Showers Bring Flowers And Paintings

Observing The Changes in Weather!

By Rachelle Siegrist

rachelle siegrists rose blossom

I‘m sure you’ve heard the expression . . . “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes, it will change“.  Well, that’s certainly been the case with the weather here this past week.  One minute it’s clear blue skies, and then all of a sudden I hear pounding, and look out to see thats it’s pouring down rain outside!  Yesterday this very thing happened, and looking out the studio window, I saw nothing but clear blue skies, and the rain was thundering down!  A strange weather pattern indeed, and although it keeps life interesting, it makes it uncertain for extended outdoor activities.

rachelle siegrists coreopsis flower

Needless to say, we’ve spent much of our time at the easels this past week, painting and watching the weather rapidly change outside.  The rain has certainly made the flowers and moss quite happy though, and several things are now blooming in the gardens.  It’s also made it simply delightful for walking barefoot on our moss-lined paths!

rachelle siegrists spiderwort flower

The Daylilies are just starting to bloom, adding pops of bright yellow scattered about.

rachelle siegrists daylilly flower

Last summer, when my niece and nephew were here visiting us, we spent an afternoon sculpting with clay.  It seems they obviously enjoyed it and remembered how to do it, as my sweet niece Haydyn, made this cute sculpture of me in my kayak this past week, while at my parent’s home in Florida . . . Great job Haydyn!

clay sculpture

 


~ Recently off the Easels ~

Here’s one of my recent miniature paintings, of a precious baby chick, sitting on the edge of it’s water container.  We enjoyed watching this little one as well as it’s siblings,  while visiting Texas last spring.

Chicken-painting_A_Cute_Chick_At_The_Pool_by-Rachelle-Siegrist1
“A Cute Chick At The Pool”

Here’s one of Wes’ recent miniature paintings featuring a Palm Warbler, which we enjoyed watching while kayaking one evening.  You have to look really close to see it, as it’s a wee surprise atop the clump of Woolgrass bloom on the left.

Breakfast_In_The_Woolgrass-by-Wes-Siegrist1
Wes’ “Breakfast In The Woolgrass”

~ See our miniature paintings in person this week at these three locations ~

13th Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2018: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada

27th International Miniature Show
May 5 – June 2, 2018: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

The Art of Miniature XXVI
May 6 – June 10, 2018: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA


Learn How to Commission A Painting by Clicking Here

Follow us on Facebook!

Read Our Monthly Email Newsletters

Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

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Kayaking A Mountain Lagoon

Having Fun Camping, Kayaking and Hiking!

By Rachelle Siegrist

rachelle siegrist kayaking

Wes and I enjoyed 3 splendid days whilst camping this past week!  The warmer weather was perfect for kayaking, and we enjoyed doing so each day we were there!  Starting out early each morning, the glassy surface made for easy paddling, and if we started to feel a bit too warm, we just dipped our feet into the chilly water and all was well.

wes siegrist kayaking

Huge rock formations rose up along both sides at times, sandwiching us between amazing sandstone sculptures.  Some had ledges running across in which moss, ferns and vines grew and hung down, making it look like the hanging gardens of Babylon in places!  I felt like I was kayaking in a mountain lagoon, as I paddled along, surrounded by all the lush beauty!

stone cliff formation

I stared in amazement as we rounded each bend in the stream, showcasing another stone wall with colors so intense at times, that they didn’t even look real!  Warm siennas ran down the cliff faces, created from the iron veins running horizontally across the rocks, adding warmth to their color and pairing beautifully with the variety of green mosses.

In several spots, thick, gargantuan-sized clumps of moss hung down, so laden with water, that chunks were about to fall, and felt amazingly soft and fluffy to the touch!  As you can imagine, I had to maneuver my kayak over to several of these beauties, just so I could feel them!

moss photo

The farther we paddled, the more stunning the scenery became, and we felt truly blessed to be able to enjoy such magnificent beauty!  Stone walls arching up so high, that in many areas we felt as if we were paddling through caves, with numerous water droplets hitting the water’s surface causing the sound to resonate through the tunnel-like areas.

rachelle siegrist kayaking2

Wildlife was abundant, especially birds, and their songs constantly filled the air, breathing such joy into the gorgeous setting.  One resident family of Canada Geese were quite friendly and as interested in watching us, as we were them! Four goslings constantly followed their parents, whether it be on water or land.  The water also teemed with abundant wildlife, with fish and Red-spotted Newts being spotted everywhere.  I enjoyed wading in the water upon several occasions, and delighted in watching the Bluegill come and check out my feet.

We spent afternoons hiking, while enjoying a different perspective of the stream below on occasion.  One trail in particular showcased an abundant variety of moss, which felt amazingly soft after an afternoon rain!

stone formation

The Reindeer Lichen in particular was immensely soft, feeling like what I imagine it would feel like to touch a big fluffy cloud, and I couldn’t resist stopping continually to gently pat it, getting Wes to even become enthralled by its softness!

rachelle siegrist hiking a trail

We hiked over stone bridges in places, narrow and high, granting beautiful views of the woodlands below.

a natural bridge

Of course we had to enjoy the views from both the top, and beneath, the stone walkways.

At other times we hiked to caves, with stone walls reaching for the sky, rising way above the small openings below, making us feel very, very miniature at times!

wes siegrist hiking

The cave walls are home to a variety of critters, including salamanders, which we spotted at one point.  Abundant Sandwort, ferns and mosses covered the moist, sandy floor, creating a bright green and striking contrast against the stone walls.

