Attending The SAA Board Meeting

A Great Time In Colorado and Chicago!

By Rachelle Siegrist

Rocky Mountain National ParkWe spent our last day in Colorado, inside Rocky Mountain National Park. Freshly fallen snow covered the upper elevations, and parting gray clouds revealed sunshine and blue skies, creating some nice photo-ops!  The wind was unbelievable however, gusting well over 60 mph and making it quite cold! Snow blowing off the surrounding mountains, made it look like snow showers in the distance!  We had to be careful when walking near edges and the fierce winds pelted us with snow blowing from miles away, as we walked through fields below!  It was a beautiful day though, and it is always an amazing treat to spend time in the park!

 


That evening Wes and I hiked to the top of the hill behind our friends’ house to enjoy the gorgeous 360-degree view.  Amazingly the wind was blowing even harder there, making it difficult to stand up at times, and impossible to talk to each other, and at one point I had to squat to keep from getting blown over! I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be out in a hurricane . . . now I know!

rachelle siegrist in colorado.jpgWe had an awesome send off Monday morning, when a herd of elk came to say goodbye, as we packed and left Bob and Diane’s.  We all boarded the plane in Denver, heading to Chicago, where we were met by more wind, cold and snow flurries.

elk herd in coloradoWithin an hour we arrived at friend and SAA President Reneé and Brian’s home, where we spent this past week. While Wes and Bob continued working on SAA business  on Tuesday, Renée and I took their gorgeous English Setters, Max and Marlin for a nice long walk, and afterwards Diane helped us make twice baked potatoes and other things for the big dinner party the next evening. After a delicious dinner that evening, we all enjoyed watching a movie in their personal home theater!

 

Max takes a nap while Marlin helps out

Wednesday was spent jurying for the SAA annual show which is all done anonymously and in random order (The jurors don’t know who they are voting for or how their peers vote until the end).  Neither of us served as jurors, Wes (in training to become the Executive Director) worked with Bob and I read aloud the mediums of each artwork submitted for the show for the jurors and helped run errands.  We were extremely delighted to each have a painting selected for the annual exhibition and with this being my 15th year of being accepted, it makes me a Distinguished Signature Member! Congratulations also to everyone whose work was accepted for the upcoming 58th Annual Exhibition at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art!

jurrying for the SAA show
Hanging out in comfort and style!

That evening Renée and Brian graciously treated everyone to a wonderful time and dinner at their home.  Thursday was spent at the Herrington Inn with the SAA’s Spring  board meeting and new members’ jury. That afternoon friend Pat joined me for a nice hike along the Fox River, where we visited a Japanese Garden, hillsides covered in beautiful blue flowers and an old Dutch Windmill, as well as other things of interest.  It was a warm, sunny day, making it even more enjoyable!  That evening the entire board enjoyed a nice dinner at a local Irish Pub.

 


Friday brought an amazing treat for us, while getting to ride in the “Man Van” as Renée and Brian call their big black office van, while driver Dave took us four along with Renée, to Barabou, WI.

rachelle and wes siegristArriving in style, we met Brian at their beautiful distillery and restaurant, Driftless Glen, and were delighted to get a personal tour of the distillery and facility while seeing the backbones of the operation.

driftless glen
Brian, Reneé and Max giving us a personal tour

Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious lunch in their restaurant, while enjoying a beautiful view of the river!  Working on a new dessert, the chef treated us all to the first tasting of his Tres’ Leches cake, which was of course totally scrumptious, as well as his bread pudding with bourbon sauce!

wes siegrist at driftless glen
Yes . . . you have to share it with the rest of us!

With happy and full tummies, we hit the infused Balsamic vinegars and olive oil tasting bar, and what a delightful treat it was!  Scott offered us different pairings to taste, which were all delicious in unique ways!  It was truly a wonderful experience, and if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit to Driftless Glen!

rachelle and wes siegrist at driftless glen

YUM . . . look at all those balsamic vinegars and olive oils!

Wes and I want to personally thank Reneé, Brian, Diane and Bob again for opening their beautiful homes to us and blessing us with a truly wonderful past two weeks!!!  I’ll share the images of our accepted paintings next week.


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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

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Happy Easter

 

Wishing You A Blessed Easter

By Rachelle Siegrist

Rachelle Siegrist's Easter BouquetMy neighbor friend Mary Ruth, kindly brought me this beautiful bouquet from her gardens this past week, after learning I had been under the weather.  I must say it smells as pretty as it looks too, and is currently sitting in the middle of our dining room table, where we can enjoy it throughout the day!Cows in Townsend photo by Wes SiegristI can’t tell you how thankful and thrilled I am to be able to enjoy daily walks outside once again!  With spring rains, the grass is a gorgeous bright green and the local cows are enjoying it immensely!  I love walking by these precious babies each day, stopping to watch and admire them and of course chat a bit.  They’re still quite furry, since our temps have dipped into the low 30’s recently, making them extra cute!Yellow Trillium photo by Rachelle SiegristIt’s also been such fun walking through our garden paths in the yard, seeing what new wildflower is blooming or about to open each day.  Several Trillium as well as Bloodroot are now blooming, along with a few other wildflowers.  Some of the shrubs are covered in bright green baby leaves and I can see the light red of new growth in several of the tree canopies.  It’s a splendid and very welcoming sight to these eyes indeed!  Wes also has kale, lettuce and a few herbs, as well as lots of seeds sprouting in the greenhouse.  A promise that warmer days are coming soon!cute squirrel photoWe even got to enjoy eating a few meals on our back porch recently, which was a real treat, not only for us, but also for my critter friends who I toss peanuts out to.  We have a squirrel we named Stretchy, because she’s always hanging upside down from her toes and stretching her arms and fingers as far as she can, and even occasionally yawns at the same time, who is nesting inside a big birdhouse outside our studio window.  We love watching her peak out the door of her home, and of course she loves coming up to the porch for handouts.  although she’s quite spoiled, another squirrel named Friendly is definitely the most spoiled, and comes right up to the back screen door, while waiting for me to hand peanuts out to her.  I truly love my squirrel friends and the great laughter and joy they bring to me every day!

Come see us paint at the “Art and Lunch with Rachelle and Wes Siegrist”!

Art & Lunch with Wes and Rachelle SiegristThe fun is happening at the Customs House Museum, in Clarksville, TN, Thursday, April 19th at 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM CDT.  Its free admission to the event, and bagged lunches are welcome.  In conjunction with our exhibit “Exquisite Miniatures“, Wes and I will be giving a gallery talk and demonstration of our miniature painting technique in the Kimbrough Gallery.  We hope to see some of you there!


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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

 

 

Excitement Over Miniature Paintings at SEWE!!!

Our Miniature Paintings at SEWE!

By Rachelle Siegrist

wes and rachelle siegrist at SEWE galaWe left early last Wednesday morning heading to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Driving along winding roads leading through the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding areas, we passed close to a hundred turkeys, deciding that was a great start to our trip! We arrived in Charleston, SC in time to check into the show and walk to a personal favorite restaurant, T-Bonz, for a yummy Valentines’ supper that evening. Bright and early the next morning, we arrived at the Charleston Place Hotel where we hung our miniature paintings in preparation for the opening later that day.
miniature paintings at SEWE 2018Upon finishing our display, we were delighted when a friend brought comedian Jeff Foxworthy into our booth to meet us and see our miniatures. Of course we were both delighted to meet Jeff, and enjoyed talking with him for quite awhile about our paintings, seeing photos of some of his paintings on his phone, and hearing stories about his first appearance on the Johnny Carson show. Of course there was laughter mixed in, and we were both impressed with what a genuinely nice guy he is! Afterwards, we enjoyed attending the artists’ luncheon in the Charleston Place Grill, and listening to an informative and entertaining talk by Seth Hopkins, the Director of the Booth Museum of Art.wes and rachelle siegrist at SEWE gala openingDressed in formal attire, we returned that evening for the gala opening, which was totally packed! Several adorable critters and birds visited our booth throughout the evening, and I was delighted to pet a variety of critters, from a skunk to a Gila Monster’s back!

 

The funniest happening of the evening, was when the beautiful King Snake relieved itself down the front of our dear friend Michelle’s dress! Being a great sport, she credited the fact that she had obviously made it slip into a state of relaxation after petting it for awhile! Obviously she and I laughed about it so hard, we couldn’t even talk for several minutes, and I reassured her that she now owned the most unique gown at the event! We were thrilled that many of our paintings had found new homes by the end of the evening, and on our walk back to the hotel in our formal attire, we were asked if we had just been married, bringing us many laughs!

skunk at SEWEBlessed with beautiful weather, we enjoyed walking the numerous blocks’ commute back and forth from our hotel to the show each day. We also enjoyed dining at different restaurants in the evening, and a favorite for overall experience was Monza!  We choose to sit in an outside patio area nestled amongst walls covered in Creeping Jenny vine, with soft white lights above and floating white flowers in glass bowls adorning the tables. Italian love songs softy filled the air and we felt as if we were dining in the Italian countryside. It was a lovely experience and the pizza was delicious as well!charleston place hotel SEWEDays at the show we’re spent talking with and watching excited admirers seeing our paintings for the first time, as well as enjoying the parade of gorgeous and cute dogs walking through. Of course I had to pet and love on as many as I could, and the best, was a beautiful Golden Retriever who as soon as I started scratching her ears tucked her head between my knees and kept it there for several minutes while I continued to scratch and rub!rachelle siegrist and golden retrieverAnother highlight was when a lady walked up and introduced herself as Abby, the daughter of Wes’ high school art teacher! What a surprise, as the last time we saw her she was a little girl! Her dad not only played a major part as a teacher in Wes’ career as an artist, but also was a very dear friend! We enjoyed catching up and laughing, as Wes shared with her new stories about her Dad.wes siegrist at SEWE 2018Before long the show came to an end and it was time to pack up. A heartfelt thanks goes out to new and existing collector friends that took our miniature gems to enjoy in their homes! We also want to thank the SEWE staff for all of their hard work in making this another successful and great show for us and so many others!


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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle