Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If it's Tuesday...this must be Belgium!

It was PPASP meeting day and after the meeting Katherine & I went to Carolyn's for some additional coffee, conversation and sketching. To see what the others did check HERE.

(TOP) Watercolor, Celeste Bergin, Bouquet, 6 x 9 paper
(Bottom) Gray Pens, Celeste Bergin, Creamer, 9 x 6 paper

Monday, November 29, 2010

Donation for Art Walk for Annie

Tomorrow I turn in "Bossy" my donation to Art Walk for Annie. I hope you'll come to the event and buy a painting to help support Annie and her family! (All proceeds will go directly toward medical expenses).
"Art Walk for Annie", Tuesday, December 7, 6:30-8:30 pm Sunset Presbyterian Church Lobby 14986 NW Cornell Road (xHwy 26, by Phoenix Inn and Arco Station) Portland OR 97229

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Bossy, (Framed) Oil on 8x8 canvas panel (update: SOLD!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mostly monochromatic woman

This oil sketch is mostly burnt sienna & white with a little Ultramarine Blue thrown in for the darker areas. Sketching with paint is a lot like regular sketching with dry materials...there is never a need to feel overly invested in the results...it's all just for fun and/or practice.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Woman in black hat, oil on 6 x 14 canvas panel

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Saturday!

Cathleen Rehfeld tells me that it is great practice to "....paint something in only 15 strokes." I gave that a go here with my colorful bird study.
Tonight I also made an important correction to my downtown walkers painting (below). I added considerable height to the 2nd guy from the left (and he still looks a little short-ish). Scale is a very important factor in all paintings...In the original version I emphasized height variety (to create interest), but I unwittingly made that guy into a "little person").
I thought I'd add today's photo of Daisy, who wanted to help me take pictures. She deserves some credit. Hey....how was your Saturday? Did you do anything creative?

(Top) Study: Celeste Bergin, Colorful bird in 15 strokes, oil on 6x6 gallery wrap canvas
(Below) Study: Celeste Bergin, Downtown (revision) oil on 12x9 stretched canvas
Photo: Daisy peers

Friday, November 26, 2010

To the sea

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Inlet to the sea, oil on 8x8 canvas panel (Update: SOLD!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Painting.... with Emile Gruppe

Study: Celeste Bergin after Emile Gruppe, Harbor, oil on 16 x 20 masonite

Today I had a look at "On Painting" by Emile Gruppe (1896-1978). I like his muted colors. I thought I would try my hand at painting one of his paintings with his palette. I really like where he placed everything within the space. Sequence photos below: (1). I started with a sketch, (2). I set up my palette like his (3). Per Gruppe's suggestion, I put in darks as masses of blue, (4) after that it was a matter of putting in muted warms and cools. His is much better, of course--but (5). I think I managed to get some of the Gruppe "sense"....good practice!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I enjoyed considering the warms and cools of this scene (that I repainted from a previous color study).
Painting: Celeste Bergin, on the River, oil on 8x8 canvas panel (Update: SOLD!)

Monday, November 22, 2010


You can see that I am on a bit of a dark and light kick. I was a little tempted to put an umbrella in this scene....but I resisted.
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Downtown, 2010, oil on canvas panel 12x9

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Self portrait (#11)

I had a drawing teacher a long time ago who would occasionally insist that we draw with an "alternative" instrument. Remembering that, I used a stick and some brown ink to draw this self portrait. To date, I've done about 11 self portraits. Some are more successful than others. (Just 79 to go...Rembrandt created about 90).
(Top photo) Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Self Portrait #11, ink on 6x9 paper
(Bottom photo) Celeste Bergin, Self Portraits, Digital collage

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Train Station oil study

A couple of days ago I wrote about how I am paying more attention to planning drama. In this study I set out to heighten some more orchestrated dark and light. This is a composite of a couple of ideas. I enjoyed painting it, especially for the old time-y sense of it. Great practice!
Oil study: Celeste Bergin, Goodbye, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pittock Mansion, The Natural Beauty & Bounty of Oregon

Click to Enlarge

This year I am among seven Northwest artists invited by the Pittock Mansion to be part of an art exhibit entitled The Natural Beauty and Bounty of Oregon.

The Mansion is closed to the public November 19 – 21 while dozens of volunteers, professional designers, and local charities decorate the historic house with ribbons, garlands, poinsettias, and more than 15 Christmas trees. The Natural Beauty and Bounty of Oregon exhibit is part of the Holiday celebration and will be located in the Social Room.

Overall show dates: November 22 and January 2. (This year, Pittock Mansion will be open on New Year’s Day but closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.)

Admission will be free for members, $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), $6 for youth (ages 6 - 18) and free for children ages 5 and under.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Red Roses in a round vase

I like to simplify flowers--concentrating most on the color and "overall" shape. I painted it over a previous painting. Photos below: 1. Establishing basic shapes 2. Putting in warms & cools 3. Final
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Red Roses, oil on 12x12 canvas panel

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Illustrative" Figure study

I love the old style illustrations of yesteryear, so I'm emulating a Collier's Magazine type thing. There is no reason whatsoever for this, except for practice and to try my hand at some "drama". Great illustrators teach us that suggestion is very favorable and that it's desirable to leave things for the viewer to complete with their own eyes.

Study: Celeste Bergin, Dark & Light, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Theatrical lighting

Just for fun I painted this woman with "up-lights" it's not the sort of lighting treatment you see everyday and she's intentionally "warm". She's painted mostly with the paints leftover from other projects.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the Footlights, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Monday, November 15, 2010

Degas-y Dance-Hall-y Gal

Color Study: Celeste Bergin, Adjusting her dress, oil on 10x10 hardboard panel, after Dan McCaw

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An artful day

Today I went to the Museum Art Book Sale. I didn't know that it started yesterday so I imagine missed out on some great bargains...but I got three books that I'm really happy about. I saw the amazing Thomas Moran Shoshone Falls painting in the Museum and also attended a lecture about the American River in Art. I learned some things about one of my favorite artists, Thomas Hart Benton. At the end of the day I painted a cup of paint brushes. I also put some final touches on my Northwest Nightfall painting. Tomorrow I'll deliver it to the Pittock Mansion for their Winter exhibit: "Northwest Landscape" (November 22-Jan 2). And, what about you? Did you have an artful day??

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Paintbrushes, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Rainy Saturday!

I plan to donate a painting to "Artwalk for Annie", a benefit for my artist friend Annie Salness. Instead of ferreting through my painting archives I might want to paint something new for the event. The Umbrella/Rain paintings are popular, so maybe a rain painting? <---This is a study. I may change that pink umbrella to a red one. That's the good thing about creating a study---studies are meant to be malleable.

Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Rush Hour Rain II, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

To find out how you can participate in helping the Salness family go HERE.

Friday, November 12, 2010

walking in the rain

Ah, the rain. When you live in Portland you tend to love it or hate it...no inbetween. I am in the love camp.

Painting: Walking in the rain (homage to Andre Kohn), Celeste Bergin, oil on 6x12 oil on canvas panel

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day!

I went to two art meetings today..the "regular" meeting at Bread & Ink and then a bonus meeting at Carolyn's where we were treated to the documentary film, An acquiring mind, Phillipe De Montebello (about the Curator of the Metropolitan Museum). Très intéressante!
Today, I join in thanking Veterans! It's a day to honor the duty, sacrifice and service of America's nearly 25 million veterans of all wars.
Click on the bottom photo:

(CLICK on Chloe's photo)
(Top photo): My garden brick painted by Dewey Davis, Photo 2: Today's weather! Photo 3: sketching at Bread & Ink, Photo 4: Chloe Hickinbottom

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Tree Study

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

Study: Celeste Bergin, Red Tree, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I ♥ 3 year old Jonathan (I don't know him personally, but I ♥ him)

(Watch to the end...you'll smile!)

We sketched after our art discussion meeting today, have a look at my results: HERE

Monday, November 8, 2010

In progress

I painted this from a photo...it's not finished and it has some "problems" to be resolved....so I think I'll just let it dry and then give it another pass.

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Smiling redhead, 2010, oil on 12 x 16 stretched canvas

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Loosening up... sorta the Sovek way

One of my favorite author/painters is Charles Sovek. In his book Oil Painting: Develop your Natural Ability Sovek shows a section on painting gestures. He recommends you paint directly onto printed newspaper, for warm up. (I think the idea is that you'll loosen up without a care about the results). I was thinking about Sovek's gesture exercise and also influenced by my blogging friend, Susan Sanford (ArtSpark) who often illustrates onto something that already exists. Susan/ArtSpark usually transforms something that had been relegated to a life in a drawer..into something "new".
Below are my gesture paintings onto some pages of an old book. What was really fun was making some of them step out of the page. Someday I might do more of these with a more serious intention. You might try this too..it is an engaging way to "loosen up".

Gesture exercises: Celeste Bergin, oil on previously printed paper, various sizes

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

The day began with a trip to one of my favorite art supply stores, Muse, where I bought some new pens, charcoal, a new sketchbook & a sharpener. We drove to Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge where I did some sketching (you're allowed only to get out of the car in just one place, the rest of the time the sketching has to take place in the car--which is not a bad thing, it was fun)... At the end of the day I turned my sketches into an oil painting (painted over one of my failed paintings).
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Heron, 2010, oil on 10x10 stretched canvas

Friday, November 5, 2010


Just a sketch today of the Plymouth "Sundance" that was parked in front of me. In other news...did you know that an Orange Mocha Frappuccino is a mocha with Valencia (orange) syrup and an extra espresso shot..? It tastes like the chocolate orange.... Recommended!

(Top) Sketchbook sketch: Celeste Bergin, Plymouth Sundance, 2010, ink on 6x9 paper
(Bottom) Orange coffee, Black & White object in window at Columbia Art Gallery, "Smile" sign atop Portland building, Zoolander ride


Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Day off"!

No painting or drawing today..I went to Hood River to have dinner at the Celilo Restaurant with the "plein air team"....as a bonus I got to see the Black & White show at the Columbia Art Gallery.