Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Desert Paintings II -- Joshua Tree National Park

Last time, I began a short series of special desert places that I keep returning to because I love to make paintings of those places. This is Part II of a three-part series.

Joshua Tree National Park is a region I live close to and that I love to visit. So far, there's one site that I've painted many times over, although it has changed over the years.

(Sorry about the less-than-stellar quality -- these were scanned from slides, made before digital cameras were around!)

I always liked the "V" made by the Joshua tree on the left and the rock formation (I believe climbers call it "Eagle's Nest" or something like that) on the right. I usually paint clouds that repeat or add to the "V," and it didn't matter to me if the scene appears in daylight or under the magical glow of a full moon.

This is a much more recent -- and smaller -- version of this scene. Unfortunately, Joshua trees tend to grow toward the sun, resulting in imbalances that often cause the trees to fall over in time. All of the above paintings are based on photos I took, since the scene now looks like this:

This photograph of how the site looks today shows the changes: the Joshua tree (which has finished toppling over, and the suckers have grown longer) is surrounded by a parking lot complete with trash dumpsters.

I imagine I'll create more art based on this Joshua tree scene -- the way it used to look!


garysm said...

Nice desert paintings. They do capture the meaning and feel of the Joshua tree National Park!.

Mark J said...

Thanks, garysm!

SHawley said...

Sad about the trees, but beautiful paintings, Mark!

Mark J said...