511 Years Old And Upcoming SEWE

Wes’ Birthday and Miniature Paintings at SEWE!

By Rachelle Siegrist

rachelle siegrist lemon cream cake

Wes celebrated his 52nd Birthday this past week, with friends Fred, Barb and Kit joining us that evening for dinner and of course cake!  Since Wes loves lemon, I made a lemon cream cake combining a classic French yogurt lemon cake with British baker, Mary Berry’s, delicious lemon cream filling and icing drizzle recipes.  Can you say Scrummy! . . . as it was scrumptiously delicious, and I will certainly be making it again! The funny part about the cake, which was totally unintentional, resulted from the lack of candle choices.  Upon finding a “5” candle, I added two single candles to it, reading as “52” to us.  However, many of our friends read it as “511” bringing about much humorous commentary about Wes’ ripe old age and wondrous face cream he must be using!

wes siegrist with birthday cake
Get ready to make a wish Wes!

We’re currently preparing for upcoming shows SEWE and NatureWorks, so while we’ve both been at the easels most of the time, Wes continues with the framing process.  It’s also time to look at last year’s painting inventory, to determine which paintings have already been there, as we try to take almost all brand new paintings to the shows.

Siegrist Miniature Paintings show preparation2

Once paintings have been selected,  databases have to be updated,  title and information labels have to be printed off, and the joyous task of filling out mounds of paperwork begins.   Filling out forms is one time that having so many miniature paintings and two artists at a show is a problem!

Siegrist Miniature Paintings show preparation1

We’ve been able to enjoy walks most days, as well as playing ping-pong some evenings, but I must admit, that I’m starting to gnash at the bits to get back out on the lake in my kayak or take a nice hike in the woods.  It won’t be long now!!!

~ Fresh off the Easels ~

Since the happy recipient received their surprise portrait painting of a beautiful Black Lab named Rain this past week, I’m able to share it with you.  As you can well imagine, he was totally delighted with his precious gem!

black lab dog painting commission a dog painting
My latest dog commission “Rain”

Here’s a view of Rain with me painting on her for scale.

dog painting commission

While Wes and I both continue painting for upcoming juried shows, here’s the latest painting in my African Gems series of a Cape Buffalo.  The four paintings will debut at the upcoming Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC.

Rachelle Siegrist working on a miniature painting of a cape buffalo

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle


“African Gems” Miniature Paintings!

Miniature Paintings of African Animals!

By Rachelle Siegrist

miniature elephant painting in progress

This week has brought cold weather, along with perfect conditions for spending time at the easel!  While Wes has spent much of his time dealing with SAA website issues,  I have been painting away.  I’ve started a new series entitled “African Gems” consisting of several miniature paintings featuring various African mammals, measuring roughly only one inch in diameter!  Each painting will have the brilliant gold background, lending to the gemlike appearance.  Although I’m enjoying painting these wee animals, I’m facing numerous challenges as well, that comes with the territory of painting so minutely!  Signing my name has become THE major task with these, and there seems to be a breakdown in communication between my mind and hand when trying to do so . . . Ha Ha!

miniature giraffe painting

Painting the giraffe has been particularly fun, as I recall to mind a documentary we recently watched, featuring a small hotel that is home to a herd of Rothschild Giraffes.  Now the special thing about this colonial-era mansion is that the giraffes actually stick their heads and long necks inside the windows, in search of treats which are fed by hand!  You can also watch and feed them while relaxing on the beautiful patio outside.  “I want to go there!” I exclaimed to Wes as we watched it, imagining what a truly amazing experience that would be for a giraffe lover such as myself!

rachelle siegrist Christmas tree

Meanwhile in the real world, the days continue to grow shorter, but I know quite soon they will start growing longer again.  So for now when darkness falls outside, on come the Christmas lights inside the house, creating that warm glow that we really enjoy this time of year!  Blessed with a beautiful day this past week, we did slip in a short hike to a nearby waterfall.  Hiking a little further than normal, we found another small falls after carefully crawling down a steep section of mountainside.  Long icicles beautifully framed the falling water, while moss covered rocks totally encased in ice, lay scattered at the bottom!  It was a perfectly peaceful place for a banana and a short time away from it all.

