What I’ll be teaching? Rachelle and I will be differentiating ourselves by specializing in opaque watercolor techniques vs. transparent. We also, while specialists in miniature, will be teaching techniques that apply at any size/scale so the appeal is more broad. Depending upon class requests we may be demonstrating wildlife, landscape, portraiture, still life or marine (boats). I felt like I “missed the boat” somewhat last year by too narrowly focusing on miniatures so we’ll be more inclusive this time with general small works and conventional sizes if participants wish to work in that format.
Our Biography: Wes & Rachelle Siegrist capture the attention of viewers not with outstretched canvas but with miniature paintings so exquisitely rendered that they are often mistaken for photographs. Miniature art has been in existence for centuries and the current revival in its popularity has given rise to miniature art societies which in turn have given the Siegrists a platform for international recognition among peers and collectors. Their tiny treasures typically measure less than 9 square inches and appear even more detailed when viewed under magnification. Consequently, Wes and Rachelle Siegrist enjoy a dimension of interactivity with viewers that few painters of standard easel-size paintings enjoy. A hallmark of their work is the ability to convey the feel of larger canvases or the essence of the natural world in miniature. It is no small wonder, therefore, that the Siegrists have been referred to as “World Ambassadors for Miniature Art”.
The artists additionally have an unprecedented and history-in-the-making ongoing museum exhibition tour featuring over fifty of their miniature paintings that premiered in 2010 and is scheduled into 2019. A comprehensive overview of the Siegrists’ nationally touring museum exhibition may be viewed at: Museum Exhibitions.
The Artists regularly exhibit in major wildlife expositions and shows in the United States and currently participate in numerous international miniature art exhibitions. They have exhibited their miniatures in museum venues such as Birds in Art, Art of the Animal Kingdom, the Society of Animal Artists Annual Exhibitions and the Smithsonian Institution. They reside in Townsend, Tennessee beside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Our Background: We are a husband and wife team that started our painting careers together back in 1990. Actually, it started in 1989 when Rachelle was one of Wes’s students at the Highlands Art Museum in Sebring, Florida. Wes was smitten with her from the start and made promises of “teaching her how to paint” if she would simply marry him. (It’s a long and fun story but it will suffice to say that the two are crazy about each other and completely hooked on their careers as wildlife artists!)
We’ve been full-time artists from the start of our life together. Wes actually started his professional career in 1986 working as a freelance designer, cartoonist and teacher. From 1989 until 1999 Wes was an instructor at the Highlands Art Museum in Sebring, FL and he also taught at various galleries and art leagues. Our paintings featured wildlife, ships and portraiture in subject matter and varied in size from murals to miniatures. (miniatures in the sense of small paintings vs. the technique of painstakingly rendered tiny subjects). We’ve exhibited in over 800 exhibits at various festivals, shows, galleries and museums thus far in our career and have received hundreds of awards between us …. it’s always been a friendly competition!
We started our push into the international market of wildlife art and also miniature art at roughly the same time (1996-1997). Wes stopped teaching in 1999 in order to devote more time to his paintings. We discontinued doing outdoor art shows completely in 2001 after we found out we could pay the bills without sitting in the 100 heat and humidity, thunderstorms and even tornadoes!
We primarily paint for two reasons: Foremost, we absolutely love wildlife! Almost all of our work is a reflection of our experiences and interactions with wildlife in nature. Secondly, we love to paint! It’s not just our career-it’s our hobby and joy. We hope as you get to know us and our work, you’ll develop a deeper love for wildlife and the beautiful outdoor world that surrounds us! We’re also currently devoted to our cherished art form of “Art in the Little” and hope that our legacy will be our contribution to the genre with our paintings and assistance and inspiration to fellow miniature artists.
BONUS: A FREE digital book!
Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America by Wes Siegrist ~ extensively covers the subject of miniature art tracing the history, etymology and miniature art societies from the earliest beginnings to the present day. Published in conjunction with the Miniature Artists of America’s 25th Anniversary, the book features the work of 53 of the Society’s Signature Members from around the world with their own thoughts on miniatures and on their career. Over 210 photos of miniature art, miniaturists in their studios and exhibitions grace the pages.