Sleeping Creek Awakens

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We didn’t know it when we moved here several months ago, but there are actually several seasonal creeks on the property. Sunken Creek as I call it, is permanent and flows beneath the ground and is visible in a few large holes along the way, until it finally emerges from a dome shaped opening. It then flows above ground, eventually making its way to the pond on the neighboring property. Another one we discovered whilst walking through the front woods one day, and it was actually a dry creek bed at that time. Seeing it, we decided a lot of water had obviously flowed through there at one point!

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I thought it would be nice to make the trail follow alongside it, even though there was no water in it, so we did just that. Well imagine my surprise, the first time I walked on it after a good rain shower, as it had sprung to life and even had a waterfall! There are a couple dozen cascades as the water drops down winding along the creek bed, filling the air with sounds of falling water, and it’s truly amazing!

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When it’s really rushing it can be heard from the house, the multiple cascades blending together and sounding like a big waterfall off in the distance. Obviously I’m delighted that we created the trail right alongside the creek, as it flows for days like this after it rains. 

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Eventually it dwindles down until it’s only flowing in a few sections, then slows to a mere trickle in a spots, before drying up completely and returning to its sleeping stage. 

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Then rain starts to fall and like magic, Sleeping Creek awakens and springs to life once more, filling the air with the sounds of falling water again! 

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So even though I don’t personally enjoy rainy days, I certainly enjoy how it brings life to the dry creek, and quickens the flow of Sunken Creek. There’s another seasonal creek that flows through the back corner of our property, eventually flowing into a small pond in the woods behind us. So after a lot of rain like we got this past week, all the streams were flowing and I was serenaded by falling water in surround sound! The birds are drawn to the sounds as well, and frequently visit the many pools of water along the creeks. Being able to watch them makes my walks alongside the creeks even more enjoyable! 

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Speaking of birds, I have been out in the yard at the right time and have been able to watch large flocks of Sandhill Cranes fly over, sounding out their distinct dinosaur-like call as they go, and it’s amazing to see and hear! One group was so low that they seemed to barely clear the treetops above, and another high enough to catch a thermal, where they took a few minutes to slowly circle above, gliding along while taking a quick rest. “Oh to be able to fly like a bird!” I think each time I see them, the Canada geese or the many other birds flying through and above our woods. The geese have been coming to the large pond next door almost daily, and we’ve enjoyed hearing them and watching them through the trees, skimming across the water’s surface, whilst leaving a wake behind illuminated by the sunlight. It’s quite beautiful to watch, and sounds as if they’re having a bit of a dispute over who is going to nest on which side of the pond. I’m sure they’ll eventually figure it out, as I’ve been told by the neighbor, that they nest there each year. Another great surprise indeed!

 

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IN THE STUDIO

I’ve spent more time this past week painting on my current commission of Jett. I’ll be sharing the finished painting with you soon. Would you like to commission a miniature painting of something or someone that makes your heart smile? contact us by email.

pet portrait commission cat painting

Making more progress!

SEE OUR PAINTINGS IN PERSON

miniature portrait painting“Bastien Lepage’s “The Wood Gatherer” is one of our miniature gems in Exquisite Miniatures

Our touring exhibition Exquisite Miniatures is currently at The Evelyn Burrow Museum, located in Hanceville, AL, where you can see it now through April 15th 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

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Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Wishing You A Merry Christmas

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Wow . . . it’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here! It really doesn’t seem possible, and yet here we find ourselves at its very doorstep. I must admit that it doesn’t feel much like Christmas to me with the current state of things. It has been a most weird and stresful year indeed, and I don’t know about you, but we are ready to move into 2021 with hopes and prayers that things will improve. Nonetheless, we have so much to be thankful for as we look back on this past year. This time of year, with the frigid temps, gray skies and naked trees, I long for my beloved Florida, where I was born and spent the first 30 years of my life!

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I know for most of you, the word Christmas brings to mind images with abundant snow and the sounds of sleigh bells filling the air. However, for me, it brings to mind stately live oak trees with graceful, arching outstretched arms draped with long tendrils of Spanish moss gently swaying in the breeze, palm trees, flower covered tropical shrubs and citrus trees laden with fruit! We watched a delightful Christmas movie last evening in which Santa Claus rode on a boat pulled by pretend alligators, and the cast wore summer clothes, which appealed to me greatly!

When I was growing up, Christmas Day was spent surrounded by well over fifty relatives, on a cousin’s property. My grandpa and his brothers would dig a pit in which a fire was built, then a large grill was laid on a few cement blocks spaced apart, and the meat laid on it and covered with a big piece of tin. It was then left to cook while being flavored by the smoke and checked on occasionally. Numerous sawhorses were set up nearby and topped with long sheets of plywood. The tabletops were covered with red checkered tablecloths and then packed by numerous dishes of food brought by everyone there. Things like homemade mac-n-cheese, potato salad, baked beans, sinfully delicious scrumptious desserts and of course homemade cornbread dressing…. Can you say YUM! After lunch, all of us kids spent the day playing in the creek beneath the oaks and cypress trees and running through the open cow pastures below a vast blue sky. So perhaps, I guess you can now see why I’m dreaming of a green Christmas.

Wes and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

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~ See our miniatures in person this week ~

You can now follow us on Instagram at @rachellesiegrist

MIGRATION Exhibition & Sale
November 13, 2020 – January 10, 2021 at the Thomasville Cultural Center, in Thomasville, GA. 

87th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature
November 22, 2020 – January 9, 2021: Strathmore Hall, Bethesda, MD
View the exhibition online

EXQUISITE MINIATURES is at the Norfolk Arts Center, Norfolk, NE December 10, 2020 – April 15, 2021

Until next time ~ Rachelle

Exquisite Miniatures At Shafer Art Gallery

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Our Exquisite Miniatures Exhibition curated by David J. Wagner LLC, recently opened at the beautiful Shafer Art Gallery in Great Bend, Kansas. We finished our mini-documentary about painting Exquisite Miniatures, in time for the gallery to use it as part of their first-ever virtual opening, which went very well! Of course, it wasn’t like being there in person but was certainly still exciting and most enjoyable. I have a feeling that there will be more like this in our near future as well thanks to the coronavirus.

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Wes and I were recently interviewed by their radio station as well, which tuned out to be a lot of fun affording all partakers many laughs! You’ve heard the saying . . . “Its a small world” and such was the case with our miniatures being at this gallery. Wes seeing the name of the director Dave Barnes on a correspondence email replied to him, that he had a teacher in college with that very same name.

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The director emailed back stating “That’s funny . . . I had a student in college with the name Wes Siegrist”. Well, it turns out that Dave was indeed Wes’ art professor in college, and one his favorites at that! So as you can imagine, it was a very happy reunion and they enjoyed catching up on what has happened over the past 32 years in emails as well as on the phone.

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So here we are over 30 years later and his professor is seeing in person, the fruits of his labor. Needless to say, it was tremendously special to Wes and to myself, sitting there watching his college art professor excitedly talk about our miniature paintings there on display, during the virtual opening. So yes, sometimes it is a very small world indeed! If you’re a teacher or professor spending all those long hours preparing lesson plans and teaching and maybe sometimes you wonder how much you’re influencing your students, take heart and know that it may be more than you know!

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Wes and I both would have loved for things to have been to where we could have attended the opening in person and spend time hanging out with Dave and to see the exhibition in person. But thankfully, they have graciously taken and emailed numerous awesome photos of the Exquisite Miniatures on display, and so I’m able to share all of them with you. So many thanks again to the Shafer Art Gallery for all of these great photos! Perhaps it will make you feel as it did us, almost like getting to see it in person.

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Here is our mini-documentary about painting our Exquisite Miniatures, in which we share techniques, brush info, and insights into and behind many of the paintings that are or have been in the exhibition, so enjoy! There are also videos from The Shafer Art Gallery shared on our Facebook page.


Would you like to enjoy your own special miniature painting? 

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Until Next Time . . . 

Rachelle