Tag Archives: Big Walls

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.

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 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.

A Mural For The Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge

Sketch-welded-into-design-2

Click all images to enlarge them. At 38 feet, you’ll need to.

So – a new project is underway. This is for a new visitor center at the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern Tennessee near the Mississippi River. I’ll post the progress in weeks to come, but wanted to at least pass around the sketches for comments – which always help me – even the bad ones. This one means a lot to me because I spent time here as a kid with Virginia on one of her research field trips ( but more about that later).

This installation will be 38 feet long and 8 feet tall, but I’m painting it half-size at about 19 feet by 4 feet – still a big painting. We’ll scan the painting, then it’ll be printed like wallpaper on Dacron. This means the art can be vandalized or the visitor center even burn down and they still have an installation. Since they’re self-ensured, the government is like that. Makes it easier for me to paint, but the brushes get fairly tiny.

Sketch-left-side
Click to enlarge in your browser

Cypress swamps and waterlilies on the left side. This lake was created by a huge earthquake in the early 1800’s when the Mississippi River ran backwards and filled up this bottomland subsidence. Today it’s full of ducks and geese, turtles, fish and muskrats – just my idea of fun. And next, here’s the right side: all red oak forest in a seasonal flooding area. The fun part will be that they want a fall scene, so the cypress will be yellow, red oaks a flaming red/yellow. Add to that a good blue sky and it’s should be flashy – or at least that’s the plan.

Sketch-right-side
Click to enlarge in your browser

Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

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.

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.

Powell Butte Mural Installation in Portland, OR

final mural

Click the image and it should enlarge. Photo by Linda Repplinger – thanks Linda

 I completed this painting last year, and last week received a photo of the installation from Linda, Senior Designer at Sea Reach, ltd in Sheridan Oregon, who is doing all the great interpretive exhibits. I think it turned out pretty well. The original task here was to show the Portland Water District’s watershed, from the Cascades all the way downstream to downtown Portland – water pipes, gate valves, Bull Run Lake – the works (waterworks). Somehow it turned into an enormous vista, pieced together into 12 panels in high-pressure laminate that are all meshed together. Portland, 16,000 feet up! I remember getting the idea while flying back from California on a plane and looking down as we went past. If you look at the door on the right you’ll get a scale of this thing.

Bethlayne Hansenphoto by Bethlayne Hansen – Willamette Week

And the building? It’s on top of Powell Butte on the eastern side of town, east of I-405. Powell Butte has now been hollowed out and the two gigantic covered reservoirs built inside it will hold 100 million gallons of Portland’s water – no pumps, all gravity feed. There’s a nature park on top, with trails and this new visitor center, shown here under construction back in October.

2013-10-03_Powell-Butte

I like nothing better in life than a bit of adventure, figuring out how to do something I’ve need done – or even considered. Someone asked me when I was going to retire. Ha! I think the word RETIRE is shorthand for REALLY TIRED, and I’m sure not that  yet. I just want to stay relevant, to continue to contribute and not get left behind as the rest of life moves always onward past me. Give me more amazing projects like this and I’ll be a happy painter. Currently I’ve got my mitts into several amazing bids for some large (and confounding) paintings – so let’s see if they happen. 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 beautiful photographs

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