Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Food Web Exhibit

This food web panel measures 46" X 46" at the New England Aquarium. The goal is to introduce visitors to the key species - Herring and Sand Lance - that support the entire system: a myriad of species, including whales, birds, and numerous fish species including many we eat. Additional text will be added at the Aquarium to further the concept.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Long Island NWR Visitor Center Mural, 62 feet L



This mural was created for the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (Wertheim Center, Shirley, NY). It is about 63 feet in length, and is 10 feet high. The end portions are customized to roll around a curved wall and will have exhibits associated with them (thus the "weird" shapes on the ends).

The approach on this mural was very different from the last large mural I did with Lyons-Zaremba, Inc., and see below at the Apalachicola NERR mural). We went for a loose, painterly style that would be more reminiscent of a plein-aire painting than of a science museum image. Since I do nearly all my work digitally these days, this was more of a challenge than I had anticipated!
If you go to my website, I will post some of the detail so that you can see just how loose it is.

Ocean, Beach, Dunes, Salt Marsh



The area just below some of the dunes will house a large Plover exhibit. Interactive boxes will teach visitors about water quality and salt marsh restoration.
This image is a portion of the whole; it is missing some square footage above and below. Actual size will be about 16 feet in length, for this portion.

Salt Marsh, Mudflats, Maritime Forest, Phragmites Stand, Freshwater Marsh



This image is the central portion of this section of the mural, which in reality is about 16 feet wide (ten feet high). There is a Greater Yellowlegs depicted near the bottom which is cut off in this view. You can however see the Blue Heron in the mid-distance. To the middle-right is a large Phragmites (Common Reed) stand, which is an invasive species; interactive boxes within the mural itself allow visitors to discover ways in which the Refuge is dealing with this and other issues.

Freshwater Marsh, River, Stream and Grasslands



This section, like the last, measures about 16 feet wide and ten feet high (not all the sky or bottom/stream area is shown).

Shrubs, Pine Barrens, MIxed Forest, Rocky Coast




The farthest-right panel includes grassland, Mixed hardwood and pine forest, and a rocky beach.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

ANERR Mural Update - we went to visit!



Seeing the mural in person was exciting, or shall I say: terrifying. I am standing next to it for scale. My good friend Kristen from grad school, an accomplished medical illustrator, traveled with me from Ocala (FL) to Apalachicola on my way north for the summer.
If you have not scrolled down to see this mural (e.g., the actual posting of the mural), please do! Critters and detail are all below.... keep scrolling....!

At this point the exhibits were still under construction, but you get a sense of the size.
This mural is below; scroll down a-ways and you can check out the mural in more detail.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Penguins of The World!!




This is an exhibit at the Toronto Zoo as well as at the New England Aquarium, though I have altered it for my own portfolio.
In the exhibits, the penguins here are actual size, meaning: the Emporer is 4 feet tall!

It is also being used in another format for a veterinary medicine textbook. Some of the penguins had to be incresed or decreased in size, according to the newest data worldwide.

Monday, February 7, 2011

African Penguin Threat Display



One of five penguin behavior illustrations for the new exhibit at Toronto Zoo.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life Cycle of Atlantic Salmon, for New England Aquarium


With the Long Island mural on hold, I have been working with New England Aquarium on some exhibit revisions. These Atlantic Salmon images will not be arranged as I have them here, but I thought I'd play with some type and design. The fish need to be side views; otherwise I'd give them more "life" by showing more varied angles.
These will end up in a large format exhibit, superimposed on a large photo with type, explaining the vast reduction in numbers as the salmon reach maturity.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Whales of New England, 17.5' X 35'

This mural was originally done before I switched to digital imagery. It was hand painted in acrylic at a size of 3.5' X 7'. I reworked it digitally by basically repainting it at a much larger scale in Photoshop. It is now available for reuse or as a wall mural at lengths of up to 35'. It depicts some of the cetaceans found in New England waters. The original acrylic hangs in my veterinarian's office behind the reception desk. Thanks John Kelley! Species depicted: Humpback whales, Bottlenose dolphins, Finback whales, Minke whale, North Atlantic Rght whale, Harbor porpoises, Pilot whales, Blue whale, Melon-headed whale, Atlantic White-sided dolphins, Sperm whale.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, Daytime View, 7' X 10'




This mural is the day version, seen outside the "Night Alcove" (below). It is displayed more for esthetic than educational purposes; the "main event" is really the night version.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Night Mural



This mural is 10 feet wide and 7 feet tall, and was created digitally, for the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (ARNWR, Sudbury, MA). The mural is scheduled to be implemented in July, 2010, with the Center's Grand Opening October 17, 2010.

This mural may look strangely dark, but there is a purpose: as visitors come into the Night Alcove, an audio recording is playing of night sounds in ARNWR. As the audio rolls through different sounds and describes the area and its inhabitants, spotlights will highlight the different animals which are otherwise hidden within the mural. The room is dark and there is a blue light on the mural, helping to simulate a night time scene.

Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Night Mural, with spots



Here is an idea of what the spots look like, though you'll never see them on all at once.

Coyote Mom and Pups, with Eyeshine



As visitors come in they will hear audio of coyotes howling in the distance. The recording points this out and then the spot will shine on the coyote mom. You see her eyes shine (actually the tapetum, a part of the retina), as well as a glimpse of her pups.

Barred Owl and Eyeshine



Barred Owls are quite common here and yet like most owls, nearly impossible to see. More likely is to hear their call, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" They will call in the daytime as well as at night, and you might see one hunting before dark.

Bobcat with Eyeshine



I went to see progress this past weekend (I am adding this comment after having posted long ago), and we currently have a debate going on what color Bobcat eyeshine really is. Red or green/yellow? ...Will have to research that.

Screech Owl

Deer in the Distance



I didn't include this spot in the large version above because It will be just a quick "glance" across the river - the deer are mentioned in the audio, but not focused on.

Wood Frogs, ARNWR



Fairly close-up, the Wood Frogs. Cute lil' guys, that make a "quack" sound somewhat like a duck.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

APALACHICOLA NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE Visitor Center Mural




Awarded BEST IN SHOW with the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, 2010
Awarded BEST IN SHOW/Ralph Sweet Award with the Association of Medical Illustrators, 2010

Seventy-five feet long and seven feet high; four habitats and 185 species.

Each of the two images above represents 38 feet of the mural.

This digital mural will be installed at the new Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Visitor Center (Apalachicola, FL) in summer 2010. The two BOXES are representative of where live exhibit tanks will go, featuring some of the animals that visitors will see right next to the tanks, in the mural.

The piece is pretty huge, so please browse through the detailed sections below.
Keep scrolling for more detailed images, or go to my website.

Giant Gag Grouper and Short Bigeye

Speckled Hind and Pompano

Bottlenose Dolphins Above, Invertebrates Below




Lightning Whelk, Phyllodocid Worm, Horseshoe Crab, White Shrimp (barely visible), Surf Clam, Sand Dollar.

Diving Pelican




I like this image so I have included two.
The fish here are Gulf Menhaden and Striped Mullet, two favorite food species of Pelicans and other fish.

ANERR Mural, Barrier Beach Section: Willets and Sea Turtle




We found a Sea Turtle shell on the beach. I took a photo of it. I used that shell, even though it was old, discolored, and decaying, as the shell here. Minor Photoshop adjustments, paint the head and limbs, and voila!
Can't do that very often.

Barrier Island Gulf Side



This is the sandy slope from the Gulf of Mexico and inward to the island. Full of Sea Oats and other grasses, the dunes are a very pleasing sight.
For this section the mural felt very constrained, since we had only the space we had, and the actual slope is very long and gradual. I had to force it in order to make it fit.

Here is an American Oystercatcher searching for food (a Mole Crab), as well as Ghost Crabs, Royal Terns, lots of Railroad Vine, Sea Purslane, Sea Rocket and Beach Morning Glory.

Which reminds me... when I was here it was just the most beautiful day and all the flowers were out. The Morning Glories seemed so aptly named.

Barrier Island Community



Countless species live on the barrier islands, in a fairly unique and complicated habitat.

Some of the many plant species I illustrated for this section include Slash Pine, Saw Palmetto, Gallberry, Yaupon Holly, Green Briar Vines, Dwarf Huckleberry, Prickly Pear Cactus, Wax Myrtle, Sweet Bay, Sand Live Oak, Myrtle Oak, Florida Rosemary, Woody Goldenrod, Blazing Star, Conradina Mint, and Saw Palmetto (not all are in this image).

Animals illustrated here include a Ground Dove, Six-Lined Racerunner, Monarch Butterfly, sea turtle eggs, and a Sigmod Cotton Rat.

Barrier Island Community



This image is typical Oak/Rosemary scrub habitat.

Animals illustrated here include: Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Gulf Coast Box Turtle, Gray Catbird, Chuck Will’s Widow, Rufous-sided Towhee, Gulf Fritillary butterfly, American Toad, and Gopher Tortoise.

Bald Eagle in Slash Pine; Barrier Island, Bay Side




The circle is an Interactive part of this exhibit; what you see is the "reveal"... a close-up view of a Fiddler Crab and Periwinkle Snail. On top of this will be the "normal" view . Visitors can lift the outside panel to see the close-up view underneath.

Island Side of Apalachicola Bay



Like the inland side, the shallows hold great entertainment potential if you take the time to look and watch. Countless fish and invertebrates can be found.

Middle of Apalachicola Bay



Atlantic Stingray, Bonnethead Shark, Gulf Menhaden, Sea Grass, Canonball Jelly

Feather Blenny and Brittle Star



The shallows of the Apalachicola Bay are teeming with little critters which you may not notice at first glance. We were stuck on the island by the low tide during one of my trips and the most fun during those hot sunny hours was sitting on the jetty and watching all the fish and invertebrates doing their thing. The Feathered Blenny is easily missed on the actual mural, thus I posted this very-up-close view. Let's face it- Blennies are very funny, very perky guys to see!

Clapper Rail and Oysters, Mainland side of Apalachicola bay


River Otter

Alligator Snapping Turtle and Spotted Sunfish

River Habitat, watercolor background; starting point



This is what the River section background looked like before reworking it.
In fact it what you see here actually HAS been altered: I erased the sky I had painted and added a digital sky, as you can probably tell.
You can see some of the watercolor form in the background of the river section, but it is quite obscured by what was added over it later. This sort of watercolor was done loosely on board at about 30 inches wide. It then gets enlarged to cover an area of about 17 feet in the mural.

You can see even in the post below that I changed a lot of the tree trunks. I found that they vary quite a bit in real life and many species are difficult to tell apart. For the mural however I tried to be consistent in order for species to be recognizable.

Suwanee Cooters, ANERR Mural, River Habitat

ANERR Mural, River Section (middle)



Included here are a White-Tailed Deer, Black-Crowned Night Heron, Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Spider Lillies, Red-Belly Watersnake, Barbour's Map Tyrtle, Ogeechee Tupelo, Bald Cypress. Palmetto, etc.

Much of this was created in watercolor, scanned and reworked digitally.
The alligator was a composite of two of my photographs with digital adjustments - one photo was sharp and clear, and the other was not. I combined them at the neck, and thus the strategic placement of grasses about the armpit region! They blend o-kayyy in the end, but the grass sure helps disguise the seam.

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Far Right, River section, ANERR mural



Red-Bellied Turtle, Prothonotary Warbler, Raccoon, Poison Ivy, Blue Flag Iris, Tupelo, Cypress Knees, Gray Squirrel, etc.
The strange circle you see is part of another interactive. What you see is the "reveal"... the inside-view of a Crayfish chimney, with the Crayfish inside. On top of this will be the outside-view of the chimney. Visitors can lift the outside panel to see what is underneath.
This is about a six-foot section of mural.

Pacific Northwest Kelp Forest Ecosystem



Ecosystem and food web of the kelp forest.
From microscopic plankton to huge Humpback Whales, this food web also incorporates Cod, Haddock, Snapper, Anchovies, Sea Lions, Killer Whales, Sea Urchins, anemones, Sea Otters and of course, Giant Kelp.

Continental Rift; Geology Exhibit, NC State Museum of Natural Sciences



One piece of many from a large geology exhibit. The original is watercolor and gouache on board and was created at about 30" width, to be reproduced larger.
For more geology or earth science images, please see my website under "Earth Science", www.barbaraharmon.com, or, contact me: barb@barbaraharmon.com