Behind the Scenes … Doing an Art Show

Rachelle Siegrist at SEWE 2001 with her miniature paintings
A step back in time . . . our 1st year at SEWE, now 14 years ago

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes, for us to get ready for our few big art shows we attend each year? Well if so, you’ll have some insight pertaining to just that, after today. Since we try to take paintings that are new to each particular show, we start painting for the shows months in advance. Wes tries to keep on top of the framing, but still ends up spending quite a bit of time doing last minute framing jobs before each show. We also sometimes choose to re-frame paintings to match others so they’ll make a nice set.  Then there’s the paper work . . . and more paper work, and for miniature painters with almost always more than fifty paintings for each show, there’s a lot of it to be filled out! Many times, we lay the paintings out at home, and figure the best way to display them, take photos of each arranged group, and use those photos once we get to the show to help the hanging process run a bit more smoothly and more quickly. Otherwise it tends to feel like an overwhelming puzzle to be put together, with a deadline added to the mix!  Then we have to carefully pack up the paintings for safe transportation as well as everything else we need for the show and spending time away from home.

yellow rumped warbler in Townsend
Our beautiful Yellow-rumped Warbler that’s been with us for the past couple of weeks!

The weather has to be taken into account as well, and such is the case this week. We’re having to watch it closely to see if we’ll need to leave early, to be able to arrive at our destination, Charleston, SC, safely and early enough to set up by the deadline. Once we arrive at the show destination, we find parking, which in itself can be quite difficult with our large panel van.  We then have to haul our paintings, chairs, tables and more inside the building.  Of course, here’s where being miniature painters beats being bronze sculptors! The cases of little gems are carefully unloaded, and I start the tedious job of hanging them all, which usually takes at least a couple of hours or more. Often times, we move them around a little after they’re hung, until it looks just right! Then it’s time to get ready for the show opening, and enjoying seeing so many of our collector friends that we haven’t seen since the year prior!

Rachelle Siegrist on the Townsend swinging bridge
Yours truly on the swinging bridge spanning the Little River

Besides just getting ready for our upcoming show this past week, we also enjoyed having our artist friend, Kit, over to eat a couple of times. This past Friday, he came for lunch, a tasty one at that, where we introduced him to Risotto! Wes and I love Risotto, and although it’s a bit time consuming to make, the delicious results are well worth it! This time is was Sweet Potato Risotto with almonds, and it’s the perfect marriage of amazingly creamy along with a nice crunch. For dessert we had something quite different and interesting. Wes and I are pescatarians, as we eat no meat, and very little dairy or fish, so we eat quite healthily most of the time. Pizza and desserts however, are the one place, which we feel one must splurge! This being said, I’m also always interested in delectable desserts that are actually good for you too. Recently, my friend Don sent me a recipe for homemade Sweet Potato Brownies, so this I had to try! Such a weird combo, I couldn’t imagine, but they turned out deliciously moist, rich and chocolaty, and good for you to boot! What could be better? Of course Kit couldn’t guess the secret ingredients, but agreed they were totally yummy! I was also graciously given a Ninja recently, and have enjoyed making smoothies with it daily! We’ve had strawberry-orange, mango-banana, chocolate-banana-peanut butter, as well as a couple of other varieties, to which I’ve added Chia seeds, ground flax, Bee Pollen and Acai Powder. Amazingly, these scrumptious smoothies are a big health boost as well as an exciting treat to the taste buds!

healthy and delicious strawberry smoothie
Mmmmm . . . my deliciously healthy strawberry, banana and orange smoothie!

~ Fresh off the easel ~

Many of you have expressed that you like to see our miniature paintings in progress, so I’m sharing my miniature painting “Poe’s Foe” which I painted this past week, in stages from beginning to end. I love Ravens and the color red, so what a fantastically fun painting to create it was!  I can’t think of Ravens without thinking of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “The Raven”, so the title which Wes came up with, I thought most appropriate!  Wes finished two miniature paintings this past week that will also be displayed at SEWE this week, of a Pronghorn and another of an Elk, both with gold backgrounds, which give them a gem-like look.

Siegrist miniature painting of a raven step by step
“Poe’s Foe” by Rachelle,  from beginning to end
Siegrist miniature painting of a pronghorn
“A Yellowstone Treasure – Pronghorn ” by Wes

Siegrist miniature painting of an elk
“A Yellowstone Treasure – Elk” by Wes

~ Currently on the easel ~

I’m back to painting on my next miniature for our Admiring the Masterpiece series by artist, Alfred Emile Leopold Joseph Victor Stevens, entitled “A Portrait Group of Parisian Celebrities”.  It was at the very tedious part (teeny tiny faces!), and frankly I needed a break from it.  So I relaxed by painting “Poe’s Foe” before coming back to this one. Below is the latest progress on it.

rachelle siegrist visiting the masterpieces

Siegrist Trophy Art 20142
This is our creation out of paper mache of a toad. It will be for sale in an upcoming fund raiser at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY, on February 20th.

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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