Painting Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring”

 

 

Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring by Rachelle Siegrist

“Girl With a Pearl Earring after Vermeer”

I finished my miniature painting of Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring” this past week. It was as much fun to paint as DaVinci’s Mona Lisa“, albeit a bit more challenging. Nonetheless, I did it and have painted yet another one of my favorite historical masterpieces! I’d like to do a few more and am trying to decide which ones I’d like to do, as I have many favorites. I’m curious… what are your favorite historical masterpieces?

So, who was the girl in this painting donning the big pearl earring? No one really knows for sure, although some speculate it may be one of his daughters. Wes and I recently watched a documentary on Vermeer, and since he left no letters behind, they don’t know much about him. Sadly he died in his forties, leaving behind a widow, their 8 children, and lots of debts, forcing his wife to sell his paintings to pay them off. Vermeer would pass into obscurity, being forgotten for a long time before being rediscovered in the 19th century, and eventually have his masterpiece “Girl With a Pearl Earring” selected as the most beautiful painting in the Netherlands by the Dutch public in the early 2000s. 

So here is a fun time-lapse video of me recreating this beautiful masterpiece in miniature, for you to enjoy!

~ See our miniatures in person this week ~

MIGRATION Exhibition & Sale
November 13, 2020 – January 10, 2021 at the Thomasville Cultural Center, in Thomasville, GA. (Wes’ Southern Sentinel has been sold.)

87th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature
November 22, 2020 – January 9, 2021: Strathmore Hall, Bethesda, MD
View the exhibition online

Do you want to enjoy your own special miniature painting?

Then contact us via the link below! You can also visit our website, subscribe to our YouTube channel or follow us on Facebook via the links below.

Until next time ~ Rachelle

Birding In The Everglades

Rachelle SiegristChris, Melissa, Emma and me in the 90s 

Yesterday brought gorgeous fall weather, so we set up a few card tables spaced far apart in our backyard, Wes built a nice fire in an old metal wash tub, and a few neighbor friends brought their lunch and joined us in dining Al fresco. It was a delightful time as we ate, laughed and shared stories. After Wes and I had finished telling one story, our friend Elise brilliantly suggested that I should start sharing these stories of our pre-blog adventures with you, so I thought I’d begin with this one . . .

Whilst still living in Okeechobee, Florida, we had a group of wonderful friends for many years, which included my biology and economics teachers from high school. It was a delightful group and we enjoyed eating and playing games together, and shared a love of birding. It was a fairly serious group, with the guys even having bird names for their “handles” which they used while communicating with one anther when traveling to various birding locations. 

Flamingo painting by Rachelle Siegrist

My miniature painted on silk “Primping With Mommy”

One particular weekend trip we went to Everglades National Park in search of the Banana-faced Grassquit. We had intently searched the areas in which it had been spotted, and finally Wes exclaimed “There it is!” as the wee little bird flew across the pond and lit on a reed right in front of him. Of course everyone came running and there in the spotting scope was the little bird sitting atop a limb with the “X” pattern showing when it looked directly at us, and it made our day!

While there we also hiked other trails including the Snake Bight Trail in hopes of seeing the flamingoes that usually inhabit the area. It was a beautiful sunny day in January as we walked along, and although we didn’t see any snakes or flamingos, we were bitten by countless mosquitoes, constantly smacking ourselves as we walked along, laughing and saying it should be renamed the “Skeeter bite trail” instead.

Roseate spoonbill painting by Rachelle Siegrist

My miniature painted on silk “Tucked In Pink”

We spent the night at what I believe was the old historic Flamingo Lodge, which sadly was pretty much destroyed by a hurricane years after our visit. It was as dark as coal when we arrived that night, as we had stayed out birding and exploring as long as possible. The old quaint hotel backed right up to the water, and had one small restaurant at the end, which consisted of a screened in porch, with lights strung around. We ordered a pizza and listened to the small live band playing Jimmy Buffet style music, and I felt as if we had somehow managed to slip back in time, it was great! We watched the sun rise and left early the next morning for another full day of birding and exploring before heading back home. 

Florida Sunset painting by Rachelle Siegrist

My miniature painting “Sunset At The Marsh”

Another fun trip was made prior to the one above, to DeSoto State Park to search for a Stripe-headed Tanager. Arriving at the trail where it had been seen, we unloaded all of our gear and started down the boardwalk which was lined with numerous other birders carrying out the same mission. Wes and I being wildlife artists, get excited about any bird posing nicely or back-lit beautifully by the sun, etc, that would make a gorgeous painting. Wes walking slightly up ahead of me stopped and asked “Did you see him?” As soon as the words had left his mouth, we found ourselves surrounded by anxious birders wanting to also see it! When we pointed to the gorgeous Great Blue Heron, I thought we would be stoned alive, since it was not the tanager. Thankfully Wes was the one who would later spot it for all to see, thus saving face for us both . . . Ha Ha!

Oh, we truly made so many wonderful memories with that group of friends, and I must say that we miss those times! I’ll be sharing many more adventures from our past with you on future blogs.

~ See our miniatures in person this week ~

MIGRATION Exhibition & Sale
November 13, 2020 – January 10, 2021 at the Thomasville Cultural Center, in Thomasville, GA. Below are our five miniature paintings included in the exhibition. Wes’ Southern Sentinel has been sold.

Rachelle and Wes siegrists miniature paintings at MIgrations show

Do you want to enjoy your own special miniature painting?

Then contact us via the link below! You can also visit our website, subscribe to our YouTube channel or follow us on Facebook via the links below.

Until next time ~ Rachelle

There’s A Lizard On My Face

rachelle siegrist kayaking

We’ve enjoyed some beautiful weather this past week in between visits from tropical systems moving over us, so we jumped at the chance to get outdoors a couple of times, and went kayaking. There is still some nice fall color left as you can see in the photos, which look even prettier paired against a brilliant clear blue sky! Whilst driving to the lake one morning, we were delighted to see and watch a dozen or more turkeys slowly cross the road.

turkies in autumn

Once on the other side, they slowly meandered up the hillside, stopping to scratch and search for something interesting to eat or investigate, all the while softly clucking to one another. I absolutely love turkeys, and one of my all time favorite books is Joe Hutto’s “Illumination In The Flatwoods”, in which he shares with readers the vast knowledge he learned about the turkey’s amazing behavior and how brilliant they are, while raising them. He makes you feel as if you were right there with them, taking daily walks and enjoying the company of these most impressive birds, and I must say I nearly cried when the book ended! 

turkies in fall

If you’ve spent any time at all with Wes and me, you know that we love the natural world and all of it’s critter inhabitants, so much of my reading material has to do with nature. A short book I just finished titled “Wisdom of Wolves” by Twyman Towery was a most enlightening read, sharing the vast wisdom gained from observing wolves and their social behavior. Upon reading Morris Udall’s quote in the book, “The more we exploit nature, the more our options are reduced until we have only one: to fight for survival.” I couldn’t help but think of what has happened negatively in our environment recently and the terrible changes that have been made during the past couple of years here in the U.S. Perhaps this quote should hang in every home and office across the country. But I digress and as Yoda would say “Stay off my soapbox I will”. 

kayaking with rachelle siegrist

I thought this was a cute photo with the insect bombing it!

Back to the lake we go, where in rare locations, the sounds of wind blowing through remaining leaves on the trees, songbird and the soothing chirping of crickets are the only sounds heard, and it is priceless to me! We enjoyed a boat picnic whilst slowly listing back and forth, lulled to a state of complete relaxation in the warmth of the sun. Lots of big acorns, sweet gum balls and assorted nuts fell into the water throughout the day, making loud splashes and leaving us thankful each time it didn’t land on our heads! Well one particular time we heard a splash, the nut started “swimming” and we immediately knew it was a critter. We paddled over to it, and Wes reaching it first, announced “It’s a Green Anole!” So he carefully grabbed it, retrieving it from the frigid water. It immediately jumped into the kayak, and within a minute or so had crawled its way up onto Wes’ face, to a nice sunny spot! I laughed at his new little friend, and with its tiny needle sharp toenails digging into his cheek, it took all Wes could do to leave it there, especially when he crawled up a wee bit further and his tail was dipping down into his ear, which he said felt like a string tickling inside it! I laughed and laughed and being a lover of Anoles, was delighted that it had been saved! Wes paddled over to the shore where he carefully set his little friend down in a nice sunny location on the leaves. 

wes siegrist

Here’s a short video of Wes with his adorable and grateful little hitchhiker friend for you to enjoy!

 

 

Do you want to enjoy your own special miniature painting?

Then contact us via the link below! You can also visit our website, subscribe to our YouTube channel or follow us on Facebook via the links below.

Until next time ~ Rachelle