Something I Never Thought I’d See!

zero in townsend

Wow . . . I can scratch another thing off of my bucket list now . . . that being experiencing the unbelievable temperatures of zero and minus 1! Not that it was ever actually on my bucket list mind you, and I would’ve never in my wildest dreams or worst nightmares imagined that I would one day experience it actually getting that cold! However, now I can say with great confidence that “I have been there . . . done that . . . and hope to never do it again!” And even better . . . I survived it! Unbelievably, during part of our freezing weather, my family in south Florida was running their AC, what a difference a day’s driving distance makes eh?  At least the snow was absolutely beautiful for several days of it though!

snow in the smokies
Anyone for roasting marshmallows?
snow in the smokies
The stunning view from our studio one morning!

Thankfully, the sunny blues skies are back today, and it has warmed up quite a bit. So to celebrate it, we’re going for a bike ride later this afternoon, and I’m going to be reunited with new bike, which my parents got me for Christmas! Although we spent most of these very cold days inside, last Tuesday when it warmed up into the teens, I could stand it no longer and with sled in tow, I ventured over to one of my favorite sledding hills, which is a short walk through our neighbor’s woods. It was perfect conditions for sledding that day, since the ground was frozen. With each trip down the hill, it froze over even more, causing the ride down to become faster and faster each time, until at last I was flying at a serious rate of speed!!! As long as I managed to dodge the trees and the icy pond at the bottom, it was all fun and games!

rachelle and her sled
Me with my sled at the top of my sledding hill

After my sledding adventure, I made the short trek home, and I must admit that it was several minutes before I could move my lips freely enough to speak understandably. Nonetheless, I had a great time, and was even more excited to return the next day, taking Wes back with me! Although, part of the snow had melted, my sledding hill still offered a pretty thrilling ride down. Wes made a run on a round plastic disc that we have, and it is most unfortunate that I didn’t have the video camera on, because about half way down he went over, and then went over and over several times again before sliding to a halt! Why is it that these things almost always happen when the camera isn’t on! I asked, but unfortunately he refused to reenact it for me, so I could video it . . . what a party pooper! So anyway, we took turns sledding down the hill and just enjoyed sitting at the top of the hill part of the time, while admiring the gorgeous view, with Wes recounting sledding stories from his childhood to me.

close up of icy pond
The frozen pond – what an amazing sight up close!
rachelle sledding
Woooo . . . Hoooo!!! Watch out below!  Here I come!

Before leaving, I just had to stand on the edge of the frozen pond, while holding onto a tree just in case, as I had never done such a thing before. I also had to get a closer look at the frozen surface, as it was simply beautiful! Thousands upon thousand of tiny magnificent ice crystals had frozen in time on the icy surface, creating a stunning effect in mass, especially when the sunlight reflected and danced off of it! It was an abstract masterpiece created by God!  By the time we returned home, the warm interior of the house felt wonderful and was most inviting! Sadly, the next day, it had melted enough that there would be no more sledding, at least not this time around. It was very nice though, to be able to walk out and feed my birds, without donning a 100 pounds of sweaters, scarves and coats! I take my job of feeding the birds very seriously, when it’s so intensely cold out, and I know they appreciate it too! A few times I had so many birds, that the handrails and deck floor were almost covered. At some points I counted over fifty Goldfinches alone! My wren friend, Peedeepeeps, decided that he prefers eating worms out of my bare, warm hand over sitting on the fluffy mitten. But alas, a few of those chilly days, he just had to make due, as I have to draw the line sometimes when it comes to the cold . . . even for my precious little Peeps!

Gold finches in the smokies
A few of my precious feathered friends
canada geese in the smokies
Looks like they had a run on coffee this morning! They’re all waiting in line for the port-o-potty!

~ Fresh off the easel ~

Wes finished his Polar Bear this week and I added the final touches of gold to my colt painting. I love horses, and while painting them, it somehow feels like it’s actually mine for a short time!  Now we’re both currently working on paintings for the upcoming Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC.

afuturechampion1
A Future Champion (For Gallery One’s Masterworks in Miniature Show)
anarctictreasure1
An Arctic Treasure

~ Currently on the easel ~  

 Many of you have expressed that you like to see our miniature paintings in progress, so I’m sharing a couple of photos of my miniature landscape, which I’m currently painting on. I’m painting it from a photo that I took at a restored wetlands near my parent’s home in Okeechobee, FL, and is a totally gorgeous place to walk, especially in the late afternoon!

Florida landscape painting in progress by Rachelle Siegrist

Florida landscape painting in progress by Rachelle Siegrist

~ We have several special opportunities this week for you to see our paintings and tell your friends about. More information and additional shows are on the website!

Siegrist Miniature Paintings at MacArthur Beach Invitational Exhibition
Siegrist Miniature Paintings at MacArthur Beach Invitational Exhibition

Artists of the Natural World: Invitational at John D. MacArthur State Park, North Palm Beach, FL
Private Reception on Thursday, January 16 (RSVP); Show dates: January 17 – February 20

BATRACHOLOGY: Amphibians In Art at the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art, Midland, MI
Show runs January 18 – April 13

Rachelle Siegrist 2014 MASF Paintings
My paintings at the 2014 MASF Show

39th Annual International Miniature Art Show and the Miniature Artists of America Traveling Exhibition
at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL
Opening on Saturday, January 18; Show runs January 19 – February 9

Wes Siegrist 2014 MASF Paintings
Wes’ paintings at the 2014 MASF Show

Come see the artwork in person at our exhibitions!

Cherish your loved one or a beloved pet in miniature!

Don’t miss out on our news! “Sign Up” to receive an email each time I update the blog!

Until next time ~ Rachelle

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