Tag Archives: Trails

Mules and Horses – Old Santa Fe Trail painting for the National Trails System

This will enlarge by clicking it.

While the Hoh Visitor Center mural is proceeding, I did this “little” wayside painting for the Old Santa Fe Trail with the National Park Service. A fun and very different sort of project for me.

Last year I did this sketch for Aztec Ruins National Monument, but  it wasn’t used. They wanted something less ‘social’. This is Armijo’s Expedition in 1829, a group that went from Santa Fe to California and back, proving this route could be used for trade. In the painting, they’re crossing the Animas River in New Mexico. They’ve had a difficult day herding 150 horses and mules, and the group is setting up camp for the night, beans are in the pot, gear is being unloaded.

To do this painting, I went over to Olympic National  Park and photographed the two ladies that take care of the 34 mules the park uses for backcountry use. Amazing afternoon! Here are Heidi and Jill, seasonal drovers who push those big mules around like they were goats, and you can see I turned them into Spanish young men in the painting. Others models included my neighbor, Michael, who is the cook. Jill and Heidi are in other poses, as well as Henry the mule.

And this is what it’s all about for me. I learned a LOT on this project, had a great time figuring out how this might look, how the gear would look in 1829. It took over a year from field trip to Aztec Ruins to painting completion. It went from an installation at Aztec to several other installations along the Santa Fe Trail, and I really know about pack mules.

And here’s the Animas River at Aztec New Mexico where the scene is located. It looks exactly the same as it probably did 188 years ago.

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.

Picnic table painting

Nice fire in the campground, our ancient folding chairs awaiting. The famous ant tablecloth, a real red-cedar old-growth table. Notice the details: painting, brush can, funky Richeson paint tray, artichoke can for water, tablet with reference photos, little pencil sharpener for those wonderful Dixon black wood pencils that feel like the carbon has oil in it – brae and crackers, glass of red. I only stopped because it was getting too dark to paint in this old forest. 

And then the painting that’s appearing. This one is part of the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center project and is 12″ high and 330″ wide when it’s installed. It’s being painted on a roll of polypropylene Yupo tree-free paper that I can roll out to where I’m working on it. I don’t know, why go home until October?

And what are we doing the rest of the time? Section hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail is part of it. Avalanche lilies and bear grass in bloom and still some snow drifts to navigate. We just have to make sure they’re all 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 stunning photography

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

Alpineglow

Alpineglow

Another painting in my ‘Trail Series’. When I was growing up the word ‘alpenglow’ was like an elixir, something akin to magic. For Mid-western flat-landers who only experienced these places on rare occasions, I vividly remember the few times we finally got up there in the Porcupines or Rockies. My parents knew how to do it, to stay late, wait for sundown when the light came – and later drive down the hill in growing darkness. For Virginia, it was as close to  god as it gets.

I now live where I can see this easily, but not all THAT easily. We still have to work for it with a hike, but that elixir is still there when we arrive, that ‘magic-time’ photographer Galen Rowell always spoke of. So, this little painting is one of my favorite ‘alpineglow’ places, right up the hill from home in the Dungeness watershed of the Olympics. At sunset, it’s a place I’d rather be than just about anywhere.

Alpineglow-framed

This ORIGINAL painting is acrylic on board, 6″ x 9″ and $149 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.
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.

Golden Path – a new painting

Golden-Path

Sold

Going through some old photos in trip journals, I ran across this photo of a local trail in June. It’s February right now, and this place, not 30 miles from  here up in the Heather Creek area of the upper Dungeness Valley is currently beneath a lot of snow. Still, my heart yearned to be there right now, hiking along and looking at the trail flowers – yes, there IS a flower called a trail flower.

So, with all that in my mind’s eye, this little painting arrived.
SAM_1822[1]

And here it is framed.Golden-Path-framed

This ORIGINAL painting is acrylic on board, 6″ x 9″ and $149 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.

Curving Around The Little Tarn

Curving-Around-the-Tarn

Click to enlarge.

A new painting today. Seems like each Fall I go into this frenzy of painting alpine images, of trails and water, mountains and meadows – of places I wish I still was. There will be more, I promise. I really like the solid feel this trail has, as if summer dust is inches deep. With a summer like the one we’ve had, I sure needed to include dust. Nancy and I went up a trail a couple of weeks ago that wasn’t the most pleasant – too hot, too much weight, maybe too old for too hot and heavy – but I’m not complaining. It was paradise for both of us.

Curving-Around-the-Tarn-framed

This ORIGINAL painting is acrylic on board, 6″ x 9″ and $145 framed, my price before it gets to the gallery. 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. I have other frames.
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 rather amazing photographs

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

Sunset Hike – an original acrylic painting

Sunset Hike
Sunset Hike – click to enlarge

I did this painting a couple of months ago, but it never made it to the blog here, so . . .

I was by myself, coming back from a day in the Upper Royal Basin meadows and walking down to meet Nancy at the campsite.  I came through a bit of open space in the meadows on the bench below Royal Lake.  I’ll bet some of you know this area where the first good campsites await after a bunch of miles on that hot upslope trail.

The late-afternoon light was just blasting through these trees and really lighting up the grass – like spotlights were back in the silver firs. I was just spending way too much energy admiring it when I tripped on a rock, and down I went into the grass. Good time to get the camera out, and this painting is what happened later.

It’s such a sweet memory of a great experience that I’m keeping it for myself, and THAT doesn’t happen very often.

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.

Summer Return of the Prairie – a new painting

Whidbey-Summer-Prairie

Click the image to enlarge.

Last week I posted another outdoor wayside panel – the spring version of this same place. Now, here’s the second panel about summer at the Naas Preserve on Whidbey Island prairie – prescribed burns, summer flowers and pollinators, a real riot of color. They’re both going to be installed at just north of my home in Port Townsend. Not easy making a nice painting with a fire in it, but I’ve actually painted several fire images before for a National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota. This one was much more fun.


Nancy1

These paintings require lots of field trips and research time. It’s the best part of it, with both of us joining forces to figure out details from white-crowned sparrows to goldenrod. Sure, field guides tell me what the thing looks like, but not how they attach to the ground, or how they look in summer when the landscape is drying out, or how does the sparrow grab onto the goldenrod as it’s singing. Here’s Nancy working on some strawberry plants that the Whidbey – Camano Land Trust is growing in a small nursery at the site. Later, I put all these images on my tablet for reference at the easel.


So what’s the point of these outdoor panels? To me, they’re like an an outdoor art gallery. Some trails have a couple of dozen of these panels, and I love to imagine people hiking along enjoying the nature around them but maybe not understanding it. Behold, here’s a nice painting with some words to help them out. While I still sell  paintings to private collectors (who then hang them on their walls, never to be seen in public again), I think I see these outdoor efforts might be a higher calling. It’s public art in the best way, don’t you 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 Click here to go to Virginia Eifert’s website. Her books are now becoming available as Amazon Kindle books.

Through the Old Burn

Throught-the-Burn

Must  have burned decades ago, because the new trees were closing in on making it a real forest again. It sure looked like woodpecker- heaven to me. Those old scarred sentinels were just too good to pass up, so I took a quick reference photo – and here’s a painting of it months later. Problem is, I couldn’t FIND the reference photo, so just painted how it ‘felt’ instead of anything about how it actually ‘looked’. Maybe I was ‘seeing’ instead of just ‘looking’ when I first saw it, because I think I ‘got it’.

Throught-the-Burn-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.
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.

Passing Moment – Soon Gone

Heather-Creek-Feeder-Stream

Our little trail went right by this seasonal creek carrying runoff from snow much farther up the mountain – Buckhorn Peak. I loved the way the trail, carrying us, mimicked the creek, carry the water. Both of us were traveling, both right here at the same moment in time and together by chance. One of us appreciated the light and lush effects it produced with light streaming through the forest and onto the water. In a moment, all three were gone.

 

Heather Creek is up the Dungeness River, Olympic National Forest and National Park, second steepest watershed in America. In its 32 miles, the river drops 7,300 feet. I can say I’ve been from bottom to top of this river – it’s one of my favorites. From old-growth hemlock forests lacking fire scars to a waterfall that looks like a feathery curtain, broad meadows, alpine tarns, towering peaks named Deception, Buckhorn and Constance – it’s all here. I’ve painted it often, and if I can walk, I’ll be back!

Heather-Creek-Feeder-Stream-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.