Wishing You A Merry Christmas

rachelle & wes siegrist

Wow . . . it’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here! It really doesn’t seem possible, and yet here we find ourselves at its very doorstep. I must admit that it doesn’t feel much like Christmas to me with the current state of things. It has been a most weird and stresful year indeed, and I don’t know about you, but we are ready to move into 2021 with hopes and prayers that things will improve. Nonetheless, we have so much to be thankful for as we look back on this past year. This time of year, with the frigid temps, gray skies and naked trees, I long for my beloved Florida, where I was born and spent the first 30 years of my life!

Nativity

I know for most of you, the word Christmas brings to mind images with abundant snow and the sounds of sleigh bells filling the air. However, for me, it brings to mind stately live oak trees with graceful, arching outstretched arms draped with long tendrils of Spanish moss gently swaying in the breeze, palm trees, flower covered tropical shrubs and citrus trees laden with fruit! We watched a delightful Christmas movie last evening in which Santa Claus rode on a boat pulled by pretend alligators, and the cast wore summer clothes, which appealed to me greatly!

When I was growing up, Christmas Day was spent surrounded by well over fifty relatives, on a cousin’s property. My grandpa and his brothers would dig a pit in which a fire was built, then a large grill was laid on a few cement blocks spaced apart, and the meat laid on it and covered with a big piece of tin. It was then left to cook while being flavored by the smoke and checked on occasionally. Numerous sawhorses were set up nearby and topped with long sheets of plywood. The tabletops were covered with red checkered tablecloths and then packed by numerous dishes of food brought by everyone there. Things like homemade mac-n-cheese, potato salad, baked beans, sinfully delicious scrumptious desserts and of course homemade cornbread dressing…. Can you say YUM! After lunch, all of us kids spent the day playing in the creek beneath the oaks and cypress trees and running through the open cow pastures below a vast blue sky. So perhaps, I guess you can now see why I’m dreaming of a green Christmas.

Wes and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

charlie brown christmas tree

~ See our miniatures in person this week ~

You can now follow us on Instagram at @rachellesiegrist

MIGRATION Exhibition & Sale
November 13, 2020 – January 10, 2021 at the Thomasville Cultural Center, in Thomasville, GA. 

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

EXQUISITE MINIATURES is at the Norfolk Arts Center, Norfolk, NE December 10, 2020 – April 15, 2021

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

A Visit To Cades Cove

rachelle siegrist in cades cove

Wes and I decided to head into nearby Cades Cove one day this past week, to take advantage of the beautiful sunny weather. We walked along the dirt roads partway and out in some of the fields. Pastures are a favorite place of mine to walk, so needless to say, whilst walking through the vacant horse pastures I was in heaven. Especially with the abundant sunshine drenching me and my surroundings with it’s light and warmth! The mild beautiful day even inspired this happy crow, shown below, to take an exuberant bath in a large puddle of water.

crow in cades cove

With soft earth beneath our feet and a gentle breeze blowing, we plodded along, winding our way by through dried grasses filled with a variety of warblers and sparrows, who didn’t seem to mind our being there. We saw a few deer off in the distance peacefully grazing, whilst also enjoying the lovely day! Since we were off on our own, it was so nice and quiet and it felt much of the time as if the cove was ours. If you’ve followed my blog for very long, you know that I am a tree hugger and have hugged trees all over the country. Well we found this large Honey Locust tree at the edge of a woodland section, and upon seeing it, I decided this certainly a tree who does not want to be hugged!

jerusalem thorn tree

The lighting was spectacular that afternoon, so I stopped often to admire the dried wildflowers and grasses being backlit by the winter sun. I found these sticks most impressive showcasing the thousands of hair-like bits lining their numerous stems.

cades cove

Here’s a short video for you to enjoy, with only the sounds of the wind being heard in the cove where we were.

Another afternoon, we took the kayaks and headed over to the lake for a couple of hours to take advantage of the blessing of milder temperatures. We were delighted to be by ourselves the entire time, and I basked in the amazing quiet and peace! In fact the quiet was so void of sound many times, that I could actually hear the blood whooshing through my ears, and it seemed almost irreverent to make any sound ourselves! Even a Kingfisher flew right alongside us at one point without even making a sound, as if she too reverenced the immense silence! 

kayaking with rachelle siegrist

The lighting was spectacular, showcasing the light-colored tree trunks paired against the dark background. At one point it appeared as if I was paddling across vast mountains comprised of leaves, immersed beneath the slick surface of the clear water. It was another glorious afternoon, and we felt very blessed indeed to have been able to enjoy it outdoors! 

kayaking

We started building what’s called a rocket stove in our green house on Thanksgiving day, and Wes finished it this past week, just in time to try it out during several nights of frigid weather. It works great, and once he’s built a couple of fires in it, it heats up the surrounding cement blocks, ceramic tile and cement overlayment, giving off a nice radiant heat inside the greenhouse for quite some time afterwards. It also makes it really delightful to sit in and enjoy an afternoon snack on a cold winter day!

green house with rocket stove inside

~ What’s Happening In The Studio ~

I’m making more progress on my miniature painting on silk of of a Wood Thrush which will be part of my poetry book I’m working on. I’ve also started another miniature portrait painting and will be sharing that with you soon.

wood thrush painting on silk by Rachelle Siegrist

~ See our miniatures in person this week ~

MIGRATION Exhibition & Sale
November 13, 2020 – January 10, 2021 at the Thomasville Cultural Center, in Thomasville, GA. 

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

A Holiday Season Painting

wood thrush painting on silk by Rachelle Siegrist

The latest progress on my Wood Thrush painting on silk

I made more progress on my miniature painting on silk of a Wood Thrush this past week with the seasonal holly tree. This is the last one needed as part of a collection of miniature bird paintings that will be featured in my poetry book, which I plan to publish soon. The book will feature numerous poems written about my precious wild feathered friends that I’v enjoyed over the years, and I’ll let you know more when the book is finished. I’m also filming time-lapse of the painting progress on this piece, so I’ll be uploading another fun speed painting video to our YouTube channel for you to enjoy when finished.

~ Our Limited Time Special Offer For You ~

Currently not being able to attend in person shows, we are excited to extend a special offer to you, in which a few paintings, ten years old or older, will temporarily be available at a reduced price, which includes shipping, insurance, and framing in the USA (unless noted otherwise). The provenance lists the shows that included the artwork. General Exhibitions denotes our in-person shows like SEWE, NatureWorks, Waterfowl, Plantation. etc, and ongoing gallery displays. Also below each painting is a short story about the inspiration behind the piece. You can sign up for our monthly email newsletter to have first chance at the paintings in future special offers, as they are made available. Email us to be added or sign up via our website.

dove painting by Rachelle Siegrist

Our regular followers know that I’m a critter lover and have my special friends that live in our yard. This painting features my precious “Dovecakes”. She nested at eye-level beside a path in our backyard that we passed each day so she became accustomed to us. She eventually would almost eat out of my hand and tended to follow me around the yard like a puppy dog wanting the shelled sunflower seeds I kept in my pocket for her. This spring day, she was about to take a bath in the birdbath underneath our peace tree. Everything was bathed in pink reflections among pink petals. I have kept this painting on display in our house when it is not at an exhibit. ~ Rachelle

Tetons landscape painting by Wes Siegrist

This painting was inspired by our first visit to the West, specifically Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. The larger size pertains to the Paint the Parks competition rules as well as the amount of detail I intended to recreate in the landscape. No, there are no hidden animals in the painting although we did stay for quite a while at this location and watch a large Bull Moose foraging in the willows. ~ Wes

bird painting by Wes Siegrist

This painting was inspired during a visit to Yellowstone National Park. Watching this flock of Common Mergansers fishing this section of rapids and basking on the rock in the warm sun was such fun. Recreating the force of the water, its translucency, and warm reflections was a thrill for me as well as capturing the unique poses of the seven birds. ~ Wes

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