Friday, November 20, 2015


Our Thursday discussion meeting was about favorite art books. I've been re-reading Richard Schmid's wonderful book Alla Prima. I have the old version of the book, there is a newer one. 

 I shared this monochrome underpainting (that I painted in Schmid style) in the meeting. The lights are accomplished by wiping away paint from the surface. (I have really not done that method before ...more confirmation for me that there are many methods of painting). Schmid wrote in his book that he sometimes just paints monochromatically and doesn't do more. (I think that is what I will do with this one, though I will likely paint more portraits in the future, adding color and using his method).

To see what everyone else brought (and to read about the great book recommendations...) go HERE

(Painting): Celeste Bergin, in the style of Schmid, Raw Umber oil on 12x16 canvas sheet

Monday, November 16, 2015


Last week our art discussion group talked about what makes a painting successful. It was kind of a challenging topic since we were also asked to bring in a painting that demonstrates a successful result. I brought in this painting that I did a couple of years ago in a workshop. (Funny, most of us brought work from our archives. What do we think that means?) Well, I think most people find it weird to crow about their own work. It always seems best to just let the painting do the talking. 

To see what everyone else brought go HERE 

(Painting) Celeste Bergin, Still Life, oil on 12x9 canvas panel

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Hi Friends! I haven't been blogging for awhile.... I have been working a little on my studio and getting ready for winter. 

The photos in today's post are just what they look like. I finally ditched some of my worst paintings that were taking up valuable space. I posted these photos on Facebook and got some flack for it. People tend to think of this as sad or wasteful. Whenever you post something on Facebook there is a reliable legion of people who want to tell you what you are doing wrong.

This idea (to burn paintings) has been in my mind for a long time, ever since I read that an artist I admire made a practice of this. Today's art discussion meeting's topic was "What one thing did you do over the past year that made you a better painter"? My answer was "destroying paintings that currently serve no purpose"! (Really, if you have been painting for awhile and not yet gotten rid of things, you might consider doing is a liberating decision).

To see what everyone brought to today's meeting, go HERE.

Well, I'm excited about painting this winter....are you? I will go check your blogs now. :)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

This is a photo of "The Thursday Drawing Club".  It was so nice of Medley Tea to honor us in this with a reception last week. We have "tea-related" drawings and paintings on the walls until the end of October. Thanks, Medley!

And this week my "Artist Talk" is coming up on Wednesday, from 6:30-7:30 at Lane Gallery. You are invited! :)

Are you having a great summer? I'll check your blogs and find out what is happening. :)

(Top Photo) LtoR Diane Marks Bestor, Tim Young, Paula Hansen, Loretta Unger, me, Carrie Holst and Stephanie Cissna.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Things that are Upcoming!

On Thursday, Sept 3 (from 6-8 pm) I'll be at Lane Gallery, celebrating "Summer's End" in a First Thursday Reception. Come join us...(the Gallery is just beautiful).

Then on Friday, Sept 4, I will be at Medley Tea for an Artist's Reception from 6-8pm. (Click the image below to enlarge the invitation). (7881 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland) 

I am hoping you will mark also your calendar for Wednesday, Sept 9. Lane Gallery is hosting "Artist Talks" and I'll be the speaker (from 6:30-7:30). The name of my talk is "Creating....Why Bother"? Have you ever wondered if creating (painting/drawing and other "by hand" pursuits) are worth it? Well, I have some well-researched theories and answers to offer.  (Click to enlarge the invitation) 2412 NW Raleigh. (....And I'll see you there). :)

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Dancing Clouds, oil on 12x9 canvas panel

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Every Thursday is fun for me and my drawing/painting pals because we spend time with some lovely still life objects at Medley Tea. We've been doing this for over a year and now "The Thursday Drawing Club" will show some of the results of those sessions this September and October (at Medley Tea).  There will be a First Friday Reception...I'll remind you as the time draws nearer.

I remember reading Carol Marine's great book last year and the wonderful advice she gives about "economizing brushstrokes". I kept that in mind for this 8x8 painting. What have you been doing lately? I'll check out some blogs now and find out.

(I took this paintings to the art discussion group on Thursday. To see what everyone else brought....go HERE).

(Painting): Celeste Bergin, White Teapot, oil on 8x8 gessoed paper

Friday, August 21, 2015

The weekend approaches!

Our art discussion on Thursday was "Blue". I brought this sketch that I did in a life session with just a blue and burnt sienna. To see what everyone else brought...go HERE

(Oil Sketch), Celeste Bergin, Ballerina, oil on 16x20 toned canvas panel