New Baby and Miniature Paintings!

New Baby  . . . Miniature Paintings and More RiverFun !

by Rachelle Siegrist

Baby portrait.jpg
Our Precious Raelynn

We recently welcomed a precious new addition to my family!  My sister Hayley had a beautiful little girl they named Raelynn, and I already can’t wait to meet her!!!  My Mom has spent the past week with Hayley, as she’s recovering from a C-section, while also helping her to care for the baby.  I’m so enjoying the photos of her I’ve been getting, and especially love the one above.

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Wes and Chance collecting leaves

While we’ve spent much of our time in the studio at our easels, Wes has been doing a few more jobs around the house, and we also enjoyed time spent at the river this past week, taking advantage of the lingering warm weather and abundant sunshine!  I spent one afternoon in particular at the river with friends Sharon and Tom, and it was one of those picture perfect days!  A brilliant blue sky above and an abundance of sunshine made us melt from relaxation as we lounged on our tubes and on our favorite big rock in the middle of the water.  A gentle breeze filled the air with leaves dancing and swirling their way to the water’s surface below. We floated slowly down the river,  belly down on our tubes gazing into the crystal clear water below, watching the occasional fish swim underneath.  Alas we quickly determined we could happily do this forever!

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Chance sharing his thoughts on the upcoming presidential race

Friday evening we enjoyed more river time with our little buddy Chance.  He rode the rapids in his “oval boat” while Sharon and I rode our tubes.  We had a picnic on the stone covered beach, finishing it off with double stuffed Oreos, a perfect late summer picnic dessert!  I recalled to mind the words of wisdom I recently read in a short story in one of my magazines, written by an admiring grandchild about her grandmother.  She was told by her . . . “We must have high-flying fun like a child, no matter how old we are” and “Always remember, life is sweet, even when it isn’t.  The simplest things in life are the grandest.”  I thought as I read, how these wise words are lived out at the river!

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The little rock climber

Excitedly we have two upcoming shows featuring several of our miniature paintings that will also be available for sale.  The Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibition, located in Hendersonville, KY, and the 33rd Annual Miniature Art Exhibition, held at the Fells Point Gallery in Baltimore, MD.

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Rachelle Siegrist's paintings in the 33rd Fells Point Miniature Show.jpg


 


~ Currently on  the Easels ~

I finished another dog painting this past week of a beautiful Spaniel which I photographed while in Charleston. SC, while exhibiting at SEWE last year.  It’s painted on silk, and was such a joy to do!

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My latest dog painting “Admiration”

Wes finished his miniature painting of a swan this past week, which we photographed while visiting a plantation in southern Georgia with another artist friend this past year.  The lighting was just perfect and we knew it was a painting as soon as we took the photo!

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Bathed in Light” by Wes

 


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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

Paintings . . . Hellbenders . . . Good Eats and Great Laughs !

Paintings . . . Hellbenders . . . Good Eats and Great Laughs !

by Rachelle Siegrist

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Fall is just around the corner, and I can’t believe the summer is almost over!  It seems to have flown by this year, perhaps because of the many hours spent relaxing in the river. Nonetheless, the falling leaves are a telltale sign that cooler days are coming.  While most of my time was spent spent at the easel this past week, Wes has been working on several projects around the house and yard.  Thankfully I’ve been able to slip down to the river a few times throughout the week with friends, and although time spent in the river is always delightful, sometimes things happen making it better, and such was the case one afternoon this past week!  I have been enamored with Hellbenders since seeing their photo in a little book featuring photos of fish and amphibians I had while growing up.  I have always wanted to see one in person, so imagine my sheer delight when that dream came true this past week!

Hellbender salamander in the smokies
The amazing Hellbender!

While lazily sitting on a rock in the middle of the river, I noticed a smaller “rock” that I didn’t recall seeing seconds before, and suddenly realized alas . . . it was a Hellbender!  I squealed to friends Sharon and Tom . . . “There it is!!!” as chill bumps covered my legs from the intense excitement of finally seeing one in real life! Not only did we see one, but alas three of these amazing giant salamanders, most likely named Hellbender for their odd appearance! Generally solitary, Hellbenders are thought to gather only during the mating season which begins in late August or early to mid-September, so it was a real treat to see three in the same area!  We were obviously in the right place at the right time, and felt so blessed to be able to watch these awesome critters for awhile!   My Mom’s sage advice “Look with your eyes and not your hands!” was instantly out the window as I slowly and ever so gently touched their tale and back foot, and it was amazingly silky smooth!  Sadly, man has caused detrimental effects that have irreversibly damaged hellbender populations, thus it is imperative to do our part to help conserve remaining populations through protecting habitats, such as not moving rocks around and building make shift dams in rivers and streams.  A practice much too common in our area here in the smokies!

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” Here I come!” . . . says Chance

Friday evening we all went back to the river at the Wye for awhile and I so enjoyed watching our friends grandson Chance riding in what he calls “Oval Boat” down the smaller rapids.  He was all smiles as he went down rapids, at times even backwards!  He’s certainly a baby river rat and fits in perfectly with us larger river rats!  Just before leaving that evening a gentle rain started to fall, mesmerizing us as the drops danced on the water’s surface, as yellow leaves slowly drifted down from the surrounding trees, and a breeze filled the air.  It created one of those magical settings that you could enjoy forever!

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Wes, Tom, Sharon, Norma, Dick, Elise and Kit . . . devouring Sharon’s dessert!

Several wonderful friends joined us for a dinner party last evening, and after a delicious dinner consisting of Elise’s delectable salad, my baked Ziti, Norma’s garlic bread and Sharon’s delicious cherry dessert, we played a dice game called “You Blew It”. Sharon was the big winner of the night, while a couple others were just happy to finally be able to roll enough points to get on the board!  The evening was filled with lively conversation and such bursts of laughter, it made our tummies sore at times!


~ Currently on  the Easels ~

I finished my painting of my brother Marshall’s adorable Dachshund Roxie, this past week.  As soon as he sent me the photo of her posing like this recently, I fell in love with it and knew I had to paint it, while immediately thinking of the title “The Seal Impersonator”!

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My latest dog painting “The Seal Impersonator” 

 

Wes finished his miniature landscape painting of a gorgeous scene from inside nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It was a beautiful wintry day when we photographed this magical setting, and with the recent heat and severely dry weather, I think it actually made Wes feel better while painting this cold scene!

lanscape painting, smoky mountain national park painting minitaure landscape painting
“A Shaded Tree in Winter” by Wes

 

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle