Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland!

 

Snowfall at the Siegrist’s in the Smokies!

By Rachelle Siegrist

snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist1A magical thing happened at our home nestled here in the Smokies . . . snow fell!  It started falling last Friday, so Wes and I ventured out for a walk, the big fluffy flakes falling all around and landing on us. It was a wet snow, so it stuck to the trees like glue, outlining each and every limb, twig and remaining leaf with snow!  It was a beautiful sight and the world became a quiet and peaceful one!snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist 8Being the first snow of the season, and a gorgeous one at that, I couldn’t resist taking photos, documenting our white world in pictures.  The ground was warm enough that the snow melted in many areas, creating less than ideal sledding conditions.  But not to worry,  I was more than happy to walk around just admiring my new marshmallow world!snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist 7Surprisingly during the night, even more snow fell and we awoke to a stunning winter wonderland the next morning!snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist 6To top it off, the clouds parted, revealing crystal clear blue skies above, allowing the sun to shine down, thus illuminating our white world and creating a surreal winter setting!   snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist3I walked around our gardens babbling to myself about how amazing and unbelievably beautiful it all was!  Once again, God the master artist, had created yet another stunning masterpiece, and I was completely awestruck!snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist5So sit back in the warmth of your home and enjoy this amazing walk amongst our winter wonderlands through these photos which say more than words ever could . . . .snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist4

snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist2

snow in the smokies wes and rachelle siegrist

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While I love seeing, sledding and playing in the snow, I also love being warm.  So I’ve been enjoying watching . . . and I mean really watching, as it’s in Portuguese so I have to quickly read the subtitles . . . a documentary on Bossa Nova Jazz, and how it all started in the mid-50s.  Of course the birth of this amazing style of music happened in warm, sunny Rio De Janeiro, so the scenery alone makes one feel at least a wee bit warmer!

Having loved Bossa Nova since the first time my Dad played one of his LPs for me as a little girl, I am intrigued by how it came to be. One of my many favorites is “The Girl from Ipanema” . . . of course the first word describing her is “tall” so perhaps that’s part of the reason.  Nonetheless, watching the musician sitting outside amongst his tropical paradise while singing it, softly strumming the beautiful harmonious chords on his guitar, I could almost feel a warm sea breeze gently blowing my hair and hear the sounds of crashing surf in the distance, and I certainly felt warmer!

Today our winter wonderland is mostly gone, all that remains is a little snow in shady areas. The sun is shining and the skies are blue, much the same as in the Bossa Nova documentary in Rio De Janeiro,  but alas there’s still a big discrepancy . . . . the temperatures!


~ Fresh off the Easels ~

This week brought more easel time and Wes and I finished painting our latest Tandem Treasure, featuring a gorgeous rooster we photographed while visiting the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm museum with my parents this past fall. We only do a few of these special miniature tandem gems each year.  We’re busy now painting for upcoming shows and doing commissions.

With hands for scale ~ Wes paints on Mr. Red 

Rooster painting by Rachelle and Wes Siegrist, Mr. Red From Rhode Island
Our Tandem Treasure “Mr. Red From Rhode Island”  

yellow lab painting, yellow Labrador Retriever painting, dog commission by rachelle siegrist

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

 

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Back At Our Easels & Having Fun!

Happenings in the Siegrist Studio!

by Rachelle Siegrist

charlie brown christmas tree

Wow . . . I can’t believe yet another week has passed and it’s already December 3rd!  Nonetheless, I have my Christmas tree up and am ready, knowing all too soon it will be over, leaving us wondering where did the time go.  We’ve happily reunited with our easels this past week, and I must admit the old familiar scent of the watercolors upon first lifting my palette lid, is a delightful and rejuvenating one indeed!

david turner sculpture david petlawany sculpture
Our David Petlowany and David Turner sculptures even get in the Christmas Spirit!

My squirrel friends are back and enjoying their peanut treats throughout the day, many thanks to our dear friend Don, who got an ample supply for us!  I tell them they look like furry butterballs.  Of course they just look at me, as if to say . . . Whatever lady . . . Just dole out some more food will you!  One squirrel named Friendly, follows me along the deck like a wee puppy and sits at her makeshift table, patiently waiting for me to load it!  Another recent amazing critter encounter, was when our resident Screech Owl named Shivers, decided to spend the afternoon perched in a vine a few feet outside our kitchen window!  I couldn’t resist going to check on him often, and was delighted to be able to watch him slowly preen and occasionally open his sleepy eyes and look around.

screech owl red

We decided to take the kayaks to the lake for awhile one day this past week, and our neighbor Mike joined us for the adventure.  As always it was beautiful, gliding across the frigid surface of the amazingly clear water, while the sun shone down, with clear blue skies above!

