“God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”
~ John Muir
It seems as if the miserable spell of heat and drought has finally been broken here in the mountains! A very welcomed cool front, bringing much needed rain and cooler air moved through our area during the past couple of days. Although it was still muggy when we retired for the evening last night, this morning as we opened the windows, it was as if we were opening a joyous gift, as the delightful refreshing and crisp cool air, spilled into the house! I even had to wear a sweater to eat my breakfast on the back porch this morning, which after the long period of warm air was quite enjoyable to say the least. As usual, I was joined by several of my feathered friends and this morning, my squirrel named Chestnut, joined me for breakfast, on top of the table itself no less, as she gobbled up the tasty peanut crunchies. I couldn’t help but snicker as I could hear her smacking quite loudly, as she ate and obviously enjoyed her breakfast!
The parting clouds
Mist rising from a stream in the cool morning air
I was able to recharge my internal batteries once again this past week with a bike ride around Cades Cove. Early Wednesday morning, we loaded the bikes, jumped into the van and headed into nearby Cades Cove. The picnic area was almost completely vacant when we arrived, which was a wonderful sign that we would have the Cove mostly to ourselves for the morning ride. After unloading and mounting our bikes, we began our journey around the long loop road. At first it was completely clouded over, but before long, the clouds began to part as we rounded the curves in the road and the sun began to peek through, highlighting the mountains below as it did. In no time, the sun was coming down in streams creating a fairy tale setting on the grassy, flower-filled fields below, lying between the circle of protective mountains. Needless to say, it was simply beautiful as we went along surveying the surrounding beauty, and I had to make several stops for photo opportunities.
The lovely Becky Cable house halfway around the loop road
Ah . . . another gorgeous scene in Cades Cove!
It’s such an exhilarating feeling, flying downhill on one’s bike, feeling the cool morning breeze blowing through your hair, as if there’s not a care in the world, and then all of a sudden you come back to reality and realize you had better start peddling, and quickly I might add, as you’re starting to go up hill! It’s always so much more fun going downhill than up! Halfway around, by the Visitor Center it was time for a water break, and while there we met, and had a very enjoyable conversation with, a gentlemen that also lives nearby. Rested and ready to carry on, off we went around the curve, up and down the hills, until we saw a small group of riders standing quietly in the road, and realized right away that it was probably a black bear. It was indeed, way up high in a giant oak tree, out on a teetering limb, as it grabbed and tore off sections of the limb, where it would eat the clusters of acorns before dropping the limb in the road below. We watched him for quite sometime before moving along. We also saw several White-tailed Deer out in the fields, but no turkey this time for some strange reason. Who knows, perhaps they were at a turkey convention somewhere.
Wes poses during a short break
A gorgeous moss covered tree
Arriving back to where we started, we decided to ride around the campground for a bit, and I’m so glad we took that route. Wes being ahead of me spotted them first, and motioned for me to come slowly and quietly. There was a beautiful mother deer with her precious baby fawn, still sporting his white spots, tearing out and running doughnuts around it’s mother at a most impressive high rate of speed! It was amazing and wonderful to watch, and you couldn’t help but smile and laugh while watching this visual treat! Around and around he went, looping in large circles, with the mother looking on occasionally as if saying “Knock yourself out little one!”, perhaps remembering when she too was that age, and had the same tremendous amount of excess energy to expel! After several minutes, I think it may have tuckered out a bit, and obviously had worked up an appetite, as it went over to mom to get some more breakfast. Before long, we had returned to the van, and with bikes loaded in the back, were enjoying the drive back home, where we had a nice lunch at Subway, a local favorite for us.
One of the Cove’s many beautiful resident deer
A very cool camper set up in the Cades Cove campground
Fresh off the easel: I finished a miniature of a Great Blue Heron, which I photographed while down in Florida for a visit. I loved the lighting on him and decided to play it up even more, by painting the background with gold. Wes finished two miniature paintings this week. One features an Orchard Oriole we photographed near the Bahia Delfin Condominiums in San Carlos, Mexico when we were down there on our Sea of Cortez expedition in 2011. The second is of an area blacksmith, Hugh Bowie, during one of his demonstrations at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center’s Country Fair.
“Stately Elegance” by Rachelle
3½ x 2½ inches
“Tropical Treat ” by Wes
4½ x 2½ inches
“The Blacksmith” by Wes
3½ x 2½ inches
~ Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~
We’re excited about our exhibition with the Gallery of Artists at the Irving Arts Center in Irving, TX (Dallas). We will have 25-30 of our available paintings on display in the main gallery of the Center. A portion of the sales proceeds will benefit the Irving Arts Center and the Dallas Ecological Foundation. Wes will be lecturing on the “The History and Challenges of Working in Miniature Art” Saturday, September 15th from 1:30 – 2:15. We hope if you are in the area that you will stop in to see us! For more information please see the GOA website.
52nd Society of Animal Artists “Art & the Animal” Exhibition at the
Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Oradell, NJ ~ the oldest and most prestigious wildlife art organization in the world! We will be attending the formal opening festivities in October.
Guest Lecturer at the Townsend Artisans Guild Meeting, Townsend, TN
September 11th, 2012 – 6PM: Wes will be lecturing to the group on “Developing a Marketing Plan”
5th Worldwide Exhibition of Fine Arts in Miniature
September 12-26, 2012, The Moscow Art College of Russian Art Academy, Moscow, Russia
25th Annual Western Visions Miniatures & More Show
Sept. 14, 2012: National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, WY
Exquisite Miniatures by Wes & Rachelle Siegrist at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City, NV
(Fifty of our miniature paintings are on display and available for purchase!)
To view all our many exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html
Until next time ~ Rachelle