Sunday, December 30, 2018

Year's End

Well, it seems Christmas is over (sigh...), 2018 is almost done with, and soon it'll be 2019!

WHERE, exactly, did 2018 go? I know time seems to speed up when you get old, decrepit and dilapidated (like me☺), but... come on!! 

OK, so -- I've been working, on and off, on a small painting. At the same time, I decided it's time to revamp my website to make it more compatible with what search engines are looking for. More on this topic soon.

Also, I seem to have lots of ideas for images to paint, but I've gone back to being kinda unmotivated, which is something I need to work on. I can't be that way. Not if I need to survive financially!

I read an online article claiming that the number one obstacle to making it as a professional artist is: the work simply isn't good enough. It can't compete with all the artwork that's out there. The article went on to describe the misadventures of a female artist whose experiences seemed quite similar to mine.

I'm sure this position is true -- for many artists, and maybe for me, too. But I can't ignore other possible reasons why obstacles exist. This is something I've been contemplating a lot.

So this is where things stand. I'm hoping website sales will increase in 2019, when people are able to find me! Right now, if you Google "desert paintings," my site isn't even in the first 100, although I used to be in the top 5, and sometimes I was even #1!! Gotta fix that, too.

So I hope Christmas was awesome, that this year has been good to you and that 2019 will be a fabulous year for us all!!

Christmas decorations, home for the holidays

Mark Junge (prints)

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!

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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!)

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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)