All too soon, our adventure had come to an end and it was time to return home once again, but we brought along with us many wonderful memories, and look forward to our next big adventure!


 

~ Recently off the Easels ~

Here’s one of my latest still life paintings, featuring a metal pheasant that belonged to my late granny, and an antique crock that belonged to Wes’ family.  I’m currently painting a Black-tailed Jack Rabbit, and will share it with you once it’s finished.

 

Still-Life-With-Granny's-Pheasant-II_by_Rachelle_Siegrist1.jpg
“Still Life Painting With Granny’s Pheasant II” 

This is a landscape commission which Wes did, featuring the collectors beautiful garden.

Wes Siegrist's painting Julia's Garden
“Julia’s Garden”

~ See our miniature paintings in person this week at these three locations ~

13th Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2018: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada

27th International Miniature Show
May 5 – June 2, 2018: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

The Art of Miniature XXVI
May 6 – June 10, 2018: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA


Learn How to Commission A Painting by Clicking Here

Follow us on Facebook!

Read Our Monthly Email Newsletters

Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

Adventures With Family

Having Fun In The Smoky Mountains!

By Rachelle Siegrist

norris lake
Looking out over the lake by Norris Dam

Wes’ parents have been visiting us here in the Smokies for the past week, and we’ve enjoyed several adventures!  They arrived last Sunday evening in time for supper on the porch.  Monday we headed over to Knoxville to go to the zoo, and when we arrived, I realized I had forgot our good camera . . . oops!  “Not to worry” I said, lets go to Norris Dam State Park instead, and we’ll come back another day to the zoo.  So we did just that, deciding it was a great way to enjoy the gorgeous weather that day!

rachelle and wes siegrist at norris lake

The lake was beautiful and a cool breeze filled the air, as we visited different areas around the park, including an old mill and barn.  Of course I couldn’t resist getting in the water at every chance, at least up to my knees, and am anxious to camp there sometime soon and explore the area in our kayaks!

norris dam
Now that would be fun to slide down!

Blessed with another beautiful day on Tuesday, we decided to have a picnic by the water.  We enjoyed a lovely drive before finding the perfect lunch spot, with a wee bit of sun shining on me and the rest in the shade.  Afterwards, we talked with a nice couple who were fishing and who had the cutest little tan Chihuahua named Lucy.  She had light green polka dots all over her fur, and her owner told us right away we may not want to pet her, as she had found goose droppings and rolled in them, proudly decorating her fur with the perfectly round green splotches . . . Ha Ha!

flowers and lake

After lunch we took a leisurely stroll, stopping to admire flowers and watch birds.  We even saw a couple of Banded Water Snakes swimming just below the surface of the water!

rachelle siegrist
Jeanie and I admiring the flowers

Wes worked in the mornings, getting things done in time to spend the remainder of the day out and about.  We decided to try the zoo again, with all of us being sure to remember the camera that time!  It seemed every time we went anywhere during the week, we got behind a paving truck, stripe painter or something else in the Park.  While heading to the zoo we got to follow behind a trailer containing the Mayfield Dairy cow, which was really neat!

mayfield cow
The Mayfield Cow heads to the zoo

For me, the highlight at the Knoxville Zoo is getting to watch and listen to Georgie, the resident Gibbon sing!  He now has a big new beautiful enclosure, which has netted tunnels in the air, through which he can climb to different sections.  His favorite spot appeared to be the highest point, at which he could swing from the tree top and sing out loud and clear, broadcasting his beautiful opera voice throughout the park and surrounding area!

georgie gibbon knoxville zoo
“Wop…Wop…Wooooooo” sings Georgie!

The new Asian section and tiger enclosure is also very nice, and we were able to get some great reference photos of the tiger for future miniature paintings.

tiger at knoxvile zoo
“Oh . . . this will make a great miniature painting!”

We stayed until it was closing time, having enjoyed a great day at the zoo indeed!  One afternoon, we took a relaxing drive around nearby Cades Cove, and were delighted when we got to see a bear, standing up in the field!

bear in cades cove

This time we decided to hike by the stream for awhile, after walking around the grist mill and other historical buildings, finding a huge burl on a tree along the path.

rachelle siegrist hiking the smokies
George, Jeanie and me in Cades Cove

 

Another day, we packed a picnic lunch and headed over to Gatlinburg, to drive along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.  It was another beautiful clear day, showcasing the mountain vistas that dotted the drive along the narrow winding road.

roaring fork drive in gatlinburg
Wes, Jeanie and George with fire damage near Gatlinburg behind them

We stopped to see some of the old historical cabins and barns located in the area, of which the little tub mill is always a favorite.

wes siegrist roaring fork drive
Wes and George with the trough leading to the historical Tub Mill

A gorgeous stream runs alongside the road throughout part of the drive, and affords great places to walk down and enjoy wading in the icy water, in several locations.  I thought this one particular spot to be really beautiful, as all the surrounding rocks were covered in lush green moss, and was so soft to the touch!  I spent some time there wading in the clear water and of course petting the moss!

stream in roaring fork motor trail gatlinburg

We said our goodbyes this morning, as Wes’ parents headed back to Indiana, deciding it had been a fun week, full of adventures!


 

~ See our miniature paintings in person this week at these three locations ~

13th Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2018: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada

27th International Miniature Show
May 5 – June 2, 2018: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

The Art of Miniature XXVI
May 6 – June 10, 2018: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA


Learn How to Commission A Painting by Clicking Here

Follow us on Facebook!

Read Our Monthly Email Newsletters

Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle