Wow . . . we just enjoyed another busy and fun filled weekend! Quite early last Thursday morning, we left the frigid 20 something degree temperatures in the Smokies, and headed for southern Georgia. Our destination was Thomasville, where the 18th Annual Plantation Wildlife Art Festival was taking place in the historical, beautiful Cultural Center. A little over halfway along the drive south, it warmed up and off came the shoes and socks and my happy feet welcomed back their shoe of choice, other than being barefooted, sandals! To top it off, a few minutes later I was enjoying fresh, Cajun style, hot boiled peanuts and a fountain diet coke, while looking at the Spanish Moss gracefully hanging in the trees alongside the road. Needless to say, this southern girl was “Happy . . . happy . . . happy!” I always say, “You can take the girl outta’ the south . . . but you can’t take the south outta’ the girl!” Even though we technically live in the southeast, it just doesn’t quite feel like the Deep South. Anyway, we arrived at the cultural center in Thomasville, in time to hang our miniature paintings that afternoon and check in. A couple of hours later, we were all set and ready for a great show!
Later that next morning, we joined our dear friends artist, Vicki Ferguson and her husband Donny, for some fun and adventure! After getting our paper with the “12 clues” listed on it from the Thomasville visitor center, the four of us went on what I deemed a “Vegetarian friendly quail hunt”. There are 12 beautiful little bronze quail sculptures, by artist friend Paul Rhymer, placed in various locations around town, that serve as a fun scavenger hunt of sorts. After much searching, and enjoying looking in several of the wonderful quaint shops in the downtown area, we found all twelve and were quite pleased with ourselves! Actually, we found thirteen Quail, and so beat our competition! So we rewarded ourselves with a nice lunch at a local brick oven pizza place.
That afternoon we enjoyed touring the historical, Lapham-Patterson home. It was just the four of us, and the tour guide was quite informative and entertaining, making it a most delightful experience! She was also quite accommodating, letting us peak in all the little nook and crannies to see what was behind all the closed doors. Most rooms on the main floor were very formal, showing off several pieces of beautiful antique furniture and interesting and lovely accessories. The 2nd floor was considered much less formal, by their standards, but still quite formal by our modern day homes, and was just as lovely in its own way. We went in and out of different doors, leading to the upstairs balcony and other rooms and a bathroom only accessible by going out onto the porch. At one point, Donny noticed the walls were not symmetrical, which led us to discover a pie shaped closet tucked into the odd space. The 3rd story housed a couple of more interesting little rooms and closets, as well as a very large main room. We even went down into the small dark, brick lined basement, which served as a wine cellar during prohibition! The entire experience was a delightful treat and we felt like we had made a visit to a Victorian-era fun house!
The Gala opening that evening was well attended, and before long the cultural center was a hub of activity and excitement! Three of our paintings went to great homes that night, so we were very happy campers already! After being at the show all day Saturday, we were anticipating the big party later that evening, and the time to just kick back and relax a bit. The “Birddog Bash” as it was called was held on the grounds of the beautiful Pebble Hill Plantation. As we drove along the narrow winding drive, leading through the grounds, we were met by a lovely barn, surrounded by several large white tents, filled with soft white lights. The graceful spanish moss lined arms of several stunning, ancient live oak trees, spread out above the scene below, creating a most enchanting setting! Two large old syrup cooking kettles served as outdoor fire pits, with flames filling the dark night air. We settled down at one of many large round tables filled with candles and fresh flower arrangements with friends, and enjoyed talking a while before eating dinner. After the conclusion of the auction, the band started back up again, and dear friend, Cathy Lanier, and I left Wes and David happily and quietly sitting at the table, while we went to get a better view of those kicking up the dust on the dance floor. Before long I was pulled to the dance floor to enjoy dancing to “Makes Me Want to Shout” with everyone. Between raising my hands up and down and twisting . . . all the way down to the floor at one point . . . I decided that I had burned off everything I had eaten that evening during that fun aerobic workout! Before long, we decided it was time to call it a night, and I must admit our aching ears thoroughly enjoyed the quietness of the ride back to the hotel.
Sunday morning the artists were treated to a nice brunch at the show, before opening to the public. Before we knew it, the show was already over, and we were most happy to not be taking home as many miniature paintings as we had brought down! That evening we were treated to a wonderful dinner party at the “Wood Shed” a beautiful historical home belonging to dear friends, John and Connie. After snacking on yummy treats, such as mango salsa, we enjoyed a nice dinner filled with lots of laughter and conversation from the artists and friends gathered there. It was then time to say our goodbyes, and rest up before the journey home.
Many thanks again to all of our wonderful new collector friends, that took miniature paintings home to enjoy, to the PWAF committee for such a great and enjoyable show, and to the Woods for another delightful dinner party this year!
~ Exciting News!!! ~
We learned this past week that four of our miniature paintings were accepted into the top 100 “America’s Parks II” show, curated by Dr. David Wagner! Three of the paintings will travel to the following museums The Ella Carothers Dunnegan Gallery of Art, Bolivar, MO, The Wildlife Experience, Parker (Denver), CO and The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ. We were further delighted to learn that my “Sally Lightfoot” and Wes’ “Sonoran Sunbather” were awarded honorable mentions in this prestigious show!!!
I also had a wonderful surprise email this past week letting me know, that I had been featured alongside my commissioned miniature portrait of President Obama in the Journal of the American Portrait Society! You can read a PDF of the article by clicking here: (3.8MB PDF)
To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html
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Until next time ~ Rachelle