Wes and I were delighted to finally get our beloved 1998 Ford Econoline van, named Titanic (because of its size), fixed this past week! We were under the impression from our normal engine repair place, that it was a very difficult fix requiring welding and thus most likely being a costly fix. So we had just been babying it for the past year, but Wes decided to call a different garage and inquire about it. Well, we took it in early one morning this past week, and they were able to fix it with no welding needed, and did so for a very reasonable price!
Since they worked on it for about 4 hours, we took along a backpack with sandwiches in it, and walked to the nearby Maryville-Alcoa Greenway, for a “hike”. We ended up walking over 10 miles, and thoroughly enjoyed it, as there was lovely scenery and a big portion of it was lined by restored woodlands.
We found a lovely, sunny spot to eat our lunch overlooking a field. While sitting there, I happened to notice something out of the corner of my eye, and looked in time to watch a beautiful male Bluebird hovering over a worm, which it grabbed with its beak, before flying off! Further along the trail, we spotted a nice big rock in the sun, situated directly by a stream. So we sat down and within a minute here came this lovely male Mallard Duck swimming along while quaking. Once he got past the bend, he kept quacking and turned around and swam back across in front of us.
We then noticed why he was doing this, for there was the female being shy and peaking at us occasionally from behind a bush. The male duck quacking the entire time, tried to show her it was indeed safe to pass by us and kept swimming back and forth in front of us. He did this 3 times, before finally convincing her to go for it. Reluctantly she finally started creeping forward, and suddenly decided she wasn’t sure about us after all, and flew by, landing most ungracefully, with what appeared to be a duck’s form of a cannonball . . . HaHa! After that, she shook the water from her ruffled feathers, composed herself and continued to follow the male. We enjoyed watching the pair after that for quite sometime. So I put together this video of them for you to enjoy.
Wes and I were thrilled to find out this past week that each of our paintings were accepted into the prestigious Society of Animal Artists exhibition Art That Matters to the Planet, which will be at the beautiful Roger Tory Peterson Institute, located in Jamestown, NY. This moving and inspiring exhibition will run August 22 – October 25, 2021. Both paintings will also be included in the tour, which will go to the following venues:
My painting “Cool, Clean Water” features one of the amazing hellbenders that live in our area here in the Smokies. I’m bringing awareness through this miniature, to the importance and necessity of clean streams, to continue to allow these incredible giant salamanders to live. As you can see in the painting, the rock to the left of the hellbender’s head, has been sheared in half by some one throwing it into the stream. Moving and throwing rocks in the streams is a BIG problem in our area and causes great damage to the inhabitants that call these rivers home.
I have created a time-lapse painting video of it and uploaded it HERE to our YouTube Channel, for you to enjoy! We now have over 30 videos you can watch, including a great video on Hellbenders. You can SUBSCRIBE to receive notifications.
“Cool, Clean, Water”
Wes’ painting “The Tragic Death of a King” represents a major issue near and dear to our hearts! That is the amount of fishing line strung across tree limbs and hanging from power lines. Too many times now, we have seen beautiful birds needlessly killed by being caught in fishing line! That is why every time we kayak or hike near streams, we’re always collecting and removing as much fishing line as possible, to hopefully help prevent more happenings like in Wes’ painting. So I encourage you starting today, to help the wildlife and do your part as well, by removing fishing line whenever you can.
“The Tragic Death of a King”
See our miniatures in person this week
See the show online here: Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2021: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada
See the show online now here: 30th International Miniature Art Show
May 1-31, 2021: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC (We are the judges for the show this year!)
See the show online here: The Art of the Miniature XXIX
May 2 – June 13, 2021: The Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA
To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website, artofwildlife.com
Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email
Until Next Time ~ Rachelle