Getting Ready for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition!

snow in the smokies
The stunning view from our living room window!

You’ve heard the expression . . . “Aged, like fine wine”? Well, Wes has taken one more step in that direction, as he had another birthday this past week! And luckily for him, he got to spend it as another exciting day at home, since the temps continued to remain quite frigid outside, it was snowing, and I was still coughing pretty bad. Nonetheless, he at least ate very well. Actually we both ate really well, as I made him homemade Pad Thai for lunch and a dreamcicle angel food cake! You may be wondering what a dreamcicle angel food cake is and tastes like. Well, it has orange, vanilla and coconut in it, with a cinnamon orange glaze drizzled on top, and seems to just melt in your mouth . . . YUM! Needless to say, we both enjoyed it immensely . . . several times at that!

wes siegrist
A happy birthday boy with his Pad Thai!

The snow has lasted for quite sometime here in our neck of the woods in the Smokies, and was most beautiful for days! I regretted greatly that I couldn’t get out and play and sled in it, but did enjoy admiring it through the windows. I did get to go out one afternoon for a short period of time, to enjoy a walk around our path and take a few photos to share with you. When I got around to the front yard, I could resist no longer, and just had to build something out of it. So I did, I made a snow gator. She turned out quite lovely and is actually still surviving in our front yard, although I expect her tragic demise soon with the milder temps and rain! After my short time outside, I felt much better and quite rejuvenated! It’s simply amazing what a bit of fresh air can do!

snow in  the smokies
The white world as viewed from our front door
cardinal in the snow
Our beautiful Sir Curly tries to stay warm
snow covered bench in the smokies
Care to sit a spell?
snow gator
My lovely snow gator with her baby on her back

This past Thursday we actually got to escape the house and yard, and went for a lovely walk in the snow, stopping to enjoy a delicious pizza at our local Pizza Hut, one of the few places open! It tasted divine, and we had the place to ourselves, as Townsend was very empty still. With happy, full tummies, we went our merry way, stopping to enjoy walking out onto the swinging bridge, where we watched our local flock of Canada Geese. They were so pretty, grouped together on the snowy bank following alongside the Little River. Returning home, we felt like we had really had an adventure, as that was our first outing in almost two weeks!

rachelle siegrist at pizza hut
Yippee!!! . . . out at last!
siegrist house
Looking up at our house surrounded by snow!
domar drive
This is our road looking quite lovely indeed!
fringe icicles
I thought these delicate little icicles looked like white fringe

Once again, most of our time this past week has been spent in the studio painting while listening to music. Wes has also been framing paintings and filling out paper work for the upcoming Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC, which will take place in a couple of weeks.  When listening to your favorite music, do you ever hear a song that instantly brings a particular memory to mind? This happens frequently to me, and while listening to my beloved Bossa Nova Jazz this past week, I heard a song that immediately transported me back in time to when I was about eight years old. My parents, brother and I, along with a couple of other families, went on what was a big adventure to my brother and I one afternoon. We left our small town of Okeechobee, FL, with my brother and I riding on our beanbags in the back of our big family van. Yea, that was back in the carefree days of freedom, before child safety seats were invented and required. Anyways, after traveling comfortably, we arrived a couple of hours later in Lakeland, where we all were in for a big treat! We had dinner at what was called the Sea Wolf Restaurant, and it was certainly way more than just a mere restaurant.  It had two huge 1,000 gallon aquariums filled with fish, and large windows overlooking gardens full of peacocks, palm trees and tropical plants. As I remember it, our group sat at a very long table adjacent to the windows overlooking the peacocks and gardens, which I found to be a fairytale setting. The décor was very ornate and the restaurant was filled with museum pieces, which owner Gene Holloway had collected from his travels. The funny thing is however, that what really stands out in my memory was the ladies’ lounge! To a little country girl from Okeechobee, it was amazing to say the least! As I remember it, it had a fireplace, and a large red velvet sofa, flanked with ornate tables on either side. On top of the antique tables sat very fancy lamps complete with dark red lampshades adorned with fringe on the bottoms! It was truly an amazing dining experience for our entire family, especially for this little girl! Leaving the magical restaurant, we then went to see the Statler Brothers in concert, with Grandpa Jones and Minnie Pearl making special guest appearances. What an adventure it all was, and a great memory to have in my memory bank indeed! Well, back to the present for now. Here are some more beautiful snow photos for you to enjoy . . .

berries in snow
Nandina berries add some bright cheery color
snow in the smokies
Our back deck covered in white
snow  in the smokies
Poor Spanish moss . . . it wishes it was back in FL!
snow in the siegrist front yard
Our front yard dressed in white

~ Fresh off the easel ~

Wes finished his painting of a Cougar this past week.  This miniature painting will be featured at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition!

Cougar painting
“One Fine Feline” by Wes

~ Currently on the easel ~

I’m currently painting the next miniature for our Admiring the Masterpiece series. This one is a real beauty by artist, Alfred Emile Leopold Joseph Victor Stevens, entitled “A Portrait Group of Parisian Celebrities”. I absolutely love painting these little jewels! As you can see below, I’ve made quite a bit of progress from last weeks photos of the miniature painting.  We’ve also been working together on a fun project for the National Museum of Wildlife Art that I’ll share next weekend!

Rachelle Siegrist painting a miniature painting

Rachelle Siegrist working on a miniature painting

EXQUISITE MINIATURES opened yesterday at the Wildlife Experience in Parker, CO with 65 of our miniature paintings!  Please share with your friends and family if they’re in the area or will be traveling by Denver since the exhibit runs thru April 6th.

Come see the artwork in person at our exhibitions!

Cherish your loved one or a beloved pet in miniature!

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Until next time ~ Rachelle

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