We’ve been blessed with some very beautiful weather this past week, as fall is certainly in the air and can be sensed in the cool crisp mornings as well as seen in the first of the leaves turning bright red! We enjoyed this delightful weather with a hike this past week, along with several friends, with our destination being the Avent artist cabin, located in the Elkmont region here in the Smokies. We began our hike to this secluded gem at the Jake’s Creek Trailhead located near the Elkmont campground. It was a pleasant walk as we ascended the trail, while enjoying the sounds of the stream nearby, stopping occasionally to photograph late season bloomers as well as interesting mushrooms, fungi and other small critters. After walking a distance, we left the larger trail, at which point we started our descent down a narrow winding path that leads to the cabin. The first small opening in the woods, offers a lovely view of several cascades along the stream. Climbing onto the footbridge nearby, we crossed the stream and began a short climb up the remaining section of the narrow path. A couple of minutes later, we had reached another small clearing in the woods, where the cabin peacefully sits, just as it has for the past for the century and a half.
After walking up to the cabin, we went inside to see if it had changed since the last time we were there, many years ago. Not a thing had changed, and we found ourselves once again looking through the photo book, located in the small kitchen, showing bits and pieces of the many summers spent there, by the Tennessee artist. Mayna Avent was born in 1868 and used the cabin from the 1920s to 1940s as her summer studio. The beautiful cabin was built in 1845 and is one of only two structures, which remain in Elkmont, from the pioneer period. Mayna purchased the cabin in 1919 from its original owners and builders, the Ownby family. The old cabin, which offers a wonderful glimpse into the past, now resides on the national register of historical places and is certainly worth a visit to see.
We all sat on the front porch enjoying our picnic lunches and the view, while listening to the relaxing sounds of the stream in the distance. Interestingly, a Black Snake, who was quite content to hang out in the rafters above, while we sat below eating, talking and laughing, accompanied us. Upon the conclusion of our relaxing lunch, we looked and around and explored a bit more before starting our journey back. We passed a very fresh and large pile of Black Bear scat along the way, and were not surprised at all when we heard Sammie yell “Bear!” It was two small cubs crossing the trail, with mom not far away, and our friend whom has waited 75 years to see a bear while hiking, got so excited that she yelled “Bear” accidentally scaring them away in her excitement. Nonetheless, she got to achieve a lifetime dream, even if for just a few short exciting seconds! Returning back to the trailhead, we decided to walk around and look at some of the old remaining cabins in the Elkmont area, which is always a historical treat and look into the past!
Wes and I have gotten a lot of painting time in this past week as well, and have enjoyed our bike rides on most days. I continually have to make several trips out onto the porch throughout the day to feed my feathered friends, especially Stubbs, my precious little Titmouse and of course my Carolina Wren, Peedeepeeps. Just between those two, they keep me quite busy! We also were treated to a delicious dinner and wonderful time at our neighbor friends, Jim and Uschi, this past week. Another evening we joined our friends Sammie and Pat, at friends Fred and Barb’s house for a game of Mexican Train, at which Sammie trounced the rest of us this time! We also joined neighbors, Richard and Melodie for a movie and yummy dessert at their home this week too!
I‘m thrilled to share with you that both my miniature painting, Admiring Bonheur’s “Ploughing In Nivernais“, and American Bison drawing sold during the opening auction gala this past Friday evening, exhibited in the Western Visions Miniatures and More Show at the beautiful National Wildlife Museum in Jackson Hole, WY!
Fresh off the easel ~ We’ve managed to finish two paintings this past week that I’m sharing below. I’m currently still working on a secret commission as well as a miniature painting that I think is kinda stinky! Nonetheless, I’ll share it with you next week anyway.
To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html
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Until next time ~ Rachelle