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Anniversary Texture, Sierras in Black ~ September 11 and 14, 2013

Early September is usually pretty active. Not only am I packing and preparing for my Women’s Journaling Annual Retreat, but it is also my birthday and our anniversary too. So this page has whispers of how terrain between Roland and I had smoothed out, the lace-y laser cut paper pattern from the anniversary card Ro gave me (sometimes draping words with a filtered or translucent paper will give you a bit more privacy on a journal page – and I inserted it with photo corners so that I can take it out to read when I want to), the business card from where we dined (disappointingly) and the bitter sweet last evening at home before I take off for the Sierras where the retreat is held.

All that echoes against the opposite page … the first full day at Lake Alpine Resort up in the California Sierras. Both Jean Warren and I arrive a

day or two ahead to finalize locations for different creative processes. This day we took off, up to a nearby duo of glacier formed lakes called Mosquito Lake.

Now I’d mentioned that with this journal, I really wanted to mix things up, right? Well, there we are at the pristine lake, I’m all seated having found the perfect scene I wanted to paint. I get out my materials from my pack, open up my journal ready to watercolor – – and – – as you see, it is a black journal page. I really, seriously considered skipping the page and going on until I found a watercolor page, but at last, decided to stick to my commitment. I worked, rather uncomfortably, with the black page. Using a white Schwans Stabilo pencil,

graphite pencils and some of my wax crayons for the color accents I depicted the lovely, sparkling lake and white cabins before me. The lettering was with white gel pen. I’m mostly pleased with the image – – but even more with the fact that I stuck to my aim of testing out new materials, papers and increasing my open minded attitude. (PS You’ll see in the next pages … I develop a way to cope with my yearning to paint on watercolor paper when the journal page is NOT a watercolor page!)

It remained a perfect day up in the azure sky-ed mountains … one of my favorite places here on earth!

Birthday Traditions ~ September 3, 2013

When I made this journal, I wanted to challenge myself. I was feeling like I’d become kind of ‘cookie-cutter’ with my journal page designs in my ole’ big Canson 10 x 14 inch journal. I chose to make the shape and size different as well as mix in un-predictable papers. So already, just four pages into this new journal I’m feeling “bothered” that some of the paper is watercolor paper and some is mere writing paper. My watercolor paintings ripple the pages and I have to use less and less water. I notice I’m feeling “squeezed” into this smaller 8 1/4 x 8 1/2 inch page format. I’m wondering why I decided to be innovative!!!? But I need to remember – – that stretching one’s self is never comfortable. And it is through these feelings that we get new experiences and creative
stimulation. Ok? Ok!

Notice what a fun element the back side of the Paper Clay insert has become on these following pages? And even what is pages ahead, like that yellow glowing area showing through the hole on the right page, has an effect upon the page design. I’m often surprised with the serendipity and how wonderfully it works out!

But with all that aside, on these two pages, I celebrate my birthday. Roland gifted me with my favorite dessert, the Marion-berry Cobbler from the Standingstone Brewery in Ashland and it of course, landed on my journal page. It was a time of confusion and crazy unplanned mishaps … between visitors dropping in to a disappointing dinner out to cancellations for my Women’s Journaling Retreat … one of the cheery-est memories I could pluck from that time is my favorite cut-outs from birthday cards. For two years in a row now, my dear “Aunt Karen” has won out as my most favorite card! See the little kitten in the back pocket of a pair of jeans? That’s it! This page always makes me smile!

A New Journal’s First Page ~ The Fires ~ August 30, 2013

I seem to have created this tradition for starting a new journal ~ inserting a PaperClay object. If you haven’t used this diverse product, I love that it’s just white cellulose, can air dry and can be painted with anything you choose. Found at most craft stores! For each new journal I like to contemplate a theme, or characteristic I’d like to focus upon for the period of filling this new journal. With this journal, I chose “deep instincts” and deliberately left the piece unsealed, so that it felt more organic, earthy. I always have to cut through several journal pages to allow the PaperClay piece to fit. What I like about doing this on my first page is that it starts the page (eliminating that scary blank-white-first-page syndrome) and also projects those open holes through the next few pages, adding a design element I get to work around.

That summer was bereft with five large forest fires that encircled our valley. Burning 35,000 acres, the smoke poured into our area, forcing me to wear a mask for our nightly walks and cut out most outdoor activities. These images of flames ‘n smoke were the theme for the remaining summer and fall.

But I had to insert a bit of optimism and aliveness onto that page … and so … a quick sketch of the spikey, green water chest nut ripening on our near by tree.

Even tho the summer was a rather bleak one, I do like how the two page spread opens up and starts this journal. And I’m off and running into this brand-spanking new journal . . . y-i-i-i-i-i-i-p-p-p-p-i-e!!

Brick of History

This brick—this one,
right to my right
on the terrace
of a Himalayan café—
this brick reads like braille
gets tickled by bougainvillea
and loves its neighbors.
This brick looks
like sand gone solid.
It is the face of time,
sun-chapped, ruddy
wearing the pocked
skin of its youth
forever on its aging face.
This brick smells of cellar—
secret-scented. It hints
of rooms beneath streets
where roots break through
what man has made.
This brick sounds
like the wind, like centuries
of flux from every place
earth’s been dug down into
to pull up clay
(shape, fire, stack)
to build back up.
This brick would taste
like history if I licked it—
savor of fog and wind
blurring all desires
through time.
This brick feels
like solid chalk
like it’s flexing its muscles
like it’s about to speak.
I wait.
The bouganvilla
shivers across it
saying shhhhhhh.
This brick blows a kiss
to its cousin in Kansas
then whispers—
Keep holding up
the crumbling world.

Slip Away

In Ashland, cultural center of Southern Oregon, a sunny spot is never hard to find. Blocks from the theaters, galleries and shops of downtown, you can step into nature via a well situated park. This painting contrasts the shadows and sun of a late summer’s day, rich in hue and saturated with my love for a uniquely beautiful place.

Price: $600
Media: Oil on canvas
Size: 16″x12″

© Copyright 2015 Silvia Trujillo Art

© Copyright 2015 Silvia Trujillo Art

Heavy on the Vine

An Indian summer’s ripe harvest calls for thick oils and a palette knife, just like a fine Rogue Valley cheese demands a spicy Tempranillo or a dry Pinot Gris. By molding the paint and layering it on the canvas, I captured the texture of the day, the layers of from sky to earth, and – I hope – the smell of dry grass and ripening grapes.

Price: $300
Media: Oil on canvas
Size: 8″x10″

© Copyright 2015 Silvia Trujillo Art

© Copyright 2015 Silvia Trujillo Art

Valley Homestead

Hundreds of small-scale, family-owned farms dot the Rogue Valley and give it its unique characteristics. These hardy individuals, like the weathered barns and homes they pass between, quietly persist through extreme weather and economic hardships, standing against the trend toward industrial farming. This is my tribute to the many gifts our local farmers give us – not only fresh food but also the preservation of the very land they cultivate.

Price: $600
Media: Oil on canvas
Size: 12″x16″

© Copyright 2015 Silvia Trujillo Art

© Copyright 2015 Silvia Trujillo Art

Ancient River

The Upper Umpqua River flows through some of the most breathtaking
scenery in all of Oregon. Renowned by fly fishers, photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts, it is also the perfect setting for a plein air competition, which is how I came to paint here! The river’s captivating movements, reflections and emotions all found their way into my work.

Price: $600
Media: Oil on canvas
Size: 16″x12″

© Copyright 2014 Silvia Trujillo Art

© Copyright 2015 Silvia Trujillo Art


Who knows what animals are thinking? Harvey, a beagle I painted this winter on commission, seems to be quietly observing the world go by, but that glint in his eye might just send him dashing outside to play in it!

Media: Oil on canvas
Size: 8″ x 10″

© Copyright 2014 Silvia Trujillo Art

© Copyright 2014 Silvia Trujillo Art

Sketches & Stanzas 1

Windows wish to be wagon wheels.
Meanwhile, they move us closer to sky, sun,
and the promise of beauty above the ground we travel.

Jacksonville, OR
January 2015