rachelle siegrist kayaking

No matter how many times I go kayaking, excitement mounts each time, as if it were my first time on the water in a long while!  It seems I never tire of happily sitting in my little pink boat while paddling along, as if I hadn’t a care in the world for a short while!  We enjoyed a peanut butter sandwich, while sitting on a rocky bank, and were excited to find a new beautiful area to explore!  The best part was the priceless peace and quiet and feeling like we were miles away from the hustle and bustle!

kayaking with rachelle siegrist

kayaking


~ Fresh off the Easels ~

This week brings more easel time and Wes and I are currently painting on our latest Tandem Treasure, featuring a gorgeous rooster we photographed while visiting the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm museum with my parents this past fall. We only do a few of these special miniature tandem gems each year, and Ill be sharing the finished painting next week.

Rooster painting in progress by Rachelle Siegrist2
Our latest Tandem Treasure painting in progress

 


yellow lab painting, yellow Labrador Retriever painting, dog commission by rachelle siegrist

~ To Commission A Painting by Us Click Here!

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

Adventures With Wes’ Parents!

Adventures from Art Museums to Lake Side Picnics!

by Rachelle Siegrist

wes siegrist hiking
George, Wes and Jeanie beside towering Hemlocks

We’ve enjoyed a fun week during Wes’ parents’ visit, filled with adventures and a few surprises!  We returned once again to the Elkmont region located inside Smoky Mountain National Park, to explore the latest progress on the restoration of the historic cabins.  A few changes had been made since we were there last with my parents, and I was delighted to discover a large old wooden water tower for the first time!  I shared my discovery with the others and convinced them to go check it out with me.

Wes and George with the tanks ~ Me in high places ~ A peek inside the wooden tank

There was also what appeared to be an old pump house of sorts, as well as a large metal water tank, all which we had to explore a bit further!  It was a beautiful day as we moseyed along the trails, taking in the remaining colors of fall oranges adorning the oaks.  Wednesday we headed to the Knoxville Museum of Art, where we enjoyed seeing several new exhibits.  One of my favorite pieces was “After Mona Lisa” by artist Devorah Sperber, comprising of 1,482 spools of thread, suspended by stainless-steel ball chains, and when you look into the small, clear acrylic sphere atop a metal stand, you see a miniature version of the Mona Lisa!  Being a fan of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, I absolutely loved it, and thought it a delightfully creative piece!

After Mona Lisa

Now take a closer look at the miniature Mona Lisa!

Mona LisaDevorah Sperber “After Mona Lisa”

Another truly impressive piece, was a painted silicon sculpture of a man’s back, neck and head, which looked so amazingly real that it was almost scary, especially since it was 3 to 4 times larger than life, with each and every little hair, pore and age mark precisely placed!  Of course a must see for us when visiting the KMA, is the Miniature Thorne Rooms!  Nine little rooms line the walls, each with painstaking detail in rugs, furniture, wall murals etc. creating a collection of intriguing, miniature worlds for the viewer!

A few of the Thorne miniature rooms, that Jeanie and I so enjoyed peering into!

Thanksgiving brought more flawless weather, so we decided to spend it in Cades Cove, and enjoyed playing Mexican Train dominoes with friends Tom and Sharon that evening.  Then instead of joining the throngs at malls on black Friday, we opted to spend it outdoors, with a picnic by a lake, followed with a leisurely walk, stopping occasionally to watch a flock of Coots nearby.  They too were enjoying the beautiful weather, and took turns diving below the water, immediately bobbing back to the surface, where they arranged feathers and preened.

rachelle siegrist picnic
Jeanie, George and me

We spotted a couple of small openings in a large rock wall, and enjoyed imagining what critters may take up residence in them.  Clear blue skies and a gentle breeze accompanied us as we relaxingly walked along in our peacefully hushed world.

rachelle siegrist

Having been informed of an old church and cemetery nearby,  upon returning from our walk we decided to try and find it.  We eventually met with success after a couple of wrong turns, and found a lovely church and cemetery atop a hill.  With quite a bit of fall color remaining, it was a beautiful and peaceful setting indeed!

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Wes, Jeanie and George by the old church

Last evening we met up with friends Fred and Barb and family at our local Pizza Hut, before enjoying a game of Mexican Train dominoes at our house afterwards.  We said our goodbyes this morning, as Wes’ parents left for their home in Indiana, and now it’s back to work for us.


yellow lab painting, yellow Labrador Retriever painting, dog commission by rachelle siegrist

~ To Commission A Painting by Us Click Here!

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle