Posted by: Rachelle Siegrist | February 17, 2015

The BIG SEWE Weekend!

Attending the Big SEWE Weekend!

By Rachelle Siegrist

maloney point overlook in the great smoky mountains national parkMaloney Point overlook

It was a gorgeous day, when we left our home here in the Smokies last Wednesday, and headed to Charleston, SC to participate in the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. Our winding drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was delightful and we decided to take full advantage of the amazingly beautiful weather and sunshine, with a picnic atop the Foothills Parkway. We enjoyed our sandwiches, while parked at an overlook offering a grand view and lots of warmth from the sun to boot!

wes and rachelle siegrist picnic on the foothills parkwayPicnicking on the Foothills Parkway

We arrived in North Charleston that evening and I was thrilled to find that we had a lovely view of a Cypress Hammock complete with swamp below, from our hotel room! As the sun set, Spanish Moss laden Cypress Trees were outlined against an evening sky painted in shades of pink and yellow, creating a most stunning view indeed!

charleston sunset

Early Thursday morning, we made our way to the Charleston Place Hotel, where the art would be displayed in the grand ballroom. By early noon, our miniatures were hung and arranged, and after a quick bite to eat, we were ready for the show to start. Later that afternoon we walked down to Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, located in downtown Charleston, where we enjoyed a delicious Greek meal! Sitting at a tall table nestled in a large window, passerby’s entertained us as we ate, parading by with their beautiful dogs of all shapes and sizes!

rachelle siegrist at the belmond charleston place hotelStanding on the grand staircase inside the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel

After changing into formal wear, or what we call our “Superman switch”, taking place in the back of the van, we were ready for the big event that evening. We were delighted to see several of our collector friends there, and to sell paintings as well! The air was festive and alive, as the sea of tuxes and evening gowns filled and mingled about the room.

wes and Rachelle siegrist at SEWE gala opening 2015Wes and I with our miniature paintings at the opening

SEWE gala opening 2015Just a fraction of the large crowd at the opening

Friday was another good day at the show, and we enjoyed returning to Taziki’s for dinner, along with artist friends, David and Cathy Lanier. Saturday evening treated us with a delightful dinner with several dear collector friends, at a wonderful restaurant called FIG, located not too far from the Charleston Place Hotel. The camaraderie was wonderful, as we told stories and shared much laughter, all of course while eating delicious food! My dinner featuring slow baked Beeliner Snapper, nestled on cabbage and topped with delicate black trumpet mushrooms, pecans, and fino sherry was absolutely delicious, and the Citrus Soufflé topped with blood orange, crème fraîche, and a generous amount of chopped pistachios, was absolutely scrumptious, with Wes and I deciding it was one of the best desserts we had ever had!

dinner at the FIG in Charleston Valentines DayDr. Bob, Teri, Boon, me with little buddy Sean, Wes and Eugene at FIG

red snapper dinner at FIGMmmmmm . . . my beautiful and delicious Red snapper dish!

Citrus Soufflé at FIG CharlestonEven bigger Mmmmmm . . . our scrumptious Citus Soufflee!

The last day, Sunday, started off with a “trip around the world” while viewing an amazing collection of photos which two of our collector friends have taken during their trips globally, and had on their I-pad . . . a true visual delight indeed! Unfortunately by that evening, Wes was feeling a bit under the weather, so we had to forgo our traditional Sunday evening dinner with friends at T-Bonz. The weather forecast for traveling home Monday looked ominous with a wicked winter storm approaching.  Thankfully Monday morning proved otherwise, so we started the journey home.

golden retriever at SEWEA very happy attendee at the show

With Wes resting in the passenger seat, I drove, for the first time, through falling snow and sleet for a couple of hours.  Not the easiest of tasks by all means, but nonetheless I felt as if I had really accomplished something! Having only slid a couple of times, I decided I had done pretty well indeed! Safely back home, Wes is slowly improving while I’m trying to get caught up on things. Hopefully he’ll be feeling much better soon, and once again back in the grove, we can start getting ready for our next show, NatureWorks,  in Tulsa, OK, in a couple of weeks.  Many thanks again to all of you who happily took our miniature paintings home, making the show a success for us!!

ice in the smokies february 2015Currently from our backyard, which I call “Frozen World!”

icicles in the smokies

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~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~

Wes recently finished a painting of a Mallard duck trying to navigate the swift water in the Ohio River, which is excitedly already sold!

dusk painting by Wes Siegrist

“Navigating Flood Stage” by Wes

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

Posted by: Rachelle Siegrist | February 8, 2015

Getting Ready For SEWE in Charleston

SEWE Here We Come!

By Rachelle Siegrist

lemon cream cakeMmmmmm . . . it was very yummy!

This past week has been a busy one, with us getting ready for SEWE (The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition), which will take place in Charleston, SC this upcoming weekend. We’ve each finished paintings this week, which will be available for sale, along with about 40 other miniature paintings! We’re so looking forward to seeing many of you there!  Even though Wes’ birthday was last week, we officially celebrated it this week with friends, Fred, Barb, Pat and Frank. Needless to say, Wes didn’t mind at all getting another tasty dessert in his honor. This time I made a lemon cream cake, a scrumptious homemade “knock off” of Olive Garden’s Lemon Cream Cake. It turned out quite pretty too, almost an edible piece of art of sorts, and tasted simply divine! It has been added to our list of favorites, and I plan to make it again someday!

rachelle siegrist at townsend wye in winterBefore we know it, we’ll be floating along here once again on tubes!

We took a long walk in the woods this afternoon, after a lunch at our local Pizza Hut. Before we hit the trail however, we walked down to visit the Little River for a few minutes and see what all of the roar was about. The water was up a bit and what is sometimes a blissful ride on the inner tube, was now a madly rushing cascade in spots, that even I wouldn’t dare attempt!

old tree at townsend wyeThis old beauty looks as if it’s seen a lot of high, rushing water over the years

Although it was a bit cool as we started our ascent up Chestnut Tops Trail, after climbing up . . . up . . . up and up some more, we quickly warmed up and started peeling off layers. With soft leaf covered ground below and blue skies above, I was in heaven once again! The trail was lined with luscious, green moss, and several patches were just too irresistible to be overlooked, so of course I had to take time to stop and “pet the moss” numerous times as we walked along.

chestnut tops trail inside treeWe thought the interior of this tree looked as if it had “tree teeth” in it!

chestnut tops trail screaming treeMy imagination says this tree looks like it’s either screaming or trying to hit a really high note!

moss on chestnut tops trailAh . . . the soft glorious moss!

As the sun shone brightly down, it was heavenly to feel its warmth on my face and shoulders, as I listened to the mesmerizing sounds of the wind softly blowing through the pines. As you can well imagine, this delighting of the senses, mixed with the rhythmic steps of my feet plodding along, lulled me into a welcome state of complete relaxation. The cheery songs of Chickadees, Cardinals and Carolina Wrens filled the air as we strolled uphill, tantalizing our ears with the deceiving sounds of spring. All too soon it was time to turn around, and begin our descent back down the mountain, and before we knew it, we were back to the van and had once again returned to reality.

rachelle siegrist ontop chestnut tops trailOne blessed enough to be in the woods . . . is truly blessed enough!

Townsend TN in winterOur little Townsend nestled amongst the mountains

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~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~

Golden Retriever painting miniature by Rachelle Siegrist

“It’s All Golden” by Rachelle

I finished my painting of a beautiful Golden Retriever this past week, while Wes completed his landscape painting featuring a White Egret, from a photo we recently took while visiting my family in Florida. Both paintings will be heading along with us, to Charleston this week!

Florida landscape painting great white egret painting by_Wes_Siegrist

“A Patient Fisherman” by Wes

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

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