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      The Nature Report: Deep Sea Mural

      When artist Larry Haines of Laguna Vista goes to work these days, he often has to scale some 25 feet of scaffolding to get to his painting.

      Larry is normally working at an easel in his gallery at The Shop in Port Isabel, but for this job at the Sea Ranch Restaurant on South Padre Island, scaffolding is required. This is the largest mural I have done, Haines told The Nature Report. I have done some that are small like a third the size, but this is by far the largest. The 25-foot tall mural spans some 40 feet in length, and Haines has been working on the project since early March.

      It has been a challenging task, and not just because of the size, as on this day he is painting around a lobster tank. When I get back to the store in the afternoon, I am dead tired, Haines said. It TMs quite a job. I don TMt feel like painting when I get back to my store. There are currently eight species of marine life depicted in the mural, but he is adding several more colorful reef species.

      The creatures are life size, and the big blue marlin which is the focal point of the creation would probably be a state record thousand pounder if it were alive. It TMs great, Haines said. I really enjoy painting things life size or larger than life size and try and put them in a situation where it looks like you are looking out into the ocean. Haines hope to have the mural completed in a couple of weeks, and it is sure to be a major attraction to diners who stroll into the entryway of the Sea Ranch Restaurant. Hopefully, it will be here forever, Haines said.