So Who’s 29…Again?

 

Painting BIG and Small and Birthday Fun!

By Rachelle Siegrist

rachelle siegrist birthday at melting pot

We started the week off with friends Fred and Barb taking us out for an early celebration of my birthday.  Friends Bill and Darlene also joined us, and after enjoying a yummy pizza for supper, our tastebuds were tantalized with a delicious chocolate feast at the Melting Pot!  We quickly consumed two pots of dark chocolate, into which we dipped assorted treats.  It really didn’t matter what we were dipping anyway, as it was all about the chocolate to me!  With an unsettled weather forecast for my birthday later that week, we decided at the last minute to go on a short hike, after weather conditions changed in our favor.

rachelle siegrist hiking

We chose to walk along a trail located not too far from where we live, which follows alongside a stream most of the way.  We walked far enough this time, to revisit the remnants of an old vehicle abandoned in the woods, reminding all who see it of a bygone era, of simpler times and ways.  We laughingly joked that this was the car Wes had graciously got me for my birthday, and I decided once it was fixed up a little and painted cotton candy pink, perhaps it would be quite cute!  There are several large boulders along the trail, and many I couldn’t resist exploring.

rachelle siegrist hiking in the smokies

We walked back into a cozy, little secluded spot, where we relaxingly sat and watched a couple of small waterfalls dancing over large rocks, filling the air with a welcomed mist and the delightful sounds of roaring water. Several Bay Rhododendrons were starting to bloom, showcasing clumps of delicate white and soft pink flowers against their bright green foliage.  This one in particular was especially beautiful, with the white water of the cascade flowing behind.

Rhododendron blossom in the smokies

While I have spent much of my time this past week at the easel, and Wes has been busily working with his SAA job, we did manage to paint our basement walls and floors, and are both quite happy to have that job now marked off the to do list!

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~ Recently off the Easels ~

I just finished painting my latest pet portrait miniature of a precious girl named Lucy.  Before photographing her, I had brushed her extensively while fixing her fur, and I do believe she was feeling quite beautiful, while posing and sporting her new coiffure for me afterwards!  Currently on my easel is a miniature painting of two turkeys which I’ll be sharing with you next week.  Wes is working on a Spotted Sandpiper which we photographed on one of our recent kayaking trips.

dog painting Lucy Mason by rachelle siegrist
“Sweet Lucy” 

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

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Who’s Watching Us Paint?

 

Painting, Kayaking and Baby Screech Owls!

By Rachelle Siegrist

rachelle siegrist kayaking

Early one morning this past week, we loaded up our kayaks and headed out for a mini adventure.  It was a gorgeous day, with clear blue skies and a slight chill in the air, as we climbed into our kayaks and paddled across the glassy surface of the water.  It was extremely clear too, allowing us to peer down several feet into the water below.  I was delighted when I saw a large trout, as well as several bass. A highlight of the morning, was when a Bald Eagle passed overhead!  We had an awesome adventure and returned home in time to spend the rest of the day painting our front porch.

rachelle siegrist painting

As you can see I’m much neater when painting my miniatures with wee little brushes, than when using a larger house brush . . . HaHa!  But not to worry thankfully, as we were painting the floor afterwards.

wes and rachelle siegrist greenhouse

Even the greenhouse got a fresh coat of paint, and our resident Screech Owl Shivers,  currently nesting in the box above the garden, curiously watched Wes as he painted below.

screech owl red

While Wes was painting, I happened to look out of our studio window at the right time, and saw two baby owls peaking out of the hole in the box.  I was thrilled to say the least, and quickly got a few photos before going down to tell Wes about our newest little residents!

baby screech owls

The yard finally dried out enough, after recent rains, that we could have a fire out back.  So we had several neighbor friends over one evening, for smore’s, while we enjoyed sitting around the fire and chatting.  As the sun set, the fireflies started appearing all around us, putting on quite a light show!

smore's at the siegrists

We were delighted to have Wes’ high school art teacher and dear friend Mike, and wife Connie, visit us one evening.  After supper together on the porch at our local Subway, we spent the remainder of the evening at our house, showing them our miniature paintings, model railroad and art collection, while sharing stories and catching up.  Mike played an important role in Wes’ desire to be an artist, and while they had a shared interest in art, they also enjoyed playing war games for countless hours, and doing other things together as well!  Needless to say, it was a great evening of reminiscing for us all!

wes siegrist and art teacher


~ Recently off the Easels ~

Here’s one of Wes’ recent miniature paintings, featuring a Jordan’s Red-cheeked Salamander, which we were delighted to see in the Smokies during one of our hikes in the upper elevations.  A good friend of ours knew exactly where to find them, and it wasn’t a minute after we had arrived in the correct area, that he carefully lifted a log, and voila’ . . . there it was!  Obviously he made our day with that!

Jordan's Red-cheeked Salamander painting by Wes Siegrist
Wes’ “Jordan’s Red-cheeked Salamander”

~ See our miniature paintings in person this week at this location ~

 The Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, located in Clarksville, TN . Our Exquisite Miniatures tour will be on display there through June 30, 2018.

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

Watching It Rain

Watching It Rain . . . And Rain . . . And Rain!

By Rachelle Siegrist

memorial day picnic

Wow . . . what a rainy week we’ve had!  Memorial Day we enjoyed a neighborhood picnic and were all very thankful for the pavilion at the park, as we ate lunch, talked and watched it rain.  Even though it was damp and chilly, the homemade ice cream was still the highlight, and fun was had by all!

rachelle siegrist2

What do you do when you’re getting hit by large bands of a tropical storm? . . . why you go camping of course!  And that’s we did for a couple of nights, taking our kayaks along with us.  We managed to kayak for awhile the first afternoon, before being hit with a deluge whilst cooking supper at our campsite.  Rain poured down, flooding the ground and turning it into one huge mud puddle!  So we sat there while eating supper, and watched it rain.

siegrists van

Thankfully it was a short-lived downpour, so we went for a nice hike that evening, stopping continuously to admire the abundant clumps of Indian Pipe blooming!  It was obviously very happy with the soggy conditions, as I’ve never seen so much of it before.

indian pipe

That evening we fell asleep while listening to rain drops hitting the roof of the van, which is quite mesmerizing indeed, and within seconds I was sound asleep.  We awoke to a bit of sunshine the next morning, so after a breakfast of oatmeal, we decided to take advantage of the storm-free weather, while kayaking.  The clouds parted, letting the early morning sun stream down and illuminate the peaceful water below, creating a magical setting for a couple of minutes.

rachelle siegrist

Returning to the campsite, we ate lunch and played cards, while another shower passed over us, thankfully not flooding us that time.  Afterwards it appeared clear, so we decided to go for another hike, and we were nearly halfway through the 3-mile trip, when we began hearing a rumbling sound in the distance.  Minutes later the rumbling sounded like the “BOOMS” in Jurassic Park, when the T-Rex is coming, and before we knew it, the lightning was striking all around us . . . Yikes!!!

wes siegrist

Each time it struck and then thundered before I could say “One thousand one“, my heart quickened, as did my feet, knowing we still had almost two miles left to hike!  The rain was falling so hard that the trail turned into a muddy stream bed, causing us to hike along in water and mud puddles, making it feel even more dangerous mixed with the close lightning strikes!  Even wearing ponchos, we returned from our hike soaking wet, but were happy to not have been incinerated!  I must say, the excessive rainfall caused streams and waterfalls to roar with whitewater, creating some stunning sites!

rachelle siegrist3

Amazingly that evening we were actually able to enjoy sitting by our campfire, while feasting on delicious S’mores, watching fireflies and listening to Peepers and Whip-poor-whills.  The next morning we packed up our soggy camping gear and headed home, having enjoyed another adventure!


~ Recently off the Easels ~

Here’s one of my recent miniature paintings, featuring a Black-tailed Jack Rabbit, which I photographed while in Texas a couple of years ago.

Black-tailed_Jack_Rabbit_painting_by_Rachelle_Siegrist1
“Black-tailed Jack Rabbit”

One of Wes’ recent miniature paintings, features a Banded Water snake, which blends in with the reflected patterns on the water’s surface, making it tricky to spot.

Snake-painting_Among_Cypress_Swamp_Reflections_by-Wes-Siegrist1
Wes’ “Among Cypress Swamp reflections”

~ See our miniature paintings in person this week at this location ~

The Art of Miniature XXVI
May 6 – June 10, 2018: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA


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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle