In Memory of a Special Little Friend

yorkie dog painting by Rachelle Siegrist
“Bailey”

Most of us have loved a dog as a best friend at some point in our lives. Many times they were part of our own families, but at others, they belonged to close friends or relatives. Such was the case with Bailey, who lived with our friends Sharon and Tom down the road. I fell in love with Bailey the first time I met him! He was totally adorable and such a sweet little boy, and I couldn’t get enough of getting to hold and pet him. After a while, when Sharon would be out in the yard with Bailey and he’d see or hear me, he would start trying to come to me and many times she would let go of the leash once I was in close proximity so that he could run to me, at which point I would scoop him up into my arms and hold and love on him awhile, telling him what a precious little boy he was!

cute yorkie photo

Sometimes Sharon would bring Bailey to visit us here at the house or in the yard. When we’d go down to their house, or when Sharon and I spent evenings making cards, I would hold Bailey almost the entire time I was there. Of course, that always left him a bit more spoiled, and expecting Sharon to hold him even more afterward! One Halloween we all dressed up and even Bailey wore his piggy costume, which of course made him even more adorable and irresistible than he already was!

cute yorkie photo1

For several years we had yard sales in the spring at their house, which Bailey always absolutely loved! I would hold him much of the time and each time a new customer came, he would go nuts until I carried him over to them, so that they could pet him. Then he was most satisfied and content until the next new person showed up. We did this routine over and over again all day long, allowing Bailey to make lots of new friends! Sadly Bailey passed away a couple of weeks ago, leaving a hole in many of our hearts. No matter how much we try to prepare ourselves for that inevitable day, it becomes one of the hardest days of our lives. So I thought, what better way to pay tribute to a most precious little friend than to paint a portrait of him, which serves as a reminder for Sharon of years of wonderful memories with her little best friend.


~  See our miniatures in these shows (currently online only) this week  ~

 (Other shows have closed with upcoming exhibitions pending. Check the website for updates.)

The Art of the Miniature XVIII
May 3 – June 14, 2020: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

Siegrist Miniatures at the Snow Goose Gallery 2020
Our miniature displayed on the right, and others in the process of being hung in hopes some may be able to view the works in person.

29th Annual International Miniature Art Show
May 2 – 30, 2020: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

15th Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2 – 30, 2020: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada


Want to enjoy your special friend as a miniature painting?
                                             
. . . Then commission us to do just that! Email photos for consideration to us at

Beauty and the Buzz

azaleas bloming2

Each day brings something new in the gardens this time of year! A splash of color through blossoming bushes and trees, along with more and more wee bright green leaves popping out along the branches of many trees! The rains have also subsided thus allowing us to spend more time out working in the yard.

wildflowers of the smokies5

The air is filled with the hum of bees and springtime birdsong! It’s simply delightful and after what seemed like a long, gray winter, I’m thrilled to be drinking it all in! The azaleas are really starting to bloom, filling the gardens with bold, splashes of intense color throughout! Pinks, violets, salmon, red and now, white are the colors so far that seem to cover every square inch of many bushes.

wildflowers of the smokies4

Other flowers are blooming too, many of them being our native wildflowers. Needless to say, it’s a treat to walk the winding path through our gardens each day.

wildflowers of the smokies6

Mornings and evenings are prettiest, as the color becomes saturated with the subdued lighting, and you can just imagine that you’re walking through a magical meadow far, far away, where tiny fairies live and come out and flit about the numerous flowers!

wildflowers of the smokies

There’s a particular stand of trillium that has been growing near our crabapple tree for years now, and each year they get bigger and more amazing! This year they are huge and I was excited to see that they’ve spread and now a wee patch of babies is now growing near this wonderful clump!

wildflowers of the smokies trillium

When we moved here almost 19 years ago now, there was nothing in our yard except for a couple trees and shrubs. The topsoil had all washed away leaving behind a hard slate-filled yard that hardly nothing would grow in. Being the tree huggers we are and lovers of forests, we started planting trees right away and letting volunteers grow. Plus Wes hauled literally hundreds of pounds of leaves and yard debris from a dear neighbor’s woods, which we mulched and scattered about our wee “woods” for many years. At one point, we also went with friends to dig up wildflowers from an area that was about to be developed, which we planted in our yard.

wildflowers of the smokies rue anemone

The years of work have paid off for us and now we have our own beautiful woods, with much of the forest floor covered in lush green moss, and numerous wildflowers thriving and scattered throughout!

wildflowers of the smokies3

Well, I do hope you enjoyed this virtual walk through our gardens and I look forward to sharing more with you from them, in the next few posts!

azaleas bloming

I’m super excited that my precious Carolina Wrens Peedeepeeps and Elvira have decided to nest in the big potted Spider Plant right outside our kitchen window! I’ve watched their progress from the first bits of moss while building this amazing sculpture with their beaks, and I’m so impressed! There are now 5 wee brown speckled eggs in there, and Elvira sits on it staring in the late evening and throughout the night. During the day the temps must be warm enough, as they stay away from the nest. I will keep you posted on their progress each week.

carolina wren nest and eggs

Peeps is not the only one nesting, as the cardinals, chickadees, and doves are nesting in the yard as well. My precious little Tufted Titmouse friend, Tinymouse is also nesting, as she comes almost daily and sits atop my head whilst trying to gather hair for her nest! Sometimes she just sits on my shoulder, and at others atop my knee, when I’m sitting out in the lounge chair reading. It almost appears as if she’s either checking out which book it is or waiting for me to read to her! Sometimes she comes and sits on me while we’re eating on the back porch too! Such delight she brings to me each spring! With extra time on our hands from not going anywhere, Wes is spending quite a bit of time in the garden and greenhouse, so hopefully, we’ll have more flowers and fresh edible things soon!

wes siegrist in greenhouse

~  In The Studio  ~

I finally managed to make myself stay inside long enough this past week to finish my painting of a Black-crowned Night Heron, which I started at The Big Night For Small Works during this past Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. The reference for this beautiful serene swamp setting came from our visit to Brookgreen Gardens for the opening of our Exquisite Miniatures Exhibition.

black-crowned night heron miniature painting
“Among Cypress Knees”

~  See our miniatures in these shows (currently online only) this week  ~

 (Other shows have closed with upcoming exhibitions pending. Check the website for updates.)

The Art of the Miniature XVIII
May 3 – June 14, 2020: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

29th Annual International Miniature Art Show
May 2 – 30, 2020: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

Want to enjoy your special friend as a miniature painting?
                                             
. . . Then commission us to do just that! Email photos for consideration to us at

commission a dog painting

 

Clear Green Water

rachelle siegrist kayaking

Blessed with a day of nice weather this past week, Wes and I jumped at the chance to get back on the water since we had gone a couple of months now without kayaking! Even though there was some sun, it was a bit chilly when we started out across the glassy surface of the water perfectly mirroring the surrounding mountainsides. After paddling a short distance, we rounded a corner taking us further from the road, and the world became very quiet. I sat there happily floating in my kayak, just listening to the sounds of birdsong. Occasionally a kingfisher would fly by whilst chattering the entire time, and soon the cry of a Bald Eagle nearby joined this beautiful symphony of birds, along with the calls of Blue Jays and Crows. I could almost feel myself melt with relaxation, while cares temporarily slipped away.

wes siegrist fishing

We picked out a nice sunny spot to eat lunch while blissfully floating and watching the shore where we had spotted evidence of beavers having been there. We never saw a beaver, but thought it exciting to think of the possibility! Peanut butter sandwiches gone, we headed up along the winding river. A couple of times I heard a frog sing and it delighted me to think of visiting them later this spring when they will be singing their songs, resulting in a beautiful chorus! We stopped for a chocolate break and for Wes to fish from the rocks for a while. So while he fished I walked along the shore and explored a bit. I located a small section of sand, and removing my flip flops, I stood barefoot in it, finding it very warm and most satisfying indeed! Walking a bit further, I found a most interesting rock, sculpted by the force of high water at times, and I thought from above it looked like I was flying over a miniature grand canyon! Upon getting down on knees to examine it more closely, and by looking at it from just the right angle down low, I imagined I was rafting down the river winding through this miniaturized version on the grand canyon! I noticed a wee shrimp-like critter in the larger pool of the miniature canyon enjoying having the amazingly clear water all to himself.

 

miniature grand canyon2

Eventually, we climbed back into our kayaks and were off, floating over unbelievably clear, emerald green water, watching as big boulders passed beneath us. “Oh . . . if only it was warm water!” I thought to myself, I would swim and swim to my heart’s content! But alas it’s not, so for now, I must continue to admire it from above. On the return trip, the smooth water had turned into choppy water which was white capping, sending water spraying up and over me with nearly every paddle.  Periodically I’d quit paddling, and just floated over the small choppy waves, thus feeling as if I was on a float at the beach. By the time we returned and were loading the kayaks into the van, we felt totally relaxed and thankful for a wonderful day on the water!

kayaking

~  In The Studio  ~

Wes has been working on SAA business stuff this past week and working out in the yard on projects as well as in the greenhouse and in the garden. I’ve helped with some of the yard projects and have spent most of the remainder of my time at the easel, making more progress on my Black-crowned Night Heron painting, and starting another miniature as well.

black-crowned night heron painting by rachelle siegrist
My Heron painting in progress

~  See Our Miniatures In-Person This Week At ~

Wonders of the West
March 21 – May 31, 2020: Customs House Museum, Clarksville, TN

Wonders of the west mule painting by rachelle seigrist

29th Annual International Miniature Art Show
May 2 – 30, 2020: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

seaside international miniature art show

Brookgreen Gardens ~ Murrells Inlet, SC

Exquisite Miniatures exhibition at Brookgreen Gardens7


 
Would you love to enjoy your special friend as a miniature painting?
                                             
Then commission us to do just that! . . . Email photos for consideration to us at

commission a dog painting

~  ( )  ~

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle