Oh…What A Difference A Day Makes

daffodills photo

WOW . . . What a difference a day makes indeed! Friday evening we were sitting out on the back porch eating supper, enjoying the sunshine and relative warmth. Night came, we went to bed and woke up the next morning to 3 inches of snow covering the ground! Whilst sleeping later that night, a strange noise woke me up and at first I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but soon realized it was the sound of sleet and crunchy snow pelting the side of our cabin! Of course we knew it was heading our way, but even so I just wasn’t prepared for winter to return with such vengeance. 

nature photograpghy

It was beautiful, but very cold, with highs in the low 20s accompanied by very strong winds, which added insult to injury. Knowing they would need extra food, we spread a lavish buffet of seeds, nuts and mealworms for the birds, and they descended on our yard in great numbers. 

tufted titmouse

Before long they had consumed nearly everything, so I suited up in my dozen or so layers to keep me warm and refilled the buffet spread. I had taken the camera out with me, found a nice sunny spot to sit nearby, and happily sat watching my numerous feathered visitors all around, whilst taking photos of them.

mourning dove photo

After awhile I headed to the back patio to see if there was a sunny spot out of the wind. I found one on the stone steps which had somehow managed to absorb and hold a wee bit of warmth from the abundant sunshine. So I plopped down there and commenced watching the many birds again. At times the wind gusts were so intense that they whipped up piles of snow, forming snow dirt devils which twisted and turned following along the tree line in the backyard, before suddenly falling to the ground. It was actually quite amazing to watch, as I had never seen a snow devil before! 

stone patio ideas

Even our gorgeous plump doves were fluffed up trying to stay warm. This couple sitting right by the fire pit appeared to be waiting for us to come out and light a fire for them to warm themselves by. 

mourning dove photo2

There were so many birds in the yard, that I could hardly resist going from window to window, once back in the house. At one point Wes exclaimed “Oh, there’s a Fox Sparrow!” So I quickly ran to the window to see this beautiful large rusty red-colored sparrow, which we have only seen twice before. I managed to get several nice photos of it through the living room window.

fox sparrow photo

Even though we aren’t finished completely with the pizza oven yet, the stone covered base got christened with snow and icicles during this past winter storm, and It was quite lovely sporting its frozen accessories! 

stone patio

This past week, Wes carefully removed the foam mould from inside the pizza oven, and it turned out great! He lit a couple of candles and let them burn inside to help finish drying out the concrete.  

pizza oven

I thought it was so neat looking inside, I had to take a photo for you! It looks like the inside of an old crypt or something, don’t you think? 

pizza oven2

We’ll probably try and carefully move it outside and sit it atop the stone base this next week. Once in place one more layer of concrete will be added, and then it has to sit and cure for a couple of weeks, before we can actually use it, and I just know it’s gonna make delicious pizza! It has been an interesting process indeed, and I look forward to being able to share photos of it completely finished.


Here’s my finished pet portrait commission of a beautiful black cat named “Jett”. I’ve started on my next pet portrait and am having great fun with it! I’ll be able to share it with you later. Wes and I both will also be painting on miniatures to submit to upcoming shows, and I’ll have to wait until the jury process is completed before sharing those. I’m also working on my time-lapse video of the truck painting and should have it on YouTube sometime very soon!

cat painting pet portrait



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 21st, 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

Painting A Dog Named “Mocha”

Cocker Spaniel painting


I finished my dog commission this past week of “Mocha” and got the time-lapse video made and uploaded to YouTube so you can enjoy watching her come to life! I had the fun opportunity to meet Mocha, a year and a half ago. Wes and I went out to Colorado to visit friends and attend the American Women Artists show at the Steamboat Art Museum in beautiful Steamboat Springs. Whilst staying with our friends, we were invited over to other dear friends home for dinner one evening. It was a wonderful time and I so enjoyed getting to pet and play with Mocha. 

I love the beautiful wood door and iron accents, and was delighted that it was part of the painting. I’ve always rendering wood grain and metal, so painting those parts were almost as much as painting Mocha! In case you’re wondering, she’s painted with watercolor and gouache on Crescent hot press watercolor board. So without further ado, here’s the video of Mocha’s portrait being created below.

See our touring exhibition Exquisite Miniatures now through November 4, 2020 at The Art Center, located in Quincy, IL. You can see several of the miniature paintings included in this exhibition on their website.

Siegrist Exquisite Miniatures at The Art Center

Until next time ~ Rachelle

Chillin’ In Changing Times

Well, I’m hoping my blog looks better this week than last week. I’ve watched tutorial videos and read about how to use the new block editor, and I guess they helped some, but mostly I’m thinking that time and use will be the best teacher as I move forward. I still have my fingernails etched deeply into the soil as technological changes keep dragging me into the future, whether I like it or not. As you can see I actually learned how to put a BIG initial letter in my paragraph . . . Ha Ha! While many parts of life continue to be stressful, we were able to enjoy a couple of hours at one of our favorite spots at the river for snorkeling and swimming. Friends Tom and Sharon met us there and as you can see from the photo above, there’s plenty of space for social distancing while relaxing. And relax we did, enjoying every minute of it, totally amazed that we had it all to ourselves for the first time all summer!

I so enjoyed blissfully floating along the surface of the clear water, while peering below and watching an ever-changing submerged scene unfolding before my eyes. I saw several fish, including seven big Redhorse, one appearing to be nearly two feet long and it was incredible to watch!

There’s a tiny Damselfly on the log

Another morning we went to the lake for awhile to enjoy some kayaking and fishing. Once again I enjoyed having multiple damselflies all over my kayak as well as myself! I also watched several hoverflies and a hummingbird drinking from the numerous flowers blooming along the water’s edge.

I saw at least three baby turtles as well, two of which were quite tiny and totally adorable! I slowly glided past them without hardly paddling, to be sure and not scare them.

You have to look really close to see the wee turtle

So many of the days this summer seem to last forever, having to isolate with the pandemic, so I can’t believe August is almost over, and September is already upon us! It doesn’t seem possible in many ways. Nonetheless, the fact that summer is coming to an end soon is all too obvious with the foliage on some of the trees already starting to turn shades of red and gold in spots, and I must admit I’m not ready to pack away the wetsuit, snorkel and mask just yet.

~ In The Studio ~

I’ve been painting on my dog commission of Mocha this past week, and plan to finish her this week, as well as the time lapse video of the painting. I’ll share both of those with you next week and hopefully some more progress on my miniature version of Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring”.

“Mocha” in progress

Would you like to enjoy your own special miniature painting?

Until Next time ~ Rachelle