Monday, May 31, 2010

You're invited

RAINIER, OR June 1, 2010— Broderick Gallery, a contemporary art gallery featuring a mix of paintings, sculptures and mixed media pieces, announced plans for their grand opening in RAINIER, OR. The gallery’s Grand Opening Reception will be on Sunday June 6, 2010 from 1pm to 6pm. The public is welcomed.

The opening exhibition will showcase paintings by:
Crawfurd Adamson, Celeste Bergin, Herbert Berman, George Broderick, Jeff Condit, Kathryn Cotnoir, Gene Faulkner, Sharon Geraci, Una Kim, Eduardo Labrada, Martha Mason, Igazio Merida, Tracy Pollock, Ernesto Pumariega, Charlene Robinson, Susana Rodriguez, Mick Rooney, RA, Erik Sandgren, Allen Schmertzler, Roderick Smith, Gary Stallsworth, Quin Sweetman and Dee Vadnais.
Broderick Gallery
313 East "B" St.
Rainier. OR 97048
Gallery Hours
Friday Saturday & Sunday 11am –5pm
and by appointment


Top Painting: Celeste Bergin, Oregon Coast, Oil on canvas panel, 8 x 8 inches. ©2010.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Today I went to the Lone Fir Cemetery. Because it is Memorial Day weekend there are a lot of flowers on the graves. I don't "know" anyone interred there, I just stopped in. I do that sometimes--it is a beautiful place. I might have been seeing things, but I swear Lance Armstrong ran by pushing a double stroller. Yes. Lance Armstrong. Lone Fir Cemetery is also a city park.
I found a handmade wreath that was constructed, much like a "mud pie" and greenery placed into a circle onto an old grave. I sketched it in color. I also had a chance to draw myself and also a pooch waiting patiently outside a grocery store...just in pen.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's not really my "blue period"...but

I did this (not-much-resemblance) alla prima self portrait a couple of weeks ago. I decided the portrait looked more like Carol Kane than me. Now that it is dry.. just for fun I gave ol' Carol the Phthalo blue treatment. Like a trip to the spa..she is rejuvenated. Here's what you do..find some old oil painting that you don't care much about, rub some galkyd medium & paint into the surface...voila! it's interesting! I used blue because it was out on my palette. I could have as easily used something warm. If you don't like the new version just remove the paint and medium with mineral spirits. No harm done.

I also got the best news! My Rooster painting sold in the Art & Agriculture show. Thank you Columbia Art Gallery and art supporters/collectors! Hooray! (I just had a Mom would say--"oh come, on...... don't crow about it!" haha) She had a great sense of humor.

Top Painting: Celeste Bergin, Blue, Oil on canvas panel, 8 x 10 inches. ©2010.
Bottom Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, just-keeping-my-hand-in plein air, Oil on canvas panel, 8x6 inches. ©2010.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Transitory lounger

Now and then I like to spend just a certain amount of time on a sketch--and no more. It is good practice. I spent 20 minutes on this painting..and I know I got down the important elements. I'll likely sand her down and paint over her in the future. Au Revoir Simone!
Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Lounger, Oil on canvas panel, 20 x 10 inches.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My day..........and how was yours??

It was "art talk" at Bread & Ink today. I had French Toast and we discussed Modigliani. We talked about places where you can paint and draw live models. We talked about how Kenn Backhaus can paint rain successfully. We talked about all manner of artful things. When I left I took a photo of the back of the place. I like the shapes --especially the black oil can (it's a William Wray type of scene). I stopped on my way home to visit with Kimberley Kent. She showed me her huge "heating" table where she does encaustic monotypes. She & I both walked over to Muse Art Supplies and talked to owner Peter who is going to sponsor a plein air event in August. I took a walk later and noticed this tree in my neighbor's yard. I can't decide if I love it or I hate it (see below..what do you think?). Well, that was my visual day---what was in yours?

Top Painting: Celeste Bergin
Sauvie Island trees, oil on 6x6 canvas panel.
Draw or paint this "glasses on the table" challenge (you're invited!), back of Bread & Ink, Kimberly Kent at her heating table and neighborhood tree (click to enlarge!)

P.S. Check out Todd Smith's new blog!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Life painting session --Jennifer

Well, 3/4's of the way through this portrait I felt I made Jennifer look pretty heroic..and tres rouge! Maybe I can hit her with a green layer after she dries to kill all that red. Nah, I never revisit these things.
Her hair is accurate for color--her skin, er--no.
P.S. Personal Direct Message to Theo/Nyko--do not write to me to tell me that she is too red! cut me slack, man! I'll do better next time, I swear.
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Jennifer, Oil on canvas panel, 16 x 20 inches. ©2010.
Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Seated Jennifer, Oil on canvas panel, 11 x 14 inches. ©2010.
Have you seen some of Picasso's very early 1900's females? They were magnificent!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fortuitous mistake

I have confessed to some of you that my basement studio where I do a lot of my paintings is ---well---at times-----kind of messy. There was a time in my life where I liked my art area to be "just so"--but recently I've allowed it to just get out of hand. (sue me! haha) Anyway, largely because of this "disarray" situation, I squeezed out phthalo blue instead of ultramarine blue (mistake). Phthalo blue is a ridiculously strong color, but I just went ahead and used it as if it were the more conservative Ultramarine. Hey! half way through I realized phthalo blue was a nifty error. Look how "Russian-impressionist" this painting looks. I might just use phthalo instead of ultramarine again! Now what about you..have you made an out-and-out error only to have it go more right than wrong?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Flowers from the yard, Oil on canvas panel, 6 x 8 inches. ©2010.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Monday!

I just learned that my painting, Yesterday's News (pictured below) won third prize in Pittock Mansion's exhibit Uncertain Times: Contemporary Art Views on the Fate of the Newspaper. The exhibition runs from July 17 through November 14, 2010, with an opening reception the evening of Friday, July 16. I'll have three pieces in the exhibit. One piece, possibly my favorite of those submitted, is not a painting, it is a graphic design. I was especially pleased that the graphic piece was accepted.
How might Henry Pittock feel to learn that newspapers are being replaced by online news? (From what I've read about him, I have a feeling he would have found a way to "go with it").
I did something interesting today --I copied Charles Philip Brooks' "letter to the student of painting" into my sketchbook. I read somewhere that if you want something to sink in, it is a good idea to write it out in your own hand (it filled 6--6 x 9 pages). Still on the subject of Henry Pittock..he would likely approve, he was an advocate for being the best you can be!
Here's the whole letter--Whether or not you are a "student" or a seasoned veteran--it will uplift and hearten you. (Have you read anything that helped you make the decision to stay on course? Care to share what it is?)

Top Painting: Celeste Bergin, Pale Landscape, Oil on canvas panel, 7 x 5 inches. ©2010.
Bottom Painting: Celeste Bergin, Yesterday's News, Oil on canvas panel, 12 x 9 inches. ©2010.
Thank you to Eric Jacobsen, Robert Genn and especially author Charles Philip Brooks, for this letter:
Letter to the Student

Sunday, May 23, 2010

At the News Stand

Painting: Celeste Bergin, At the News Stand, Oil on canvas panel, 11 x 14 inches. ©2010.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Portland Art Museum, impromptu painting, a visit to the Mark Building, & "Geezer Gallery" (vote!)

Today I visited the Portland Art Museum. I haven't been in awhile and I loved the new wall colors in the permanent collection rooms. Additionally impressive were the information labels next to the paintings ... the same color as the wall. Classy.

I joined my plein air painting friend Brooks Hickerson painting the statue in front of the museum (Theodore Roosevelt on horseback). I used acrylics and my aim was to paint with few strokes.

I visited the Mark Building where there was a trade show of sorts for Elders-in-Action and the new "Geezer Gallery". I disapprove of the name "Geezer Gallery".  Do you describe yourself as a tall artist, a Hispanic artist, a female artist, a young artist? Shouldn't we let the work speak for itself? I find the name "Geezer Gallery" ageist and disrespectful. Am I sensitive because I qualify as a "Geezer"? (I am nearly 60 and proud of it). Visual Artists generally improve with time.

The "Geezer Gallery" claims they have chosen the name to intentionally annoy in order to create dialog. Many of the people I know think the name is fine. What do you think of it? I have put a poll in the side bar on the top/left. The Geezer Gallery apparently plans to help older people get involved in the arts. I approve of THAT. The lighting in the Mark Building was horrible for the art on display, but there were many happy faces there. Please vote in the poll at the top/left of this page and/or leave a comment. I am interested to know how other people feel about the Geezer Gallery name.

(Edited 5/24/10 to clarify: Geezer Gallery is a non-profit, with tax exempt status, seeking public funds).
(Edited 8/16/13: The poll has been closed. Results indicated most respondents were not in favor of the name Geezer Gallery). 

Top Painting: Celeste Bergin, Theodore Roosevelt Statue, Acrylic on canvas panel, 11 x 14 inches. ©2010.
Marc Chagall; "Upside down artist"
Woman in Black Hat (a favorite painting of mine in the Art Museum), New colors on the walls in the permanent collection rooms, Matching labels, Impromptu painting in the park blocks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

when all else fails......crop!

Yesterday PPASP planned to paint on the top floor of the parking garage at 10th & Yamhill. It was a perfect day and I began a painting of Jackson Tower. (Ambitious!) I wasn't 20 minutes into the painting when a patrol guy (on a bicycle) pedaled over to me.

Patrol guy: What are you painting?
Me: That building there
PG: Are you parked here?
Me: yes, that is my car right there
PG: welllllll this is a cool place to hang out and all, but you can't stay here
Me: oh...really? oh...I can't? oh.....we painted here a couple years ago, no problem.
PG: soooooooo...You can leave in 5 minutes.all right?
Me: eh.
Well. Things do not always go according to plan. My Jackson Tower really didn't fly so this is the rest of the painting without it. I got some exceptional photos from the roof --and though I do not like working much from photos..I just might give Jackson Tower another shot down the road.

A couple of us went over to Starbucks and enjoyed the rest of the day anyway. Patrol Guy had to do his job. My plein air friend Brooks managed to get quite a lot done on his painting. Go HERE to see.


I just had to remove my last post--it was waay too Elvis-on-black-velvet kitshy. Couldn't bear to look at it. I will burn it later--haha.

So, I am replacing that post with a photo of a new bracelet that I have. It is reproduction based on Queen Victoria's jewelry.

"All things began in order so shall they end, so shall they begin again according to the Ordainer of Order and the mystical mathematics of the City of Heaven". --Sir Thomas Browne

Be back with a painting later... Have a wonderful day all!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Torch singer

Kira modeled for us again for our life painting session. She posed as a jazz singer and I had an exquisite view of her with a light to the side emphasizing her strong features. I believe I made her nose too prominent in the portrait version, but despite this, I have elected to leave it be. I took good photos of her and I can try again in the future. Three hours is a long time to pose like this....Kira did a fantastic job.

P.S... Musically speaking...I am now in love with these guys from the University of Oregon. Watch the video below, you will be impressed.

Top Painting: Celeste Bergin, Torch singer, Oil on canvas panel, 16 x 16 inches. ©2010.
Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Torch singer II, Oil on canvas panel, 11 x 14 inches.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Closet

Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Closet, Oil on canvas panel, 9 x 12 inches. ©2010.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oaks Park, watercolor sketch 7 x 5, Celeste Bergin

Old Azalea, watercolor sketch, 5 x 7, Celeste Bergin

Carrie & I painted in the Oaks Park amusement park today...(it is part of a regular Portland City Park and "deserted" on weekdays). It is an old place (built in 1905) and I couldn't help but feel the similarities between it and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. What is it about an old amusement park that feels sort of beautifully bizarre? Did they ever have a "side show" here, complete with a rubber man or a bearded woman? Today was a scouting mission, I want to go back with my oil paints.

Divergent thoughts

This is an oil sketch idea for a "real" painting. If I follow through I will undoubtedly change the color of her top. I used only the paints I had left-over on my palette from a previous session and when I saw the red and pink together I thought of the Rajneeshees, an 80's cult in Oregon. As part of their "religious practice" Rajneeshees wore only reds, pinks and oranges (all together). Ugh! I imagine they liked being able to recognize another Rajneeshee from a block away, but it really wasn't a good look.
Rajneeshees in Oregon explanation

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Before the performance, on paper, 11x14 inches.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Visiting with the Gorge Artists

Today I went to Hood River to the Gorge Artists Open Studio. I visited with four artists...I wish it could have been more, but I ran out of time. My first visit was with oil painter Cathleen Rehfeld...she's a favorite! 2nd I visited with Melanie Thompson who makes beautiful unusual pottery in tropical colors. My 3rd visit was with Rachel Harvey, an outstanding Gorge landscape painter. At the end of the day I visited with photographer John Maher. If you ever get a chance to attend an "open studio" you should do it! I have never been disappointed. Every artist I have ever visited shares "insider tips" with me..not to mention they often have brownies and coffee! You just have to do it.

Cathleen Rehfeld showed me her new Langnickel brushes, blurb book, artist trading card paper for painting on and she shared her paint preferences (some Daniel Smith, some Classic, she mixes brands). Her paintings are world class!

Melanie Thompson talked about being disciplined...staying inside to work even when the weather is tempting hers outdoors. "I have a lot of shows coming up, I have to do the work", she said. "What's more, once I get started, I am always happy to get down to work".

John Maher (pronounced Marr) is dedicated to completing a large scale art installation of over 100 multi-colored fruit ladders along I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge between Hood RIver and Biggs. When you drive along in the summer of 2011 and see "running fruit ladders" you'll know you are looking at John's project; one that will benefit small family farms and sustainable agriculture.Rachel Harvey showed me her new innovative framing system and also her small works painted on paper. She organizes her time carefully (to paint), sticking to a schedule that includes both outdoor and indoor painting.

Melanie Thompson Pottery

Photographer Datnoff's car is a work of art itself

(Newport Bridge, a print I bought from John Maher, my acquisition of the day)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

front room couch

I did this painting a long time ago--probably 3 or 4 years ago. It's one of those paintings that I just like--probably because it is so un-fussy and "unassuming". I undoubtedly painted it just for I paint most things, without any real rhyme or reason. Still. I like it always makes me want to get a book and sit there. (P.S., I am currently reading de Kooning, an American Master. What are you reading?)

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Front room couch, canvas panel, 9x12 inches.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Breaking some "rules"

A painter is taught to stay away from using too much white! White can kill a painting almost as quickly as black (we're cautioned about chalkiness). I used all kinds of white in this just for fun. So sue me! This is one time when too much white seemed ok.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, The white house, canvas panel, 5x7 inches.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eastbank Esplanade

I painted this today at the Eastbank Esplanade. My initial plan was to include the bridge and a bicyclist, but I stopped myself when I realized that the tree and path was pretty cool all by itself. "Simple" is sometimes just the ticket.
To see what the others did today go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Eastbank Esplanade, Acrylic on masonite panel, 8 x 10 inches. ©2010.