Category Archives: Posts about other stuff

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.

Kauai Asian Cemetery – A Cautionary Tale

We just returned from a little winter field trip to warm up on Kauai. I really cannot remember when I posted anything other than my art on this blog, years probably, but these photos were taken while we watched astonishing events unfolding on the Mainland, and finding this little abandoned cemetery seems to tie it together – and not in a good way.

This is a beautiful place, but we quickly realized the stones told a tragic story. No stones in the ‘old’ cemetery section dated past 1942, the date when we, America, sent 120,000 Japanese to prison for just being Japanese, and few returned to their original homes after that madness was over. These are abandoned graves, meaning people are still here but the families don’t come to remember grand-dad’s fishing stories, or grand-mother’s wonderful meals. No one comes to spruce up the ground, bring flowers occasionally – it’s just abandoned. I’ve never thought that our actions against people might, in fact, reverberate to past generations.

And now, today, what are we doing? The same thing? It seems our tolerance for other cultures, different people, different ways has vanished. This big bronze sculpture is in Kaloa Town, a few miles to the east. This giant piece of art commemorates the truly joyful multiculturalism that was spawned as Hawaii developed. To meet labor demands, the cane companies went to Asia and brought in thousands of workers, the basis of Hawaii’s diverse and harmonious culture today. These people had to get along. And they get along now, and that’s the point. If we don’t learn to get along,  we are doomed to the vastly bigger threat of Climate Change that will probably finish us off as a civilization.

My thought: Don’t give up on Facebook, or that ‘other-race’ family down the street. Walk down, bang on the door and ask them how they are. Make a point of talking to people that aren’t like you in the grocery store. You might learn things aren’t as bad as we’re told they are!

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.

“Thriller” -My Little Sculpture Project

Thriller

Click to enlarge

My life is brim-full of four things: Nancy, painting, hiking and sailing. The Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival begins tomorrow  and through the weekend, and we’ve been in it many times with various boats. With a fresh coast of Doris Day-green deck paint, a friend thought I should post something about my on-going sculpture project, the smallest sailboat I’ve ever owned called “Thriller”, a 1959 Lightning #7108. If you’re in the festival, drop by and say hi. We should be along the outside of one of the lineal docks.

If you’re not heard of this festival, Port Townsend’s population triples this weekend when 300 classic boats come to town. It’s quiet a scene, with workshops, races, music and food – and a Sunday Sail-by with hundreds of boats from canoes to giant schooners.

Thriller 2
Click to enlarge

This boat: amazing construction above and beyond what most Lightnings look like, Thriller was built by the Livingston Boat Shop in Northport, Michigan for the grandson of Kroehler Furniture Corporation owner – a rich-kid’s boat. It’s 56 years old. Much of the restoration was done by the previous owner in the Bay Area, but I’ve finishing it off, made the rig better and the hull ‘bright’. Almost all the wood is original, including the mahogany seats. With a stainless centerboard now (the original would have been cast iron) and rigged for single-handed sailing, my three-season routine is to spend a joyful couple of hours in late afternoon on Port Townsend Bay, joining the guillemots, auklets and seals exploring the best place I’ve ever sailed.

See you at the Festival!

Thanks for reading this week. Send this to someone who might appreciate what I’m painting and tell them to sign up. I’m trying to expand my list. An email will work.
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.

Washington State Public Art Roster gets ME

Necedah-both-walls
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge paintings, images that eventually became 138 lineal feet of public art. I used this as an example of what I do. Necedah NWR is in Wisconsin.

Click this image to enlarge in your browser.

Every three years lots of Northwest artists apply to get on the Washington State Public Art Roster, a fairly small pre-approved group of professional artists that will be tapped to create perminent installations in new public buildings throughout Washington State. Libraries, schools and all other institutions that use the 1% of the cost of building for art use this list, AND, a couple of days ago I received a letter saying I’d been accepted and am now on the list.

This is a rare event for me. My life has been filled with entering art shows or competitions that are always won by crazy or fairly amateurish non-objective or abstract work, and almost never by competent and skilled people who have spent years diligently homing their discipline. It’s just that I’m from a generation that came from another generation that believed the very nature of being professional meant knowing how to do it better than most others. In my pitch to the Washington State Art Commission, I stressed this, saying that making public art that viewers spend lots of time looking at is important, that it’s what public art is all about – at least for me.

Carol-Armstrong-May-1-1963
How far it’s come for me. A painting I did for Carol Armstrong, over 50 years ago. I think it still looks okay.

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.

Crater Lake Institute – a side project

CLI-home-page
Front page of Crater Lake Institute’s website

I’ve not posted anything about this small side project, but it’s far enough along for me to brag a bit. For the past year, I’ve been rebuilding the Crater Lake Institute’s web presence. Currently, it stands at 3588 pages and counting. That’s right, 3588 pages.

Who and what? Crater Lake Institute is a group that works to enhance Crater Lake National Park, Oregon in many ways. They’ve collected more historic stuff about this park than anyone, bought equipment for the nationally-recognized Ski Patrol, commissioned over a dozen murals of my art for many places around the West, hosted rim-side interpretive walks, created publications about the park no one else has even considered doing. The board (that I now am on) is a bunch of retired NPS folks, amazing in their knowledge of this beautiful place.

I was approached to rebuild a very aging and almost dead website – but little did I realize how massive this thing was. In fact, it’s the largest digital and free collection of Crater Lake material anywhere. Huge sections are here on what to do in the park, Geology, Natural History, Oral Histories, Art, Weather, a giant collection of historic photos, stories, newspaper accounts going back into the 1800’s. I’ve also added my art here and there, sprinkled it with magic dust and – Oh, I could go on!

Because of this, the never-tiring park-painter has learned more about Crater Lake than probably any park I’ve ever worked on. Just ask me about the hand grenade death in the 80’s, the secret trails few park people even know about, the inside scoop on more stuff than my little brain can handle. And the best part is that I’ve gotten to know founder and board president Ron Mastrogiuseppe, fondly known as M13, one of the most genuine and interesting park people I’ve come across.

CLI-home-page-2
More of the front page

Thanks for reading this week.

Spend a moment and look at the site – then tell me what you think. http://craterlakeinstitute.com
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.

Just A Small Piece of Art I Often See!

Trail-sign

I can’t even remember when I did this, but some years ago I designed the logo for the Olympic Discovery Trail. This trail more or less follows the old railroad grade from Port Townsend, 120 miles all the way across the north Olympic Peninsula to La Push on the outer coast. I donated the stylized art that featured some trees, mountains and a cresting wave – all the components of nature you might see on the trail.

The thing is, we see this little piece of art on many hikes and many places, especially in winter when we’re walking the low country. Walking along, I spy these little blue signs on posts or trees and it makes me feel a part of this place, a small and insignificant thing to be sure, but still a part of it. I make a living selling art, that’s for sure, but there are sometimes other rewards than painting for my bread and butter. This is one of them.

And there’s a bit more. Parts of this beautiful trail are also part of the 1200-mile Northwest National Scenic Trail that goes from Glacier National Park in Montana, through Port Townsend and on to La Push and Olympic National Park. It hooks into the Continental Trail, that amazingly-serious 3100-mile trail that goes from Canada to Mexico down the spine of the Rockies. I see hikers with full packs passing through town quite often in summer, and while most people in Port Townsend have other thoughts than a national scenic trail with my art along it, I have to say I’m proud of these little pieces of aluminum scattered along they way.

Larry-&-Me-Royal-Basin-Hike

Thanks for reading this week. Send this to someone who might appreciate what I’m painting and tell them to sign up. I’m trying to expand my list. An email will work.
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.

A New Website For Me – Oh Boy

Eifert-front-page

See it here at LarryEifert.com

I’ve probably spent too much time messing with this instead of painting, but I now have a new website, completely redesigned, lots of new stuff, lots of little interesting corners with new content. And with a total of around 390 pages and posts, things were getting messy with the old one – so, I spent some time over the holidays tearing it apart and rebuilding a more modern version.

 

This one is ‘responsive’, meaning it looks good on your phone and tablet, pc and laptop – all of them at once if you have eight eyes. It still has the shopping cart with all the goodies like the puzzles, but there are new travel albums, 24 pages of murals and park projects that are better laid out. Better search capabilities are there too.  That’s Nancy lurking behind all the backgrounds, she comes, she goes, up and down some of our favorite local trails.

Smaller-Wildlife-Paintings

All my weekly posts are here too – might make a good book someday. There are over 300 of them. The comments are still closed until I can find a better spam screening, but that’s coming soon.

I finally got all the recent smaller paintings into albums there that can be seen as slideshows. There’s a lot of content that’s never been seen like this. Again, here’s the link, but it’s still just larryeifert.com.

Thanks for reading this week. Send this to someone who might appreciate what I’m painting and tell them to sign up. I’m trying to expand my list. An email will work.
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. We’re redesigning her site too – so check it out.

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

Merry Christmas and Thanks

Green_Chickadee

This is one of Virginia Eifert’s ‘famous’ hand-painted Christmas cards. Inside is hand-written calligraphy:
Now let the echoes
of the songs of May
Refresh and warm your hearts
on Christmas Day – 1963

I was 17 then and just beginning to sell my stuff at art fairs and local shows. Not very well, I’ll admit, but it was a passionate start.

She sent these cards each year for decades, ending with her death in 1966. I’ve heard from people who still have many of them, some even framed, for she painted hundreds. I did too, until my real work simply swallowed this up. Unlike me, Virginia was legendary for being able to do it all (except maybe clean the house or teach her son to do the same), which brings me around to what I really want to say here.

Merry Christmas and loving thanks to everyone reading this. We’re sending a genuine thank-you to the fantastic group of friends, clients and buyers who have supported Nancy and me as artists all these years. It’s now been over four decades of making a living as a working artist, beginning way back in the 1960’s with a gentle but firm push from Virginia.

Thanks to all of you who have faithfully bought my work, but also thanks to all the people who sell our stuff in park stores coast to coast, in galleries and countless other places. It’s a very wide web these days, and unfortunately I’ll never personally meet many of you.

And thanks, also, to someone I DO know, thanks to my very most important and special person, Nancy Cherry Eifert, who not only has a photo career of her own, but also handles the licencing, royalties, commissions and shipping, including orders from that pesky website that never seems to work properly. She’s an amazing partner that can multi-task with the best of them. They say that, these days especially, it takes at least two people working more than full-time to be one professional artist. We’ll both tell you that’s certainly true.

I know this won’t last forever -I wish it would, but I won’t stop or even slow down exploring nature through my art and words. Like Carl Rungius, the Canadian painter of wildlife I admire greatly, I want to drop dead at my easel a few long decades from now – and we hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride until then.

Thanks again for reading this week, and have a Happy Christmas.
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. Her new website is almost ready, but not quite yet.

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

Anna’s Hummingbirds and the December Deep Freeze

Eifert_Annas_Hummer

This is an older painting of mine, and the rhododendrons certainly in bloom, but I felt compelled to write about this week’s freeze and the little birds in our meadow.

From coast to coast, I know we’ve all had amazing weather this past week. The southern storms drove a giant blast of Canadian air down and west over the Cascades, and here we’ve had record lows for a week. Temps haven’t gotten out of the twenties, with nights down into the lower teens, weather we just don’t ever get in Puget Sound. None of us have clothes for this stuff. And while we’ve all been suffering, that can’t be anything compared to what our two wintering-over Anna’s hummingbirds must be experiencing. For all my decades around the Northwest, I’ve never seen hummers here in winter, but last year we had one stay all season, and we’ve heard we’re not alone with this. We put out a feeder when we spotted him, but it wasn’t because of the sugar water that he was here, because we put it out AFTER we spotted him. This year we have an adult and a juvie, and we were ready with a feeder (and a 150w flood lamp on it 24 hours a day after the freeze hit). So far it’s working.

I wrote about hummers a few years ago, and learned that they have ways to cope with this cold stuff. They have normal body temps of about 105-108F, with a sitting heart rate of about 250 beats per minute. However, at night they sleep normally, or, they can go into a turbid state where they actually drop their body temp to between 30 and 65 degrees (depending on need), and drop their metabolic rate to one-fifteenth of normal. In this way, they can maybe make it through a very long night of 15 degrees.

Before nightfall, they make one extra smart move. They find and remember where breakfast is going to be. Then, in the morning it takes upwards of an hour to fully wake up before flying. This requires a huge energy drain on this thumb-sized bird, and if that feeder is frozen when it gets to it, the bird is in big trouble (like a car on empty that gets to the gas station and the pumps are locked).

Temperatures are warming up now, but we’ve felt a great privilege to keep tabs on these two intrepid birds this week. Snow and hummingbirds just don’t go together, but if this is a sign of Climate Change, I’m happy with it.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to our main website – packed with jigsaw puzzles, prints and other stuff. We’re still shipping Christmas puzzles.

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

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

Comments are good. Every little bit helps me understand how to be a better painter.