A Day Of Play

rachelle and wes siegrist

Wes and I took a much needed break from work and painting one day this past week, and I loved every minute of it! We awoke to a picture perfect day boasting clear blue skies and delightful temperatures, as we headed out explore the area around us whilst enjoying hiking different trails. We started off hiking along a section of the Cumberland Trail in the Grassy Cove area, located a short few minute drive from our house. 


While it gave us a couple of nice views of surrounding areas below, we saw several things of interest along the way, including this cocoon below.

nature photography

Spotting things like the cocoon and the frog eggs below are always a treat for us! I also noticed that there were literally thousands of Mountain Laurel bushes lining the trail and hillside in many areas, and I can only imagine how beautiful that will be in a couple of months when they’re in full bloom! Since it’s so close to us, I won’t have to imagine though, as we can take another walk up the along the trail to drink in the sites and delightful fragrance they fill the air with!

frog eggs

Leaving that trail, we headed to another area where we enjoyed a relaxing picnic lunch before stumbling upon another wonderful trail, also filled with masses of Mountain Laurel, and numerous very tall pine trees, which graciously padded the trail below with their discarded pine needles, creating a lovely soft carpet-like trail to hike along. The warmth of the sun filled the air with the delightful fresh scent of pine as we walked along.

landscape photography2

We passed several large rock formations, and I loved how the trees are growing right down to the edge on this one. It looks as if someone took a large cake-like slice out of the earth, revealing the beautiful multiple layers or rock underneath. 

landscape photography

There were a few falls and several cascades as well, and with every bend in the trail another beautiful scene unfolded before our eyes, and I kept exclaiming to Wes “Oh wow . . . it’s so beautiful!”

landscape photography waterfall

We found another place that we cant wait to return to with our kayaks and explore the lovely area from the water!

landscape photography3

We saw lots of birds throughout the day, various warblers and songbirds, as well as ducks such as these gorgeous Ring-Necks and Buffleheads, who let us watch as the bobbed along the water’s surface.

duck photo

There were also several Canada geese that we watched for quite sometime, as they floated about and fed on grasses below the surface, revealing their soft white fluffy rumps, which stuck straight up in the air and always makes me laugh. 

canada geese photo wes siegrist

This large rock shown below, with its smooth sculpted surface afforded a picturesque view of the river. It was a splendid day and felt as if we were on vacation for the day! We plan to return to these areas again soon as well as explore many other new areas nearby. The projects continue here at home and we’re getting very close to finishing the pizza oven. I’m planning to make a time-lapse video of the process to share with you once we’ve finished, which I think will be very interesting to watch. 

landscape photography rachelle siegrist


This is one of my recently finished painting commissions. I’ve also just put the finishing touches on my pet portrait commission of Jett and will share it with you next week. 

miniature painting by rachelle siegrist

“Dad’s Truck”


miniature portrait painting

Our touring exhibition Exquisite Miniatures is currently at The Evelyn Burrow Museum, located in Hanceville, AL, where you can see it now through April 15th 2022. So if you’re in the area, plan a visit to the museum, grab a magnifying glass and be “Wowed” in person!

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
Remaining Tour Venue:
February 5 – May 5, 2022: The Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays, KS

To see our available miniature paintings as well as some upcoming shows, please

visit our WEBSITE  artofwildlife.com     Email us

Thanks for following me 🙂

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

More Painting and a Great Hike!

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
~ Thomas Merton

Cardinal photo

Our precious resident, Sir Curly, sits in Nana’s tree outside our living room window

Oh . . . how very true the above quote is, whether you are the artist creating the art, or the viewer observing it! Numerous times I have “lost myself” in my work, during the creative painting process, where time has sped by, while I felt as if it were standing still. This has happened to me a couple of times this past week, when an hour felt like a minute, and I felt as if I could’ve painted throughout the night and into the next day without stopping!  Oh, what a great sensation this is for an artist! With this being said, one can tell that we’ve obviously spent much of our time once again this past week painting on our miniatures.  However, we took a day off to enjoy a walk in the woods . . .  and a long walk in the woods it was . . . an eight and a half mile walk to be exact, while enjoying a gorgeous day filled with lots of sunshine and blue sky! We walked a section of trail that we had yet to hike, so we have now completed an entire section on our hiking trails map of the Smokies. After returning from new hikes, we make it a practice to mark in with a highlighting marker on our map to show us where all we’ve been.

photo on a trail in the smoky mountains national park

Wes in the midst of a groove, of what appear to be dwarf pines, along the trail.

photo of galax in the smoky mountains

A stunning Galax dressed in it’s royal winter red foliage.

Weather wise it was a beautiful day with mild temperatures, especially for January, so I even got to enjoy walking part of the hike in my shorts! With the trees shed of their leaves, it afforded us spectacular views throughout most of the hike. The moss was so green and lush with all of our recent rainfall, and I must admit I spent quite a bit of my time up and back stopping to feel and pat the moss, as I just cannot seem to resist it’s soft pleas for touch! I even convinced Wes to feel one of the great, velvety, bright green patches. And speaking of soft, in winter, the mountains covered with their leafless trees, appear almost as lavender-colored velour from a distance, and makes me wish I had a really . . . really long arm and great big hand, so that I could extend it and slowly run it over the mountain range, while feeling it’s softness.

photo on a trail in the smoky mountains national park

Me with the velvety mountains behind

photo of moss

I just know that some adorable critter calls this fairytale setting home!

At the highest point of our hike, we sat while enjoying our amazing view and took a break to enjoy a snack of . . . you guessed it, dark chocolate, which of course was very yummy and gave us the energy to carry on. We were just about a half of a mile from the trailhead where we had started earlier that day, when it began to lightly rain. Since it was supposed to be sunny all day, we had no rain gear, so we just enjoyed walking along in the misty rain, but alas were quite thankful that it was very light! We finished off our delightful day with a delicious pizza at our local Pizza Hut, before returning home for the evening. Later that week, we enjoyed eating dinner and playing canasta along with friends Jim and Uschi, at our neighbors, Beverly and Avery’s house. The girls won the first game, and so to be nice, we let the boys win the second game, thus keeping them happy . . . hee hee! Yesterday, we enjoyed a wonderful visit from our dear friends Andrew and Joanne Gott. We spent the afternoon with a casual drive through Cades Cove, and could hardly keep the total count of deer, as there were so many throughout the Cove. Several turkeys were also seen walking about. Returning to our house, we sat awhile, and shared stories and mainly enjoyed listening to Andrew and Joanne tell hilarious tales of their feathered children’s antics!! That evening we enjoyed a delicious supper at a Mexican restaurant in nearby Maryville, where we thoroughly enjoyed listening to more of Andrew’s great stories of his travels and experiences in Panama. My stomach is always sore from laughter after spending time with the Gotts!

Enjoying dinner at Jimadors

At El Jimadors along with Andrew, Joanne, and baby Gott (whom will debut this summer)

Fresh Off the Easel: I am continuing to paint on a couple of commissioned miniature paintings at present. I’m currently working on a pet portrait miniature of a beautiful Golden Retriever named Lina, who is also a therapy dog, so that makes it even more special! The other miniature is of Raphael’s “St. George and the Dragon”, and I’m continuing to have lots of fun on them both. This past week, I also finished my miniature painting of a Little Green Heron that we photographed while in Dunedin, FL. Wes finished his painting of a Celery Looper Moth, which he photographed in our yard, as it is amazing with its awesome camouflaging abilities!

miniature painting of Raphael's "St. George and the Dragon"

St. George in progress, with a few more washes in place.

dog portrait painting mniature

Sweet Lina in progress, with a few more washes.

miniature painting of a Little Green Heron

“The Lazy Fisherman”  by Rachelle
2¾ x 2¾ inches

miniature painting of a celery looper moth

“Camouflage: Celery Looper Moth” by Wes
2½ x 2½ inches

~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

~ We are very excited that our solo exhibition “EXQUISITE MINIATURES BY WES & RACHELLE SIEGRIST” is presently at the beautiful SAN DIEGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM in San Diego, CA, and will be on display there Saturday, January 21 through Wednesday, March 21, 2012. So if you’re in the area, I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful museum!

To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html

“Collect the future’s history today while it is still affordable.”

Until next time ~ Rachelle

The MASF Show Opening Weekend

the MASF show opening

Some of the attendees at the MASF show opening this past weekend

We arrived in Dunedin, FL Friday morning, in time for Wes to hang up the MAA cases, in preparation for the opening weekend of the MASF show. After a quick lunch we headed to Honeymoon Island State Park along with fellow artist Pat Getha and her family, to spend the afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather. The area is filled with Ospreys, a pair of nesting Bald Eagles and a pair of Great Horned Owls, making it a delightful spot to watch all of the various activities. We watched one particular pair as the male Osprey brought an occasional addition of a stick to their existing nest and would try and work it into place. After one such attempt, the female not particularly fond of his placement of the stick, pulled it out and flew with it in mouth in a large circle, being sure to fly right in front of the male, while she made a big show of the entire ordeal, then landed back in the nest and placed it where she thought it needed to be!

Standing by our miniature paintings at the MASF show

Wes by our miniature paintings at the MASF show

That evening we enjoyed a wonderful time with our dear collector friend, Mike and several of his friends, filled with lots of conversation over a delicious dinner. The show got underway Saturday morning at ten, with the collectors preview, which was well attended. That evening we enjoyed a reception for the artists and collectors at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. After attending the awards brunch Sunday morning, we all went to the Art Center once again, where the show opened to the public. That evening we enjoyed a nice dinner with a group of artist friends before driving to Okeechobee to spend the week with my family.

Dinner at the Beachcomber in Clearwater

Enjoying dinner with friends at the Beachcomber in Clearwater, FL

Standing by the miniature painting of me by Bill Mundy

Me standing proudly by the miniature painting of me by our dear artist friend, Bill Mundy

Fresh Off the Easel: I finished a miniature painting of a group of precious mice, which I photographed at the Louisville Zoo, during our visit with Wes’ family at Christmas. Wes finished his miniature painting of Eared Grebes that was done from a photo taken while we were in San Carlos, Mexico last spring.

miniature painting of mice

~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

~ 37th Annual International Miniature Art Show (MASF) January 15 – February 5, 2012: Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL. Also, at the same time/place will be the Miniature Artists of America Traveling Exhibition, which includes two of our miniature paintings alongside that of 33 others honored for being the best in American miniature art.

To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html

“Collect the future’s history today while it is still affordable.”
Until next time ~ Rachelle