The 41st Annual Waterfowl Festival

“Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.”

~George Eliot

Wes and I in front of our display at the show

We left early last Thursday for Easton, MD, to participate in the 41st Annual Waterfowl Festival. It was a beautiful drive up through the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia, with quite a bit of fall color remaining. We arrived safe and sound after a full day of driving to the Ruffled Duck Inn in Oxford later that evening, and were quite happy to see Joyce and Dennis’ smiling faces greeting us. After a good nights rest, and the first of many delicious breakfasts, we headed to the downtown area to set up for the show. The opening that evening was well attended and we were quite happy to see quite a few of our dear collector friends again and to sell quite a few paintings.

Artist friend, Julie Bender, and I obviously got the fashion memo!

As we went through the next three days, we answered hundreds of questions about our miniatures and it seemed that Wes was always cleaning the magnifying glasses! Friday evening we enjoyed spending time with our dear collector friend, Mike, as we sat around the table eating dinner and talking art, with him and Mark and Linda Kelso. The following evening found us, along with the other attending artists, enjoying a lovely party with delicious food for the artists. We sat at a table circled with several new acquaintances made just that evening, and so we enjoyed lots of interesting stories and much laughter. Sunday morning started off with another delicious and beautiful breakfast at the Ruffled Duck Inn, with another treat to come when we got to the show. Artist friend Lynn St. Clair graciously shared with me her find of the morning, which was a beautiful little Marbled Salamander rescued earlier that morning from the garage of the house where they were staying. It was going to be released that evening in a lovely woodland area, where she could live out the rest of her life in a nice non-cemented location. It was a real treat for me to hold her for a few minutes, and it was uncanny how much alike our tastes in fashion appeared, as you can see from the photo of us!

Me and my new little salamander friend !

A close up of the little beauty!

Before we knew it, the show had come to a close and it was time to pack up our miniatures and say our goodbyes. We met our dear friends, painter Mark Kelso and his mom, Linda, at a restaurant afterwards, where the four of us enjoyed just sitting and talking for a couple of hours. Sunday morning found us back at the beautifully decorated dining table at the B&B, enjoying breakfast once again with dear friends artist Karryl and her husband Vick, as well as with new friends, Carol Ann and Kevin, whom we greatly enjoyed getting to know! With tummies full and eleven to twelve hours of travel time ahead, it was time to say our goodbyes for another year and start the trek home. Karryl followed us home and will be staying a couple of nights with us before heading down to Thomasville, GA for the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival, where we look forward to seeing many of our collectors friends this weekend.

L to R ~ Carol Ann, Karryl, Vick, Joyce, Wes, me and Kevin, all enjoying a delightful breakfast!

Yummy . . .  Yummy . . . and it’s just the first course!!

Thankfully, both the attendance and the sales were up this year at the festival, which is wonderful since most of the proceeds from the festival go towards conservation efforts! So a great big thank you, to those of you who came to see us and purchased paintings form us, helping to make this a successful show!

Oreos . . . my favorite breed of cows!

Karryl and I photographing the gorgeous herd of Oreo cows, or Belted Galloways,

that we passed each day driving back and forth to Oxford.

~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

~ 16th Annual Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival in Thomasville, GA, is this coming weekend, November 18 – 20, 2011. For more information about the show times, location etc, visit their website at Plantation Wildlife Art Festival.

~ 78th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature  at the lovely Mansion at Strathmore, in North Bethesda, MD, will open November 21 and be on exhibition through December 30, 2011.  Wes and I have three miniatures each, in the show with both of us having won 1st Place awards. For more information visit their website at MPSGS.

Until next time ~ Rachelle

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