Friday, December 14, 2018

Hooded Oriole

For a quick flash of fluorescent color in a sometimes drab southwestern desert, nothing can beat a male hooded oriole!

art,artwork,painting,bird,hooded oriole,oriole,desert,yellow,orange,black,blue sky,palo verde,tree
Hooded Oriole                                   8" x 10" / 20cm x 25cm

The glorious color of this little beauty must be seen to be believed! In full sunlight, its yellow-orange and black feathering is a delight to the eye.

They have a sweet "tooth" and will share hummingbird feeders with the hummingbirds -- the feeder we have is where we're most likely to see the orioles. The females visit the sugar water, too, but are colored a muted green. The orioles tend to nest on the undersides of fan palm fronds in basket-like nests that hang from the fronds. (It must be quite a ride on windy days!)

I painted this oriole sitting on the branch of a palo verde tree, another resident of the desert. I considered including the yellow flowers of the tree, but then I decided I didn't want anything yellow to compete with the dazzling yellows of the bird.

Hooded orioles winter mostly in Mexico. So if you ever want to see one in the southwestern deserts of the US, come to the desert in the spring or (gasp!) summer for a striking flash of color!

Mark Junge (prints)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Autumn in the Mojave

Autumn in the Mojave is my latest painting (although lately it has felt more like winter in the Mojave!)

Mojave, desert, landscape, painting, art, joshua trees, Joshua Tree National Park,clouds, fog, wildflowers, rabbitbrush
Autumn in the Mojave           11" x 14" / 28cm x 36cm
The scene is based on a view in Joshua Tree National Park in southern California, USA. It's rare to see the desert like this even when it rains, but it certainly does happen. The landscape is brightened by autumn-blooming wildflowers -- the larger rabbitbrush and the smaller desert marigold in the immediate foreground.

The desert is an amazing place with many different moods, visible to those who spend lots of time here and are fortunate enough to catch the land during its fleeting moments of magic and mystery.

Mark Junge (for prints)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tropical Paradise (?!?)

When I was much younger, single and foolish, I was very much into "The Polynesian Look" -- not so much the little grass shack look, but with some remnants of life in that tropical paradise known as French Polynesia, particularly Tahiti Nui and the surrounding islands, especially Moorea and Bora Bora.

I used to drive by places (like apartments) that featured tropical/Polynesian landscaping. At night, some of them lit up tiki torches and, in one case, a small, natural gas-powered volcano. My favorite area at Disneyland was Adventure Land with the Enchanted Tiki Room, and -- in time -- the Tahitian Terrace Restaurant where they featured Tahitian dances and drumming at night. I loved listening to Martin Denny -- music with bird and animal sounds, as well as exotic musical instruments.

I even joined a Polynesian song and dance ensemble which I really enjoyed, but the funny thing is: I seemed to lose the romanticized images I had of the Islands. Maybe it all became too realistic, and even today I've never recaptured the romantic visions I had of being in Tahiti, or Hawai'i, for that matter. (Now, I'm into the Southwest and the deserts).

Today, as an artist, I would like to paint a landscape that will be somewhat imaginary but based on photos I've seen. (I've never been to these places I used to dream about). It will take time to paint all the vegetation and leaves and stuff, and I probably would not want to sell it. But who knows -- maybe it will resurrect the passion I used to feel for French Polynesia.

art, painting, Polynesia, polynesian, island, Tahiti, tropical, paradise, mountains
A View in Otaheite Peha                                                 John Webber

This painting is NOT by me, but it should serve as inspiration for the mood-inducing piece I'd like to create. This piece is A View in Otaheite Peha, John Webber (British), 1785. Beautiful, isn't it?

My painting will be a view looking down a white-sand beach around sunset, with a young lady walking across the sand and (maybe) some dancers in the background. It'll be a lot of work, but I think I can do it.

I know I'll never get to Tahiti -- it would be too much for me these days to deal with on a number of levels, plus we're too poor for that kind of stuff! But a painting of an idealistic Tahiti might be tropical paradise enough for me!

Mark Junge (prints)

One last thing: I now have some small paintings on check 'em out and see wotcha think!


Sunday, November 11, 2018


Sedona is the title of my latest painting. It depicts Cathedral Rocks just outside of Sedona, AZ. The size is 8" x 10" / 20cm x 25cm.

Sedona, Oak Creek, Oak Creek Crossing, Cathedral Rocks, red rocks, AZ, Arizona, clouds, cloud shadows, autumn, fall, water, reflection, blue sky, Southwest, southwestern
Sedona                                                8" x 10"

Besides being a beautiful area, Sedona, Arizona is reputed to be a place of mystical energy and vortexes and such. I won't pretend I understand all that, but I'm hoping I captured just a little of that mystery.

I'll soon be sending this to the gallery in Wickenburg, AZ. In case you'd like to visit this and other paintings of mine, here is the address and telephone number:

60WestGallery Fine Arts
220 E. Wickenburg Way
Wickenburg, AZ

Maybe I'll bump into you there! Thank you for your support!

Mark Junge (prints)

Thursday, October 25, 2018


It's less than a week until Halloween, a day I enjoy even though Christians aren't supposed to. 😇

I do all kinds of things to "get me in the mood," so to speak, and I decided to watch some videos of movies that -- if not Halloween-themed -- at least touch on the supernatural and afterlife.

Today, I watched Ghost -- not exactly scary, but a very moving love story. Patrick Swayze, as Sam, spends most of his time as the deceased -- a ghost who continues to love Molly (Demi Moore). A beautiful story!

Ghost, movie, Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, afterlife, death, eternity, love
Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze

Movies like this make me wonder what life after death is really like. The Bible and other religious references don't go into much detail, but Near Death Experiences and sightings / interactions with alleged "ghosts" imply there's more to being deceased than meets the eye.

The movie raises some questions that we science geeks tend to ask. Sam the ghost can pass through walls, doors, even people; yet, gravity apparently still affects him and the other ghosts in the movie. He doesn't float away, doesn't sink into the floor or street (even when he falls), and is able to run, walk and move along on subway cars, so friction must be a quality that affects ghosts, too.

Do ghosts exist among the living on the planet? I can't say -- there's no experimental evidence one way or the other to say they exist or they don't. But some people have had experiences with poltergeists, and at least one gal I know says she hears the voices of the departed -- and I have no reason at this time to think she's pulling my leg.

I do believe in a heaven and a hell, but maybe there's a "limbo" state where certain souls of the deceased wait until Judgement Day. Or maybe everyone who dies goes straight into the limbo state, awaiting the decision to allow them to enter heaven or be cast into hell.

There's only one way to find out, but I suspect I would be unable to blog about what's "on the other side," or behind the veil, or whatever, as Sam learned to do as a ghost. So I'll just keep wondering!

Mark Junge (prints)


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Joshua Tree Rocks!

I don't know if Joshua Tree Rocks! is a phrase that would be understood a hundred years from now -- the whole double entendre thing -- but it's the title of my latest painting!

Joshua Tree National Park, wildflowers,clouds, boulders, monzogranite,afternoon,blue sky, skies, cloud shadows
Joshua Tree Rocks!                   16" x 20" / 41cm x 51cm

The title refers to a site located in Joshua Tree National Park in California, USA and the many collections of monzogranite rock formations arising out of the otherwise flat earth. Joshua trees, the Park's namesake, are scattered about, and following winter rains, the place gets wildflowers like these in April or May.

Admittedly, I've never seen many flowers in this particular place. Nearby, yes, but not here. Also, the yellow-flowered shrubs, goldenbush, were once plentiful, but most of them seem to have disappeared even after heavy winter rains. I think the ongoing drought has forced many of them to die, which is unfortunate.

I painted the scene to make the rock formation the center of interest. We artists know how to do things like that, y'know! 😀

In the end, I wanted a beautiful, warm (but not hot) view of a place I love. Enjoy your mini-vacation!

Mark Junge (for prints)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Ready for the Gallery

OK -- the five paintings I've been slaving over for months are finished, varnished and framed. They're ready for the gallery.

snow, desert, Arches National park, Four Peaks Mountain, Maroon Bells, fall, autumn, aspen, Colorado, CO, Arizona, AZ, Utah, UT, Monument Valley, Yei Bi Chei, The Totem, red rocks, cactus, saguaro, desert, landscape, mountains, desert bighorn sheep, great horned owl

It may not seem like much, but it takes a long time when one paints the way I do. I paint in transparent layers, so it's like doing the same painting over and over and over again! The results are worth it, but it's not for those who want to get a lot done in a short time period!

I'll repeat the gallery's address plus their phone number which I didn't have last time:

60WestGallery Fine Arts
220 E Wickenburg Way
Wickenburg, AZ

The gallery's "soft opening" is October 11, 2018. If nothing goes wrong, I should have my paintings there in time, along with several other artists plus the owner who is himself an artist. 

I can't come for the opening (or the grand opening in November), but I'll be there in spirit -- and my paintings will be there! I hope you have a chance to drop by and see the offerings.

Mark Junge (for prints)