Category Archives: Murals

Wildlife of the Old-growth – a new jigsaw puzzle for Christmas

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Finally, a new interpretive jigsaw puzzle is here, all 43 cases in our little warehouse. This is a really fun puzzle, I think, with lots of hidden critters, a story being told and lots of details on the box. As usual, we put the full story on the box back, an interpretive essay and key. Few commercial puzzles have all this stuff on the box, but I never thought it should JUST be a puzzle, but more an experience. If you’d like to purchase it, along with the others we current have in stock, click  here. If you buy more than one, it helps our freight costs – these are heavy.

This painting was a commission, along with a bunch of others, for the Whidbey – Camano Island Land Trust, just to the north of us here in Port Townsend Washington. High on a bluff above the ocean, Admiralty Inlet Natural Area is a preserve with ancient trees and a restored natural prairie. This is also part of the much bigger and very beautiful Ebey’s Landing National Historical ReserveThe high winds here above the Strait of Juan de Fuca have made this a battered forest, creating strange gnarly old-growth Douglas-fir. It’s a fitting place to paint a jigsaw puzzle.

Again, here’s the link to purchase the new puzzle.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center progress

I’ve come up for air just long enough to post this – sorry for the big blank spot in my blog. Click the images and they should expand.


When I was growing up, my babysitters at the Illinois State Museum were staff artists and curators, professionals that were the best in the business. They came to work in pristine studios and took months and months to paint stuff just like this. Me, decades later? I do this in a low-ceiling studio and only have 6 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just happy that I get to do this – a giant four walls with six paintings in one of my favorite places on Earth. And it’s pretty much a completely fictitious scene. There are 3-d branches and models of birds, moles and others that all have to be connected somehow to my paintings. It’s been interesting!

Nancy joined me early on with this and is now pushing paint as fast as I am. How wonderful to have someone to talk to in the studio. And she sounds like she’s maybe going to make this a habit, at which I’m thrilled.

The facts: this is going in a room at the visitor center with a big opening, so there are four sides. I’m painting it in acrylic on Yupo poly paper at 70% size – the reason is I can’t get it bigger and it speeds things up. It’ll be scanned and printed so when the place burns down, another copy can be put up. The bottom two sections, the dirt and forest floor, are being painted at 85% because eyeballs will be closer. The bottom dirt section will be printed on aluminum to withstand the three million people with six million hands that come here each year. I’ll have more soon!

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Mount Olympus painting for the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center

This is another piece of the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center project at Olympic National Park, a very complex bunch of paintings I’ve been working on. This painting is in progress but will really change soon that will be something unrecognizable to this – so, I thought I’d like to remember it here, like this. I like it, the park peeps – not so much.

You see, the view of Mount Olympus in the painting doesn’t really exist, so off I went to good ol’ Google Earth. This is a scene with pieces 20 miles apart, all compressed into one image. Above is an aerial GE view, but the angle I needed was down in the valley, 15 miles upstream from the visitor center but with a river somewhat like this view below. Good luck with that.

I drew 8, count’um EIGHT different sketches, all rejected – and then sort of forced the issue by just starting to paint. Of course, that didn’t work and that’s why I’ll be painting over most of it a gain.  And you know that schedule I talked about a few weeks ago? Nobody’s ever said this was fun or easy.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center – first painting

Click the image and it’ll enlarge in your browser. I recommend it!

Things are getting pretty crazy around here. Remember when I just painted nature and thought THAT was an interesting life? Well, THIS is now the normal ‘interesting’ – cramming the entire Hoh Rain Forest forest floor at Olympic National Park into an eight-foot tabletop. Actually, this is one of 15 paintings that I’m doing there right now, and certainly not the biggest – but I’m betting it’s the most complex.

The blank green circles and boxes will all have tactile objects like bark, or photos and text. It was a bit of a struggle to get the variety while looking straight down – after all, it’s just a made up scene, but it feels Okay, like it actually is the real thing.

This is the installation it goes on, 60 square feet of packed interpretive tabletop right in the middle of the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. The painting goes on that white horizontal space in the foreground. Also on here are a ‘beach scene’ almost finished and the vertical green thingy is a painting of Mount Olympus (except you can’t see it from the V.C. so THAT’s causing a slight bit of consternation).

I’m just hoping this will give visitors a real eye-opening experience before they venture out to talk with the elk and slugs. With 14 feet of rain each  year, this forest is really a complex, dramatic and emotional place for me. Having spent most of my adult life in and around old-growth forests, I sure know this stuff. And if I can use art to infect a few people with the same passion I have for it, I will have wildly succeeded.

