Hiking Rich Mountain and New Miniatures!

Hiking The Rich Mountain Trail!

by Rachelle Siegrist

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Sometimes life just gets too stressful and noisy, and with the over zealous power company tree “trimmers” in our neighborhood this past week, it has been way too noisy and stressful! It’s at times like that in which I need to spend a few hours in the woods.  So this past Tuesday, Wes and I headed to the nearby Smokies to hike the Rich Mountain Trail.

As we started out my shoulders felt heavy and weighed down, but as soon as my feet met the soft dirt path, I felt the cares and worries slipping away with each and every step, and soon a spring had returned to my step!  The longer I hiked, the more carefree I felt! After walking some distance we found the perfect spot for lunch, in the sun no less, making it even better!

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With most of the trees barren, we enjoyed a lovely view as we sat there savoring the welcomed peace and quiet. The only sounds were that of the wind blowing through the trees, and the occasional birdsong or “Rap…tap…tap” of a woodpecker pounding on a tree nearby . . . and it was priceless indeed!!!  Both the delightful sounds of birds and of the wind blowing through the pines continued to serenade us as we hiked along, gently tossing my hair each time it passed.  Piles of green moss lined the path, thick and lush from recent rains and snow, and it beckoned to be gently patted, a plea I simply could not resist!

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With blue skies above, sunlight streamed through the barren forest forming shadows like lines painted across the forest floor, and warming us up nicely as we went along!

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Several interesting fungi formations grabbed our attention, with a couple of them appearing most interesting.

Several dead tree snags were scattered throughout the woods, some providing great homes for woodpeckers and such.  This tree in particular must have been most appealing, as it looked like they were building a set of condos in it, with one of them being quite spacious!

Soon we reached the sign marking the junction of several trails and the end of the section we were hiking.  So we started making our way back, happy that what was a constant uphill climb was now going to be all downhill from there!  We went along savoring the silence and feeling most blessed to have had the trail completely all to our own!

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 ~ Currently On the Easel ~

I finished my painting of a beautiful Chocolate Lab for the upcoming SEWE show in Charleston, SC, and am putting the finishing touches on a late afternoon pastoral scene with a cow, for another upcoming show.

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“A Chocolate Lover’s Dream” by Rachelle

Wes finished his painting of a Mourning Dove in one of their favorite spots in our yard, a bed of pine straw underneath the blueberry bushes.

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“Under the Azalea” by Wes

He also finished a painting of three beautiful wolves we enjoyed watching interact with one another!  All three paintings will debut at the upcoming Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, held in Charleston, SC.  Dates for the show are February 12th-14th. We look forward to seeing you there!

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“The Corporate Ladder” by Wes

If any collectors are planning to attend the upcoming NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show and Sale in Tulsa, OK, next month and would like an invitation, we have a few available. So please get in touch, and we’ll mail you one.

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

 

50 Years and a Dog Painting Step by Step

Happy 50th Birthday Wes!

by Rachelle Siegrist

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Wes with two 50th Birthday Cakes!

Well, Wes celebrated a milestone this past week . . . he turned 50!  Yep, that’s right . . . neither one of us can believe it, but alas it has happened.  Although we celebrated it with my family last week in FL, we celebrated it again on his birthday this past Friday with friends, Fred, Barb and Kit.  After a yummy supper at Pizza Hut, we all convened here afterwards for birthday cake and a game of Mexican Train dominoes.  We certainly didn’t go hungry either, as Fred and Barb brought a chocolate cake too, so Wes had two cakes this year!

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My homemade lemon pound cake complete with the appropriate decorations

Besides celebrating Wes’ birthday, we’ve spent most of our time in the studio this past week painting and framing, while getting ready for the upcoming Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC.  Thankfully our winter weather here in the Smokies has been merciful to us since returning home from south FL, but I must admit the couple of gloomy days, with rain and clouded gray skies left me pining for the sun-drenched sands of Honeymoon Island!


 ~ Currently On the Easel ~

I’m currently painting a beautiful Chocolate Lab for the upcoming SEWE show in Charleston, SC, as well as a late evening pastoral scene with a cow, for another upcoming show. I also finished my latest dog portrait commission this past week, of a gorgeous Spinone Italiano named Splash, and am happy to say the collector is delighted!  I thought it would be fun to share some of the steps in painting this handsome boy with you!

~ A Spinone Italiano Dog Painting Step by Step ~

After drawing it, I painted the eye in first this time.  This breed has magnificent eyes, much like our own human eyes, thus it was the most important part of the painting to the collector, so I wanted to get it right from the get go!  Upon applying a few washes I started laying down color and began loosely painting details.

Countless hours and hundreds upon hundreds of brushstrokes later, the details have all been put in and voilà . . . the painting is completed!

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“Splash” by Rachelle

Wes recently finished a magnificent Florida sunset located at one of our favorite places to walk near my parents home in Okeechobee. This new paintings and a bunch of others  we’ll be taking to the upcoming SEWE show in Charleston as well.

 

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“Sunset in the Swamp” by Wes

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle