Paddles…Miniature Paintings…And Rhinos

Smokies summertime fun!

by Rachelle Siegrist

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Wes, Tom and Sharon heading out

Wes and I headed back over to the lake this past week for another kayaking adventure, this time taking friends Tom and Sharon along with us. It was a stunningly gorgeous day, and we couldn’t wait to hit the water! Soon we arrived at the boat ramp, where Sharon christened her boat with a handful of lake water before we loaded up, paddling on our merry way. The lake’s surface was nice and smooth making it flawless for her maiden voyage in the new kayak!

Prothonotary Warbler
A beautiful Prothonotary Warbler Wes spotted along the way

Within minutes Wes had spotted a beautiful Prothonotary Warbler, and while he watched and photographed the gorgeous little yellow-headed bird, the rest of us watched a pair of ospreys flying over and fishing in tandem. The birds circling in the sky above while peering into the clear water below, spotted fish, each time swopping down out of the sky, plunging into the water and sending splashes up into the air, while coming out with a prized catch in their talons! A few minutes later a pair of Bald Eagles flew overhead delighting us all, and the day had only just begun!

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Sharon says . . . “No fair, your legs are longer!”

Sharon instantly fell in love with her new kayak, and I’m pretty sure she and Tom enjoyed the sport as much as the Wes and I do. Soon we were paddling back up into a creek and the recent rains made the current much more intense and stronger than normal. Upon seeing the crystal clear water, I suggested to Sharon that we get out and wade while enjoying the cool water, with our beloved kayaks in tow.

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Kids just can’t resist playing in the water . . . even us big ones!

It felt delightful walking on the sandy creek bottom, while watching schools of small fish swim past as we made our way up the creek to the wee pebble beach. Once there, we beached the kayaks, once again enjoyed one of our favorite picnicking locations. Of course I couldn’t wait to get back into the water to wade and found the perfect rock to sit on out in the middle of the stream. Try as I may, I couldn’t convince Sharon or Wes to sit out in the stream with me.  However Tom decided it was a perfect place to enjoy snorkeling for a while.

Tom snorkels for awhile
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Bok . . . Bok . . . Bok . . . Sharon’s a chicken, cause she won’t sit down in the water!

Even though I could’ve easily stayed there all day long, eventually it was time to start back so we loaded up into our kayaks and we’re on our way.  The trip back was like being on a guided tour, since all we had to do was sit back and relax while letting the current slowly take us along.  Once back out into the lake, Sharon and I found a spot where the water was actually warm.  We tried hard to find a spot where we could easily get out and back into our kayaks, so we could take advantage of the blissfully warm water, but alas were unsuccessful, so we happily soaked our arms and feet in it instead.

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The colorful crew relaxingly paddles along
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Just chillin” in the warm spot

The lake’s glassy surface, perfectly showcased reflections of the surrounding mountains as we paddled back across.  Arriving back at the boat ramp, we loaded up the kayaks and started the journey home, relishing yet another wonderful memory made!

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Heading back

Our Exquisite Miniatures tour is currently at The Stauth Memorial Museum, located in Montezuma, KS.  It will be on display there until September 3rd, so if you are in the area it’s a great time and a wonderful venue in which to enjoy being “Wowed” by our miniature paintings!

Exquisite Miniatures on display at the Stauth Memorial Museum (photos courtesy of the museum)

Rhino Images - Art and the Rhinoceros with Wes Siegrist ArtworkWes is delighted to have six paintings featured in this newly published book with proceeds benefitting Rhinos: Rhino Images – Art and the Rhinoceros, First Edition, 2017. This book shows the rhino in art – masterpieces from the ancient past to the present. There are over 300 rhino images in this book. The rhino images include drawings, paintings, etchings, rock carvings and sculptures done in a variety of materials. These images of the rhino range from early civilizations such as in China, Roman Empire, Indus civilization in Pakistan/India area and from Southern Africa down to current day images of paintings and sculptures produced by modern day artists. Whether in the ancient past or in the present the rhinos are always represented as huge, powerful and solitary animals. Drawings, woodcuts, etchings, paintings and sculptures of the rhino all depict the power of the animal. The text indicates where you may find these rhino images. For the artists of our time their websites have been given. There are very few of these magnificent wild animals left in the world, so unless they are protected and managed, artistic images will soon be the only viewing option. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to saving the rhino from extinction. The book is now up and running, being available via as a Kindle eBook download at a cost of $US20.00. Just type in rhino images in the search and the book will be available for purchase.

~ Fresh off the Easels ~

I finished one of my pet commissions this past week, of two adorable friends named Riley and Boris!  It was such a joy painting these two adorable babies, and seeing their obvious love for each other as well as the precious expression on Riley’s face, brought a continual smile to my own face!  I’m currently painting on another dog commission of a precious baby named Tito, as well as working on a Smokies landscape.

King Charles Cavalier painting by rachelle siegrist
My recent pet portrait “Riley and Boris”

Wes finished his painting this past week of boats which we photographed in a marina while in Easton last year during the Waterfowl Festival.  Having an extra day to spend at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and see some of the surrounding area, we really enjoyed photographing the boats.  We plan to have a couple of these delightful boat paintings at the Waterfowl Festival this year, including this one featuring the Wendy Lee, and upon close inspection, you can see three people working aboard it!

“Prepping the Wendy Lee” by Wes

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle


Babies…Bleats…And Big Booms!

Summertime fun with family here in the Smokies!

by Rachelle Siegrist

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My precious nieces Allison and Raelynn

We enjoyed a delightful visit from my sister Hayley and her family this past week on July 4th. They arrived in time for the kids to explore the trail through our woods, and to let their newly adopted baby goat, Ellie Mae, get out and do a bit of exploring herself as well as enjoy getting fed a bottle. She really loved climbing on the benches on the front porch and on the rocks in the surrounding the area, and I fell instantly in love with her!

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Paul gives hungry Ellie Mae her bottle!

With a small window of nice weather, on an other wise very rainy day, we decided to take advantage of it starting with a yummy supper at Pizza Hut, where Raelynn kept us well entertained and laughing, while grunting at her Mom each time she wanted more water from her straw and smiling and waving to everyone the remainder of the time! Afterwards, we headed down to the river, along with friends Tom and Sharon, and within seconds of arriving at the water’s edge Bubba was out in the river, preparing to jump up and hollering out “Cannonball!” Of course we all quickly told him you have to go out a little bit further before you can “cannonball”. So he did just that, becoming an instant river rat!  Allison was right behind him and was delighted to learn that there were no moccasins, alligators, sharks or jellyfish in this water, not even fish that would bite you, which made her love it even more!

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Raelynn says “Are y’all sure this is safe?”

Raelynn joined in on the fun as well with her dad holding her, while dipping her feet into the ice cold water. At first she held her legs out vertically keeping them mere centimeters above the water’s surface, but quickly decided she rather liked that frigid water and commenced kicking and splashing with her legs and feet, while smiling and squealing with delight every time we put her legs down into the river. Each time we took her back out, she fussed until we put her legs back in, where she commenced kicking, splashing and squealing once again! “Yes!” I thought to myself . . . another little river rat in the making!


Hmmmmmm . . . I thought Y’all said it wasn’t cold!

Before long my sister Hayley was completely down in the water, and as always I was amazed at her incredible tolerance for icy cold water since she was a little girl! While she and Paul played in the river, Sharon enjoyed “Granny” time with Raelynn, while Wes and I took the kids tubbing down some of the rapids several times.  We passed the relaxing evening, skipping rocks, swimming, tubing, and playing until several loud claps of thunder encouraged us to get out of the river.

Bubba enjoyed tubing from the start

Back at home and dried off we enjoyed homemade brownies, while playing pool until it was time to walk down and see our local fireworks. With Raelynn loaded in her stroller and the whole gang gathered, we commenced walking down the mountain to the grassy hillside below, where we enjoy watching the fireworks every year. Bubba’s favorite firework was a spiraling gold one, that he said sounded like a large marker writing on a board, and Allison’s favorite was one that upon exploding looked like numerous shimmering gold jellyfish slowly floating down the sky.  Even my adorable niece Raelynn seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show and all of the activity along with it.

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Allison gets a push from uncle Wes

Once the show ended and the applause subsided, we started our hike back up the hill. Before leaving, we had moved Ellie Mae’s carrier into the dining room where it was quiet and safely away from possible visitors such as black bear, coyote and skunks. Of course she had worked up an appetite while resting and it was time for another bottle feeding once we got back. Since we couldn’t safely let her walk around outside that time of night, I suggested letting her walk around and explore the house which she seemed to really enjoy doing!  While Ellie Mae explored and Wes and the kids checked out our rock collection, I enjoyed feeding my sweet little Raelynn.

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Bubba, Wes, Hayley and Allison enjoying the river
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Raelynn tells Sharon . . . “You can’t be serious?” . . . Ha Ha!!!

All too soon the time had come for them to continue their journey back home to Florida, so upon saying our goodbyes, they were safely on their way and I was so hoping that they had somehow forgotten and left that precious baby goat, Ellie Mae, behind . . . sadly for me it didn’t happen.    

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Adorable Ellie Mae happily explores our house

Meanwhile back at the home front, we are excited to have two new residents!  An adorable little Flying Squirrel named Rocky (after Rocky and Bullwinkle) has taken up residence in what we call the high rise birdhouse, since it’s taller than our house! Wes noticed it looking out the other day, and managed to snap a photo. We thought there was one around, after recently opening a bird house to clean it out, and a hundred acorns fell out!  Needless to say, we shut the door and put them all back, feeding them through the small hole, like feeding quarters into a coke machine.

Lil’D, is our precious little DeKay’s Snake, who has claimed the greenhouse as it’s own!  It happily lives atop a wicker table in the space underneath the glass top, and crawls under it’s blanket when it’s either too cool or too hot.  From the chubby appearance of it, it’s either a she who is going to lay eggs or just a very well fed snake! At 12 inches, it’s full grown and loves eating slugs and snails, which helps keep things in check in the greenhouse, and I’m sure Lil’ D thinks it’s died and gone to heaven! It’s like having an awesome little pet in the greenhouse!



Precious little Rocky peaking out at us ~ Lil’ D enjoying her favorite spot

~ Fresh off the Easels ~

Meanwhile I’m continuing to paint on a couple of pet commissions, including the one below of two adorable friends Riley and Boris!  I’m having great fun with this one and will share the finished painting with you soon!

dog and cat painting commission by rachelle siegrist
Making more progress on Riley and Boris


yellow lab painting, yellow Labrador Retriever painting, dog commission by rachelle siegrist

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

Painting Fabulous Pets & The Waterfowl Festival!

 Painting a Pet Portrait!

by Rachelle Siegrist

dog painting commission, cat painting commission, cute pet portrait
“Best Buds”

Most of us have special furry and/or feathered friends, and what better way to honor the importance they play in our lives, than to have them forever immortalized like gems in a miniature painting!  Special pet portraits call for a special title . . . and there’s a special story indeed behind this title, as they really are “Best Buds”!  

These two really love each other and it’s so very sweet!! Ivy was almost a year old, when a darling kitten named Calvin, became part of their family.  One day Ivy was seen by her mom, carrying Calvin in her mouth by his scruff. She jumped up onto a chair and started washing him like he was her baby! The two special friends sleep together, Calvin washes her nose, and Ivy spends many nights spooning her special little friend. 

Even more adorable than the kinship between Ivy and Calvin, is the friendship between Ivy and her mom.  I think those of you who too have very special furry and feathered friends in your lives, will find what she shared with me about her relationship with Ivy as touching and moving as I did!!!

“You and Wes are very special folks and I’m honored that you are painting my love. Ivy and I have a closeness that I’ve never had with any other animal. She has been both child and parent to me: helping heal when I’m sick, drawing me out, teaching me that I can love even more than I could have ever imagined. She looks at me with human eyes that both mock me and love me to the very core.” 

Ivy and Calvin were such a joy to paint, especially after hearing their story and learning of their special friendship!  Is there a special someone in your family which you would love to cherish forever as miniature portrait? Well, it’s easy, just contact us at

Would you love to marvel at our miniature paintings and experience the magic and enchantment in person? Well if you’re planning to be in the Easton, MD area this weekend, November 10th-13th, this is your chance! We will have 41 miniature paintings at the Waterfowl Festival, and something is different this year which has never happened before at one of our shows! So come find out what it is and take the challenge of looking for “gnat man”. . . you can find him with the magnifying glass!!!  For more information about the show, visit their website at the Waterfowl Festival, (Wes and I will be in the Avalon Theater this year!)
Looking for ways and ideas to display your Siegrist miniatures in your home or office?  Here are a few splendid examples from our collectors!

great home decor ideas

dog painting, commission a dog painting

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle