Tag Archives: Wetlands

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.

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.

Sitka National Historical Park gets some Eifert paintings

There are LOTS of historic totem poles at the Sitka National Historical Park and Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center in Sitka, Alaska, and soon there will also be some Eiferts. This past week we had the distinct privilege to spend it in one of the most interesting, beautiful and historically-significant towns in America, and one of the most remote as well. No roads go to Sitka, and in fact it’s the only town that faces the Gulf of Alaska head-on. There are about 9,000 people there who own 7500 cars – but there’s only 21.5 miles of roads to drive them on – and I’d guess there are more fishing boats than people. The National Park Service has the oldest national park unit in Alaska, and there’s a beautiful visitor center and historic park along the Indian River, as well as the Russian Bishop’s House, a meticulously restored and remarkable two-story massive structure built in 1842 that is mind-boggling in it’s history, furnishings and especially the building itself. In an effort to keep this short, let’s just say we had a very good time – and boy, are these people friendly.

My task is now to create some paintings of the salmon runs in the Indian River. So after five other concept sketches, this was my best try, and I think it will work. I won’t explain it now, but you’ll soon see the painting, a forest scene with brown bears, ravens, eagles and lots of salmon returning to spawn.

And here’s the location along the river. An amazingly beautiful place, and you’d never know it but it’s right smack in the middle of town. As we walked in these woods, we constantly overheard bald eagles and ravens ‘talking’ among themselves high in the canopy. While we were there one day, a string trio played in a meadow within 200 feet of this photo location and I’ve never heard a cello, viola and violin played along with eagles and ravens chinning in from the balcony – and as loud as the wooden instruments. Remarkable.

And here’s the initial species list I created on location. It was written in the order of discussion and while we didn’t see all these critters here, we saw almost all of them somewhere on our stay – even the grizzlies.

 

 

Stay tuned. It’ll be a fun painting – and there are five other smaller paintings coming as well. I’m excited.

 

 

 

Finally: I don’t usually do this, but I’d like to recommend the channel-side small inn and restaurant we stayed at in Sitka. It’s the Fly-In-Fish-Inn and it couldn’t have been a better experience. Ken and Carla made us feel like we were family.

 

 

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to the online blog this was to.

Or click here to follow me on Facebook. I post lots of other stuff there, like trip photos of this expedition.

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

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

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

Dipper Fishing – A new acrylic painting on canvas

SOLD

We’re soon off for a field trip to Sitka, Alaska for field research, but I wanted to post one last painting before we left. It’s one of those I delight in painting – a little corner of nature involving the reflective quality of water in motion.

The motivation for this painting came at a trail head in Olympic National Park when Nancy spied a sign telling of an American Dipper research project going on there, and that we were to watch out for dippers with leg bands – and armed with which color banding, if it’s on the left or right foot (THEIR left and right, not OURS – it said that), we were to call someone and tell when what we saw. Have you EVER tried to watch a dipper. They sit still for about a microsecond, bouncing up and down, and never very close to you. So I did a dipper painting without a leg band!

 

 

This ORIGINAL painting is varnished acrylic on linen canvas, 11″ x 14″ and $145 unframed.

 

The color’s a bit off, but this shows the custom frame with a linen liner that would make it a total of $170 and shipping adds just a bit more depending on your zone or if you take the frame. This is the original painting, NOT a print.
Email us for details.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to the online blog this was to.

Or click here to follow me on Facebook. I post lots of other stuff there.

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

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

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

James Pond Waterlilies

 

 James Pond Waterlilies

 24″ x 48″ acrylic painting on  hardboard.
(I put a 16″ image on the web, so click the painting and you’ll see it enlarged.)

 

This is one of those places that makes me happy to be alive – it gives me a sense of what I love about painting nature – the wonder of it all. From Mora Campground beside the famous Hoh River in Olympic National Park and about a mile from Rialto Beach, there’s a little trail going into the woods – and a small sign saying so – I’d seen in many times. I hiked it at 6:00 in the morning not knowing where it went – just started walking with hopes of maybe seeing some elk. It’s a loop trail, and half way along a spur goes off into the huckleberry thickets, and then right out onto a mossy log into this amazing and ethereal place. Obviously it was an ancient oxbow bend of the Hoh that was long ago cut off and evolved into a lily pond, but it just seemed like a staged set. The morning mist was just clearing, cool shadows still prevailed, but deepening color values (by the minute) foretold a bright day ahead. I sat here a long time, watching early morning dragonflies hawking for mosquitoes – watched a kingfisher dive for breakfast.

This was the view from the log.

And when I brought Nancy back an hour later, all was flat and sunny-day values – nice but nothing like the pastel and thick atmosphere I saw earlier. How far this little pond goes in either direction I don’t know, but I don’t think any other trails hit this quiet backwater.

 

This painting is offered for sale as of today. Email us for details.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to the online blog this was to.

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

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

Click here for Virginia Eifert’s website and see where all this started for me.

Florida Mural Progress Report

This week it’s just a post about my progress on the central Florida mural. We’re getting there! I posted the initial beginnings a few weeks ago here (September 29) and here (September 9), then we were off on a field trip to Point Reyes so things ground to a halt. Now I’m back in the downtown studio going at it.

 

 

Someone emailed and asked what I used for a palette. Here it is! It’s pretty simple, only about a dozen colors and I use Nova Color exclusively, a special small-company hand-mixed mural acrylic that’s like a milkshake (tube paint is much more paste-like). After I discovered Nova about 20 years ago, I’ve used nothing else and it’s a pleasure to paint with on everything from the biggest cinder block walls to tiny paintings on paper.  You can’t buy this stuff in stores – only online, but I’ve had them ship to me in the field and they’re wonderfully helpful.

