American Women Artists Exhibition and Museums

“Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”

~ Epicurus

My painting has the best seat in the house!

We left early Friday morning for Atlanta, GA, to attend the opening of the American Women Artists Member Show and Competition at the lovely Huff Harrington Fine Art Gallery. We arrived in time for the awards brunch, and met many new artists that were in attendance for the event. Leaving there, we drove to downtown Atlanta, where we spent the afternoon enjoying the beautiful High Museum of Art. There were endless floors of paintings and sculptures, including a few Moran and Bierdstadt paintings, some of our personal favorites. Unfortunately the “Picasso to Warhol” exhibit didn’t officially open until the next day, but imagine my surprise, when at one point the elevator doors opened, and voila . . . right there in front of us was a wall with a couple of Picasso’s paintings hanging. So I caught a look,  content that I got to see a couple after all, as we walked down the hall leading to another exhibit. About that time, we were joined by one of our dear artist friends, Kathy Ferrell, and spent hours walking through the numerous rooms featuring art from different time periods.

Me in front of the High Museum of Art

We left there and headed for a nice Mexican restaurant that Wes had spotted earlier. We were the first ones there and enjoyed having their lovely patio dining area mostly to ourselves, while we ate our delicious grilled veggie fajitas! It was then time for the opening reception at the gallery that evening. It was well attended and we enjoyed once again meeting several new people that were in attendance. Saturday morning, after our breakfast at the hotel, we headed back downtown, to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It was a gorgeous fall day making the amazing visit to this beautiful place even better! The first thing we did was to walk on the canopy walk, which leads one through the tree tops on the largest canopy level pathway of its kind in the country.

Standing in the tree tops

Upon descending the canopy walk, we enjoyed strolling along the endless pathways, that wind through beautiful and numerous, themed flower gardens. Each one filled with a delicious variety of flowers in assorted colors, shapes and sizes! We walked through the Camellia gardens and the southern season gardens, filled with glorious fall bloomers. We then passed by the cascades gardens, featuring lovely water cascades, all surrounded by more evergreens and flowers. Next, we walked through the formal gardens, featuring a large cascading fountain in the center, which served as the base for a stunning Chihuly piece, which sparkled and glowed with the bright sun shining through it!

Me in the lovely formal gardens with the Chihuly piece

The serene Japanese garden

We left there and walked through the peaceful Japanese garden that quietly leads you to the beginning of the perennial gardens. Quite some time, and several photos later, we found ourselves entering the Fuqua Conservatory. Wow . . . was the first words out of our mouths as we entered this stunning display of orchids! Orchids from all over the world thrive in this beautiful setting. You start in the lower elevations, with humid, warmer climate loving orchids and walk through the amazing paths that lead by waterfalls and streams lined with moss, and every kind of Orchid bloom one ever thought possible, and even more! Many breathtaking sights later, you end up in the middle of the higher elevation thriving orchids, and the sights and blooms continue to amaze and delight with a complete sense of wonder! I wish I could share every stunning bloom that we were able to see, but alas you would be here all day, so I’ve chosen a few highlight blooms, that I thought you would greatly enjoy seeing, so follow me, as I take you along on a photo journey of some of the world’s rarest orchids.

Here’s a couple more photos of the beautiful, lush interior of the conservatory, and one of my favorite blooms, that looked almost as if it were a little quaint critter of sorts, singing, or perhaps making an important announcement!

La . . . La . . . La!

The unbelievably amazing root system of something, that surely must be interesting, growing in the enclosure!  It was truly an awesome sight, while standing directly below the center of it, with the stories tall, thin roots reaching all the way down and surrounding you at the bottom!

We left the conservatory totally and amazed with this stunning collection, of some of the world’s most beautiful orchids, and walked through the lovely and delightfully fragrant rose garden, as we headed over to the edible garden, where we watched a chef prepare a delicious salad using fresh ingredients from the garden. The best part was that we were all given a small sample of this yummy salad to try afterwards. Several hours had passed and the time had come to leave and drive north to the lovely Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA.

An herb wall where, potted herbs were tilted a bit more every so often, until they were finally growing sideways out of the pot, at which point they were inserted into the impressive wall.

A very happy squirrel with his incredible find!

We arrived at the Booth about an hour before the actual private reception and tour was to begin, so we happily spent it absorbing ourselves in the beautiful western-themed paintings and landscapes on display there. At 3pm, the others from the AWA group had arrived and we enjoyed a short time of conversation and eating. Then the director, Seth Hopkins, took us through the museum and gave a delightful tour, which was quite entertaining and funny throughout! The museum is just amazing with a wonderful collection of art housed in a beautiful facility. One of the most impressive paintings on display there, was one featuring many of the past Presidents of the United States, and was quite impressive at its very large size. I highly recommend a visit to the Booth, if you’ve not been. We plan to go back someday soon when we have more time, as there was so much we didn’t get to see. Many thanks again to Seth and the museum for hosting this delightful encounter for us! We said our goodbyes and started the journey home, where we arrived later that night. Now it’s back to work again for a few days before we teach the painting workshop in Indiana this weekend.

Me discussing politics with the group of Presidents.

The AWA group enjoying the very informative tour.

Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week:

~ The Art of Miniature Painting Workshop – 5th Annual Miniature Fine Art Show October 22 – November 19, 2011: Artistic Designs Gallery, Brownsburg, IN. We will be attending the ticketed opening reception on October 21st from 7-9PM. On Saturday, the 22nd, Wes and I will be giving a demonstration/workshop from 10AM until 5PM. (Demo from 10-Noon with full workshop continuing until 5PM). For more information, or to sign up, please contact Laura at the gallery.

The Premiere for Art of the Dive: Portraits of the Deep:
David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Curator/Tour Director
October 21st at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, Dania Beach, FL – Several of the artists in this exhibition will be present for the opening. (We’ll be teaching the workshop in Indiana, so we won’t be able to attend.)

For other shows where you can see our miniature paintings this week, please visit our exhibit schedule on the website.

Fresh off the easels: I finished my miniature painting “Sunlit Siberian” this past week, and had great fun with it, especially with the beautiful warm light backlighting it, making it seem to glow. Wes finished his miniature “Flirting With the Boys” this past week, which was painted from a photo we took during a bike ride around the loop road in Cades Cove this summer.

"Sunlit Siberian" by Rachelle, is 3½ x 3½ inches.
"Flirting With The Boys" by Wes, is 3½ x 5½ inches.

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Until next time ~ Rachelle

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