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!


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