I saw an episode of Passport & Palette on PBS today. Kenn Backhaus painted a mountain in Switerland..(and it was superb, of course). One thing he said during this episode is something I have been working on recently. Kenn said (I'm paraphrasing): "Paint to the intelligence of the viewer, let them participate in the painting". I am certain what he means is that most viewers don't need to have things "over-explained", a suggestion is all that is necessary--that way the viewer gets to finish the painting themselves. This painting is a study...I may do another version (with more detail and color) in the future.
Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Rain in the city , 9 x 12, oil on canvas panel
While the rest of the US is battling snow..Portland is having a deluge of rain. We might get snow ourselves this week...but thus far it's typical heavy Pacific Northwest rain.
My artist friend Loretta and I visited the Pittock Mansion after our PPASP breakfast meeting today. My painting was sold (in the Natural Beauty & Bounty show), but it is still up until the end of the exhibit (January 2). For the holidays each room at the Mansion was specially decorated and staged by professional designers...my favorite display was a wonderful precarious stack of dishes piled up in the sink in the kitchen. During our visit we were treated to some classical music in the front parlor. At the very end of our visit we dropped in on the Museum Store where I bought a wonderful little sparkly necklace (40% off!).
Well, what about you..did you have a great day (despite the weather)? What did you do?
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Long Tall Rain, oil on 6 x 12 stretched canvas
Today, December 26, is my birthday. It is not the best day for a birthday....generally people forget it..and who can blame them? Everyone is traditionally worn out on December 26. I've been told many people with bum birthdays change the date to something better...but I could never change my birthday--I think I have always liked that it is a bad one! haha. Well, today was an especially good one. I was surprised to get pages and pages of well wishes on my Facebook wall (that was so cool!) and I've been treated royally "offline" too. Thanks to all of you for making my day such a special one...not to mention my year! I didn't get a chance to paint today so I did this retrospective slide show (a little look back.....just for fun.....)!
Slide show.......Just for fun.....December 26, 2010
It's nearly Christmas, a good time to reflect on my friendship with you! It means a lot to me that you stop by to look at what I am doing and that you sometimes leave a comment. It goes without saying that I am also appreciative to those who have purchased some of my paintings .....but I'll say it anyway!.... Thanks to the art appreciators....you make it so painters keep painting.
(I'm not usually a fan of sentimental subjects, but this time of year calls for a bear:)
Today after our PPASP breakfast meeting Carrie & I sketched at Carolyn's house. See what Carrie did HERE. I also painted with oils tonight, but my results proved impossible to photograph. I'll try again tomorrow. I hope YOU had an artful day...did you?
Top Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Louisa May Alcott-y looking woman from an advertisement, Watercolor on 6 x 9 paper
Bottom Sketch: Celeste Bergin, stack of books on Carolyn's table, Watercolor on 6 x 9 paper
Have you ever heard of Derivan Liquid Pencil? I saw it at "'I've Been Framed" and bought some. It has the consistency of mud. Once on the surface it dries super fast. The label said I could add water, but I just went with it as is. I did add some gesso and some "regular pencil" over the top. It was interesting...painting with graphite.
In other news from the day, I went a little early to help set up Broderick Gallery's Christmas Show. Once the reception got into swing I got to visit with some collectors, artists and of course, our host, George. If you missed the reception, you can still stop by, the show will be up until January 20, 2011. (313 E B Street, Rainier, OR) Graphite drawing: Celeste Bergin, Intense gaze, liquid pencil, regular pencil and gesso on 9 x 12 paper
Some of my artist friends have confided in me that they just do not like to draw. That just confuzzles me. One of my favorite artists is Richard Diebenkorn. Diebenkorn seemed to love drawing and painting equally and and he drew (pun intended) inspiration from others while maintaining originality. When I think of drawing....I think of Diebenkorn!
Drawing: Celeste Bergin, Drawing in a Diebenkorn style, graphite and gesso on canvas 12 x 16
Broderick Gallery is pleased to announce the Christmas Show, an annual exhibition featuring a broad selection of small-scale original paintings, prints, jewelry, photography, sculpture and mixed media. The Christmas Show will feature over 90 unique works of art from 20 different artists. Art gifts are one-of-a-kind, conveniently sized and ready to give!
Participating artists include Barbara Kaempf-Matkowski, Quin Sweetman, Richard McNally, George Broderick, Jackie McNally, Gary Stallsworth, and Celeste Bergin. Reception Date: Sunday, December 19, 1:00-6:00pm, Broderick Gallery, 313 East B Street, Rainier, OR 97048, 503-703-5188
(Above, one of my paintings in the Christmas Show) Celeste Bergin, Misty River, oil on 7x5 oil on gessoed hardboard
My "planned" landscape has to wait yet another day...only time for sketching today. I had a great week, aside from the flat tire. I hope your week in review was a good one ....and that the week ahead will also be positive! Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Cafe patron, charcoal on 6 x 9 paper
Hello........? I went to critique today with two of my paintings.. I just got home. My grisaille painting is still not dry enough for stage 2. I started a drawing, but it didn't make any sense..so you know, I've decided to phone in a post. Hey..I have a video for you to watch.....Let me know what you think of it. Back tomorrow! Bye! Photo: Celeste Bergin, Hello........?, Webcam with effects
Time for something serendipitious while I wait for yesterday's grisaille to dry. I ripped a random page from an Art in America magazine to paint on. The page is mostly text and within it was this subhead: "Artists are like romantic heroes engaged with towering crises or like prophets of a gauzy future". Oh really? Typical heady Art in America type stuff! Well, painting on a printed page is very unusual...and I love how the type shows through the image. It is liberating to paint on something that is an untypical support.
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Prophet of a gauzy future, oil on 8.5 x11 magazine page (Update: SOLD!)
I routinely use the Alla prima technique, completing an entire paintings in one session without painting in layers. (Alla prima is also known as “direct painting” or “wet on wet” oil painting...it is an Italian term that means at first or all at once). Alla Prima paintings are meant to look spontaneous!
Today, for something different, I painted another Grisaille painting (like the recent teacup painting) but this time I used raw umber, a little Ultramarine blue and white oil paint for the Grisaille...This will be another painting that I will accomplish in two steps-- instead of directly. Stay tuned for stage two!
Grisaille: Celeste Bergin, Creekside, oil on 12x9 canvas panel
I was totally bowled over to see my friend Annie Salness tonight at her own fundraiser "Artwalk for Annie". I hope it is alright for me to say here that I am so grateful to all the doctors and medical staff involved in Annie's case... it's more than a miracle that she is here and her "old self"...(this fact is lost on no one!) The donated art was beautiful, sales were brisk..... my donated painting has a new home.
In other news... After the PPASP Meeting some of us sketched flowers at Carolyn's house. To see what the others did go HERE. P.S. And can you believe it? My garaged Spitfire (below) has another flat tire! ......I just fixed this! I guess I should be happy that this happens inside a nice warm garage. Well, how was YOUR day...did you do anything artful?
(Above) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Tuesday bouquet, Watercolor on paper
I went to the Canvas Art Bar this evening for the Monday Night Costumed Model. The model was dressed in a crazy-wonderful fur outfit..part Nanook of the North and part 60's playboy bunny. I got there just a little late so I wasn't able to get my usual spot and my contact lenses were giving me fits...despite all that I had a great time! To see what the others did go HERE. Painting: Celeste Bergin, Artic Woman, oil on 12x18 stretched canvas
Today when I went to dive into applying color over my black and white underpainting, I remembered that I haven't always been crazy about painting over black gesso. Black gesso has a weird texture, so I decided to counteract the dry grittiness by slathering poppy oil over the entire surface prior to applying color. The addition of the all over oil made painting on top of the dry underpainting more like painting wet-into-wet (like I am accustomed to). In the end, I think this was a successful experiment..certainly it helped to have the underpainting for a perfect "blueprint plan".
P.S. I also learned when I took the painting off the easel that cad red looks an awful lot like blood on skin! (It seems identical in color). I don't use gloves to protect my skin..but I do use this barrier cream by Winsor Newton.
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Tea time, Oil on 12 x 12 canvas panel
Here I have painted a tea cup and saucer in just black & white gesso. My plan is to add color tomorrow. This is not how I normally paint, but I thought I would give this black & white underpainting a try. Would you like some lemon in your tea? Here's a song to go with our visit:
Underpainting: Celeste Bergin, Tea time, black & white gesso on 12 x 12 canvas panel