~ Fresh off the Easels ~

This week brought more easel time and while I’m currently working on my “African Gems” miniature paintings, I finished this landscape painting of an Great Egret we photographed while kayaking one evening, during a visit to the Outer Banks.  This painting will debut at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition this February.  Wes is also painting on a composition featuring Bison in Yellowstone and we have a couple of commissions currently at the sketch stage, which we’ll share once the gifts have been given!

My “Afternoon On The Sound”

commission a dog painting by rachelle siegrist

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

River Adventures And Exhibition News!


Whitewater adventures in the Smokies!

by Rachelle Siegrist

rachelle siegrist tubing 4.jpg
Ready or not Wes . . . Here I come!

We’ve been having a ball this past week, continuing to replace some of our daily walks with tubing adventures!  The video camera is still our cherished new toy and we’re having a grand time using it!  If only I could manage to learn how to operate it while wearing it atop my head, all would be well! Thrilled that I had captured some great video while tubing recently, I was crushed when reaching the bottom of the large cascade to discover the battery had died right as I started, and that the camera had not been filming at all. Oh well . . . I’ll get it right eventually and I’m certainly having great fun learning!

rachelle siegrist tubing2.jpg
Oh Yea!!!!

I have figured out that wearing my hair up in pigtails works best with wearing the head strap with the camera on my head.  What a hilarious sight I am, crashing down the cascades with that camera mounted on my head, pigtails sticking out through the top two sections of the strap and my black ribbon tied under my chin.  I’ll have to let Wes get a photo of the hilarious get-up sometime to give you a good laugh!

rachelle siegrist tubing3
Going down!

We finally got some rain, so the water was up and flowing nicely for a couple of our trips down, keeping the rock polishing to a minimum . . . Ha Ha!  When the water level is lower, at times it seems that our main job is polishing rocks with our backsides! Needless to say the moss-covered rocks or what I call “carpet rocks“, and friend Sharon calls “hairy rocks” are indeed our favorite, as they are the most comfortable and painless to polish when the necessity arises. We have jokingly started calling our gang the official Little River Rock Polishers!

sharon tubing.jpg
Sharon’s turn . . . Weeeeeee!

Even though we’ve been down this section of the river numerous times already this summer, and think we know it’s character, along with every little twist and turn, it still surprises us now and then whilst going down, but then that keeps the adventure fresh and new!  

Sharon's having too much fun!.jpg
Having a blast!

Much needed rainy weather kept us from our usual Friday night date with Chance and his grandparents at the river this past week, so instead, we spent a creative evening at their house while coloring and cutting things out with him.  He loved it when he and I started making our own little crayons, which I cut out of appropriate colored paper in the shape of a crayon,  writing the name Crayola and the name of color on each one. He was most delighted when I folded him a box out of paper to keep his “crayons” in, loving it so much that he wanted three more paper boxes. Who knows, we may have the makings of another little artist here!

wes siegrist (1)
The brave camera man with his common . . . I’m up to something . . . look on his face!


Wes and I currently have three paintings featured in the Society of Animal Artists’ Wildlife Treasures Show.  Located at the Nature in Art Gallery and Museum in Wallsworth Hall, Sandhurst, Gloucester, UK.  The exhibition runs now through September 3rd, so if you live in or are planning to be in the area, I recommend a visit to this beautiful museum!

Siegrist paintings on display at the Nature In Art Gallery and Museum
Ours are featured on the mantel
Siegrist paintings on display at the Nature In Art Gallery and Museum
Mine is the smallest painting in the group!

Wes and I are thrilled that our two paintings have been selected for the SAA tour! The image below lists the museums at which you can see them in person.

Siegrist paintings in SAA 57th Annual and Tour

~ Fresh off the Easels ~

I finished another dog commission this past week of an adorable little baby named Tito. He has been gone for a few years now, and his family thought this a wonderful way to remember him!  As you can imagine, I had a delightful time painting him with those big, beautiful and expressive brown eyes!

Dog painting - Tito by Rachelle Siegrist
My latest commission of “Tito”

I also finished my landscape painting this past week, featuring the Dan Lawson place from our beloved Cades Cove.  This painting is inspired from a visit to Cades Cove earlier this summer with Wes’ parents one evening.  I just love the late spring/early summer bright green of the trees in our area, as evident in my miniature painting!

Cades Cove painting by Rachelle Siegrist
My “Summer At The Lawson Place”

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle