Direct from Miocene: the cavity of the Blue Lake Rhino

Here is a little text and an upcoming sketch from my proposal for the Dry Falls visitor center:

This image is a collage of both the digital mock-up and a stripe of the partial opacity pencil sketch I worked from:

As a frequent and dedicated visitor to interpretive displays and natural history museums all over the world, I have noticed that some of the displays at Dry Falls are particularly worn down and dated.  For a site of its grandeur, I feel that some of the magic and wonder of the area could be better interpreted by newer and better illustrations- particularly the Blue Lake Rhino.  Besides the fact that many visitors cannot access the amazing site on Blue Lake, I feel many tourists coming to the interpretive center fail to understand the amazing circumstances that lead to this incredible phenomenon.  Ultimately, the visual narrative of the Blue Lake rhino is a perfect tool to use in understanding the volcanic geology of the region as it relates to the floods.

I propose to create a series of large illustrations depicting the chronological process of the Blue Lake rhino’s unique preservation. With large eye-catching paintings, the rhino’s embalming in lava is a fascinating story that clearly explains how different the world was when rhinos grazed and smothering lava flows swept across the landscape.  An introduction to columnar basalt using the Blue Lake rhino sets the stage for understanding the role erosion played in the cliffs that the viewers see at Dry Falls today.