This September, Trenholm takes part in the 13th gathering of “21 in Truro,” a group of women who converge every summer in Truro to paint and support each other’s creativity. “It’s an opportunity to rejoin creative women I’ve known for a long time in a positive environment and not have to do the laundry,” Trenholm says. “When you’re home, everything interrupts you.”
Trenholm was living near the Dennis village green in 2004 when she and her partner, native Cape Codder David Donovan, moved to Colorado to find more space. “I wanted to be where you could hear a pin drop, run my dogs, have different inspiration for my paintings,” she says. She and Donovan are living in a small space on their expansive property while they methodically build a larger house.
Although she has found a home that seems a polar opposite of the Cape, the two areas share some uncanny features, at least in artistic interpretation. One of Trenholm’s pastels, The Flow, has brought much speculation concerning its locale. “People on Cape Cod interpreted it as the ocean; people in Colorado interpreted it as a river,” Trenholm says. “I didn’t give them any clues.”
The inspiration for the painting, characterized by bold strokes that suggest a Japanese print, was actually the Arkansas River in Salida, Colorado. A Kansas collector purchased it last year at the juried International Association of Pastel Societies show. The painting’s Japanese aura, Trenholm says, comes from her intention to “make a meaningful brushstroke without editing.” The dynamic, vivid strokes of another painting, Moody Tails, exude the same rumbling energy. Her driving aim is to move gracefully with life’s forces, capturing light, color, or weather in one dynamic moment in time.
Trenholm’s studio is packed with easels, frames, supplies, and an enormous box of collage paper. She works in pastel or oil, painting on three easels at a time. Nearby is a table where she assembles collages and is starting to experiment with encaustic. Full of motion and change, the studio is a constant work in progress, perhaps, like Trenholm, a little restive.