Sunday, October 31, 2010


Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Halloween, 2010, oil on 7 x 5 gessoed hardboard

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leftover paint speed study

I used the leftover paints on my palette and I ran out of paint midstream. I didn't want to squeeze new paints (until tomorrow). Well, I like doing studies/sketches like this..there is no big investment, except for just a little time. I think the guy came out looking some like either Tony Perkins or George Broderick.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Musicians, 2010, oil on canvas panel (Update: SOLD!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

My friend Van (Evangeline)

Van Werth was my very good friend. I feel so fortunate that I knew her...she was without question an angel on earth. She was such a remarkably nice woman, but she did have a competitive streak and hated to lose on the golf course. The strongest word she ever said, however, was DARN. In all the many, many years I knew her I never heard Van say one bad word about another person. Today I attended Van's memorial service and remembered her pretty laugh, her homemade sweet pickles and what a wonderful person she was.

(Top) Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Day's End, 2010, oil on 6 x 8 canvas panel
(Bottom) Van Werth & Van and me (circa 1984) on the Golf Course

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life painting session: "Colleen"

Life painting sessions are back on! We began with gesture warm ups (below) and then we got to concentrate on a long pose. I hope to be involved in life sessions now each week. I wish I'd painted Colleen less "harshly"..but I hurried through with anxiety. I will do better next time.
(Top) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Colleen, 2010, oil on 12 x 18 stretched canvas
(Bottom) Quick Oil Study & Gestures

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's hip to be square

Painting, Celeste Bergin, After the rain, 2010, oil on 8x8 canvas panel (Update: SOLD!) p.s. I am becoming aware that many of my paintings are titled "After the rain". Note to self: That may present a problem determining which "After the rain" is which.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Memento Mori

Today my friend Carolyn gave me a pair of skull earrings in honor of Halloween. Skulls are popular with artists for other reasons aside from decoration for All Hallows Eve. "Memento Mori" is a Latin phrase that translates to "Remember your mortality", "Remember you must die" or "Remember you will die". Memento Mori in art serves to remind us our time will be up one day, difficult as that is to believe.
Confession! Yesterday's painting is a crop of a still life that really went flat (except for the pumpkin). I could not bear to post the whole painting. FLAT is also what my Triumph's rear tire is (scroll down for photo, it is a bitch to get a tire off that car, so I will be enlisting some help). At Carolyn's house I photographed her (new) skull in her entranceway. I learned yesterday that my online friend Ralph Thomas passed away. I knew him pretty well and I know he wouldn't mind me adding his photo here in my blog with the skulls. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He was 85, but he seemed much younger. Semper Fi, Ralph.

(Top) Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Self Portrait, 2010 vine charcoal on 6 x 9 paper

Monday, October 25, 2010

Little Pumpkin

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Little Pumpkin, oil on 8x8 hardboard panel (Update: SOLD!)

Thanks to Linda Popple I found out that today is International Artist Day. Hey, you were supposed to take me to lunch! --(unless you are an artist too and then maybe I was supposed to take you to lunch?) Well, in any case, it is very cool to have our own day (I think!), so Happy International Artist Day! Hooray!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I had to do some of that other type of painting today ...(concrete floor painting). It all stems from the fact we got rid of an old freezer in der bunker and that frees up some valuable space. Tomorrow I'll go to Home Depot and get a free standing wire shelf unit. I know none of this looks all that appealing, but in the winters I have always been completely happy in der bunker studio. Before I painted the floor I looked into the mirror at my drafting table and drew this self portrait into my sketchbook....(Now I can say that I did something art-ful about you...what did you do?)

Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Self Portrait, Sepia ink on 6 x 9 paper

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday thoughts

Oregon has had a wonderful October, many days have felt just like summer, but according to the weatherman it's time to say goodbye to all that, at least for the next several days. I own some Helly Hansen rain gear, so I can always walk to Montavilla, even if it rains a torrent. It's a favorite destination, about a 2.5 miles round-trip for me. I sometimes have a coffee and a pastry at Bipartisan cafe or the new Pastry girl. (Yeah, I know pie calories negate the benefits of the walk).
It is always interesting to see what Beet's auto repair has out on their front lot. Someone there has a sense of humor. This creative Halloween creature (below) was fashioned from the hood of a car. I wonder who on their staff is responsible for the changing display...certainly this new item qualifies as a work of art. During the recent trip to Seattle I photographed a glass item (below right)..Now I notice that it employs many of the same graceful shapes and "rhythm" that the car-hood-monster has. Which one is more beautiful? I like them both.

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Returning rain, 2010, oil on 10x10 canvas panel

Friday, October 22, 2010

Art Trip to Seattle

I got to spend all day yesterday in Seattle with my friends Katherine Van Schoonhoven & Carolyn Rondthaler. (Kitty Wallis would have gone with us too, but she was feeling a little under the weather).
The express purpose for our trip was to see Picasso at the Seattle Art Museum, but we also made bonus trips to Traver Gallery and the Frye Museum.

All the pieces in the Picasso exhibit were brought from the collection of the Musée National Picasso in Paris. It is an unprecedented opportunity because the Musée Picasso recently closed for renovations, allowing a tour of the exhibit to travel for the first and, most likely, the only time. I wasn't allowed to take photos in the Picasso exhibit, but the rules are more relaxed elsewhere in the Museum.
While we were at lunch in the Museum we saw Drew Barrymore having lunch too (she's super pretty). At the Traver Gallery we saw Gregory Grenon. We took in the strange (but wonderful) Von Keller show at the Frye Museum (and saw the magnificent permanent collection that includes several Bouguereaus).

(This is the 2nd time we've been to the SAM for a big exhibit. We also went to the Michelangelo in December of 2009. It has become a tradition to stand in front of a masterpiece and sketch it into our own sketchbook. Above is my sketch of Bust of a Man 1907). Thanks Santa Cruz Crew, Kvan & Carolyn for the great day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Reflection II, oil on 8x8 gessoed hardboard

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sketching in the Park Blocks

Katherine & I went to the Portland Art Museum today. After our visit we met up with Carrie and sat on a bench in the Park Blocks for some sketching. See what the others did HERE.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eric Jacobsen: Fall Workshop Day 2, Glenwood WA

Day two was another perfect sunny fall day. Eric talked to us about making sure we made the flaxen fields light is a common painting problem to allow the ground to become too dark. We painted in the middle of the day and it was bright out there and a challenge to get the values right. We all worked diligently. It was an outstanding 2 days. Take a workshop with Eric if you get the chance!

Workshop practice painting, Celeste Bergin, Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log House, oil on 8x8 gessoed hardboard

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Eric Jacobsen: Fall Workshop, Glenwood WA

We were on the road early this morning to get to Glenwood, WA for Eric Jacobsen's weekend workshop. Once off the freeway, a deer crossed right in front of us. Make yourself more scarce, Bambi! I understand today is the first day of hunting season. Eric did a demonstration painting and then we had to do our own paintings. I know I will keep this practice painting (for reference) to paint the scene again. It was a great day..and I get to return tomorrow.

Workshop practice painting, Celeste Bergin, Glenwood Barn, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Photos from top to bottom:

Freeway, early morning
Bambi crossing in front of us
Mt. Adams
Some workshop participants
Eric Jacobsen Demonstration
Painting in the convenient shadow of the truck

Friday, October 15, 2010

Paintings I sanded down

When I first began painting I was enamored with bright, bold, expressive graphic-y stylized subjects. Over time, however, because I wanted to also learn traditional painting, I learned to love neutrals and natural looking subjects. There are still things I like about this early painting of mine..I like how you can sense there are eyes there, even though they are just suggested. This is one of the paintings I sanded away (so I can re-use the support). I took photos of everything for old time's sake.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Gone, 2005, Acrylic on 12x12 stretched canvas

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sketching at the Lone Fir Cemetery

After meeting at Bread & Ink Katherine & I went to the Lone Fir Cemetery. I never tire of the place, it is endlessly interesting. We happened on a lifelike lhasa apso stuffed dog that was placed onto an old grave. One just has to wonder what the story is there. More HERE.
Sketch: Celeste Bergin. Celtic cross, pen on 6x9 paper

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I originally painted this a couple of weeks ago.
HERE is what it looked like before.
I made a couple of changes to make it work in this new orientation. It's all just an experimental visual mash-up! Maybe I will rotate it 90% next.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Neighborhood II, 2010, Acrylic on 36 x 36 on gallery wrap canvas

("Mash-up"...making something new from joining two similar but different things....check out this amazing Bee Gees/Pink Floyd Mash up):

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sketching at the Riverfront Downtown

After our art discussion meeting today we went to the area near McCall's Waterfront Restaurant. It was a beautiful "Indian summer" day. I used vine charcoal to sketch the Morrison Bridge. To see what the others did go HERE.

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Morrison Bridge, charcoal on 9 x 6 paper

Monday, October 11, 2010

Flower in a glass

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Big Flower in the kitchen window, oil on 10x10 canvas panel

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Color Study: Celeste Bergin, Street scene in rain, oil on 6 x 12 canvas panel

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Untitled, oil on 6x6 gessoed hardboard

What are the chances that a child will share a birthday with a parent? John Lennon, if he had lived, would be 70 today. October 9 is also his son's birthday. I like all this because I too shared my birthday with my Dad. It seems an unusual event... the chances of it are 1 in 365.

Today we attended a party for Hannah who turned 10. This is my favorite photo from the day, taken as Hannah's Mom asked how many wanted ice cream & cake.

Once there was a man who believed all you need is love. This man imagined all the people living life in peace and he said it’s easy if you try. This man is gone now, but people still hear his message and think day the world will live as one. Happy birthday John and Sean.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The value of ......four values!

I like Bob Rohm's advice to do value studies..Rohm says that you will get a good start with just a few big shapes and four values...a darkest dark, a lightest light and two middle values.

Value Study, Celeste Bergin, oil on 8 x 6 canvas panel