And what does this Hoh-place look like? Here’s the river, just a few minutes walk from the visitor center. Certainly one of the most famous rivers in the country, the pale blue color from glacial flour from the Hoh and Blue Glaciers, lowest glacial ice in the Lower 48, give it a glorious glow.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

The Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center – sketches

Both photos enlarge with a click.

As if our Malheur NWR project wasn’t enough, this week I launched into a new project – and for once it’s local. I’m painting somewhere around 340 sq feet of paintings in 15 panels for one of my favorite places. The Hoh River Rain Forest here in our county, but it’s all the way on the far side of the park and takes hours to get there. For awhile, a representation of it will live in our studio. The drawings are almost finished and the fun ready to begin.

Top photo: This is a pretty complex painting, so I used my own photos to piece something together to start the process. This actually wraps around onto four walls; the bottom is the underground area, a railing with forest floor above that, and then an upper canopy area disjointed from the rest. Complex might be an understatement.

I was thrilled to get this commission since this is one of our favorite places. Countless times we’ve hiked the River Trail – the direct pipeline to Mount Olympus. We’ve camped here, watched elk fight it out for their lovers, found the ‘One Square Inch of Silence’ (Google it). Below is Nancy at the beginning of that famous trail. I first hiked here in 1978 – who would have thought that 40 years later I would get to paint a big mural here.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge site visit

We spent all last week out in the eastern Oregon high-desert country at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns. Where’s that? 150 miles from the next nearest town. We were installing some temporary exhibits so the visitor center can at least reopen after the occupation by WHITE terrorists a year ago. What? An amazing collection of wildlife, historic ranches, huge vistas and almost 188,000 acres of public land. Oh, and the sandhill cranes and snow geese? This photo was a small section of one flock, and it was hanging out IN TOWN!Most photos by Nancy Cherry Eifert

Nancy and I took somewhere around 1000 reference and wildlife photos, her camera clicking more than mine. We’re supposed to be the local site team and were there with the Boss from Georgia who made things proper and friendly (actually, Rosie is as un-boss as it gets). As for the refuge, as Carey, the refuge contact said “WE NEED HELP” and so we’re giving it as best we can with art, photography, exhibits, waysides and a bunch of new signs to replace those shot up by cowboys – guys that evidently think guns and white privilege trump our heritage and access to public lands (pun intended).

If you don’t remember yet, this was the place that the Bundy armed militia took over a year ago and demanded the federal government return all land to the cowboys because their cowboy descendants had it first. Remember that? Of course the local tribe said something like “REALLY?” – but enough of that nonsense.

I feel a great privilege to be able to use our skills to help with this mess, which is basically a violation of my heritage. MY HERITAGE – notice the caps?  If i can even get this place half way fixed up so visitors have a good experience and learn something, I’ll feel successful.

This is inside the Sod House Ranch barn, an ancient structure that’s now cabled against the desert winds (see the cables?). Notice the full pinyon trunks for posts that were brought miles in wagons. It’s only open a few weeks a year but we had open access. There’s a heron and Canada goose rookery in the ranch house trees  (I never knew Canada geese nested in trees). Once part of the largest private ranch in the country, it’s part of the refuge. Nancy said she felt like  she was in a candy store.

I’ll share some more photos of this amazing place next post and on into the year as we get this thing together and the road from home to Malheur gets some Eifert tire rubber!

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Wildlife – A new jigsaw puzzle coming soon

If you click the image, it should enlarge in your browser.

This is a new jigsaw puzzle coming soon. It’s a painting I did recently of the Admiralty Inlet Natural Area Preserve for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust. As soon as we saw this finished image we realized it would make a pretty good puzzle, but the dimensions didn’t fit the required size. So, I’ve added some extras around the edges to make it more difficult. I think it’ll be a hit, but I’d love some comments before we send it in – hit reply and fire away.

And here’s the installation of the painting. It’s down a lovely old-growth trail and is a large wayside, 4′ x 6′, like an art gallery in the forest (as I like to say). To me, this is where I like my art shown – instead of in some stuffy gallery or on someone’s wall where no one notices it after a year. THIS location will mean my stuff will effect people for decades, or at least I hope so. This photo was taken a few months after assembly after a big winter storm knocked down the fir to the left, narrowly missing the wayside.  But no worries, the panel can be replaced – like the $5000 porcelain enamel panel (that was just the cost of the panel) that was hit straight on by a giant 4′ eucalyptus at the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge a week after putting it in. I  could have taken it personally, but the tree-people know I’m one of them!

Next week we’re heading for Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon. Yup, that’s the one the Bundy Militia took over a year ago. It’s still closed for repairs and we’re involved in new exhibits, waysides and signs for all of it. We already have a series of temporary banners ready to go in the visitor center while we get all the others going. You’ll hear much more about this as we proceed.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Snow Creek Restoration wayside panel sketch

Finishing the year properly with a local project. A LOCAL PROJECT! Hear that, he said joyfully with some paintings for Discovery Bay, just southwest of Port Townsend, WA.

Here’s the sketch for this first one. But first some background. For the past couple of years, heavy equipment and a bunch of people have been pulling creosote posts, removing a couple of bridges, rerouting a water line, hauling off tons of rocks and trying to put nature back together after more than a century of messing things up by us. The idea was to recreate a friendly environment for salmon, and it’s looking good optimistic.

This painting will be on a wayside panel at Snow Creek, the same creek that our nearby Chimacum Creek chum salmon came from 15 years ago in another restoration – and that makes this project even more personal for me. It shows the creek meandering down under the sheltering alders and out into the estuary.  Port Townsend is down the bay and around the corner. There was a trestle and railroad grade crossing just to the left that is now completely gone, allowing two creeks to find their historic channels again. Drawing this, a landscape in transition, has been challenging, so we’ll see what transpires as two wild creeks relocate themselves. Either the painting will remain realistic or it might become completely outdated – either way, the story is accurate.

Here’s what Snow Creek looks like at the moment, carrying silt to build new shorelines and generally get back to normal. I’ll post the painting for this one soon. Thanks, Dave and the folks at the North Olympic Salmon Coalition for the pleasure of learning more about and then painting my own neighborhood.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Waterman Shoreline Uplands Painting

Click the image to enlarge it in your browser. It needs a big screen.

A new painting this week for Waterman Shoreline Preserve on Whidbey Island just east of Port Townsend. This is for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, a bunch of truly nice people to paint for. It will be one of two large wayside panels that go beside this abandoned road – now a public trail – like a little art gallery in the forest. The painting shows the rich habitat of birds and berries that jumble up along here, a very compressed “edge zone.”

Nature is most abundant along edges like meadow/forest, roadsides/forest, shorelines/forest – so it’s a painting that hopefully expresses that.  I’ll have the finished design ready soon to share.

During my long painting career I’ve sure sold my share of art to private collectors. I still get about five emails a month asking for details about paintings I sold decades ago.  Now, it seems, I’m more passionate about hanging some art outside where visitors can get up close and personal with my stuff – but also learn a bit about where they’re standing. At heart, I’m really just a painter of nature in all its glorious details.

I’m a happy painter because of it! Thanks, Ida, for being patient on this one – and the next.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Progress on Cache River National Wildlife Refuge Mural

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Just a progress report – a snapshot of how this current effort is going. Okay, I think. It needs to get much messier, more foliage, downed stuff, details in the critters, but it takes time to throw paint on 12 feet of mud, trees and leaves.

I’m finding this a very unusual ecosystem to paint, different than anything I’ve worked on before – and that’s saying something. Seasonal flooding in the Mississippi floodplain of Arkansas means a very difficult situation for plants to exist. Critters can just move with the water’s ups-and-downs, but plants are a different deal – they can’t leave. So, lots of water-tolerant trees and vines that can get above it all. One grape, for instance, can’t climb, so it’s starts life by grabbing onto a small shrubby tree and just waiting, going up with the tree as it grows towards the canopy. Crazy, because this is a closed-canopy forest so  how long might that plant wait to get there? Other vines climb like crazy and in the old days of old-growth, they must have been ancient thick things the size of my arm.

Here’s one of my references taken by Eric, my go-to guy for photos and the refuge dendrologist. Am I getting the colors close to right?

And finally, here’s my progress as it’ll look in this section of the visitor center. There is also some text on both sides and bottom, but this shows it’s overall placement so I can tell what’s going on. Stay tuned for more, more mud, brown water, muddy trees and all.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Here’s the blog on the web. And here’s my Facebook fan page. I post lots of other stuff there.

Click here to go to our main website – with jigsaw puzzles, prints, interpretive portfolios and lots of other stuff.

Nancy’s web portfolio of stunning photography

And here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.