Category Archives: Murals

Progress on Cache River National Wildlife Refuge Mural

Click the image to enlarge it in your browser.

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.

Cache River National Wildlife Refuge mural progress

Click it and it’ll enlarge in your browser.

This project is charging ahead in my studio and I realized I hadn’t posted anything about it. It’s a 151″-wide painting for the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. Yes, I’ve been here. No, not for a long time. My mom did a project here many years ago about the ivory-billed woodpecker for Audubon magazine, the last place the birds was seen back in the 1950’s and the last place it was recently seen – I’d like to think maybe extinction isn’t as easy. This painting will show a seasonal stream partially flooding, low-land swampy forests of bald-cypress and tupelo, poison ivy and muscatel vines, snakes and spring warblers – and a bunch of critters that live here. It’ll also have some critters that DON’T live here, like woods bison, red wolves and maybe a bear. Two epochs in one painting, hummm!

Commissioned by Rosene Creative from Georgia who is doing the rest of the exhibits, I’m loving the chance to paint a forest amazingly different from the one I live in. Thanks to Eric at the refuge who’s been sending me a trove of photos I think I’m getting it.

And here’s the sketch. If you click on it, it’ll open in your browser.

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.

Fish Feast for Ludington State Park in Michigan

Ludington-Underwater-Fish

[Click on the finished painting to enlarge it – I put a much bigger version on the web so you can see details]

I’ve been painting fish, a lot of fish!  This is for Ludington State Park in Michigan and is part of three images that total 18 feet long. This one is for kids, but it really could be a fish-who’s-who for anyone. The Vienna that went down a century ago, yes, there really is a ship wreck there that looks like this. And, yes, they really have Chinook and Coho Salmon, and a bunch of other alien fish that have either been planted or let loose and are now creating havoc in Lake Michigan.

Ludington-Double-crested-Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant by Larry Eifert
Ludington-Smallmouth-Bass
Small-mouthed Bass by Larry Eifert

We decided that the fish might be used in other Michigan State Parks in other interpretive projects, so I painted the fish and the cormorant separately, then floated them over the background digitally. That means they can use them any size or placement in all sorts of ways – sort of a fine-art digital mashup.

Ludington-Chinook-Salmon
Chinook Salmon by Larry Eifert

I’m always asked how the heck Larry Eifert in Port Townsend Washington gets to paint fish in Michigan. Well, this project came from Joan at Genesis Graphics in Michigan, a long time supporter of what I like to do – and then through Theresa at Michigan State Parks in the  Upper Peninsula. Theresa was very nice to work with and we seemed to hit it off – so I hope to do more for them. So, the final installation will be at Ludington down on the west side of lower Michigan right on the lake – not 30 miles from where I lived for awhile in Door County Wisconsin. Small world.

And it’s an ever-widening circle of friends that keeps me going.

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 beautiful photographs

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

My Reelfoot Painting Is Almost Wrapped Up

Reelfoot-final-review-2

These all enlarge with a click. This image represents 7 shots pieced together of my Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge painting – the image I just sent out for review. I’m still tightening up the critters, shadows and getting goof-ups off the paper, but we’re close. It’s been a fun process creating something from nothing – well, not ‘nothing’, but a white sheet of tree-free Yupo is almost nothing. I greatly appreciate both the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Tennessee and Malone Design in Georgia for allowing me pretty much free reign on this project. It’s been a great experience, as always, to create an entire place almost life-size. It’s not an exact place, of course, but a mix of all the best things about this wildlife refuge.

Final-review-2-rightFinal-review-right-2Being just east of the Mississippi, there is a lot of moisture in the air, so I tried to make it feel that way – heavily laden with humidity. This is a fall scene, cypress going brown, maples and oaks in full color and lots of leaves on the ground as winter is coming on. Did I get it?
Final-review-left-2Final-review-leftJust so you know, those gray squares are where exterior objects will land, a big interpretive panel for the large rectangle, two railings along the bottom. The final installation will measure 36 feet x 8 feet, or almost 300 square feet.

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 beautiful photographs

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

Reelfoot Refuge – Section Test

 

Reelfoot-test-92x54

Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, Tennessee

Still moving along with this 36-foot mural installation, painting during the holidays – and finally delivered a digitized section of the painting for a test. This section is almost 8 feet high x 5 feet wide and is fairly finished – I think. A couple more critters to add, some cypress upgrades, fix some of the cutgrass, but it’s basically there.

Below, you can see just where this section is on the full painting, right in the middle so I can make sure colors are proper going both ways. It’s a process I used to fret about, send out for costly 8″x 10″ transparencies and scanning, but now days we do it all here. It’s nice living with a photographer with some very good equipment, and, I’ve done this big stuff for so long, I sleep soundly.

Progress-exhibit-layers-5-sample-placement

Years ago, Nancy and I painted a 90 x 14-foot outside wall for Twentynine Palms California, then painted another one the same size. When we arrived for the second wall, they told us this complex and highly-detailed mural, scaffholding and scorching afternoon sun had its big unveiling scheduled just 17 days from then! Nancy whispered something to the effect that we were in very deep do-do. I didn’t sleep during most of it, but we finished in time for a nice hike in nearby Joshua Tree National Park – and now I don’t worry about it.

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 beautiful photographs

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

Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge – progress #6

Reelfoot-progress-6-fullweb

I’ve put fairly large images on the server, so please click these to see larger versions. Somehow cramming 36 feet into a couple of screen-inches just doesn’t cut it.

I pieced seven shots together to make these, and left the perspective in place so it’s just like what you’d see if you stood in front of it – just like I see this each day when I come to the studio, turn on the heat and lights and mix paint! I’m getting there, critters are now appearing, the foreground is settling in properly, birds flying in migrating flocks. Someone asked me what the empty space is on the left – it’s 24 sq feet of interpretive panel, something I just have to put up with sometimes. Someone also asked me if I enjoyed the challenge of figuring all this out. Yes, very much!

Reelfoot-progress-6-left Reelfoot-progress-6-right

Hope you like the way it’s coming along. I do (I think!).

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 beautiful photographs

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

Stage Three on My Reelfoot Mural for Tennessee

Reelfoot-progress-3

 

Stage Three out of how many I’m not sure – maybe 10 or 20!

A little farther along the trail this week with my Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge painting. This thing is so long I’ve chopped it into two parts shown below – and all three enlarge in your browser for a better view. I’m still sort of working of all over the place, trying to figure out what their fall foliage would be like, yet trying not to overwhelm it with too much color.  It’s one thing to see it here, quite another to imagine it 38 feet long!

This week I learned about flooded corn stubble, how cypress browns in the fall, how the cypress ‘knees’ look when they grow – these are the cypress’ way to breath air when their trunks are underwater.Reelfoot-progress-3-left

 

It looks so different here on the screen than when compared with the giant thing taking shape from one end of my studio to the other. A couple of critters  have now appeared, but not in detail. Got to get those trees figured out first.Reelfoot-progress-3-right

More cowbell – we need more cowbell!

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 beautiful photographs

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

Progress Report on Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge mural

Reelfoot-progress-2
All images click to open in your browser, and I hope you do. I put fairly large files up so you can see details.

Here is some progress on my 18 foot painting for Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge. The painting will be printed and installed at 38 feet x 8 feet. I’m getting there – still focused on setting the tone of the fall colors. The fall foliage-thing is something of a mystery, since it changes. In one way, it’s all correct at some point since leaves change a little at a time. But, too yellow, too brown, too red – who really knows?


entire-progress-2-left

Here’s the left side, cypress in the lake and swampy stuff in the foreground.


entire-progress-2-right

And there’s the right side going into seasonally-flooded hardwood forest, red oak, some cypress, some red maple – and then out into flooded corn fields that will be all stubble in fall with lots of ducks flying around.


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 beautiful photographs

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

My Reelfoot NWR Mural Begins to Come Together

cypress-1a

Progress Report:

I blogged about the sketch for tho weeks ago, and now paint is flying.  The photo above is part is the far-left side that will be 8 feet tall –  but it’s still lacking details. I took this to make sure the colors (that change almost daily in fall) are what everyone wants. It’s getting there. If you stood next to this in the final installation, your head would be about at the bottom of the cypress branches.

Progress – seemingly to be painfully slow at this stage. I just stick to it and tend to paint all over the place to get a feeling of how it’ll all mesh together. A little here, a little there, then fill in the holes to connect it all. Installed, this thing  will be two adjoining walls with a corner for a total of 38 feet, but painting it is still just one inch at a time. I greatly enjoy making my brain stress to the max trying to make it all work. LNE-2Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge is in northwestern Tennessee, close to the Mississippi River and a place created when a huge earthquake formed a series of shallow lakes. Cypress and other bottomland forest species followed, making for a very picturesque place, especially in fall when the cypress needles turn yellow and red.

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 beautiful photographs

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

My Show at Gallery 9 – Saturday Throughout October

Polks-Eifert-right
18 foot mural about Florida, right side.

On Saturday, there’s a little show of mine opening in Port Townsend at Gallery 9. Thought I’d just pass it around. This is possibly the first gallery show I’ve ever put up where the main attraction isn’t for sale! One wall – one painting, and we were worried it would even fit.

Polks-Eifert-left
Left side of the painting. 18 feet x 4 feet.

ABOUT THE PAINTING (from the press release)

Port Townsend painter Larry Eifert has painted large-scale nature murals for parks, refuges and nature centers for many years. This 18-foot x 4-foot painting was commissioned for the Polks Nature Discovery Center in central Florida, and is painted on synthetic and tree-free paper. This is the original painting and was completed in 2013. It has never before been seen locally, and intertwines four separate ecosystems of Florida’s pine forests and cypress swamps. When completed, the painting was digitized, then enlarged 200% to 32 feet x 8 feet and printed on Dacron for its final installation.

If you’re local, we hope to see you there.

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 beautiful photographs

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