give an inanimate object the qualities of humans (anthropomorphism). An example is the paintingRed Ladder at Night, below.

16x20, acrylic on canvas, ©2109, Ann hart Marquis

Red Ladder at Night, 16×20, acrylic on canvas, ©2009, Ann Hart Marquis, SOLD

Some of my work has been considered surreal, such as Waiting for the Lion, below.

Waiting for the Lion, 20x24, acrylic on canvas, ©2010, Ann Hart Matquis, SOLD

Waiting for the Lion, 20×24, acrylic on canvas, ©2010, Ann Hart Matquis, SOLD

I am not as interested in what my style is called as I am in what kind of impact my art makes. I want people to recognize the value of the natural world as much as I do.

Given the above description of my painting interests, it has been difficult to come up with a description of myself for my artist statement, my SEOs, my precise, quick spiel about “What kind of art do you do”? I am still revising my response to that question. It is all about what’s in a name.
Anyone else ever have that problem?