 

Here’s the rest of my ‘kit’. A tablet for reference photos (and a few printed out paper references too), dirty paint jar of water, a squirt bottle to keep the paint fluid, and, of course an iced latee from Mean Bean down the street (or Better Living Through Coffee, or Starbucks, or… this town doesn’t lack for Washington’s state drink). And that’s a full-sized paper copy of the sketch in the background so I can figure out what to paint.

Thanks for reading this week. Stay tuned for more.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to the online blog this was to.

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

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

Polk Mural Progress Report

Here’s the sketch. I blogged about this a month ago. This is for the Polks Nature Center in central Florida.

 Painting Day 1 on September 13th: 4′ x 12′ piece of Yupo paper is tacked to the wall, primed and shows progress at the end of the first day of painting.

 Painting Day 3 on September 23, and the basic structure is in place, but now the park folks want some major changes on the left side. Sigh, but now’s the time for big alterations, not when the details are in.

Painting Day 6, sandy areas appear on the left and the horizon is smoothed out. Areas of the background in the center and upper right are tested for color and value, shadows and light. Some critters are blocked in so I can check sizes.

Painting Day 10 September 28, and the thing is taking shape. More critters are defined, trees on the left are gone, trees added in the middle, water is defined better, center part of the painting now shows upper canopy and trunks of the pines in place and ground details are starting to appear.

All these photos should enlarge so you can see them better. This is not being painted on a daily basis while my life progresses in other ways, meaning there were four days out at the Hoh Rain Forest, time spent while I’m replacing 400 feet of new cedar decking, and now we’re off to Point Reyes National Seashore this next week for a field trip. Oh, and I did four presketches for paintings for a Portland project.

Again I want to thank Union Bank in Port Townsend for continuing to give me studio space for these larger projects. I’d be really cramped in my little studio here in the meadow for this one.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to the online blog this was to.

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

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

Florida Gets an Eifert Mural

 

And we’re off again! This time it’s a complex habitat wall mural for the Polks Nature Discovery Center in central Florida – and this is going to be FUN. The top drawing is the right side of the 24′ mural, and I wanted to show this first because it’s my favorite part. The scene transcends from the swampy seasonal flatlands pond on the right (above) into the center pine flatwoods with saw palmento and finally, on the left into a sandhill  pines area. There’s a lot going on here, with very juicy stuff to paint like wood storks, alligators and spoonbills. There’s even an orange-red corn snake wrapped around the cypress.

Make sure you click on this bottom image so you can see the entire thing.  As  you can see, I still  have some details to work out in the sandy areas in the lower left, but we’ll get there. I began painting this a few days ago at my “downtown” studio in Union Bank where I have enough space. My little studio here won’t cut it. This will be quick; there are a bunch of other big projects waiting in line – and besides, this is the fun stuff of my life!

 

The colors, atmospheric qualities, horizon line – this is all a very different place from where I live. The Northwest  is a very deep place for colors, almost like it swallows color into a dark hole. The darks are verging on black but the light values are brilliant colors. In fact, I’ve often thought that the Olympics have the darkest forests I’ve ever painted and this creates huge value contrasts with other colors. This Florida painting is just the opposite. There, the atmosphere is so saturated with moisture is softens everything. The sky is pale, the edges of distant forests are almost blurred as they’re filtered through all that wet air. This is probably the most important thing I have to figure out in painting big landscapes: what makes a place look and feel the way it does.

 

I’ll be posting progress reports as I go along with this one.  Get the massage table ready – turn up the hot-tub. I’m ready! This gator’s smiling about it too.

 

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to the online blog this was to.

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

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

Reprinting the Arcata Marsh Mural

This was only the third big habitat mural I ever painted,and I’m  hard-pressed to figure out the date it was finished. I’d say 1989, give or take, but it could be earlier. A printed copy of this painting lives in Arcata, California at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center. Its home is a sunny wall, and for that the reason we installed a copy of the painting and not the original. Now because of sun damage it’s about to have version #3 printed to replace #2.

 

So, this week I went into the giant lock box at the bank and fished through the hundreds of 8″ x 10″ transparencies (film they don’t even make any more) and brought this home for scanning. A decade ago was the last time we replaced this, and then we used that transparency and simply made a photo blowup. This time it’s all digital and will be printed on half-inch thick high-pressure laminate material similar to Formica. Thinking about this I was truly struck by the technical changes of this stuff in the past decade, and how artists really need to understand and keep up with it – or risk being left behind like so many other ‘industries’ – and I’ll be damned if they’re going to outsource ME to India!

 

When I painted this, the Arcata Marsh was a very new place, and it was difficult to imagine what it would become. Sitting on an old log processing pond at the upper end of Humboldt Bay, the idea was for the nearby sewer plant to run its almost clean water through a series of channels and let aquatic plants clean up the last of it. Birds would flock, animals would find homes, people would come to walk and view – and over the years it all came true. I’m happy to have been a part of the initial interpretation, and happy they continue to kept my painting as part of it.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to the online blog this was to.

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

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

Fairbanks Alaska Greenbelt

I’ve painted images of city greenbelts before, but nothing like this. In fact, for those of us in the Lower 48 and used to concrete-surrounded greenbelts along city streets, it’s probably difficult to image spruce swamps with moose and sandhill cranes in one. But then this is Fairbanks, Alaska, northern most metro in America. Last week I passed around the first effort with this project – and now here’s the second. Boy, it was fun painting the nature from this far north. Wish I could have gone up for a field trip, but it’s not quite looking like this yet. Thanks to everyone on this project for giving me such free-reign to have some fun.

Thanks for reading this week.
Larry Eifert

Click here to go to the online blog this was to.

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

Click here to check out what Nancy’s currently working on with her photography. She has some new and wonderful galleries in her album sections.