How Nifty…Guess Who’s 50?

Rachelle Siegrist
On my first Birthday and Wes says I still eat dark chocolate like this . . . LOL!

Today is my birthday, and I can’t believe I’m 50 years old already! . . . That’s half a century, and it just doesn’t seem possible! Where has the time gone I scratch my head and wonder? In many ways, it seems like I just graduated this year, but instead, I realize it was 32 years ago! My parents can’t believe I’m 50 already either! I remember when my paternal grandparents were 55, so I just know there’s no way I can almost be as old as I remember my grandparents being! But alas here I am, and I tell myself it’s just a number anyway. I have a sign that a friend gave me many birthdays ago, which reads . . . “I never grew up, I only got taller“. So while I may be 50 that doesn’t mean I have to act like it . . . so I’ve decided I won’t.

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At age 4 with my best friends, Prissy and Nicki-Nicki-Tumbo (my nickname for her)

Wes and I were supposed to be with all of my family in Florida today, celebrating my birthday together at Lake Jackson, whilst riding the tube behind the boat, swimming, and spending the day in the warm water. But one thing I’ve learned in my 50 years of life thus far, and that is many times things don’t go as we had planned or hoped for. Like many of you, we’ve had to cancel all our trips because of COVID 19. Even though we’re not all together today, thankfully everyone is healthy and I got to video chat for a short while with them earlier this morning. They sang happy birthday and I got to watch my nieces and nephews enjoying being at the lake.

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My Dad loved photography and enjoyed staging photos like this one over the years

The world is a different place now than it was when I was a little girl. There have been both good changes and bad ones during my lifetime thus far. I too have changed in many ways, but in many others, I have remained the same. I still love being outdoors, it’s always been my favorite place to be, especially when I can be in the woods or in or on the water! I suspect it will remain my favorite place to be. I still love birds, animals, alligators, flowers, trees, the sounds of the beach, and the wind in the trees! I may be much taller, but I still feel the same excitement when walking down the white sand and heading to the saltwater! Even though presently I’m mostly walking down to the edge of the lake with my kayak in tow, I still feel that same childhood excitement! I have been blessed with many wonderful memories so far, and even though there have been hard times too, I’ve learned they help build character and help make me stronger. It will be interesting to see where the last half-century of my life takes me, and I’m betting much of it will be spent outdoors!

~  In The Studio  ~

Junior's Saudade painting in miniature by Rachelle Siegrist
“Saudade” after Almeida Junior

Well, I finished my commission painting this past week of Almeida Junior’s “Saudade“. Just as I suspected, one of the most challenging things to paint on this miniature was the wee tears on her nose! This was certainly a fun journey painting this beautiful masterwork! You can see and read how “Saudade” was done step-by-step in my last three blog posts, Painting Almeida Junior’s Saudade in Miniature Part IPart II, and  Part III

~  See our miniature paintings this week  ~

Making Their Mark: American Women Artists (ONLINE ONLY)
May 23 – August 23, 2020: Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA

May 3 – June 14, 2020: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

15th Masterpieces in Miniature   May 2 – 30, 2020: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada – One painting has sold and the other three will remain on display for a limited time.


Would you like to enjoy your own special miniature painting? 

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle


Exquisite Miniatures At The Kennedy Douglass Center For The Arts

Exquisite Miniatures on Display at Kennedy Douglass4

Our touring exhibition consisting of fifty of our miniature paintings titled Exquisite Miniatures debuted at the prestigious R. W. Norton Art Gallery located in Shreveport, LA, in June of 2010.  Here we are nine years later and continuing to set records with this history-making tour that is traveling across the United States!

Exquisite Miniatures on Display at Kennedy Douglass8

Produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C., Exquisite Miniatures recently opened at its 31st venue, the Kennedy-Douglass Center For The Arts, in Florence, AL, where it will remain on exhibit through December 3rd of this year.

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This amazing tour has encompassed 20 States thus far and once it leaves the Kennedy Douglass Center, it will travel onto the beautiful Brookgreen Gardens, located in Murrells Inlet, SC, where it can be seen in person from January 25th through April 26th of 2020.  Wes and I will be at Brookgreen in person during an opening reception, as well as a gallery walk the following day.  The dates and times for these special events will be announced.

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Leaving Brookgreen Gardens, Exquisite Miniatures will travel onto at least three brand new States and possibly Canada!  Wes and I would have never imagined that this would go onto become the historical traveling exhibition of miniature paintings that it has, and we feel so very blessed!  Enjoy reading this lovely article about our exhibition currently at The Douglass Center featured in the Times Daily entitled “Exquisite Miniatures’ exhibit offers unconventional look at extreme detail.”

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On October 6th actress and storyteller, Dolores Hydock will make an appearance at 1:30 PM in connection with Exquisite Miniatures.  She will tell a story called “Its The Little Things” which will tie in the relationship between miniature art and small objects.

Many thanks to the beautiful Kennedy-Douglass Center For the Arts for taking the photos featured on today’s blog!  If you’re in the Florence area or will be visiting there during the next couple of months,  enjoy being “Wowed” by our miniature paintings up close and in person at the center.

Exquisite Miniatures on Display at Kennedy Douglass10

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle


Paddling In The Moonlight


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I see the moon . . . and the moon sees me


Wes and I took a short break from the studio and office this past week, to go camping for a couple of days.  It was nearly perfect weather, so we filled our time with kayaking, swimming, fishing, and hiking. We started off each day with an early morning paddle while fishing and just plain relaxing.  At one point I found this Mayfly floating upside down atop the water, so I gently picked it up and placed it upright on my kayak, where it rode for some time before I placed it onto a maple leaf at the water’s edge.  It was quite striking in appearance and I enjoyed getting to take a close look at it!


A gorgeous Mayfly resting on my kayak


While only Wes caught fish, I had fun trying with my flyrod and got a kick out of watching the schools of minnows in the clear water below, tearing at my wee fly each time it came close to my kayak!


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Wes having fun while fishing


The Joe Pye Weeds were covered with numerous puffy pink blossoms, which the insects and a variety of butterflies were greatly enjoying!


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A hornet feasts atop a Joe Pye Weed


We also enjoyed a relaxing hike each day and delighted in seeing an assortment of mushrooms and fungi as we walked along.  While many were bright orange or yellow, growing in all shapes and sizes, there was one in particular that really stood out.  As we walked, we began smelling something that smelled dead and like it was decaying and rotting.  After searching for a carcass lying around, and finding nothing, we soon realized that this yucky, earthy stench was coming from a certain medium to large size mushroom.  From then on, each time that familiar stench filled the air, we knew right away what it was!


fungi of the smokies
Clavulinopsis fusiformis, commonly known as golden spindle Coral


While afternoons were filled with swimming, we took the kayaks out during the evenings.  One evening we decided to stay out and watch the sunset while fishing and relaxing, and were rewarded with a most spectacular sunset that only God could paint!


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The start of the beautiful Pink clouds


As the setting sun dipped lower and lower, it bathed the sky above in a stunning array of pinks, which turned to salmon, oranges, and yellows, and was truly breathtaking to watch and see!


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And the world turned pink!


The bright colors quickly faded, turning the world into a black and white movie, as the nearly full moon grew higher in the darkening sky.  I have always wanted to paddle in the full moonlight, and must admit it was as magical as I dreamed it would be!  Many times I stopped paddling and sat back in the kayak while watching the brightly reflected moonlight dance across the rippled surface of the water, and it proved to be quite mesmerizing indeed!

rachelle siegrist full moon photo

Back at home, it’s been very hot and dry this past week, so we’ve traded our daily walk for an hour of swimming and snorkeling at the river nearby.  The water is unbelievably clear right now, making us feel as if we’re snorkeling in a huge aquarium, and I think the fish are starting to recognize my bright pink mask, and don’t seem to mind me invading their watery world at all anymore.  We have such fun starting at the base of a cascade which thrusts us forward at a good rate of speed, thus making us feel as if we’re flying through the air as we go downstream!

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We were delighted to be invited to dear friend David’s home to enjoy a fish fry with him and some of his family.  We’ve always so enjoyed spending time with David’s sweet parents and other family members, so it was truly a wonderful evening filled with delicious food, lots of great stories and many laughs, and we’re looking forward to getting to spend time with them again in the near future!


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David frying fish while Wes watches


~ In The Studio ~

In the studio this week, we have both been having fun at the easels.  I just finished my painting of an adorable squirrel sitting atop its nest, which I noticed while visiting Homosassa Springs in Florida last fall.  I watched as she made several trips whilst carrying small branches and mouthfuls of leaves into her nest.  She had stopped for a wee break when we caught her in this cute pose.


cute squirrel painting
My “Home Sweet Home”


Wes finished his miniature painting of an immature White Ibis, which we also saw during the same trip to Florida, as it searched for tasty treats below the water, with its long, curved bill.


Wes’ “Working The Weeds”


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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle