Exquisite Miniatures At Brookgreen Gardens

Exquisite Miniatures exhibition at Brookgreen Gardens4

WOW . . . That’s the word I would use if asked to sum up our experience this past week while attending the opening of Exquisite Miniatures at stunning Brookgreen Gardens located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina! This amazing place is a real gem and truly a delight to visit!


Exquisite Miniatures exhibition at Brookgreen Gardens3

We arrived at Brookgreen in time to enjoy a short walk through the gardens before our meeting with the Curator’s Circle Friday afternoon. Exquisite Miniatures was arranged perfectly in a gorgeous museum setting and looked . . . well, absolutely exquisite to say the least! Alongside our exhibition, were small and miniature sculptures selected from the museum’s permanent collection and a private lender. Excited attendees started gathering even before our meeting was over, soon filling the room to capacity. Not only was it an amazing crowd, but everyone was so genuinely interested, asking every question imaginable about our miniature paintings and career.

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Since many had never seen a true miniature painting in person before, they were ecstatic and completely blown away with the level of detail in such a tiny space! Wes and I both were in heaven and I was so busy answering questions and talking with people that I even forgot to eat that evening! Everyone was so nice, extending to us such a warm welcome and thanking us for sharing our beautiful paintings with them.

Exquisite Miniatures exhibition at Brookgreen Gardens

Robin Salmon, VP of Art and Historical Collections/Curator of Sculpture, graciously introduced us, and Wes spoke briefly about our paintings as well as the history of our traveling exhibition. Afterward, we enjoyed talking with excited attendees once more, and then it was over and time to leave, although it seemed it had just started. Needless to say, we both left there soaring emotionally!

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The next morning we met up with Robin and she gave us a wonderfully insightful tour of the grounds and other galleries and sculpture pavillions. She shared with us the rich history behind Brookgreen and how the foresight and support, of fellow sculptors through purchases and commissions, by sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband Archer Huntington, created and shaped what is now Brookgreen Gardens.

Wes and I enjoyed strolling through the numerous gardens for a couple of hours afterward before attending the Gallery Walk that afternoon. As with the opening the evening prior, the gallery was once again filled with curious admirers asking questions and viewing the paintings with magnifiers in hand.

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We spent the remainder of the afternoon admiring the gardens and taking photos of the native animals in the zoo area. That evening we enjoyed a scrumptious dinner with Robin at a local restaurant named Hanser House, where we literally talked and laughed the night away, not leaving until we realized it was almost 10 PM. But as they say, time flies when you’re having fun, so we obviously were having great fun that evening, as well as during the rest of our time there at Brookgreen!

Since I have so many amazing photos of this stunning place, I’ve decided it best to just make a video comprising of photos and video clips of our exhibition as well as the numerous photos I want to share with you of the sculpture gardens. I’m hoping to get it done soon and will share the link next week on the blog.

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Wes and me with Robin Salmon

Wes and I want to extend a BIG heartfelt thank you to Robin and the rest of the friendly staff at Brookgreen Gardens as well as the numerous patrons who came out to enjoy Exquisite Miniatures with us and add our paintings to their collections! Next week I’ll be sharing several photos of the beautiful gardens with you.

~ See Our Miniatures In-Person  ~

Exquisite Miniatures exhibition at Brookgreen Gardens7

January 25 – April 26, 2020: Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC

45th Annual International Miniature Art Show
January 19 – February 9, 2020: Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle


Building An N-Scale Model Railroad

Finishing Our N-Scale Model Railroad!

By Rachelle Siegrist

N scale model railroad4

Welcome to Summerville . . . a miniature world where the skies are blue and sun always shines, it only rains at night and the temperature never drops below 70!  Now if only we had the shrinking machine to make ourselves miniature enough to live there!  Wes and I finally finished painting our wee people, cows, horses and the likes for our N-scale model railroad during several evenings this past week.

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It wasn’t easy at all, even though one might think it would be for us as miniature painters!  We had to use a pair of tweezers to hold our tiny people and cows while we painted them, and dropped them several times during the progress.  Wes even lost his legs at one point, when he cut himself in half to be able to glue himself seated in his kayak.  As soon we heard the snap, his legs flew off and were never to be seen again!  He used toothpicks to replace them and now looks quite muscular while paddling around the lake!

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There is so much to do in Summerville, tube, kayak, fish, snorkel, rock climb, hike and just about any other outdoor adventure you can imagine!  In the photo above, you can see a couple of us tubing and passing a fisherman, while my nephew is snorkeling above a friendly hammerhead shark!  We had fun creating the whitewater with Modge Podge and acrylic paint.  Wes also built a few more trees out of wire, glue, paint and tinted sawdust.

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Summerville has several of our favorite places to eat, including Pizza Hut and a bakery that serves up fresh baked desserts daily, that are all of course chocolate and calorie free!    The little grocery store is called the D & D Grocery, named after the store my grandparents owned in Okeechobee, along with my Uncle Jessie and Aunt Amy.  You can see part of my turquoise VW Bus in the top photo, which I think I will paint pink!

N scale model railroad

Below is our lake and tiny lake house, with Wes and I out kayaking on the clear blue lake.  Of course the water is always a pleasant balmy 80 degrees, so swimming is always a joy!  Wes made the smoke rising from the chimneys with a wee bit of colored cotton and wire.

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One of my dreams is to have a couple of pet Oreo or Belted Galloway cows, so I painted my herd of cattle to look like them, proving to be the next best thing!  My horses are in the far left pasture.

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There is a beautiful mix of trees in our woods, including big live oaks and palm trees as well as many others, both handmade and formed out of deer lichen and moss we collected from the yard. In the photo below, you can see a BIG live oak growing below the bridge that even has a tire swing waiting for its next passenger.  Of course you can see that both Pizza Hut and the bakery offer lovely views of the tiny town.

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No matter if you want to spend the day hiking in the mountains, paddling on a clear lake or swimming in the ocean, there’s something for everyone to enjoy under crystal clear skies in Summerville!  Wes and I had so much fun working on it, that we will probably continue to add a little here and there over time.

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If you receive the Western Art Collector magazine, then you likely saw this in the most recent issue, with the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum showcasing our upcoming Exquisite Miniatures Exhibition, which will be there April 1st through August 15th.  So if you’re in or are planning to visit Oradell, NJ (greater New York City Metropolitan area) I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful museum to see our miniatures in person!

Exquisite Miniatures


~ Fresh Off The Easel ~

Wes put the finishing touches on his painting of a black vulture this past week, while I’m still painting rocks and scales in my River Chub minnow painting.

Wes’ “Our Glorious Sanitation Expert”

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle


Adventures With Wes’ Parents!

Adventures from Art Museums to Lake Side Picnics!

by Rachelle Siegrist

wes siegrist hiking
George, Wes and Jeanie beside towering Hemlocks

We’ve enjoyed a fun week during Wes’ parents’ visit, filled with adventures and a few surprises!  We returned once again to the Elkmont region located inside Smoky Mountain National Park, to explore the latest progress on the restoration of the historic cabins.  A few changes had been made since we were there last with my parents, and I was delighted to discover a large old wooden water tower for the first time!  I shared my discovery with the others and convinced them to go check it out with me.

Wes and George with the tanks ~ Me in high places ~ A peek inside the wooden tank

There was also what appeared to be an old pump house of sorts, as well as a large metal water tank, all which we had to explore a bit further!  It was a beautiful day as we moseyed along the trails, taking in the remaining colors of fall oranges adorning the oaks.  Wednesday we headed to the Knoxville Museum of Art, where we enjoyed seeing several new exhibits.  One of my favorite pieces was “After Mona Lisa” by artist Devorah Sperber, comprising of 1,482 spools of thread, suspended by stainless-steel ball chains, and when you look into the small, clear acrylic sphere atop a metal stand, you see a miniature version of the Mona Lisa!  Being a fan of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, I absolutely loved it, and thought it a delightfully creative piece!

After Mona Lisa

Now take a closer look at the miniature Mona Lisa!

Mona LisaDevorah Sperber “After Mona Lisa”

Another truly impressive piece, was a painted silicon sculpture of a man’s back, neck and head, which looked so amazingly real that it was almost scary, especially since it was 3 to 4 times larger than life, with each and every little hair, pore and age mark precisely placed!  Of course a must see for us when visiting the KMA, is the Miniature Thorne Rooms!  Nine little rooms line the walls, each with painstaking detail in rugs, furniture, wall murals etc. creating a collection of intriguing, miniature worlds for the viewer!

A few of the Thorne miniature rooms, that Jeanie and I so enjoyed peering into!

Thanksgiving brought more flawless weather, so we decided to spend it in Cades Cove, and enjoyed playing Mexican Train dominoes with friends Tom and Sharon that evening.  Then instead of joining the throngs at malls on black Friday, we opted to spend it outdoors, with a picnic by a lake, followed with a leisurely walk, stopping occasionally to watch a flock of Coots nearby.  They too were enjoying the beautiful weather, and took turns diving below the water, immediately bobbing back to the surface, where they arranged feathers and preened.

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Jeanie, George and me

We spotted a couple of small openings in a large rock wall, and enjoyed imagining what critters may take up residence in them.  Clear blue skies and a gentle breeze accompanied us as we relaxingly walked along in our peacefully hushed world.

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Having been informed of an old church and cemetery nearby,  upon returning from our walk we decided to try and find it.  We eventually met with success after a couple of wrong turns, and found a lovely church and cemetery atop a hill.  With quite a bit of fall color remaining, it was a beautiful and peaceful setting indeed!

wes siegrist
Wes, Jeanie and George by the old church

Last evening we met up with friends Fred and Barb and family at our local Pizza Hut, before enjoying a game of Mexican Train dominoes at our house afterwards.  We said our goodbyes this morning, as Wes’ parents left for their home in Indiana, and now it’s back to work for us.

yellow lab painting, yellow Labrador Retriever painting, dog commission by rachelle siegrist

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle