Sun, Sand and Waterscapes

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Even though it’s been raining here almost constantly for the past 48 hours, we enjoyed a couple days of sunshine and milder temps this past week! So as you can imagine, we jumped at the chance to get outdoors and take advantage of the nicer weather! We loaded up the kayaks, taking along a sandwich, and headed to the water. We were amazed at how calm it was and that the water was nice and slick, and as soon as we stepped foot into the kayaks, the wind started! At least by the time we reached the sandy beach where we had our picnic, we had worked up a good appetite! After lunch, Wes fished for quite sometime, while I enjoyed just sitting back on the sand. It almost felt as if I was at the beach! With legs outstretched, I leaned back, propping myself up on my elbows, and closed my eyes. 

sand photo

Sometimes it’s nice to just listen, while figuring out what the different sounds are that I’m hearing. I heard the Canada geese fussing at Wes each time he changed locations, the cries of Ospreys as they soared above, the call of Carolina wrens in the distance, and the happy chatter of swallows as they darted about nearby. I was so relaxed in my sandy seat, that it was hard to leave. It was lovely and most relaxing, although I was brought back to reality often with the screaming roar of muscle cars and motorcycles racing up and down the nearby road. Sadly, it’s very difficult to find somewhere where you can escape them here in the Smokies anymore. But during the moments when it’s quiet, it’s delightful! 

wes siegrist

I’ve had more fun taking underwater videos and photos, and this week chose to take a few slo-mo videos. It is interesting to watch them, and you can easily see that patterns in water are never exactly the same! It’s that amazing when you think about it? When you watch the changing ripples and patterns in water, you’re seeing things that only you’ll see, and from split-second to split-second, they will never ever be the same again! It’s really incredible when you think about it!

underwater photo rachelle siegrist

I thought these two photos interesting, especially the one above, which looks like a water tornado!

underwater photo by rachelle siegrist

Here’s a slo-mo video for you which shows the ever changing patterns in the water, which I think you’ll find as fascinating I did.

We were thrilled to find the first Morel Mushroom of the season and are hoping to find more soon! These incredible looking mushrooms, are not only amazing to look at, but are absolutely delicious as well!

morel mushroom photo

Okay, so here’s this weeks excerpt from the 1892 cookbook, and although some of the things that may frighten us are different in current times, I must say it’s a good one and needs no explanation.

everyday cookbook

In The Studio

I’m making more progress on my commission of two Purple Martins. Once I’m done painting the birds, I’ll be adding a gold background, which will really change the appearance, and is always an exciting part of a painting! I’ll be finishing it this week, and will share it with you once it’s done.

miniature bird painting

 

In case you missed the announcement of my latest time-lapse painting video, here’s the link to our YouTube Chanel for you to check it out and any others you may have missed! 

 See our miniatures in person this week 

 Exquisite Miniatures at the Norfolk Arts Center, in Norfolk, NE

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website, artofwildlife.com

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email

Follow us!

 

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Smoky Mountain Spring Flowers

yoshino cherry tree blossoms photo

WOW . . . It’s finally happened! Some of the bushes and trees are bursting with blossoms, and I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to see color in the landscape once again! Not to mention the blue skies, which we enjoyed yesterday and are enjoying again today. Spring is a little late here in the Smokies, so that makes these bright blossoms an even more welcome sight! So this week I thought we’d go on a fun little photo journey around our small yard to see what’s blooming. The Yoshino Cherry Tree, shown above, is a favorite of the bees, and I love standing beneath it whilst listening to the humming buzz of these happy insects! Below is the gorgeous Forsythia, appearing as the petal-form of sunshine, adding a bold, bright yellow splash to the yard!

forsythia photo

This is the Japonica’s (shown below) second attempt at flowering, which thankfully was successful, as the cold bit it back when it started to bloom earlier this year. The honey bees really seem to love these flowers, and I love them too since they’re a shade of my favorite color . . . pink!

japonica bush flowers photo

Of course, the Daffodils are always a lovely sight indeed and usually one of the first to start blooming in our yard. We have several varieties of these delicate beauties, ranging from all yellow to multi-colored, to miniature, all quite beautiful to behold.

narcissus daffodil photo

There are several wildflowers starting to bloom as well, one of which is the Bloodroot shown below. We have several nice-sized clumps of these scattered throughout the gardens, and these hardy wildflowers bloom for quite a long time, which is always nice.

bloodroot smokies wildflower

Cutleaf Toothwort is another lovely little wildflower here in the Smokies, with wee, delicate petals in shades of light pastel pink and lavender.  

cutleaf toothwort smokies wildflower

Well, I hope you enjoyed our little sojourn around the path, and next week there should be even more wildflower blossoms for me to photograph and share with you! We’re also hoping for a day of nice weather, so we can get back out on the water again. Even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since we went kayaking last, it seems like months.

Ridiculous Remedies

Alrighty, here’s this week’s 1892 cookbook remedy for you, and I’m not even sure where to start on this one. Goodness, I don’t think I would’ve wanted to own flannel back then if you had to be this tedious about taking care of it! And even more unbelievable than the safe washing practices of flannel, is the care of men’s pantaloons . . . HAHA! I’m not quite sure what they mean by “worsted goods” but I’m suspecting they mean the really dirty stuff! I guess I never realized men wore pantaloons and the idea of Wes wearing them totally cracks me up! And of course, they ironed them . . . right? . . . Because who wanted to be caught wearing wrinkled pantaloons . . . HAHA! The more we learn about what they did back then, it’s no wonder people looked like they were approaching 100 years of age, when they were only in their early 30s! I’m sure this will make you want to go give your washing machine a nice BIG hug!

everyday cook book

remedy

In The Studio

This week in the studio, I’ve started my latest commission of a pair of Purple Martins. Wes and I had martins living in our yard when we lived in Okeechobee, FL, and we absolutely loved them! Their calls and chatter filled the air as they flocked in and out of their big house, located atop a long pole erected in the garden. They were great for adding both beauty and delightful sounds, so as you can imagine, this painting is both fun and special to me! Wes has been framing paintings for several upcoming shows.  We were delighted to receive the wonderful news from the SAA jury that each of us had a painting juried into the upcoming Animal Impressions show at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum later this summer.  I’ll share the images with you in the near future.

commission a bird painting

 

In case you missed the announcement of my latest time-lapse painting video, here’s the link to our YouTube Chanel for you to check it out and any others you may have missed!

 See our miniatures in person this week 

 Exquisite Miniatures at the Norfolk Arts Center, in Norfolk, NE

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website, artofwildlife.com

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email

Follow us!

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

The Presidential Portrait Miniature and Kayaking

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 Wes and I enjoyed spending some time in the great outdoors this past week, while taking advantage of a couple days of nice weather! We decided to spend our time on the water whilst kayaking and fishing, and the first afternoon found us under brilliant clear blue skies. The Tree Swallows and Canada Geese are obviously starting their nesting season, and I love sitting in the kayak and watching the swallows zip back and forth across the sky above, between sitting on bare tree limbs towering above. While watching the acrobat show in the sky, I was serenaded by the calls of the geese settling disputes over who’s territory is whose. A couple of times they flew nearby which was lovely to watch, and I managed to capture this video below for you to enjoy!

Since our lakes are actually rivers controlled by dams, we never know exactly what we’re gonna find in certain areas, or how high or low the water will be. While at times it can be frustrating, I guess it always lends an element of surprise to our adventure! Since the water was very low that afternoon, while Wes fished nearby, I pulled my kayak up onto one of the sandy beaches, and walked in the sand for awhile. It was almost warm feeling in certain spots and felt so amazing to my sand starved tootsies! As I walked along, I started noticing footprints and upon closer inspection realized they were from the geese. When I came upon this perfectly formed “X” made by the geese, I realized they obviously know where the treasure is buried! Next time I’ll be taking my shovel along… Ha ha!

canada goose footprints

The water is very clear presently and appears a brilliant blue color! I loved how the shore along this island looks as if it had actually been carefully raked, to make it have the uniform lines in it.

wes siegrist at the lake

We saw where the beavers are obviously enjoying this “buffet of bark” off of a huge tree that recently fell down in one of our wind storms!

tree photo

I simply can’t resist taking photos and videos in the clear water with my GoPro camera, and captured this cool looking photo this past week. So in case you’ve ever wondered what it looks like at the base of a cascade, well here you go!

underwater photo by rachelle siegrist

– Ridiculous Remedies – 

Here’s this week’s ridiculous remedy from the old 1892 cookbook, in case you have gilt frames in your house that you want to make shiny and bright! Okay, so I’m not sure where one would’ve gotten “flour of sulphur” from, or how well this worked, but it certainly should keep your home free of vampires if you used that much garlic . . . Ha Ha!!

everyday cook book

– In The Studio –

My Presidential portrait miniature commission of President Joe Biden, arrived at the Woolaroc Museum this past week, where it will be placed in the Museum’s historic Presidential Portrait Miniature Collection! This is the 3rd Presidential portrait I’ve painted for the collection, and Wes has painted one other for it. Even though there are many challenges in painting a portrait this small, one of the most stressful parts, is cutting the painting out of the paper, to make it fit inside the gold oval frame! As you can imagine, I made one wee careful cut at a time, until after what seemed like a hundred precision cuts later, it finally was the correct shape and size!

miniature portrait by rachelle siegrist

And voila’ . . . Here it is!

Portrait miniature president joe biden by Rachelle siegrist

President Joe Biden

I also finished my time-lapse video of the painting process and have embedded it here for you to enjoy! Even though I painted it, it’s still fun for me to watch it come to life in this video!

– See our miniatures in person this week –

 Exquisite Miniatures at the Norfolk Arts Center, in Norfolk, NE

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website, artofwildlife.com

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email

Follow us!

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle