Thursday, December 7, 2017

Here We Are in December!

Well, Christmas is just a few weeks away, and Hanukkah is next week! It's almost time to wrap up another year.

So -- what have I accomplished/

Not much, as it turns out. I'm still running on low energy, and if it wasn't for the fact that I'm a painter, I think I'd be content just to stare out the living room window at our little piece of the Mojave Desert.

But I am actually working on a painting! Not very fast, mind you, but I AM working on one.

It's a scene of a place close to where we live, with Joshua trees, spring flowers (it's winter, and here I am working on a spring landscape -- it figures!) with the snow-capped peaks of Mt. San Gorgonio in the background.

I keep changing my mind about how I want the finished painting to look, which makes me stop painting and just look at the painting and think about it. Visualizing it in my head.

But it is coming along, and I should finish it this month. And then? Another landscape? A surreal image? A post-apocalyptic nightmare?

Who knows? Let's see how the mood settles when the time comes.

C U L8R!!

Mark Junge


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Two Months Overdue!!

Wow, oh wow!! It's been two months since I've written anything!!!

Well, it's just been...strange, lately. September just sort of got away from me, and October was Health Issues Month, with two stays in the hospital because of heart flutter (I think that's a less severe version of atrial fibrillation, but I'm not sure). AND dealing with a strained arm and a knee that hurt so badly I couldn't walk on it at all. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to the rescue -- but those drugs are kind of bad for me.

So now I'm on blood thinners until the cardiologist can do an ablation procedure on me -- zapping tissue in the heart to cut off some misfiring nerve impulses that are causing the flutter.

I've also been finding that some of the meds I take -- like for high blood pressure --  must be the cause of the fatigue I feel constantly. (I suspect the after-effects of taking OTC sleeping pills was doing that, too -- I'm giving those up!)

But I need to get going somehow because there's an art show next May I'd like to enter. It's near Pasadena, CA, where blurry-looking paintings are more popular than the detailed works I do. I'm trying to come up with a good compromise -- maybe a scene with fog or something. Haven't decided yet.

So -- I hope I can put out some good paintings that will work in the Pasadena environment and that will still be true to the style I love.

Stay tuned. I'm sure gonna try to write more often!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

What Happened to August?

What happened to August? I just realized I didn't make a single blog post in the month of August! Now it's September. Wha...???

Well, I'm here now! Just in time to show you my latest surreal painting, Semblence of Artificial Humanity, 16" x 20" / 41cm x 51cm.

Semblence of Artificial Humanity                               16" x 20" / 41cm x 51cm
The only real thoughts that come me about the piece are actually questions: why is the shadow of the female being cast against the sky while all other shadows retreat into the distance? What are those green things growing out there? What's up with the bubbles?

As usual, I can't explain what it all means. Its meaning is in the eye of the beholder: YOU, dear viewer!

Keep watching for I hope to have that site up before year's end. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ambiguous Strangers

Ambiguous Strangers is the mysterious name I gave to my latest mysterious and surreal painting.

art,painting,surreal,surrealistic,surrealism,Mojave,desert,Joshua Tree National Park,yellow,figures,London Bridge,dream,dreamscape,hands,interlock,interlace,clasp,hands
Ambiguous Strangers       18" x 24" / 46cm x 61cm
As usual, I prefer not to try and explain what's going on here. I like it when viewers read into it their own experiences and viewpoints.

I'm simply painting the ideas and images that pop into my head -- dreamscapes; lands that seem like they could exist, but don't -- except in an artist's mind.

Enjoy, and contemplate!

(This piece and others will appear on a yet-to-be-launched website called I hope to have it up later this year).

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Surreal Side of Mark Junge

I didn't realize it has been almost a month since I last wrote about what I've been up to lately. What's wrong with me??? 😁

OK, since I wrote about the redwood painting I finished last month, I've decided to spend some time working on surreal pieces that I've been wanting to do. (I also worked on a logo design for someone, but that's another story).

surreal,surrealistic,surrealism,art,artwork,painting,weird,strange,dream image,green grass, maroon curtain,blue sky,girl,woman,people
Art Show                                 11" x 14" / 28cm x 36cm
This image, Art Show, is something I saw in a dream many years ago. I still remember it because as soon as I woke up, I sketched it in a little sketchbook I kept beside the bed. I therefore remembered it all these years. And finally, I got around to painting it.

Simply by looking at this, you're getting a peak into my subconscious. I have no idea what it "means," if anything. It was something my brain conjured up while sleeping. But it was supposed to be an art show I visited, with paintings hanging on a long maroon-colored curtain, people looking at the works, and a young woman who is gripping "hands" with the curtain, fingers interlaced. Again, I have no idea what it all means.

I decided to paint the scene as I remember it, ignoring some of the formal elements such as composition. I doubt I'll be attempting to sell this work, anyway -- it's really just for me.

More surrealism to come!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

In Paradisum II

In Paradisum II (Latin for In Paradise #2) is my latest painting.

art,artwork,painting,paintings,redwood,trees,Redwood national Park,Lady Bird Johnson Grove,sunbeams,shafts,light,sunlight,fog,foggy,fern,Douglas fern,ferns,Sequoia sempervirens
In Paradisum II       20" x 16" / 51cm x 41cm

art,artwork,painting,paintings,redwood,trees,Redwood national Park,Lady Bird Johnson Grove,sunbeams,shafts,light,sunlight,fog,foggy,fern,Douglas fern,ferns,Sequoia sempervirens
In Paradisum II (Detail)
The title comes from a song, In Paradisum, written and recorded by Sarah Brightman. The music is, to me, an aural interpretation of what heaven might sound like, but listening to it puts images in my head that hopefully go with the music. To hear the song, click HERE.

I can't say that this is my Tour de Force of redwood forest paintings, but I'm working toward it. Hence, the Roman numeral I for the first piece I did, and this is the second. I expect there will be at least one more that will be my best redwood painting ever!

The first time The Wiffee and I were in the redwoods was in June, 1982. We visited Redwood National Park; in particular, Lady Bird Johnson Grove in early morning. I planned on taking lots of pictures but was disappointed when the sky was clear and sunny. It's difficult shooting photos in an old-growth forest because sunny patches next to shadowy patches exceed the range of film. So the sunny spots wash out, and the shadows turn completely black.

But we continued hiking in, went around a hill, and all of a sudden, like an answer to prayer, we walked into a section of forest that was enshrouded in a light fog, with sunbeams breaking through the trees and the very air luminescent. With the tall coastal redwoods and ferns, with rhododendrons and Douglas irises in bloom, it looked like we were in heaven! I had never, before or since, felt like I was standing in the cathedral of God's own making.

Lady Bird Johnson Grove is on a ridge at about 1,000 feet / 305m, so instead of peering into a deep, dark forest of overlapping redwoods, the sky is visible beyond the trees. Thus the sky appears blue, lightly foggy or densely foggy (as it was the second time we were in LBJ Grove in 1984).

I decided not to paint any critters this time. No hidden bunnies or birds, just a group of irises that may not be noticed by the viewer right away. (In Paradisum III will have critters, I predict!)

I've wondered which I would enjoy living in more -- the desert or the redwoods. Still, I don't know if I would ever again feel the way I felt that day in June, 1982, when I rounded a corner and entered the glowing mists of heaven.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ida River

My latest painting was a commission for someone I know who lives in Washington state. The location is somewhere along the Ida River in Leavenworth, WA. I've never been to this location, but the person sent me a pretty nice photo to work from.

Ida River,river,forest,woods,douglas fir,stones,rocks,bald eagle,mountain,Leavenworth,WA,Washington
Ida River     18" x 24"

Ida River,river,forest,woods,douglas fir,bald eagle,Leavenworth,WA,Washington
Ida River - Detail
I added a couple of items that did not appear in the photograph -- two bald eagles! One is flying low over the river, looking for fish to capture and eat. A second eagle is lifting off from a distant tree, embarking on its own food-finding mission.

I hope the new owner will enjoy the painting for the rest of his life.