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Painting to Music

Artist Silvia Trujillo demonstrates live painting with music at Art & Soul Gallery

The Art & Soul Gallery in Ashland has always been a special place, one where I feel particularly at home showing my work. Now that the gallery is under new ownership by Peter Stone, it has become even more of a community space offering new ways to experience art.

Peter is always coming up with new ideas to engage our patrons, and this painting demo event was one of the best. We blocked out a Sunday afternoon in June to fill the gallery with music (performed by Peter himself) and “Live Painting”.

Have you ever attended a live painting event with music? If not I will try to describe it to you but you really must attend one yourself (stay tuned to the Art & Soul Gallery Facebook page to find out about future events). The atmosphere was meditative but energized, and though it was distracting to have people watch me paint, I was able to tune into the music and focus on the demonstration despite all the attention!

Artist Silvia Trujillo demonstrates alla prima technique

In this live painting session, I demonstrated the alla prima technique — how to start and finish a painting “all at once”.

Artist Silvia Trujillo live painting alla prima

I finished this oak painting and still had an audience, so I asked what they would like me to paint next. Someone requested aurora borealis, and I had just the right colors left on my palette to make it work. Voila, two paintings!!

 

"Oregon White Oak" ©2019 Silvia Trujillo

“Oregon White Oak” ©2019 Silvia Trujillo

 

"Aurora Borealis" ©2019 Silvia Trujillo

“Aurora Borealis” ©2019 Silvia Trujillo

So, You Want to Be an Artist?!

Silvia Trujillo teaching at Rogue Gallery & Art Center

Here I am with students I mentored in 2017.

 

Every year the Rogue Gallery Art Center connects creative teens with professional artists through the Teen Mentor program. I’ve participated in the Teen Mentor program for five years now and always feel just as inspired by the students as they do by me.

The mission of the program is to not just teach teens practical art skills, but to also give them some idea of what it’s like to be a professional artist. I’m honest, so I may have scared away one or two by now! It’s certainly not an easy job. There have been many points in my career that I’ve almost given up — and I think it’s important to be able to admit that. Life is not as it plays out on television. Sometimes you feel as if you’re taking one step back for every two steps forward.

Why do art? For the true creative, there isn’t really a choice. We feel driven to translate the beauty of the world onto the canvas (or into the page, through the camera lens, etc). We are so lucky, sometimes, to get paid to do it.

The Teen Mentor program is not something I do because it’s lucrative, but because it’s rewarding to show teens that being a professional artist is a real possibility. The Rogue Valley may be small and out-of-the-way but I have seen some very talented artists come through the program. They are the future and you never know what these kids are going to do next!

You can support the Teen Mentor program by becoming a member of Rogue Gallery & Art Center. Or, you can support me, the mentor, by purchasing a painting or contacting me about commissioned work.

Thank you for your support which allows me to give back to my community.

New Works, Summer/Fall 2018

The secret to creating the illusion of great distance in a two dimensional painting is… well you’ll just have to take one of my workshops to find out! This piece was a demo for my Depth and Distance workshop through the Sacramento Fine Arts Center this September.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

“Hill Song”
Oil on 12×16″ canvas
$295

 

The fascinating thing about painting in plein air is that extra elements are incorporated into the work, sometimes without the painter knowing it. Returning to this piece on a cold winter night, I’m transported right back to the lavender fields in Oregon’s Applegate Valley. I smell the sun-baked earth and hear the hum of bees. I wonder: Is there perhaps some lavender pollen embedded in the paint? Is there still a summer breeze wafting from the distant trees? I can feel it. Can’t you?

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

“Lavender Fields Forever II”
Oil and sunshine on 16×20″ canvas
$495

 

Sometimes it’s the painter’s job not just to capture the beautiful moments in life, but the difficult ones, too. Here in southern Oregon we survived eight weeks of dense, unhealthy smoke in the late summer and early fall. When the sun did appear it wore this red disguise — like a warning light, asking us to change our ways.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

“Summer Sun, 2018”
Oil and smoke on 12×9″ canvas
$195

Don’t Fence Me — or my feet — In

Every year the Rogue Gallery & Art Center in Medford puts on a Members’ Only Show. They have a great theme for it this year — “Don’t Fence Me In”. The show runs just a couple more weeks, until December 21, so while you’re out there doing your holiday shopping be sure to stop in the gallery and check out all the great art! Eighty members contributed this year, with everything from watercolors and oils to sculptures and photography.

My contribution to the Don’t Fence Me In show, titled Autumn Notes, is pictured below. I went a little bigger than usual for my plein air work, composed it in an abstract style and challenged myself to break out of my usual routines as I painted on a beautiful fall day at a friend’s property south of Ashland.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

Autumn Notes
Oil on 24×18″ Canvas
$695

 

A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

As a little holiday present to my blog readers, I wanted to take you “backstage” on my plein air process. First, check out this quick video clip of me doing my work. See if you can find the “hidden technique”.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

In the picture at right, the painted scene for Autumn Notes is in the background.  For the sake of the composition, I removed a few trees and tweaked the perspective.

Have you figured out my hidden technique yet? It’s going barefoot! If you’ve never tried it, you should! Taking off your shoes to paint (or embarking on any creative endeavor) is very grounding. I find that I can immerse completely in the scene I’m painting when my feet are bare.

The final image below is a close-up of the foundational stage for Autumn Notes.

I hope this inspires you to do some plein air painting in the coming year! I plan to host more outdoor classes in 2019 so stay tuned for announcements.

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

Haines and Friends Fund Grant: Update

As those of you who subscribe to my newsletter already know, I received a substantial grant through the The Haines and Friends Fund this fall! As an artist who has always relied on patrons and students to stay afloat, it was immensely gratifying to receive this gift.

In applying for the grant, I proposed to create some large-format works that recreate the immediacy and spontaneity of plein air work in the confines of my studio. As soon as I got the letter saying I’d received the grant, I looked around and realized that my studio is going to feel a bit smaller than usual!

Nonetheless, I ordered the canvases, all 30″x40″ and larger. Now that they’re here, they’re urging me to get to work. These paintings will be ambitious and time-consuming to complete but worth their while. As I’ve spent time this fall reviewing photographs and paintings I’ve done on my many excursions through southern Oregon and Northern California, I’m once again captivated by the landscape. My hope is for my paintings to make these places larger than life, so that many more people may fall in love with them and work to protect them.

The Haines and Friends Fund is a southern Oregon institution with several respected figures in the regional art world on its board. I am honored to have their blessing and support!

Be on the lookout this winter and spring for updates and show announcements featuring my larger works. In the meantime, I encourage you to give the gift of art this year. I am still accepting commission orders and many of my smaller works are on sale in my eBay store.

Eye-Opening Works for the Oregon Retina Center

Last summer I received a commissioned project for the Oregon Retina Center in Medford. They wanted three large abstract works to add color and energy to their halls.

Years ago, I worked primarily in large format and I’d forgotten how much I love the process. I stocked up on large brushes (like you would use to paint a house!), huge tubes of oil paint, and buckets of finishing varnish and set to work.

I think the project turned out nicely and the clients are happy. Most important, I rediscovered a passion for creating art that can really sweep you up and bring you into a landscape or abstract scene. Keep an eye out (no pun intended!) for more of these from the studio of Silvia Trujillo!

Could your home or office use more color or a calming nature scene? Contact me to discuss a commissioned work.

Silvia Trujillo with large-format painting for Oregon Retina Center

Here I am at the Oregon Retina Center with one of the three abstract oil paintings.

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

Two of the three commissioned pieces, finished in my studio. © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

The third work in the series. © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

Sold on the Spot

As just about everyone knows, it’s not easy making a living as an artist. It’s definitely a job that must be done for the love of it, and with a certain amount of trust in the universe to connect each painting with its buyer.

Sometimes, this connection can take a while, but occasionally it happens with lightning speed!  While teaching a workshop in Sacramento this spring, I painted the demonstration piece below. As soon as I finished it, a student decided she must have it and bought it on the spot.

I’m teaching another workshop at the Sacramento Arts Center next month – contact me if you’d like to sign up (and no, I don’t expect you to buy my demo!)

  © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

Demonstration for “Shadows and Reflections” workshop at the American River. © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

Here are a couple more paintings that have sold recently at galleries and on my eBay store.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

“The Pond” — SOLD    © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

“Wildflowers” — SOLD  © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

Head over Heels with Hills

There’s something playful about the rolling hills of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Like someone came along and scrunched up the landscape. It makes me want to lie in the grass and roll all the way down. But rocks and burrs – no thanks! I let my brush play on the canvas and spare myself the bruises.

 © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

“Hill Sublime” Oil on canvas.  SOLD      © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

 © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

“Talented Hills” These poplars and oaks are just beginning to make their seasonal transformation into brilliant yellow and orange. Oil on 18″ x 18″ canvas.  $475    © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

 © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

These hills are carved from 100% solid butter! Not really, but they could’ve fooled me!  Oil on canvas — SOLD

Workshop next month in Sacramento!

If you’re in the Sacramento area, please join me for another fun and interactive workshop!

Silvia Trujillo Workshop Sept 2018

For the Love of the Rogue

Most people think of rivers as recreational sites but they’re so much more than that! As I roam the Rogue Valley, brush and palette knife in hand, I see all the ways that water brings life to this region. The images here are some of my recent favorites from these explorations.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

“Ti’limokh Falls”   Knife-painted on a lovely July day at the Rogue River just outside the city of Gold Hill. I used a thick oil impasto which lends a fantastic sense of movement to the water. Oil on 10″x10″ canvas. $295  © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

“Paschal’s View”  Although these hills are still enjoying the benefits of late-spring rains, when late summer rolls around water from the Rogue River will keep the grape vines green. Oil on 12″ x 24″ canvas. $475  © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

“Lavender Love” Everyone knows the Rogue Valley as a world-class wine producer, but the lavender fields are equally impressive. You can almost smell those fat purple buds when you stand next to this painting! 16″ x 20″  $475    © 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art