Wednesday, January 11, 2017
I first started doing "real" outdoor art shows in February, 1989. The first was in Palm Springs, CA followed by several others. The best part of those shows was getting to know some of the other artists who, like me, returned to do the shows as they came along.
One of the artists I met was a photographer who sold small framed prints of his pictures. I often wondered how well he did with his enterprise. He was a Seventh-Day Adventist, a Protestant Christian group that believes the traditional Sabbath day, Saturday, should continue to be the Sabbath and not Sunday as most other denominations believe.
The art shows were typically three-day shows...Friday - Sunday. Well, this fella was ready to sell on Fridays, closed up his booth on Saturdays, and returned on Sundays for more sales and to take it all down at the end.
I have to admire him for his dedication to his convictions, but I always wondered how well he could do by missing out on an important sales day -- Saturday.
Maybe he had retirement income going for him and selling photos was not his #1 source of revenue. Obviously, he felt it was more important to attend church than to be present at the art shows, in spite of possibly missing out on filling his wallet a bit more. Perhaps God would reward the guy in non-material ways than are much better than money.
I suspect the photographer is no longer of the earth -- he was already along in years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I'd guess he is in the Lord's presence now, reaping the eternal benefits of his commitment to God.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Well, no matter what we might try, 2017 is coming...for better or for worse.
I'd guess that 2017 will be a time of healing for me. I'm not going to do much to promote or sell my art, and for that matter, I'll be slowing down the painting production as well.
Not that I don't have ideas in my head for images I want to get painted. Landscapes, surrealism, figurative (maybe). It's just hard to get motivated right now.
I know I've worked REALLY hard for many years, and I think I've just HAD it! The year 1981, my senior year as a microbiology major at Cal Poly, Pomona, was the start of a strenuous time where I worked days, nights, weekends...with no time for play or leisure. That continued as I entered an internship in Medical Technology at the City of Hope Medical Center -- an incredibly stressful time of cramming information into my walnut-sized brain and learning lab procedures of clinical technicians.
Then came grad school, a time-intensive period of spending almost all of my time in the lab doing research.
Finally, the job searches and working when I DID find jobs AND trying to develop a career in the visual arts, first as a photographer, then as a painter. I expected science to support my wife and me while working toward the goal of painting full-time.
Eventually I left the science world and the unreliability of grant-funded jobs and went to work for a Christian ministry (and, of course, still painting and entering shows). Then in early 2001, I embarked on a full-time painting career.
So here I am -- 15 years of painting and trying to sell at galleries, outdoor and indoor art and museum shows, website... and I'm no closer to my goal now than I was 15 years ago. I've had a few successes here and there, but mostly, we lost a lot more money than I made. For 15 years.
Enough. I'm throwing in the towel. I'll still paint, keep the website up, still blog. But at the very least, I need a long break from trying to sell. Maybe a permanent break.
And maybe an adjustment in some of the meds I take, too. I'm too low on energy and motivation these days.
Hopefully by the next time I write, I'll have a new painting to share. Painting, and taking it easy at the same time for a change. I need to find the joy in art again.
(Revised website: Southwestspaces.com or MarkJunge.com).
Friday, December 9, 2016
So -- what does one do if one:
- is an artist;
- loves Christmas;
- loves bunnies?
|A Christmas Bunny 14" x 11" / 36cm x 28cm|
Monday, November 21, 2016
Autumn Nymph is finally finished!
|Autumn Nymph 20" x 16" / 51cm x 41cm|
And one item of blue, which turned out to be an indigo bunting. I originally thought of painting-in a blue morpho butterfly -- those neat flutterbies with the iridescent / metallic blue wings. However, their wings are brown on the undersides, and looking up at one would display more brown than blue. So I went with the bird instead.
Frankly, I've got a long ways to go when it comes to painting portraits or the figure in the classical-realism style I'm addicted to. I received some help with the face from friend and master painter Virgil Elliott. I've learned that doing this in my fast-drying acrylic adds significantly to the challenge. If I decide to pursue this subject matter, I may have to use oil paint for portraits. Or learn how to get around the problem of having little time to blend colors smoothly.
The woman was a former co-worker of The Wiffee's back in the 1980s. I took a series of photos of her -- she even had some ballet skills to help her look graceful and even more awesome than she was! (I shot black and white film -- I have no idea now why I did that instead of color!) She's a bit on the plump side, but "curviness" happens to be attractive, and even a turn-on, to me. I know lots of other males agree with me.
The painting sort of looks like the real person, but not entirely. Virgil suggested I spend a lot more time just drawing and improving my skills. I'd have to agree with him.
I don't know if I'll try to sell this, but I'm thinking -- this one may be just for ME! It was a great learning experience, but I need to get better at rendering the face and figure.
Like they say: Back to the drawing board!
This piece will appear on my yet-to-be-launched website, www.SurrealMark.com. In the meantime, my landscapes still appear on my existing site(s):
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Phew! I can't tell you how glad I am that the elections are OVER!! The complaining and "the world's gonna end" stuff have started, and I think I'll take a break from Facebook for awhile until that dies down, too.
Meanwhile, I HAVE been working on a painting, although progress has been slow. It'll include a figure of a young woman, much closer than I normally paint figures (when I actually DO paint them). Being into the traditional / classical realist look, I want the gal to have that look to her. Frankly, I'm pretty inexperienced at painting or drawing portraits or the figure.
This is her face which, after consultations with a classical painter and friend, Virgil Elliott (at www.virgilelliott.com), we decided she's lookin' pretty good at this point. (Sorry about the glare on her hair at the upper right area).
She's going to be a "spirit" of fall, but I haven't decided if she'll be a goddess, queen, princess or nymph of autumn. I'm leaning toward the last one, since I didn't dress her in royally-elegant clothing.
So now I'm adding lots of fall maple leaves, a garland of leaves on her head, and she'll be holding a garland in her hands. The "nymph" is looking up at a yet-to-be-painted item in blue -- possibly an indigo bunting or those amazing metallic / iridescent Morpho butterflies. It will be the only blue in the painting, which will be predominately reddish-orange.
I think it'll be a neat piece when it's done, but I'm taking my time on it. It's gotta be done right!
When it's finished it will appear on a website I haven't created yet: www.SurrealMark.com. In the meantime, my landscapes appear on my "main" website at either of these URLs:
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
An eastern landscape?!? I thought Mark Junge was a painter of western and desert landscapes!!
Well, I love autumn colors, and although the West has its share, the East coast has all of the ochers, rusts, oranges and reds that make fall so much of what it is.
|In the Catskills 11" x 14 '/ 28cm x 36cm acrylic/panel|
When it's actually fall, that's when I feel the most like painting autumn scenes. Seems like once we pass Christmas, all thoughts of painting fall or Christmas/winter artworks melts with the snow. (Actually, BEFORE the snow melts).
So for now, I'm indulging myself with autumn paintings. Maybe I can finish another one or two before the holidays are over.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Autumn is a time when I tend to start getting excited. I don't think it's a migratory instinct.☺ It's the beginning of the colorful holiday season -- fall itself, then Halloween, Thanksgiving and finally Christmas. I love the festive look and the colors of these times.
I think it all started in the late 1970s when I discovered images of some well-made paintings of migratory waterfowl, especially mallard ducks (which I happen to love!) I bought several of these limited-edition prints, and I have them to this day. I typically keep them put away until fall, then I switch around other prints to hang these. They do a lot to establish a fall ambiance.
These are the first three prints I ordered from an outfit called Wild Wings. The top piece is by the late Owen J. Gromme, and the lower two are by living artist David A. Maass.
As one might suspect, duck hunters enjoy images like these because this is how their pastime looks -- early morning, ducks taking off and settling down, looking for breakfast. Well, I'm not a hunter of any kind, but I love ducks and I love fall colors. And, for me as a desert painter, David's paintings often show the "wide open spaces" that wetlands can be. In fact, Mr. Maass' works are typically nice landscapes that would "work" even without the critters. But with the ducks (or upland birds, as well), the landscapes become even more amazing!
Although I have rarely painted ducks, I still feel my own artwork has been influenced by painters such as Owen and David. Besides the prints I have, I feel I owe them a debt of thanks for inspiring me!