A Great Weekend at SEWE 2016!
by Rachelle Siegrist
The ground was covered in snow as we left our home in the Smokies last Wednesday morning, while heading over to Charleston, SC, for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Thankfully Wes had moved the van up by the road the night before, so we could get out. It was a lovely drive with snow lining the roads during the first couple of hours, albeit a cold one! That evening we arrived at the hotel in Charleston in time to see the sun set over the beautiful swamp area from our room.
We left for the Charleston Place Hotel early Thursday morning to set up for the show, and finished in time to enjoy the lovely luncheon which SEWE graciously provided for the artists. That afternoon we started off the show with my painting of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel going to a new happy home!
The gala opening that evening was a packed out event as usual, and we enjoyed seeing and talking with several collector friends and eating tasty cuisine, especially the scrumptious bite sized desserts!
We even had a gorgeous Sandhill Crane visit our booth, which was a real treat indeed!!!
Friday brought visits with collectors friends, new faces and several of our miniature paintings going home with excited and happy new collectors! Saturday brought more sales, dog commissions, and an edible Valentine gift from our dear collector friend, Mike, a scrumptious red velvet cupcake piled high with fluffy, cream cheese frosting! That evening Wes and I joined Mike for a deliciously fun dinner at Taziki’s, a great Greek restaurant located in downtown Charleston. Valentines Day started with Wes and I swapping cards, and I must say Wes’ card won the prize for the funniest!
That day brought several more sales and dog commissions, with most of the paintings going home with excited, brand new collectors! I must say there’s one of my dog commissions which I can hardly wait to paint . . . an adorable little Pomeranian named Izzy! In the photo, he’s a precious ball of fluffy black and white fur and he’s wearing a striped black and white dinner tie! I know he’s going to bring a smile to the faces of all who see his portrait painting! The parade of dogs which visited our ballroom this weekend were so beautiful and handsome, and of course so much fun to pet! A highlight of the afternoon was the delightful concert played by the Charleston Symphony Quartet!
Soon the show had ended and after saying goodbyes to our artist friends, we were joined by a couple of them at dear collector friends Patrick and Michelle’s beautiful home. I was delighted to once again see and play with Bailey and Lacey, their two beautiful Chocolate Labs which I painted this past year!
While relaxing and petting the girls, we nibbled on tasty assorted cheeses and crackers, and Wes bravely tried raw oysters for the first time! He ate a couple of them and admitted that they were pretty good, but I just couldn’t bring my wimpy self to try them!
It’s always a treat to join them for dinner, as Patrick is certainly a chef, and wowed us all this time with fresh flounder with a cream sauce, atop delectably creamy grits, with salad and delicious crusty fresh baked bread! Needless to say, it was a wonderfully fun evening not only for us, but for our taste buds as well! Many laughs later, it was getting late and time to say goodbye, as we thanked them for a most delightful evening and meal!
After driving through rain and sleet part of the way on Monday, thankfully we made it safely home last evening! A BIG heartfelt “Thank you” goes out to both our existing and new collectors who are now enjoying new miniature painting additions to their collections, and to the SEWE staff for a wonderful weekend!!!
Until next time . . .