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The Long Game of Joy

I am delighted to announce the release of my new book on the first year of marriage!

The Long Game of Joy is the book I wish I could have read before I said “I do.” It’s a blend of memoir, manual, and meditation; interwoven within the story of our first year of marriage, you’ll find practical advice from savvy relationship experts and bits of poetry for those moments when no practicalities will do. You’ll encounter a wild mix of the sacred and mundane—the Enneagram, rivers, the wound-that-heals-us, RITZ-cracker communion, the True Self, corn dogs, and a key thing called zimzum. This is a playbook for couples looking to up their game by practicing grace to live in gratitude, faith to trust, and forgiveness to love. May we celebrate marriage in all its mud and wonder, all its stains and stars. Here’s to the learning curve of love for the win. 

Below you’ll find a bit of the first chapter, “We Fought About What?” 




I titled this book The Long Game of Joythough I’m not a huge fan of games—there’s usually just one winner. But I discovered that on the playing field of marriage, both players can win. On this Unified Field of Love, two can become one and know joy. 


Which might sound sweet…. 


But it’s also a marvelous-hard healing process! 


I confess: the first year of marriage was rough for me. And I’m pretty sure it would have been rough regardless of whom I’d married; I had too much of my own unlearning and learning to do—even though I thought I’d done it. 


That’s one of the many things I wish I’d known but discovered only after talking with people who’d been married 10, 20, 30, 40+ years. And after reading poems to help with mystery. And after reading books on marriage to help with practicalities. All of which I’ll reference often in these pages. Like this bit of wisdom from Winifred Reilly: 


I thought of how helpful it would have been to have learned, early on in my marriage, that not every problem can be solved and not every irritant can be negotiated away, that a good marriage is a mixture of delight and disgruntlement, that unhappiness comes from expecting it to be otherwise.*


That’s good advice for the long game.


And what is the long game? 


A long-term endeavor. 


A marriage…. 




You can read the rest in the book (both as paperback and eBook).


My gratitude to Bo Stern-Brady for her lovely endorsement:   


Anna Elkins has the ability to capture a world of emotion, turmoil, joy, and hope in just one sentence. In her newest book, The Long Game of Joy, she tells the story of her first year of marriage with a mix of disarming transparency and delightful self-awareness that only serves to elevate the magic and mystery of love. This is the book for those who suspect that true love still exists, but it is messier, sturdier, and yet more beautiful than the fairytales have led us to believe.Bo Stern-Brady, author of Beautiful Battlefields 


Here’s to grace, faith, and forgiveness in all realms of life,


Anna (pictured here with my husband, Jared, at the start of our long game)


PS: If you enjoy The Long Game of Joy, please do leave a review!

PPS: And do share it in social-media-land: #TheLongGameOfJoy


* Winifred M. Reilly, It Takes One to Tango: How I Rescued My Marriage with (Almost) No Help from My Spouse—and How You Can, Too (Gallery Books, 2017), 236.

3-Day Pastel Workshop with Susan Kuznitsky

Space Is Limited! Sign up NOW for a 3-Day Pastel Workshop with Susan Kuznitsky!

“Painting the Autumn Colors in Pastel” UART 3-Day Workshop with Susan Kuznitsky PSA, NWPS, CPP, PSWC, IAPS MC

Dates: Friday November 4th, Saturday, November 5th, and Sunday, November 6th 2022

Times: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm daily

Location: Central Art, 101 N. Central Ave.
Medford, OR 97501

Instructor: Susan Kuznitsky

Medium: Pastels

Skill level: Beginner to advanced

Number of Workshop Days: 3

Price: $375 / Register here (full workshop details at this link)

*UART will provide you via email with a full list of materials before the beginning of the workshop.

About this event

Pastels are a wonderful medium for capturing the colors of Autumn. Follow Susan’s step-by-step approach from the underpainting to the finished piece. Several different underpainting techniques will be demonstrated along with plenty of individual attention at the easel. Learn how to make good choices on composition and color when working from a photo reference to create powerful, emotional pastel paintings. All the lessons on color and value will be applicable to any other medium(s) you work in. You will have the option of painting alongside Susan using the same photo reference.

This step-by-step method will provide an organized framework for your future pastel paintings taking the mystery out of where to start, and what type of pastels to use. All levels are welcome. This workshop will be packed with information and fun!

Art Excursion and Collaborative Workshop with Dan Chen – Register by November 6!!

More about Dan Chen…
More info and Register here

Sponsored by Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts Foundation
Connecting to Culture to Christ through Fine Arts since 2007

and hosted at the Studio of Dan Chen
and Pacific Rim Art Guild Gallery

Copyright © Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts Foundation 2022.
All rights reserved.

Book Brinking

It’s almost that time…publication time! My newest book has a November due date, and as I wrap up all the pre-pub stuff, I remember all of the resources that helped me write my own. 

This photo shows a fraction of the (way-too-many!) books I read and quoted in my own upcoming book about the first year of marriage. I am immensely grateful to the authors who shared their wisdom on relationships and communication, and I hope that my writing will be helpful to others, too. 

And so, on this brink of a new book, I thank the brave souls who write about the hard things. My already-deep respect for you has grown!

Here’s to forging joy….

NEW Graphite Workshop at Central Art

Central Art Supply logo

541.773.1444   101 N. Central Ave., Medford, Oregon 97501
MON-FRI: 10-6 | SAT: 10-5

Space Is Limited! Sign up NOW for a NEW Graphite Workshop with Lara Strazdas!

Dates: Fridays October 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th, 2022

Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm (12:30pm – 4:30pm on 10/21)

Location: Central Art, 101 N. Central Ave., Medford, OR 97501

Instructor: Lara Strazdas

Price: $195 (4 sessions)

Registration required. Click here to register.

In this intensive 16 hour, 4-session workshop we will be drawing an up-close and very detailed portrait of a Black Rhino on toned paper. We will be using graphite powder and a variety of graphite pencils, erasers, and a stylus to render the wide range of values and textures of the Rhino’s skin. You will learn techniques that you can apply to drawing other animals in graphite or color. 

*For more information, including a complete supplies list and class registration, visit

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541.773.1444   MON-FRI: 10-6 | SAT: 10-5

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Silvia Trujillo Workshop Updates

Silvia Trujillo Workshop Updates:

There is still time to enroll in one or both of these workshops!

If you’ve never been to Bridgeview Winery, it’s one of the loveliest in the Valley, and well worth the drive.

Date: Saturday September 17 from 10am-5pm
Location: Bridgeview Winery – 4210 Holland Loop Road Cave Junction, OR 97523

All skill levels are welcome! Beginners will get a taste for the process of plein-air, and more advanced artists will get a chance to hone their skills in a beautiful new location.

The workshop fee is $100 and includes a drink ticket that may be redeemed for your choice glass of wine. We have one 50% off scholarship available. If you’d like to apply, please email [email protected] or call 541-592-5019.

 Bridgeview Vineyard & Winery specializes in German varietals such as Riesling. Currently, it has a gold medal award-winning Oregon Pinot Noir that has received an 89-point rating with Wine Spectator. It’s a great value! Wines will be available for tasting and purchase throughout the workshop. Please bring a water bottle and packed lunch.   

Silvia Trujillo Workshop Update: Rescheduled!

Alpacas at Lone Ranch Plein Air Workshop

Sponsored by Rogue Gallery & Art Center, Medford

 Due to the heat wave last Saturday, the workshop was rescheduled for September 24. All the same info, just a different day : )

 Looking forward to a great outdoor painting day on the 24th! Love to see you there! 

Alpacas at Lone Ranch (in Eagle Point) is another favorite spot for plein air art.

Sign up through the Rogue Gallery to reserve your space. 

Call 541.772.8118 or visit Website:

Suitable for beginner through advanced painters. All media welcome!
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday, September 24, from 9 am–3 pm and painting with you!

Recent plein air scenes by Silvia: vineyard & flower fields





Where I Create

fourth 2022  
Hello, you lovely artists and friends!
May this newsletter find you feeling safe and inspired. I have some fun projects in the works and wanted to update you on what I’m doing these days!

I am featured in the latest issue of Where Women Create! My spread in Where Women Create has me so excited!

Someone once told me that I had a way of creating art that was one with my photographs and studio. I feel that this is true because they are all so connected. When I create, work in my studio, garden, or photograph my work, I am truly working from my soul and my muse is beside me.

The Fall 2022 issue of Where Women Create has a feature on my studio and myself, and all of the photos are taken by me! I am still in awe of how beautiful the article and spreads are, and how supportive you all have been!

It is a gorgeous issue with so many inspirational Studios stories and photos. I’m linking to the magazine here, so if you want to order it you can. It is available at Barnes and Noble if you are there too! But take a look around the wonderful Where Women Create website, and even subscribe while you are there!

Learn Online With Me!

My lovely friend, the artist Zoe Hirson, wrote of me and my art, “Something about this artist. She can put together marks and images and they come together to tell a story [and] show an image that manages to be contemporary with a sense of old, of history, of memory, of fragments, of interest.” I love this description so much!

Have you looked at my online offerings lately? I have fourteen different online workshops available for you to choose from, each with its own unique theme and flavor!

I recently launched two new online workshops that I am so excited to share with you now that the planning and dreaming are complete!

Come create with me in my online workshops!

The Gatheress

Inspired by all of the treasures we gather along the way! Do you have pieces of fabric or paper that are too special to discard? In The Gatheress, we use our sentimental scraps to create a mounted bi-fold book with a scroll attached in the middle as the centerpiece! Learn simple techniques that add rich detail, be inspired by the elements, and reclaim your place on this beautiful planet!

Here is a photo from my feature in Where Women Create. It shows my encaustic station for filming Ring Around the Moon.

Ring Around the Moon My second workshop that just launched, Ring Around the Moon, is my class for Painting with Fire 2022. Painting with Fire is a year-long encaustics masterclass with over 50 hours of lessons and behind-the-scenes from 26 world-renowned encaustics artists.

Create a lush landscape with me and see how wax adds depth and mystery to your creations! Register now for Painting with Fire, and you will gain access to all of the classes that were already released this year, including mine!

Sending you love, light, and magic from River Garden Studio! I hope we create together soon! y® company

September Art Opportunities from the AGA

The Ashland Gallery Association is excited to share a handful of fun and diverse art opportunities offered this month to foster your inner creativity. 

Medford Food Coop, Untitled, Photography

Medford Food Coop
Call for Artists!
No Specific Dates and Times (Ongoing)

The Medford Food Coop is seeking local artists to feature on their Community Art Wall in the Cafe. For those who aren’t familiar, the Community Art Wall offers local artists a space to share their artwork with others while simultaneously giving back to local nonprofit organizations. 

For those who are interested in participating, please click here for more information.

Roxanne Evans Stout, Ring Around the Moon, Mixed Media

Roxanne Evans Stout
Ring Around the Moon
No Specific Dates and Times (Online)

Join Roxanne Evans Stout for Ring Around the Moon and learn more about how to create a magical and lush abstract landscape with the beautiful luminous quality that is unique to encaustic painting. In addition to creating layers of wax over a pre-gessoed wood surface, individuals will also create a foreground and background using different hues.

For those who are interested in participating, please click here for more information. 

Sarah F. Burns, Vesper Meadow Bovine Beach, Oil

Project Space

Paint Out with Your Art Friends!

Friday, September 16, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Join Project Space and Sarah F. Burns to learn more about painting outdoors. Taking place at Rabbit Ears Trailhead at Mt. Ashland, individuals will have the opportunity to observe everything from interesting rock formations, to wonderful wildflowers, amazing views, and more. 

For those who are interested in participating, please click here for more information.

Lynda Hoffman-Snodgrass, Expressions, Watercolor

Grants Pass Museum of Art

Free Yourself Up! Abstract Layering in Watercolor
With Lynda Hoffman-Snodgrass

Saturday, October 1, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join the Grants Pass Museum of Art and Lynda Hoffman-Snodgrass to learn more about intuitive layered abstraction using watercolor. In addition to exploring and experimenting, individuals will also learn how to incorporate textural elements into their own creative style. 

For those who are interested in participating, please click here for more information. 

How to heal the world…

…give thanks, take joy

Southern Oregon Guild Plein Air Workshop

Southern Oregon Guild of Artists & Artisans presents a Plein Air Workshop with Silvia Trujillo at Bridgeview Vineyards and Winery