The Presidential Portrait Miniature and Kayaking

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 Wes and I enjoyed spending some time in the great outdoors this past week, while taking advantage of a couple days of nice weather! We decided to spend our time on the water whilst kayaking and fishing, and the first afternoon found us under brilliant clear blue skies. The Tree Swallows and Canada Geese are obviously starting their nesting season, and I love sitting in the kayak and watching the swallows zip back and forth across the sky above, between sitting on bare tree limbs towering above. While watching the acrobat show in the sky, I was serenaded by the calls of the geese settling disputes over who’s territory is whose. A couple of times they flew nearby which was lovely to watch, and I managed to capture this video below for you to enjoy!

Since our lakes are actually rivers controlled by dams, we never know exactly what we’re gonna find in certain areas, or how high or low the water will be. While at times it can be frustrating, I guess it always lends an element of surprise to our adventure! Since the water was very low that afternoon, while Wes fished nearby, I pulled my kayak up onto one of the sandy beaches, and walked in the sand for awhile. It was almost warm feeling in certain spots and felt so amazing to my sand starved tootsies! As I walked along, I started noticing footprints and upon closer inspection realized they were from the geese. When I came upon this perfectly formed “X” made by the geese, I realized they obviously know where the treasure is buried! Next time I’ll be taking my shovel along… Ha ha!

canada goose footprints

The water is very clear presently and appears a brilliant blue color! I loved how the shore along this island looks as if it had actually been carefully raked, to make it have the uniform lines in it.

wes siegrist at the lake

We saw where the beavers are obviously enjoying this “buffet of bark” off of a huge tree that recently fell down in one of our wind storms!

tree photo

I simply can’t resist taking photos and videos in the clear water with my GoPro camera, and captured this cool looking photo this past week. So in case you’ve ever wondered what it looks like at the base of a cascade, well here you go!

underwater photo by rachelle siegrist

– Ridiculous Remedies – 

Here’s this week’s ridiculous remedy from the old 1892 cookbook, in case you have gilt frames in your house that you want to make shiny and bright! Okay, so I’m not sure where one would’ve gotten “flour of sulphur” from, or how well this worked, but it certainly should keep your home free of vampires if you used that much garlic . . . Ha Ha!!

everyday cook book

– In The Studio –

My Presidential portrait miniature commission of President Joe Biden, arrived at the Woolaroc Museum this past week, where it will be placed in the Museum’s historic Presidential Portrait Miniature Collection! This is the 3rd Presidential portrait I’ve painted for the collection, and Wes has painted one other for it. Even though there are many challenges in painting a portrait this small, one of the most stressful parts, is cutting the painting out of the paper, to make it fit inside the gold oval frame! As you can imagine, I made one wee careful cut at a time, until after what seemed like a hundred precision cuts later, it finally was the correct shape and size!

miniature portrait by rachelle siegrist

And voila’ . . . Here it is!

Portrait miniature president joe biden by Rachelle siegrist

President Joe Biden

I also finished my time-lapse video of the painting process and have embedded it here for you to enjoy! Even though I painted it, it’s still fun for me to watch it come to life in this video!

– See our miniatures in person this week –

 Exquisite Miniatures at the Norfolk Arts Center, in Norfolk, NE

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website, artofwildlife.com

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email

Follow us!

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Don’t You LOVE to Laugh

cute squirrel photo

Laughing . . . who doesn’t like a good laugh? I can’t imagine anyone not loving to laugh, it’s one of my favorite things to do and I very much miss it when it’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed a good laugh! Laughter is even more important in stressful times, such as this past year, and I thought this excerpt from my 1982 Every Day Cook Book, was most interesting and so very true!

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So there you have it . . . Go ahead and laugh and I say do it boisterously as well! You will feel so much better afterwards, as laughter is truly the best medicine! That being said, here is your “Ridiculous Remedy” for the week. I must say it’s weird for it be geared toward women, but alas it was in a time when women did most of the cooking in the late 1800s. Perhaps this is where Rocky Balboa got the idea of drinking raw eggs for strength, but I think I will pass on this one no matter how hungry I get!!

everyday cookbook

The sun blessed us with its appearance a couple of days this past week, so once again Wes and I charged outdoors full speed ahead to enjoy the infrequent occurrence! I even got to wear shorts and I can’t express how wonderful it felt! I got a great dose of vitamin D whilst traipsing about beneath clear blue skies!

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The first afternoon we went for a nice hike in the park, and I was delighted that the Spring Peepers were out and about, filling the air with one of natures most beautiful symphonies! Nearly every pool of water we passed was filled with an abundance of frog eggs, in various sizes and stages. 

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Every time we came upon another pool, I had to stop and peer down into the water to look for eggs. There were massive clumps of them everywhere, gently pressing onto neighboring clumps. It was an amazing frog nursery, and paired with the song of peepers filling the air, delivered the most delightful arrival of spring! The photo below was taken with my GoPro camera underneath the water, affording a unique submerged glimpse into this amazing occurrence.

frog eggs photo

Whilst hiking we discovered this Honey Locust Tree absolutely covered with BIG, long, sharp thorns, and I decided it obviously wants to be left alone! I can’t imagine tripping and falling into something like this . . . YIKES!!!

honey locust tree

The other sunny afternoon, we spent on the water kayaking. It was all fun and games on the way out, with the wind at our backs pushing us along. However, on the return trip, we paddled like crazy at times and didn’t seem to go anywhere, and the wind occasionally gusted so hard, it was spraying us with water! Thankfully it was quite a bit warmer this time, so I didn’t mind it at all. As a matter of fact, there were times when the waves gave quite a thrilling ride! Although the water is still way too cold to wade in, I had some fun with my GoPro and captured this really cool video (below) of both beneath and above the water!

~ In The Studio ~

I’m putting the finishing touches on my commission of President Biden, for the Woolaroc Museum’s historic Presidential Portrait Miniature Collection. I’ll be sharing the video with you, of the complete process once it’s finished, as well as photos of the painting installed in the case.

presidential portrait miniature by rachelle siegrist

~ See our miniatures in person this week ~

 Exquisite Miniatures at the Norfolk Arts Center, in Norfolk, NE

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website, artofwildlife.com

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email

Follow us!

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Fun Outside and at Our Easels

rachelle siegrist kayaking

Well, we managed to get out and enjoy the great outdoors a couple of times during the past two weeks, and I must admit it was very nice indeed! The weather forecast for the one day promised clear blue skies and no wind, so we decided that would be a great day to get back out on the water for a little while! While there was no wind at our house, by the time we arrived to our embarking destination, the wind was blowing hard enough it was creating good-sized waves, with some even white capping! Having driven the distance to get there, we decided to go out for awhile anyway. It was actually fun riding the rise and fall of the waves, and upon paddling around a bend in the water, we were able to escape some of the wind, especially when heading up a small stream. There the water was quite calm and clear as glass, offering a diver’s view below the surface of the frigid water.

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Within no time, the sun had all but disappeared, dropping the temperature quite a bit, but thankfully we had brought along enough clothes to layer up, keeping most of us warm, except for our hands, which were pretty cold even with gloves on. During the times the wind was at our backs, it was great, like getting a perpetual push from behind! However, when we turned, facing into the wind, it was a different story all together, and we had to really work at it to make good headway. Nonetheless, it was glorious to be back out on the water again, and I must admit it felt really good too, to be back in the van and out of the cold wind.

dirt dobber nests

I thought these Mud Daubers had impeccable taste in the location in which to build their nests!

Another day was predicted to be partly sunny, so we jumped at the chance to go walk in nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I think that forecast was totally missed, as I don’t believe the sun came out at all during the day, but we enjoyed a delightful hike, and seeing the beautiful vistas offered through the naked woods this time of year! The gentle rise in elevation during our hike kept us nice and toasty too! 

cades cove

The past several days, a beautiful Hermit Thrush has been gracing our back deck with its’ presence! It’s always a delight to see rare visitors in the yard, and I absolutely love watching it eat off of the wooden picnic table, which seems to be one of its’ favorite locations!

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I’ve been keeping our better camera on the dining room table, to be able to get a few nice photos of it.

hermit thrush

~ Ridiculous Remedies ~

Okay, it’s time for a few laughs again this week with more ridiculous remedies from my 1892 Everyday Cook Book, and remember I am in NO way suggesting that any of these be used! This first one is really odd to me, since I grew up in Florida and spent much of my earlier life striving to have tanned skin! I can’t imagine wanting to do something to erase it! And I wonder who in the world Fuller was, and how far one had to travel to get water from him . . . Ha Ha!

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This one is quite interesting in the day and age when many are trying to do just the opposite of this! Nonetheless, it sounds like they have figured it all out and as if they’re trying to fatten up the family hog . . . HA HA!!! I’m very curious to know what bathing daily will do to help fatten one up. Makes you wonder if doing just the opposite and not bathing, is a way to produce weight loss? It would save on the water bill regardless. Ha Ha!

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Oh my goodness, this I just can’t even begin to imagine enduring, and who in their right mind would even consider gargling with borax . . . YIKES!!!

everyday cookbook

~ What’s Happening in The Studio ~

Wes finished his miniature painting of an adorable Little Rock Pica. You have to look really close to see it tucked in there between the rocks, hence the title “My Hiding Place”. This painting is available for your own collection.

rock pica by Wes siegrist

Wes’s “My Hiding Place”

While I love painting portrait miniatures, they’re very tedious at times, so I had to take a wee break from my Presidential commission and started painting a miniature version of Claude Monet’s beautiful “Springtime”. I am having great fun with this one and am imagining the lady being myself, sitting out in the warm spring air and reading a delightful book, whilst being surrounded by all of the lush green foliage!

claude monet's springtime in miniature

I’ve made lots more progress on my commission of President Biden for the Woolaroc Museum’s Presidential Portrait Miniature Collection, and will probably finish it this week. I’ll be making a time-lapse video of this miniature, and will share it with you once finished.

Rachelle Siegrist painting President Joe Biden in miniature

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website, artofwildlife.com

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email

Follow us!

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle