Bristlecone Pines at Gallery Nine

For the month of February, Gallery Nine, 1012 Water Street in Port Townsend presents three large-scale murals by Larry Eifert, commissioned paintings for Inyo National Forest. “I recently finished these three large canvases, a total of 70 sq feet of paintings of for one of my favorite places, the bristlecone pines of California’s White Mountains. Few people on the Peninsula ever see the larger paintings that I do for parks elsewhere in the country, so instead of immediately shipping these out, I thought we might hold them back for a month for show in Gallery Nine.”

 “I was especially excited to paint bristlecone pines, the oldest trees on Earth, and jumped at a chance for this commission. These three paintings are destined for the new visitor center at the Schulman Grove near Bishop, California, and at 10,000 feet, it’s one of the highest park visitor centers in the country. Surrounded by trees almost 5,000 years old, it’s a rarified place of stark beauty and thin air that will soon also have a permanent art installation. It fits the almost spiritual sense of this place.” 

The three paintings represent a visual journey of the climb from the Owens Valley and town of Bishop up into the White Mountains. It passes from pinyon pines and junipers up through the bristlecone forests, finally culminating at the summit of White MountainPeak, elevation 14,252 feet and just 159 feet lower than Mount Rainier. From lowland cactus to alpine belly flowers, Clark’s nutcrackers to bighorn sheep, it’s all here in Eifert’s colorful and impressionistic style. Having painted thousands (yes, it’s true) of images for parks, refuges and private collectors, Larry Eifert has been selling his art now for 45 years and believes he has more art in National Parks than anyone else. Locally, Olympic National Park has many of his paintings, 24 of them in wayside exhibits on the Sol Duc road, and two large images that depict the Elwha River after its restoration.

 Join the artist for conversation about his work during February’s Gallery Walk, 5:30 to 8 pm, Saturday, February 4.

For more information on Gallery Nine, a cooperative gallery in Port Townsend, Washington, featuring Larry Eifert for the month of February, 2011.

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