Category Archives: Wildlife

Salmon Cascades wayside painting for Olympic National Park

Finally finished this nice little painting for Olympic NP. Spawning coho salmon are here and we’ve seen them several times milling around waiting to jump.

Lots going on here in the paint department, but this one was truly fun for me. Below is the concept sketch.

And here’s the real place. The wayside panel will be located just at the top of the cascades on an overlook. As I posted before, I dropped my GoPro camera into the water here and found out the bottom was full of colorful gem-like rocks, tainted organic sierra on the upstream side. Hummm?

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.

A Tide Pool Wayside Panel

You may have noticed a serious absence of my blogs for the past month. Just too depressed about the my country sliding into hatred and my despair about it to write anything – but also this is the busiest period for my painting hand in decades. It’s all good, the painting part, but the level of art flowing out of my studio is somewhat frightening. I’ve learned to speed it up, fewer layers, less thinking about it – just go at it. All this is mostly National Park Service and WA State Parks stuff, so that means hurry up and then wait, wait for approval to proceed. At this moment, I have 43, yes, 43 sketches waiting to proceed to paint! Not to fret, there are dozens waiting in line for me to begin.

This one of the tide pools is for Washington Park in Anacortes, Washington. An interesting and fun painting, and, hopefully, make you read the rules about tromping all over the critters.

All those logos at the bottom will change when I get them, but the rest is fairly together. Several of these will be installed just where you hit the tidepools – sort of a welcoming sign to respect your neighbors.

Don’t you wish the same sort of thing was happening elsewhere?

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.

Discovery Bay – Snow Creek wayside panel

Some small changes but I think this is finished. At least the art is. This panel will live on the east side of Discovery Bay, just a few miles from Port Townsend. The North Olympic Salmon Coalition recently rearranged a lot of land here, took out a railroad bridge or two and moved a mountain of fill dirt. Two streams, Snow Creek and Salmon Creek now run free into the bay in a textbook example of how to successfully restore salmon habitat. I was proud to be a part of it.

Here’s the detail on the left side. If you check the photo below, you’ll see there was a very pronounced umber feel to the color, a Van Dyke brown, and even thou it was winter and the painting is summer, I used it. This also seemed to be the color of the water here, hinting at all the organic nutrients coming down this stream.

This is one of four of these I’ve been working on for this restoration group, and I really appreciated the freedom and also professionalism everyone has in the group, especially Dave Shreffler, who did the interpretive writing. Very tasty twists of phrases that looks easy but isn’t. This makes the 9th underwater restoration painting I’ve done in the Pacific Northwest, just in time for the next one coming soon. Stay tuned.

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.

Discovery Bay – Maynard Beach painting completed

These should enlarge if you click them.

Holidays or not, I spent some time this week finishing up this part of the North Olympic Salmon Coalition project for Discovery Bay. Last week I posted a partially finished painting of this and now here’s the final. I cut a piece out of the right corner, below, so you can see some details.

I’ve been working on various ways to show both above water and below water situations in the restoration paintings. This one is, if my count is right, the ninth painting showing this odd situation, and I really fudged reality in this one. If you look at the center lower part you’ll see the shoreline comes across into the water, but the scene is deep underwater. The water line above it is about as far off from reality as it gets – but it seems to work somehow.

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.

Orcas Island’s West Beach wayside panel

Both of these images enlarge in your browser if you click them.

A little side project that’s hopefully coming in on the truck today.  The Straits Foundation just finished a project on Orcas Island in the San Juans that will help fish, a lot! West Beach Creek was blocked by two old culverts, so out they came and a giant culvert the size of Texas went in to make fish passage easier. In fact, I doubt the fish will even realized they’re in a culvert at all. A fairly amazing change and a real credit to the land owner for making this all  happen.

So, here I came with small budget but a speedy paint brush. These two illustrations are separate paintings, pieced together on the panel. I also did the design, collaborated on the text and handled the fabrication in aluminum.  Another little piece of art on a beach, which makes NINE of these around Puget Sound and the Strait in the past two years.

And here is the final installation. Thanks again Lisa and Carolyn at the Straits Foundation in Bellingham, WA for allowing me to push some paint again for you.

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

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.

Western Tanager study

Western-Tanager

Nancy has put oranges out by the pond for these birds. I think we get the very same pair back each year – after a winter holiday all the way down in Central America. While the female lacks the red head feathers, I’ve read that the male gets them from eating certain insects – along with berries from our cherry trees. We gladly give up our fruit for the companionship of this pair – and so I painted the male on the hunt.

And here’s the frame it’s currently in (and comes with the painting). I think the color is a tad off on the photo. The wood is more blond, painting less blue – I took it on the porch on a sunny day, so things got funky.

Western-Tanager-framed

This ORIGINAL painting is acrylic on board, 6″ x 9″ and $145 framed. Outside edge of the frame is about 12″ x 15″.
This custom frame has a triple liner and glass. Shipping adds just a bit more depending on your zone. This is the original painting, NOT a print.
Email us for details.

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.