Visiting Wes’ Family and The Speed Art Museum!
By Rachelle Siegrist
Wes and I arrived in Southern Indiana last Saturday afternoon, just in time to enjoy a hike around Wes’ brother Greg’s recently purchased farm, and after driving in heavy holiday traffic, it was a welcome treat! They have received as much rain there as we have here in the Smokies, so we had to wear rubber boots to hike through the muddy trail. The sun came out to boot, making it even better, and I don’t know who enjoyed it more, me or Greg’s precious dog Zeus! It was such fun exploring the woods and small old abandoned outbuildings, such as a canning house and hunting cabin, with Opossum Lodge primatively painted on the outside.
Zeus and an interesting mushroom by the creek
The next afternoon we were in for another treat, as we headed to Speed Art Museum located in nearby Louisville. It had been a few years since we had been there, and it is always a joy for Wes and I to be able to visit this wonderful museum, while spending hours admiring the vast collections!
I always find favorites while visiting, and this painting of “Springtime” by Norman Rockwell was one of them this time, bringing to mind green leaves, flowers and ample sunshine!
The collection of still life paintings on display are always amazing, with many of the Dutch Masters stealing the show, with numerous wee surprises, such as dragonflies, butterflies, and other tiny critters located throughout the highly detailed paintings.
Another amazing room to visit is the English Renaissance Room, moved there from England and reassembled inside the museum. It makes one feel as if you’ve slipped back in time hundreds of years, and are standing inside a vast castle!
Wes and I are always excited to see miniature paintings, such as this Cabinet Miniature of “Venus and Mars” by Johannes Rottenhammer.
I thought it most interesting to see where there term cabinet miniature originated long ago, and is told in the photo below.
Getting to see a Book of Hours in person is always a real treat as well, since the gold and silver absolutely shimmer and gleam paired against the brilliant colors of egg tempera!
Another highlight of the visit was riding in this brilliant hot pink elevator, which I absolutely fell in love with! Even though I always take the stairs, I chose to ride on this happy bright elevator, featuring my favorite color!
Christmas Eve and day were spent with family at Wes’ parents house, and Zeus and I enjoyed several nice long walks and games of stick and ball throwing and catching in yard. Of course we had to watch Home Alone one evening as that’s a tradition for me, and although I’ve seen it dozens of times, I still laugh like it was the first! We’re now back in the studio with paintings on the easels!
~ Fresh Off The Easel ~
I’ve finished painting a collection consisting of six tiny, round miniatures featuring different songbirds painted on silk. This collection includes, a Carolina Chickadee, Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, American Goldfinch and a Blue Jay. My collection of “Songbirds on Silk” will debut at the upcoming Southeastern Wildlife Exhibition in Charleston, SC. in February.
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Until next time . . .