A Duck Followed Me Home


Wes and I took advantage of our day of beautiful pleasant weather this past week to get back out on the water! Thanksgiving was the last time we went kayaking, so you can imagine we were ready to get back out there! Clear blue skies allowed ample sunlight to bathe the watery landscape below. The water in some of our manmade lakes has been dropped for winter, creating some interesting visual features, like normally submerged tree stumps, now standing high and dry, appearing to be walking across dry land.


Paddling a different route, we found a new creek this time which we explored a little. Our journey was cut short by large sections of dry land stretching across parts of the stream, but it was fun to go somewhere new nonetheless!


Along one side of the murky creek, an old roadbed occasionally appeared above water.  It emerged out of the water and followed the hillside, before disappearing back underwater once again, looking like a mysterious road to nowhere!


We were delighted to be able to watch five to six loons swimming about while fishing, calling and occasionally taking baths! Their call is a truly amazing sound, and one I’m always thrilled to hear! They didn’t seem to mind us watching them, so we did just that while sitting back in the kayaks and relaxing for quite some time. I found a new duck friend this time too, a mallard to be exact and it actually came home with me!


Wes and I are always finding things, and this time I found the Mallard decoy which was in really good shape, so I brought him home with us where he can occasionally float in the large birdbath, piquing the interest of our very curious and observant squirrels.


The water levels seemed to be dropping while we were out on the water, making it a little tricky to cross the lake in a couple of sections, and creating some very interesting waterscapes as well!


We returned to the boat ramp later that afternoon and I reluctantly climbed out of the kayak, to begin our drive back home. It had been another fun adventure and we’re already looking forward to the next one!

~  In The Studio ~

hawk painting by Wes siegrist
“In A Thicket” by Wes

While I’m continuing to paint on paintings for upcoming juried shows, Wes finished this miniature painting of a beautiful Red-shouldered Hawk, which we were delighted to see while In Florida last month. The hawk was mere feet from us, where we stood on a boardwalk located in a state park, and it was sitting on a tree limb whilst eating a water lily leaf.  Having never seen them do this before we found it most interesting!

master miniature artists tennessee magazine

This past week we received copies of this month’s issue of The Tennessee Magazine with our delightfully written article in it, and here’s the link where you can enjoy reading “It All Comes Down to Scale”.

exquisite miniatures at brookgreen garden

Wes and I are truly delighted that Exquisite Miniatures safely arrived at beautiful Brookgreen Gardens, where it will be on display January 25th – April 26th. This Friday, January 24th at 4:30pm, we will meet the members of the Curator’s Circle. The preview reception begins that evening at the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion at 5:30 and concludes around 7pm. The exhibit opens to the public on Saturday morning the 25th and at 2 pm there will be a fun and informative Gallery Walk with Wes and me. So if you live in the area or plan to visit, we look forward to seeing you there!

~ See Our Miniatures In-Person  ~

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

Fun Digging Through History


turkeyi in smoky mountain national park
Turkey crossing the road winding through the Smoky Mountains 

Wes and I took a whirlwind trip over to Durham, NC this past week, where we went to pick up historical items pertaining to the Society of Animal Artists.  One of our long-time SAA members passed away this summer, leaving behind newsletters and catalogs, among other things. With Wes as Executive Director of the organization, it was decided that we would drive over and get the material to add to the SAA archives. On the drive over we saw a couple different flocks of turkey while winding our way through the Smoky Mountains National Park, which is always a treat!

christmas at gatlinburg
A rainbow of folding chairs line the roads in Gatlinburg

Leaving the park behind and entering Gatlinburg, we began noticing what looked like folding chairs lying along part of the sidewalks lining the main road through town. On the return trip the next day, there were even more of them, creating a continuous rainbow of folding chairs along the edge of the sidewalk, stretching the entire length of Gatlinburg! We decided it must be chairs that people laid in place days early, to save their place for the upcoming Christmas parade, and I must admit we found this unusual practice most interesting. Back at home that evening, Wes started the enjoyable job of digging through everything and finding the missing links in the Society’s 60+ year history.

wes siegirst with SAA historical papers
Wes going through and organizing newly acquired SAA materials

My birds and squirrels are always very happy when we return home, even if we’ve only been gone overnight, and they all come to eat while acting like they haven’t eaten in days! The next day the sun returned for a while, which we all thoroughly enjoyed, especially my precious Bunny squirrel who hung upside down in one of her favorite yoga poses for nearly 15 minutes, obviously enjoying the sun’s warmth and a good stretch!

cute squirrel photo by rachelle siegrist




~  In The Studio  ~

I finished painting a commission that I’ll share with you later. Wes is painting the last painting in a collection of miniature songbirds that will be comprised of 6 paintings.  He had to postpone finishing them when his Ott-lite bulb burned out! The set will debut at the 38th Southeastern Wildlife Exposition this coming February.

miniature songbird paintings by wes siegrist

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~ See Our Miniatures In Person This Week ~

86th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature
Until January 5, 2020: The Mansion at Strathmore, Bethesda, MD

siegrist miniatures in the tradition of audubon exhibitionIn the Tradition of Audubon Exhibition
Until January 5, 2020: Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH

siegrist miniatures in the tradition of audubon exhibition

Society of Animal Artists’ 59th Annual Art & The Animal Exhibition 
Until January 5, 2020: The Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

Rachelle and wes siegrist paintings in SAA Exhibition at Briscoe Museum


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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle

It’s All About The Birds


I‘ve so enjoyed being able to eat breakfast on the back porch several mornings this past week, and am never alone, but I am always joined by numerous feathered and furry friends, bringing me great joy!  The Tinymouse family consisting of five adorable Tufted Titmice, hang out with me constantly as long as there are treats being offered.  I spread out a lovely little buffet of sunflower seeds and peanut crunchies, which they find irresistible, and in turn, spend much of their time sitting at the table with me.

They fly all around and above me, and occasionally land on me, which is always a delight and a thrill!  While recently reading Thoreau’s wonderful book titled “Walden” I came across this statement which I totally love . . . “I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.”  I couldn’t agree more, and delight greatly in time spent with my bird friends each day! Of course, I also delight greatly in visits from my precious squirrel friends who frequent the back porch looking for peanut treats.  One squirrel named Skittles always gives me a gentle bump with her velvety soft nose after grabbing the first peanut as I’m placing them on the floor beside me, and I always feel like I’ve just been given the world!

cute squirrel photo

The shrews have also returned to secret garden in our backyard, and I’ve been enjoying watching the little furry critters runout at lightning speed, grab a peanut or seed, to take back and eat safely in the underground home. I delight in watching birds everywhere we go, and whilst kayaking one day this past week, I found myself amidst a flock of mixed birds, mostly warblers. Sitting in my kayak mere feet from the shore, I noticed one wee tiny brown bird, which I’m quite sure was a Winter Wren, exploring a dirt crevice running the length of the wooded bank.  It purposefully went along, tossing aside leaves much larger than itself, while intently searching for bugs, and at one point flew out, almost landing on the front of my kayak!

wes siegrist kayaking

While still watching the adorable wee wren, I saw a chipmunk come scampering down to get a nice long drink. Thinking to myself “This keeps getting better” I suddenly saw two male Prothonotary Warblers fly and land close by in front of me.  Then one flew down to the water’s edge where it commenced taking a nice long refreshing bath in the shallow water lined with leaves.  About that time a regal looking Belted Kingfisher landed on an outstretched tree limb close by, and I decided I could happily stay there the remainder of the day!  After paddling a few times and heading in the opposite direction, a precious little Pied-billed Grebe popped up nearby, from underneath the water where it had been searching for lunch.  It curiously swam near while trying to figure out what the big plastic pink creature was that had invaded its private swimming hole, but didn’t seem to mind me being there at all, so I stayed a while longer, just watching him swim effortlessly about.  I had indeed made more amazing memories that I will keep with me for a long while!

fall leaves in the smokies

 ~ In The Studio ~

I finished my red fox painting that is one of three paintings in a collection entitled “A Foxy Trio“. All three miniatures are painted on silk and will debut at the upcoming 24th Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival November 15th – 17th at the Thomasville Cultural Center,  in Thomasville, GA.

red fox painting by-Rachelle-Siegrist

I’ve also started on the other two, switching between them just to keep things interesting, and will share them with you once I’ve finished them both.

Wes finished his miniature painting of a baby Red-shouldered Hawk, resting in his nest constructed out of piles of lush Spanish moss.  This little fellow was born in my parents’ backyard in Florida, and my Dad was able to take the reference photo for the painting.


baby hawk painting_by_Wes_Siegrist
“Sitting In a Spanish Nursery”


~ See Our Miniatures In Person This Week ~

In the Tradition of Audubon Exhibition
September 12, 2019 – January 5, 2020: Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH

Society of Animal Artists’ 59th Annual Art & The Animal Exhibition 
September 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020: The Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

EXQUISITE MINIATURES ~ September 15 – December 3, 2019: Kennedy-Douglass Center For The Arts, Florence, AL

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle