More Painting and a Great Hike!

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
~ Thomas Merton

Cardinal photo

Our precious resident, Sir Curly, sits in Nana’s tree outside our living room window

Oh . . . how very true the above quote is, whether you are the artist creating the art, or the viewer observing it! Numerous times I have “lost myself” in my work, during the creative painting process, where time has sped by, while I felt as if it were standing still. This has happened to me a couple of times this past week, when an hour felt like a minute, and I felt as if I could’ve painted throughout the night and into the next day without stopping!  Oh, what a great sensation this is for an artist! With this being said, one can tell that we’ve obviously spent much of our time once again this past week painting on our miniatures.  However, we took a day off to enjoy a walk in the woods . . .  and a long walk in the woods it was . . . an eight and a half mile walk to be exact, while enjoying a gorgeous day filled with lots of sunshine and blue sky! We walked a section of trail that we had yet to hike, so we have now completed an entire section on our hiking trails map of the Smokies. After returning from new hikes, we make it a practice to mark in with a highlighting marker on our map to show us where all we’ve been.

photo on a trail in the smoky mountains national park

Wes in the midst of a groove, of what appear to be dwarf pines, along the trail.

photo of galax in the smoky mountains

A stunning Galax dressed in it’s royal winter red foliage.

Weather wise it was a beautiful day with mild temperatures, especially for January, so I even got to enjoy walking part of the hike in my shorts! With the trees shed of their leaves, it afforded us spectacular views throughout most of the hike. The moss was so green and lush with all of our recent rainfall, and I must admit I spent quite a bit of my time up and back stopping to feel and pat the moss, as I just cannot seem to resist it’s soft pleas for touch! I even convinced Wes to feel one of the great, velvety, bright green patches. And speaking of soft, in winter, the mountains covered with their leafless trees, appear almost as lavender-colored velour from a distance, and makes me wish I had a really . . . really long arm and great big hand, so that I could extend it and slowly run it over the mountain range, while feeling it’s softness.

photo on a trail in the smoky mountains national park

Me with the velvety mountains behind

photo of moss

I just know that some adorable critter calls this fairytale setting home!

At the highest point of our hike, we sat while enjoying our amazing view and took a break to enjoy a snack of . . . you guessed it, dark chocolate, which of course was very yummy and gave us the energy to carry on. We were just about a half of a mile from the trailhead where we had started earlier that day, when it began to lightly rain. Since it was supposed to be sunny all day, we had no rain gear, so we just enjoyed walking along in the misty rain, but alas were quite thankful that it was very light! We finished off our delightful day with a delicious pizza at our local Pizza Hut, before returning home for the evening. Later that week, we enjoyed eating dinner and playing canasta along with friends Jim and Uschi, at our neighbors, Beverly and Avery’s house. The girls won the first game, and so to be nice, we let the boys win the second game, thus keeping them happy . . . hee hee! Yesterday, we enjoyed a wonderful visit from our dear friends Andrew and Joanne Gott. We spent the afternoon with a casual drive through Cades Cove, and could hardly keep the total count of deer, as there were so many throughout the Cove. Several turkeys were also seen walking about. Returning to our house, we sat awhile, and shared stories and mainly enjoyed listening to Andrew and Joanne tell hilarious tales of their feathered children’s antics!! That evening we enjoyed a delicious supper at a Mexican restaurant in nearby Maryville, where we thoroughly enjoyed listening to more of Andrew’s great stories of his travels and experiences in Panama. My stomach is always sore from laughter after spending time with the Gotts!

Enjoying dinner at Jimadors

At El Jimadors along with Andrew, Joanne, and baby Gott (whom will debut this summer)

Fresh Off the Easel: I am continuing to paint on a couple of commissioned miniature paintings at present. I’m currently working on a pet portrait miniature of a beautiful Golden Retriever named Lina, who is also a therapy dog, so that makes it even more special! The other miniature is of Raphael’s “St. George and the Dragon”, and I’m continuing to have lots of fun on them both. This past week, I also finished my miniature painting of a Little Green Heron that we photographed while in Dunedin, FL. Wes finished his painting of a Celery Looper Moth, which he photographed in our yard, as it is amazing with its awesome camouflaging abilities!

miniature painting of Raphael's "St. George and the Dragon"

St. George in progress, with a few more washes in place.

dog portrait painting mniature

Sweet Lina in progress, with a few more washes.

miniature painting of a Little Green Heron

“The Lazy Fisherman”  by Rachelle
2¾ x 2¾ inches

miniature painting of a celery looper moth

“Camouflage: Celery Looper Moth” by Wes
2½ x 2½ inches

~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

~ We are very excited that our solo exhibition “EXQUISITE MINIATURES BY WES & RACHELLE SIEGRIST” is presently at the beautiful SAN DIEGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM in San Diego, CA, and will be on display there Saturday, January 21 through Wednesday, March 21, 2012. So if you’re in the area, I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful museum!

To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html

“Collect the future’s history today while it is still affordable.”

Until next time ~ Rachelle

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