Category Archives: Murals

Welcome to Sol Duc Valley


Since this wayside panel is being printed this month, I thought I’d pass it on here. I published another one of these back on November 8th, and you can see it here. For this project, I painted 21 paintings for 3 panels at Olympic National Park’s Sol Duc Valley entry kiosk. With the others last year, that makes 24 images you can see while driving the 17 miles from national park gate to road’s end where a trail leads to this grand waterfall – Sol Duc Falls. At 4′ x 6′, these are pretty large panels.

So what? Well, I like to call these efforts “public art galleries in our parks”, and I now have hundreds of these things in parks, preserves and wildlife refuges around the West. You’re hiking or driving along, and suddenly there’s a piece of art and a small story to tell you, or interpret, what you’re seeing. It’s just a great way to experience a beautiful place, and, I hope, to heighten your experience beyond what nature is providing (if that’s possible). These panels don’t use the original art itself, but are always fabricated out of fiberglass, stainless steel or a Formica product, so they’ll probably last longer than I will. I’d like to image someone coming along decades from now and stumbling over one of these things – and having it enhance their day.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

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New Olympic National Park exhibits

Sol Duc Valley Visitor’s Map Kiosk

To best view this image, you need to click and enlarge it.

Seems like somewhat of a milestone here. This is one of three new outdoor wayside exhibits just “sent to press” for Olympic National Park. I’ll post the other two soon. They’re very large, actually the biggest I think I’ve done, at 48″ x 72″, and are being produced with the fiberglass embedment process. For those reader that don’t know this stuff, that’s when a print gets covered with fiberglass layers until it’s about 1/8″ thick. If we’re lucky, it’ll last 25 years. These three will soon be installed in the gateway kiosk area of Olympic’s Sol Duc River road and will somewhat match the other three I now have out there. I did the art and initial design, but the almost-countless hours of graphic design were done by Janet Scharf, who’s on park staff.

These panel paintings allow me to occasionally insert ourselves in the work. For instance, that’s Nancy sitting by the fire, with out VW camper behind. She originally had shorts on, but that was deemed to controversal for this (I, personally, think her legs look great and might have helped the painting). The hikers at the bottom are the two of us, but they thought I should be turned into a Latino – so that was fun. And Nancy’s also standing on the Sol Duc Falls bridge in the upper right.

The map was another matter altogether. I did the large painting from Google Earth flyover images, then scanned it into Photoshop. Then it was brought into Illustrator for all the roads, trails and those wierd map labels that curve and contort. Finally, that file was brought into InDesign for the final layout with all the other images. What a juggling act!

To check availability of the other small originals I’ve blogged about the past few weeks, check the blog here.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to our main website – packed with jigsaw puzzles, prints and other stuff.

Click here to check out what Nancy’s currently doing.

Or, send us an email to opt in or out of our email family – or just ‘talk’ with us.

You can also leave comments on the blog here. Every little bit helps me understand how to be a better painter.

Stream Stones and Bristlecones


Progress on the Bristlecone Pine mural
I sent out the pencil sketch for this painting on September 8. and now, after several review comments and changes only a dendrologist (tree scientist) would recognise, I’m moving along pretty well on the final. Many large-scale painters do a complete smaller image first, then recreate it in the larger final version. I’ve never been comfortable with that process because it seems like I’d just be painting something twice. It’d be like remarrying the same person you’ve already divorced – all those little issues you hated the first time ’round are still lurking there. Nancy and I have done several 90′ paintings without a finished ‘baby’ painting and it was truly exciting – for both us and the clients that were scared numb. Nancy once stated: “we are in SERIOUS trouble here” but we still pulled it off nicely. Next week I hope this’ll be close to finished and I’ll send another update.

But that’s not all:

Stream Stones

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Stream Stones
There was a little trout here too, but he quickly disappeared when I arrived and I wasn’t confident with my trout-memory to paint it. Besides, leaving it out keeps it much more abstract and less illustrative. I think the lack of real surface motion on the water gives it an interesting slant. If I were a trout, I’d want to live HERE.

This is another painting from our recent alpine excursions. If you know your Pacific Northwest geology, you’d pick up that these stones are from the North Cascades and not the Olympics. Cascade stones are very much more diverse in color and texture – brownish iron oxides and lots of gray speckled granites. If you see these stones around the Olympic Mountain edges, they undoubtedly came there from scraped streambeds in the Cascades by way of the mile-high Cordilleran Ice Sheet 80 centuries ago, and they match pebbles you’d find in any Cascade river today.

You might think 80 centuries is awhile ago, but consider this: there are bristlecone pines in the White Mountains and Nevada that approach 50 centuries. And that’s the way I tie the top part of this entry with the bottom part of.

Stream Stones is an ORIGINAL PAINTING, varnished acrylic on linen canvas, 9″ x 12″ and $140 unframed.
The gold frame makes it a total of $180 and shipping adds just a bit more depending on your zone or if you take the frame.
Email us for details or to add someone to our mailing list.

Thanks for reading this week. I really appreciate the mail I’m getting on this smaller stuff. Thanks for keeping me going. If I don’t answer all of you it’s not because I’m out hiking (well, maybe it is).
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to our main website – packed with jigsaw puzzles, prints and other stuff.

Click here to check out what Nancy’s currently doing.

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Artist’s Sketch – Bristlecone Pine mural sketch #2

Ancient Bristlecone Pines
This is straight from the artist’s studio.
You’re receiving this weekly email blog because a friend or associate thought you’d like these occasional postings. This is from Larry Eifert, long-time artist and writer, the guy who has more art in America’s National Parks than any other. These postings show some of the personal inner workings of an artist creating everything from large wall murals to smaller easel canvases. All are about America’s Nature. To not receive these emails any more, simply hit reply and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line.


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And so: For years, I’ve wanted to paint the ancient bristlecones of the high and dry western desert mountains. Thought I had it at Wheeler Peak, Great Basin National Park (where I experienced as close to a spiritual moment as I’ve ever had), then later at Utah’s Bryce Canyon, but budget problems or scheduling always got in the way. Now, thanks to a nut (and NOT a pine nut) burning down the visitor center in the Shulman Grove of California’s White Mountains just east of the High Sierra, and the generosity of the Crater Lake Institute that is spearheading a high-elevation pine interpretive program, I’m having a go at the most iconic and picturesque grove of them all.

Here’s an updated version of the initial sketch that has changes from comments from all the bristlecone-pros.

This image shows two ancient trees, both possibly 4500 years of age and living at 10,000 feet of elevation in a super-dry limestone mountain landscape. The bits of dead trees strewn around the ground could be thousands of years older still. Birds and animals shown all live here, at least during the warmer months, bringing the only other sounds to this stark and beautiful landscape besides the singing winds through branches and past needles. It’s quite a place.

As I did with the similar whitebark pine painting last year, I’ll send an update on the progress of this one next week. This is going to be fun.

Thanks for reading. If you’re received this in error, we apologize.

We have posters and jigsaw puzzles of the last “High-Five” painting (whitebark pine = five-needled high-mountain pine).
Posters are here.
Jigsaw Puzzles are here:

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Tolowa Dunes State Park, Crescent City CA

Framed Tolowa dunes

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Tolowa Dunes Stewards funded this painting for interpretive and educational efforts. Tolowa Dunes State Park is a 5,000-acre California State Park located on California’s far North Coast near Crescent City. Lake Earl and Lake Tolowa are there, as well as a significant portion of the relatively large coastal plain around it. As one local scientist said: “The Lake Earl sand dunes and wetlands represent one of the richest hotspots for bio-diversity of both plants and animals found along the West Coast of the United States.”

I’ve spent many years living just south of this area and know it well – so this was a fun project. Just to the north on the Smith River, I painted my very first large-scale interpretive mural back in the 1980’s for Redwood National Park. That original is still at the Crescent City Visitor Center, and the exhibit still at Hiouchi Visitor Center up on the river. It’ll probably outlive me!

So here’s the sketch.Toloia-Dunes2-smalldpi

It was a speedy one, even for me. Because of a funding deadline, the painting was finished in less than a week – but then you guys probably knew that. It’s painted with acrylic on paper board and is about 40″ wide.

Click here to see lots of other national and state park interpetive art on our website.

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Thanks for reading.

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Elk Prairie, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park


Elk Prairie, Prairie Creek Redwoods State and National Park, is south of Crescent City California – north of Eureka. I have a lot of work there, two large commissions in the visitor center museum, many roadside panels, lots of printed products in the non-profit store (posters, puzzles, books – you name it).

So, when the State of California asked if I was interested in doing another one for an interpretive exhibit, I jumped at the chance. I have this legacy-thing going there and want it to continue. Big opening night for the mural installation is mid-June, 2008.