Paddles…Miniature Paintings…And Rhinos

Smokies summertime fun!

by Rachelle Siegrist

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Wes, Tom and Sharon heading out

Wes and I headed back over to the lake this past week for another kayaking adventure, this time taking friends Tom and Sharon along with us. It was a stunningly gorgeous day, and we couldn’t wait to hit the water! Soon we arrived at the boat ramp, where Sharon christened her boat with a handful of lake water before we loaded up, paddling on our merry way. The lake’s surface was nice and smooth making it flawless for her maiden voyage in the new kayak!

Prothonotary Warbler
A beautiful Prothonotary Warbler Wes spotted along the way

Within minutes Wes had spotted a beautiful Prothonotary Warbler, and while he watched and photographed the gorgeous little yellow-headed bird, the rest of us watched a pair of ospreys flying over and fishing in tandem. The birds circling in the sky above while peering into the clear water below, spotted fish, each time swopping down out of the sky, plunging into the water and sending splashes up into the air, while coming out with a prized catch in their talons! A few minutes later a pair of Bald Eagles flew overhead delighting us all, and the day had only just begun!

swimming rachelle siegrist
Sharon says . . . “No fair, your legs are longer!”

Sharon instantly fell in love with her new kayak, and I’m pretty sure she and Tom enjoyed the sport as much as the Wes and I do. Soon we were paddling back up into a creek and the recent rains made the current much more intense and stronger than normal. Upon seeing the crystal clear water, I suggested to Sharon that we get out and wade while enjoying the cool water, with our beloved kayaks in tow.

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Kids just can’t resist playing in the water . . . even us big ones!

It felt delightful walking on the sandy creek bottom, while watching schools of small fish swim past as we made our way up the creek to the wee pebble beach. Once there, we beached the kayaks, once again enjoyed one of our favorite picnicking locations. Of course I couldn’t wait to get back into the water to wade and found the perfect rock to sit on out in the middle of the stream. Try as I may, I couldn’t convince Sharon or Wes to sit out in the stream with me.  However Tom decided it was a perfect place to enjoy snorkeling for a while.

Tom snorkels for awhile
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Bok . . . Bok . . . Bok . . . Sharon’s a chicken, cause she won’t sit down in the water!

Even though I could’ve easily stayed there all day long, eventually it was time to start back so we loaded up into our kayaks and we’re on our way.  The trip back was like being on a guided tour, since all we had to do was sit back and relax while letting the current slowly take us along.  Once back out into the lake, Sharon and I found a spot where the water was actually warm.  We tried hard to find a spot where we could easily get out and back into our kayaks, so we could take advantage of the blissfully warm water, but alas were unsuccessful, so we happily soaked our arms and feet in it instead.

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The colorful crew relaxingly paddles along
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Just chillin” in the warm spot

The lake’s glassy surface, perfectly showcased reflections of the surrounding mountains as we paddled back across.  Arriving back at the boat ramp, we loaded up the kayaks and started the journey home, relishing yet another wonderful memory made!

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Heading back

Our Exquisite Miniatures tour is currently at The Stauth Memorial Museum, located in Montezuma, KS.  It will be on display there until September 3rd, so if you are in the area it’s a great time and a wonderful venue in which to enjoy being “Wowed” by our miniature paintings!

Exquisite Miniatures on display at the Stauth Memorial Museum (photos courtesy of the museum)

Rhino Images - Art and the Rhinoceros with Wes Siegrist ArtworkWes is delighted to have six paintings featured in this newly published book with proceeds benefitting Rhinos: Rhino Images – Art and the Rhinoceros, First Edition, 2017. This book shows the rhino in art – masterpieces from the ancient past to the present. There are over 300 rhino images in this book. The rhino images include drawings, paintings, etchings, rock carvings and sculptures done in a variety of materials. These images of the rhino range from early civilizations such as in China, Roman Empire, Indus civilization in Pakistan/India area and from Southern Africa down to current day images of paintings and sculptures produced by modern day artists. Whether in the ancient past or in the present the rhinos are always represented as huge, powerful and solitary animals. Drawings, woodcuts, etchings, paintings and sculptures of the rhino all depict the power of the animal. The text indicates where you may find these rhino images. For the artists of our time their websites have been given. There are very few of these magnificent wild animals left in the world, so unless they are protected and managed, artistic images will soon be the only viewing option. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to saving the rhino from extinction. The book is now up and running, being available via as a Kindle eBook download at a cost of $US20.00. Just type in rhino images in the search and the book will be available for purchase.

~ Fresh off the Easels ~

I finished one of my pet commissions this past week, of two adorable friends named Riley and Boris!  It was such a joy painting these two adorable babies, and seeing their obvious love for each other as well as the precious expression on Riley’s face, brought a continual smile to my own face!  I’m currently painting on another dog commission of a precious baby named Tito, as well as working on a Smokies landscape.

King Charles Cavalier painting by rachelle siegrist
My recent pet portrait “Riley and Boris”

Wes finished his painting this past week of boats which we photographed in a marina while in Easton last year during the Waterfowl Festival.  Having an extra day to spend at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and see some of the surrounding area, we really enjoyed photographing the boats.  We plan to have a couple of these delightful boat paintings at the Waterfowl Festival this year, including this one featuring the Wendy Lee, and upon close inspection, you can see three people working aboard it!

“Prepping the Wendy Lee” by Wes

~ To Commission A Painting by Us Click Here!

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle


A Dog Painting Commission

A Commissioned Miniature Painting Of A Basset Hound

by Rachelle Siegrist

A  step-by-step slideshow of how I painted this cherished pet

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“Miss Lilly” 3 ½ x 3 ½ inches by Rachelle

By watching (or clicking on) the above slide show, you can see the series of painting steps for “Miss Lilly”.  From several emailed photos of her, I decide which ones I think would work best, and draw a couple of sketches featuring different compositions.  They in turn are sent to the collector, and after it is decided which one is the favorite, I do the final drawing.  Then the painting process starts, beginning with simple washes, with details painted in as the painting progresses.  When I feel the painting is done, an image is emailed to the collector, so they can see if it is just right or if there needs to be any small changes.  Upon final approval of the painting, it is wrapped and shipped to it’s new home, where the delighted  owner enjoys it forever . . . A very happy ending indeed!

You can see more step-by-step paintings on our website and we often post them on our Facebook page: The Miniature Paintings of Wes and Rachelle Siegrist.

~ Here are a few testimonials from our delighted collectors  ~

 ~ “I just had to jot you a note to tell you how much I love my beautiful miniature of “Surcee”. Your work is incredible. Now I have two of my “favorite things” in miniature… wren and my precious dog. Thank you both for rendering both to perfection.”

~ “The paintings arrived safe and sound yesterday!! We poured a glass of wine, put on Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Mathis and opened them together! It was a very emotional and powerful joy to open them up and see them up close in our home for the first time after waiting so long! They are exquisite!!! It’s really an emotional experience to hold them in your hand and view them with a magnifying glass under a good light at home! That’s one of the things that make miniatures so special is the intimacy of being able to hold them in your hand and see them up close. Both are more beautiful and exquisite than we ever imagined. Thank you for your notes on the back of each and for the detailed letter with the update on your shows and the planned DVD. It’s all very exciting.”

~ “Our house is blessed with the wonderful miniature work of the Siegrists. Any time they show their work, we always find another amazing painting that they have crafted, that we want. The size of these Miniatures allow you to place them almost anywhere in your dwelling. A look at any of them makes your day better.

~ “Well, a great big ‘thank you’ to you both. The package arrived this morning. We had a second birthday celebration as I unwrapped the box. I handed the zip-lock bag to Darlene and let her take it from there… We both had tears in our eyes as we gazed at the painting. It is magnificent! Thank you very much. Wes, thanks for keeping everything on track and getting the package here today. Rachelle, thank you for a wonderful painting. You absolutely captured the heart and feeling of the pond at Wood Lot Farm.”

~ “I just wanted to send along a note to say how much we love the portrait of Luke! You did such a wonderful job capturing his likeness! I know Dad is so pleased with it, and we were so touched to receive it on Christmas….what a wonderful and special gift. I think mom would’ve been tickled by it too. We have it on a shelf in our living room and have already received lots of compliments on it….and, tell Wes that we’re still receiving compliments on Mr. Fuzzy Feathers, which I love too!”

~ “…many thanks again for the beautiful portrait of Consuelo! It arrived without a hitch and the surprise was complete, but I couldn’t wait to show it to Susan, who’d like to include a thought or two of her own. – What a wonderful surprise this was! You managed to capture the vivacity and glee in this little cherub- well done! The likeness is perfection! She has become part of our lives and we so love the way you have captured this precious moment.”

 To commission me, Wes, or both of us together is easy! Here’s how…

1. Contact us with your request or ideas
2. We’ll coordinate with you the details including price, schedule and composition
3. We’ll provide you with sketches to consider
4. You’ll send us 50% to get us started painting
5. We’ll send you progress reports including scans of the work in stages of development
6. At your final approval of the painting send us the balance due and we ship your painting to you.  (We pay for the shipping and insurance!)

For questions, or for more information on how to commission me to do your own special painting, please send me an email at

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

New Miniature Paintings and the Christmas Parade!

wes and rachelle christmas 2013

As with most of the Eastern United States, the weather has been . . . shall we say . . . less than desirable for much of this past week. Cloudy, gray skies and rain seems to have almost become a permanent fixture in our area . . . kind of yucky if you ask me. I told my mom this past week that my right leg was dragging, and my left one was soon to follow suit! Before long I would be pulling myself around the house by my arms, and with a weak voice saying “Sun . . . Sun . . . I need Sun!” One day of overcast skies and rain is just fine, and actually nice at times, but by the second to third day in a row of the Vitamin D deprived weather, this Florida girl starts really needing some sunshine and blue skies pretty bad! However, miraculously, we did get to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies during a walk one afternoon this past week! And I have to tell you that it felt nothing short of totally amazing, this phenomenon of nature which I naively took for granted way too much while growing up in Florida!

 mayfield dairy cow
Oh boy . . . the Mayfield Dairy cow! She makes the best ice cream in the world!

Needless to say, spending most of our time indoors, we were able to get a lot of painting done this past week. We also enjoyed eating at our new local Mexican Restaurant, Monte Real, one evening with friends, Fred, Barb, Pat and Frank. It was delicious and our waiter, Octavio, was most friendly, making it a fun and pleasant evening out! Afterwards our friends joined us here at our house to play a game of Mexican Train Dominoes and enjoy a piece of dark chocolate cake for dessert. Another afternoon we enjoyed going to neighbor friends Jim and Uschi’s lovely house to enjoy Uschi’s delicious homemade cookies, as well as visiting with them and other neighbors Richard and Melodie. A couple of evenings later, our friend Kit joined us for supper here at the house featuring my homemade chili, and afterwards we enjoyed relaxing and watching a funny show.

horses in townsend christmas parade
We thought this horse and rider were quite a handsome duo!

townsend christmas parade 2013
Candy collecting is serious business at this parade!

This afternoon we walked “downtown” to stake out our spot to watch the annual Christmas Parade, and of course collect our loot of candy. Our parade is one where they still throw out candy, and everyone big and small runs out and picks it up as if that’s the only way we can get it! It’s quite fun to watch and even more fun to participate in! This year we got a bag full, and I’m saving it to feed to my nephew and niece that are visiting Christmas week, but only when we’re going to be playing outside obviously! As usual the parade was very entertaining and although there is usually more horses and four-wheelers than anything, this year the emergency vehicles and fire trucks surpassed them by far, in number! A couple of times it looked like a national emergency taking place, with all of the trucks sirens blaring and lights flashing, and the streets filled with a mob of people running in all directions! I must admit one of my favorite sections of the parade was the string of Volkswagen Bugs, and I was envisioning driving my little cotton candy pink VW bug all decked out in Christmas attire, in the parade too someday. All I have to do is get one first, ha ha!

Well, in just a little over a week, my family, all eight of them, will be coming to spend Christmas week with us, and we’re so excited! Now we’re all just praying for snow while they’re here, so we can sled and build a snowman!

christmas candy
Christmas candy for the kids . . . small and big!

Fresh off the easel ~ This past week, Wes finished his miniature painting of a snow leopard which will be featured in the upcoming exhibition FELINE FINE II ~ Art of Cats. I finally finished my painting of a Crested Caracara being bathed in the beautiful sunlight!

crested caracara miniature painting
“Immature Caracara” by Rachelle
snow leopard miniature painting
“An Icy Stare” by Wes

~ You can still see our paintings this week at the following museums ~

The Kenosha Public Museum, Kenosha, WI; The Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA; The Harvey County Historical Museum, Newton, KS and The WaterWorks Art Museum, Miles City, MT. We also have work on display at galleries and exhibitions in Brownsburg, IN; Kingsport, TN; Chambersburg, PA; Sidney, MT; Kingston, PA; Lexington, MA and Bethesda, MD!

To view all our upcoming exhibits:

Immortalize your loved one or a beloved pet in miniature!
Contact and commission us to create your own special painting!
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Until next time ~ Rachelle