Monday, July 15, 2019

Quenching the Land

Quenching the Land is a painting I made years ago -- I think before I even began this blog.

rain, storm, Joshua Tree National Park, clouds, Joshua trees, yuccas, wildflowers, flowers, gray, monzogranite, boulders, rocks
Quenching the Land                                       16" x 20" / 41cm x 51cm

It's no secret that deserts are hard-up for rain; thus, when it comes, it's such a blessing to the plants and animals that live there.

The scene features a grouping of monzogranite boulders in Joshua Tree National Park with its namesake Joshua trees and some yuccas in bloom. The painting is hanging in the Hi Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley, CA.

Mark Junge
www/ (for prints)

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods is one of a number of paintings I made years ago of a magical city park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The red sandstone fins and spires create an almost unearthly, awe-inspiring region.

Garden of the Gods,Park,Colorado,Colorado Springs,red rock,sandstone,fins,spires,shrubs,Cheyenne Mountain
The Garden of the Gods
Here we're looking south with Cheyenne Mountain in the distance. In early summer, yucca plants send up their bouquets of creamy-white flowers in miniature versions of the spires.

When we lived in Colorado Springs during the 1990s, I made many visits to this park. No admission fee, and it was a place to escape and, sometimes, to alleviate the homesickness I often had for the places I loved and missed in California.

It's unlikely we'll ever make the trip back to CO Spgs, but thankfully, I took many photos of the place from many different viewpoints. I expect I'll have lots of additional images in mind of Garden of the Gods should I decide to paint them.

Mark Junge (for prints)


Superbloom is the title of my latest painting. It shows some of the rolling hills of California when nature featured a spectacular display of wildflowers, especially the fluorescent orange of California poppies. The size is 11" x 14" / 28cm x 36cm, acrylic on panel.

California, wildflowers, poppies, superbloom, super bloom, trees, couple holding hands, green, yellow, orange, clouds, blue sky
Some parts of this area were extremely crowded, with lots of people and cars wanting to get up close (and into) the fields of flowers. However, I tend to like more expansive vistas and was perfectly happy being down the road from the crowded spots.

It's hard to say when the next wet winter and superbloom will happen, but I'm sure glad we were able to see THIS one! I expect to make several paintings from this trip -- this one is only the first!

Mark Junge  (for prints)


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Diorama Doings

Work continues on the diorama I'm making for the Hi Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley, CA. Unfortunately, the process of trying to sell our house and buy a mobile home has greatly slowed me down, which is quite frustrating. But I work as best I can. It's hard, too when I'm airbrushing some vegetation -- I have to do it in the garage, and it's been around 100°F / 39C lately. That's when I find out how much I can sweat!!

The diorama isn't quite finished yet, but here's how it looks so far. The glass front is in place -- sorry about the reflections!

Joshua Tree National Park, diorama,museum,taxidermy,desert animals, coyote, Gambels quail, painted backdrop

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Plodding Along

Plodding along...that's been what I've been up to lately. Not in the same spirit as the tortoise and the hare, but I've felt an awful lot like a tortoise lately.

desert, painting, paintings, tortoise, hare, jackrabbit, art, race
The Tortoise and the Hare
(The pictures are details I cropped and enlarged out of two different paintings. Sorry about the blurriness!)

The Wiffee and I are getting ready to sell our house and move into a mobile home. It's simply gotten too expensive here in the state of California to stay in our house any longer. Taxes, insurance premiums, fees as well as living expenses keep going up, and the income isn't increasing at the same rate.

So we've been working on packing, staging our house, stuff like that.

Meanwhile, I've still got a habitat diorama to finish for the local nature museum. It figures that I have to deal with both of these issues at the same time!!

Here's how the background painting for the diorama finished out:

art, painting, diorama, Mojave, desert, Joshua trees, joshua Tree National Park,rocks, plants, wildflowers

Admittedly, the painting appears much more detailed when seen in person than it does in this small photo!

And as for paintings -- well, that's fallen by the wayside for now. Too busy, too tired, all that stuff -- I just can't seem to continue on a painting I began a month or so ago. Someday!

Hopefully, I'll finish the diorama next week and I'll post pictures of it here! Until then...

Mark Junge (for prints)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

One Night in the Redwoods

One Night in the Redwoods is the title of my latest painting. I've never been in a redwood forest at night, but I imagine it to look like a daytime scene except darker! ☺

redwood, redwoods, forest, night, moonlight, moon beams, nymph, woman, girl, female, sad, upset, depressed, ferns,blurry, moody
One Night in the Redwoods

The size is 16" x 20" / 41cm x 51cm. I wanted the piece to have a dreamy, moody look; hence, I made blurry most of the items in the painting. The gal is obviously a nymph (if redwood forests don't have nymphs, they otta!) The "model" was a statue I have and have seen elsewhere online with different titles -- Shyness, Shame and others. (My favorite title is Abbandonata (Forsaken), sculptor unknown). But in this case, I removed what little clothing she had on, and she is on her knees instead of standing.

One Night in the Redwoods is somewhat of an autobiographical image and very much reflects my own thoughts about life. If this comes through, I've done my job!!

The next painting -- one I've already started -- will have lots of color and flowers. An opposite of this piece.

Mark Junge (for prints)

Dioramas in Progress

Besides working on my fine art paintings, I've also been busy with a commission from the local Hi Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley, CA. I'm making two habitat dioramas showing some of the wildlife and overall look of our Mojave desert!

So far, I'm still painting the background image which I hope to finish within a few days. I have to say, this is the largest painting I've ever done (86" wide x 67" high / 2.2m W x 1.7m H). And I'm working on the painting on site -- not in the studio, where I would use an easel and all my paraphernalia laid out where I'm used to having it. Oh, well.

Here's how it looks so far -- a slightly modified scene from Joshua Tree National Park:

art, painting, habitat diorama, natural history museum, Yucca Valley, CA, California, desert, Mojave, Joshua tree, trees
Daytime Diorama
From the title, you may guess there will also be a Nighttime Diorama as well. Once the background is finished (with more small rocks and additional plant species), the foreground will be the three-dimensional component with ground, rocks, taxidermy animals and some plants. I'm making the 3-D foreground, too, although I don't know yet if I'll be placing the critters where they belong, or if the museum staff will handle that.

Then, if I'm not too tired, I work in my studio on my paintings, too!

It'll be nice to have both dioramas finished and see what the response is. I hope they will add much to the museum and that the public will love 'em!

Mark Junge (for prints)