Painting in the New Year!

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.”
~Edgar Degas

carolina wren photo

My precious Peedeepeeps enjoying his peanut crunchies!

Paint the New Year in . . . we did! We’ve been spending most of our time painting on our miniatures this past week, with the exception of a couple of projects and of course, time spent feeding my precious critters. I have three Carolina Wrens coming most of the time now, along with a gang of Titmice that come in a group of about eight to nine, and can wipe out an offering of peanut crunchies in mere minutes! Believe it or not, I was actually able to eat my breakfast on the porch one morning this past week, in January no less . . . unbelievable! Anyway, I was joined by all my feathered friends, which also enjoyed eating their breakfast alongside me at the table. I told my dad this past week though, that their table manners just aren’t the best, as they always stand on the table when they eat, and sometimes even poo on it! Some gobble their food very quickly, others just eat and run, and some fuss the entire time their stuffing their beaks. Nonetheless, I love them all and enjoy every minute spent with them! They’re quite entertaining to say the least, as one never knows what will happen next!

bird photo

Okay . . . I’m back now, I just had to go put out more peanut crunchies for the kids since Peedeepeeps was sitting outside the studio looking in the window and fussing, trying to get my attention, and of course it worked . . . it always does. I admit that they have me very well trained.  Now, I have to share with you one of the funniest things that I’ve ever seen a squirrel do, and it happened this past week. We finally got some real winter weather this past week, so the birdbath, emptied the evening before, was filled the next morning with very warm, steaming water. Minutes after we had stepped back inside, one of our resident squirrels came and went immediately to the steaming birdbath. He dipped his nose and mouth down into it and within seconds had placed one of his arms into it as well, followed promptly by the other arm. He then decided that this hot spring felt so amazing that he laid his chin and then his entire upper body in the top part of the water, along with both of his arms, just holding himself there, eyes practically rolling back into his head, with the steam rising all around him.  We could just hear him say “OH . . . this feels so amazing, I could just spend the entire day suspended here!” It was hilarious, and this was not to be the end, for after he had gotten out dripping wet, and ate a few sunflower seeds, he returned and carried out this amazing ritual once more! We laughed and laughed, and then cried when we realized we didn’t get one single photo of this entire show, so I said I’d just have to paint it with words!

carolina wren photo

One of our neighbor friends, Norma, generously gave us three large pumpkins which we “processed” this past week. We began early one morning with washing and cutting up the pumpkins, one at a time, preparing them for cooking in the oven. We started filling pots with the chopped up pieces and cooking them in the oven, roughly an hour at a time. However, it seemed the more we chopped and cooked, the more pumpkin there was, almost like manna from heaven. This process went on all day long, with taking out the seeds, chopping it up, and stuffing it into the pots, then loading them into the oven. Finally by later that afternoon we had gotten it all cooked, mashed and loaded into freezer bags. It was then time to roast all of the seeds that we had carefully saved and cleaned. When it was all said and done, I think we had at least fifteen-quart size bags of pumpkin, and lots of yummy roasted seeds! It was a lot of work, but now we have a freezer full of pumpkin, and we have a new found admiration for our grandparents and the hard work they put into canning over the years! I must admit however, that we decided it’s much easier to paint!


Pumpkin . . . pumpkin . . . and more pumpkin!

Fresh Off the Easel: I finished a miniature painting this past week of a baby bunny that we photographed in our yard last year, right outside our bedroom window. It is just adorable, making it great fun to paint! Wes finished a couple of miniatures. One of a Sea Lion basking in the sun, that we photographed while in Mexico this past spring, on an island in the Sea of Cortez. He also finished a miniature painting of Red-shouldered Hawk, which we photographed in our neighborhood during one of our walks.  I’m currently working on a painting of mice that I photographed at the Louisville Zoo this past month, and Wes is working on an Cormorant photographed during one of our Florida visits.

 bunny painting miniature

“Precious Baby” by Rachelle
1¾ x 1¾ inches

sea lion painting miniature

“Basking Beach Babe” by Wes
2½ x 3½ inches

red-shoulderedhawk painting miniature

Red-shouldered Hawk
3½ x 2½ inches

~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

~ 37th Annual International Miniature Art Show (MASF) January 15 – February 5, 2012: Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL – We’ll be in attendance the 14th and 15th for the opening ceremonies! Also, at the same time/place will be the Miniature Artists of America Traveling Exhibition, which includes two of our miniature paintings alongside that of 33 others honored for being the best in American miniature art.

To view all our upcoming exhibits:

~ Many thanks for your prayers for my dad, as he is improving a little each day!  Thankfully, he found out this past week that his hip was not broken, and that his broken collarbone was aligned correctly for good healing. Now it will just take time, and I’m trying to get myself trained not to make him laugh too much when we’re there soon, since it makes it very sore for him to laugh.  However, since we both love to laugh and can’t help but do so many times, I’m thinking it’s useless to try and keep from it!  Oh-well, maybe it will help him heal faster!

“Collect the future’s history today while it is still affordable.”
Until next time ~ Rachelle


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