Wishing You A Very Merry Christmas!

photo of a manger scene
The greatest Christmas gift of all!

Wes’ parents arrived this past Wednesday afternoon. Thursday was spent playing games here at the house since the weather was pretty yucky. That evening, we met a few neighbor friends for supper at Pizza Hut, then they all came here afterwards to enjoy some dessert and visiting together around the Christmas tree. Friday the weather improved a little, so after lunch we enjoyed a drive around Cades Cove. We then decided to go up to Newfound Gap and check out the snow, so up we went. When we got there it was simply beautiful, all decked out in the white stuff! Boy, were we in for a surprise however, once we stepped out of the van! The wind was blowing at least 40 MPH and with the temperature being in the low twenties, the wind chill factor must have been about 5 degrees!!! It was totally freezing, so we enjoyed the snow in quick little spurts, while getting back into the van a couple of times to warm up before braving the cold once again. The sun blessed us with its presence a few times, which made for some gorgeous views and some great photos! Leaving there, we started the journey back down through the Park while stopping a couple of times for more great photo-ops. We got to Gatlinburg in time to enjoy a yummy supper at a Jose’s Place Mexican restaurant. I have several great photos of the snow to share with you, so sit back in your nice, warm chair and enjoy . . .

photo of Mt. Le Conte with snow
My beloved Mt. Le Conte covered in snow and clouds . . . Weird to think we were sitting on the top of it a couple of months ago!
photo from newfound gap in the smokies
A spectacular winter view from Newfound Gap!
photo from newfound gap in the smokies
Another awesome view from Newfound Gap
photo from newfound gap in the smokies
And yet another one!
rachelle siegrist in the snow
Jeanie and I visit with a little snowman friend
photo of snow in the smoky mountains
George, Jeanie and I playing in the snow
photo from newfound gap in the smokies
yours truly in a pretty winter setting
photo of icicles in the smokies
A stunning group of icicles
photo of newfound gap in the smokies
A lovely winter scene on Newfound Gap
photo of icicles in the smokies
More spectacular icicles!

Saturday was to be the prettiest day weather-wise, so we headed early that morning for Helen, GA. It was a bit longer ride than we had expected, but alas a pretty one. Since part of the drive consisted of driving the Dragon, a portion of US129 that I think the United States curviest road per mile, it took quite a while. We got to Helen in time to eat lunch. Since German restaurants don’t cater to people like Wes and I that don’t eat meat, we all ate at a pizza place, which turned into a real experience, but I won’t go there. Anyway, afterwards we walked around for a while to see the sights, and take a few photos. The best thing there to me was a magnificent Pitch Pine Tree, which in 2001, the Georgia Forestry Commission deemed the largest Pitch Pine in the state of Georgia! Needless to say, I was totally impressed with this amazing, giant beauty! We left Helen early so Wes could drive home mostly in the daylight, especially with us having to go back across the Dragon!

This evening friends, Fred and Barb, are joining the four of us for a Christmas Eve dinner consisting of my homemade baked Ziti, with homemade chocolate cupcakes for dessert!

photo of Helen, GA at christmas
Me with Helen behind me decked out for Christmas
photo of georgia's largest pitch pine
I’m the little person on the left by this magnificent Pitch Pine!
photo of helen, GA
Jeanie, George and I in Helen, GA
photo of a baby squirrel
My very precious baby squirrel sleeping in a safe corner out of the rain and cold

Fresh off the easel: Wes just recently finished a miniature painting of some adorable piglets. They were the babies of my sister Hayley’s pet hog, Dolly. I have been working on another painting in our “Visiting the Masterpieces” series that was commissioned by collectors. It’s really special to me since it features a portrait of Eulabee Dix who was an American miniature painter that helped spur on the revival of miniature painting at the turn of the 20th century. The portrait of her was painted by Robert Henri and titled “Lady in Black Velvet”.

henri's the Lady in Black Velvet
Rachelle’s Admiring the “Lady in Black Velvet” (in progress) ~ 3½ x 2½ inches
pig painting
“Pile of Piggies” by Wes
2½ x 3½ inches

 

Come See Our Paintings This Week:

52nd Society of Animal Artists “Art & the Animal” Exhibition

Until December 31, 2012: Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Oradell, NJ

22nd MonDak Heritage Center’s Miniature Art Show

Until December 29, 2012: The MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney, MT

American Women Artists Master and Signature Member Show

Until January 6, 2013: Ironwood Gallery at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ

 

Mark Your Calendars:

 

Siegrist Solo Exhibition at the Yellow House Gallery, Sebring, FL ~ The month of January

(We will be here on Friday, January 11th to give a lecture and be present for the public reception starting at 5PM!)

 

EXQUISITE MINIATURES BY WES & RACHELLE SIEGRIST

Opening January 10th, 2013: The ArtCenter Manatee, Bradenton, FL

(We will be here on Thursday the 17th to give a lecture, gallery walk and to be present for the public reception.  The programs start at 3PM!)

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

Have a loved one or a beloved pet you would like captured in miniature? Contact and commission us!
Don’t forget to “Sign Up” to receive an email each time I update the blog!

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas celebrating Jesus . . .  the reason for the season!

Until next time ~ Rachelle

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