Just as we were wondering what happened to fall this year, we were given one day of perfect fall-like weather to enjoy this past week! Undoubtedly there’s a term describing when the weather changes directly from summer to winter conditions whilst bypassing fall, and that’s exactly what happened here in the Smokies this year. We plunged from the delightful heat of summer straight into the gripping cold of winter! The kind of cold that slaps you across the face, leaving you in a stunned stupor, wondering what just hit you. The kind that instantly cripples your fingers, rendering them nearly useless and making it very difficult to do anything outdoors, like putting out seeds and nuts for the birds and squirrels.
Nonetheless, I’m learning ways to deal with it, one of which is becoming a human clothes rack. You may laugh, but that’s what Wes calls me as I walk about wearing half a dozen layers, appearing as a blob of draped cloth floating across the floor. Think of “Cousin It” from the TV series The Monsters, but instead of hair, I am cloaked in a mixture of mix-matched fabrics. At least I am somewhat warm underneath it all though and have decided it causes me to burn more calories since I’m lugging a dozen pounds of extra weight around.
Anyway, we decided to enjoy the beautiful fall day with a short hike to a favorite waterfall nearby, that afternoon. Obviously, several other hikers had the same idea, as there were at least a dozen or more of them scattered across the rocks at the base of the falls, all jockeying for position to try and capture a photo of it minus the people. I decided to join in on their challenge and after climbing up and over several big rocks, succeeded in capturing my own photo without the people. Thankfully they were a quiet and subdued crowd, talking in whispers, almost as if they were reacting in reverence to the glorious living portrait of nature!
Although it was an overcast day and a chilly one at that, we decided to go kayaking, with our dear artist friend Gregg Murray joining us. It actually turned out to be a perfect afternoon for paddling, for the wind was at our backs and pushed us along at a nice relaxing speed while allowing us to enjoy the scenery and fly fish as we went along. It was almost like being on one of those guided boat rides with the electric motor that is silent as you slice along the water’s surface, and doesn’t disturb the wildlife.
Lying back and looking up at the surrounding hillsides bathed in golds and reds, I noticed a large bird, quickly realizing it was a gorgeous Bald Eagle! He didn’t mind at all my pink kayak floating below him and graciously allowed me to watch as he carefully and methodically preened his long, glossy black and white feathers. I must’ve sat there admiring him for nearly half an hour, and it was one of those times when time stands still. The only sounds were that of crickets, birdsong and of drying leaves rustling in the breeze, and I was in my happy place! The eagle decided it was time to move on but alas did not go far where he landed way up high atop a narrow limb on a pine tree. How wonderful it must be to view the world from that perspective much of the time and be able to go wherever you so desire, I thought!
~ In The Studio ~
I’m currently painting a collection of 3 miniatures, a beautiful Bobwhite Quail egg, a small quail chick, and an adult Bobwhite male. The collection all with a gold background, will debut this next weekend at the 24th Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival November 15th – 17th at the Thomasville Cultural Center, in Thomasville, GA. Wes has also been painting this week on works for upcoming juried exhibitions.
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~ See Our Miniatures In Person This Week ~
In the Tradition of Audubon Exhibition
September 12, 2019 – January 5, 2020: Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH
Society of Animal Artists’ 59th Annual Art & The Animal Exhibition
September 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020: The Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
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Until Next Time . . .