Monday, January 31, 2011

My installation the US Bank

Our painting group (PPASP) has been given the opportunity to have monthly exhibits in the lobby of the US Bank (located at 16th & Weidler in the Lloyd Center area). The bank's art program is continuing and I am the featured artist for the month of February.
In other news, the January Challenge results are up on our Behind the Scenes blog. We had the choice of working from 3 photo references. I opted to sketch the water tower. See what everyone else did HERE.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Solo show at Fuller Hall

My Solo show "People, Places & Things" was hung last week in Fuller Hall at the First Unitarian Church downtown. Today I attended the social hours in between the services in order to meet and greet all the art appreciators. Just before I left today I learned that there were already two sales! Thanks to the Art Wall Committee for selecting me, and for the outstanding job of installing my paintings. It was wonderful FUN to watch people discuss my work...not to mention getting to visit (in-person) with so many supporters of art too.

Fuller Hall, First Unitarian Church, 1011 Southwest 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97205
Until February 28, 2011

Top Photo: Painting, Celeste Bergin, White Egret, oil on 12x12 gallery wrap canvas
(Update: SOLD!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hipbone Field Guide to the Figure session #2

Today was the 2nd session of Hipbone's Field Guide to the Figure Series. I'm enrolled in the whole series of 6. We got started right on time at 1:30pm. Today's lecture was about "features". There were two models and we had two long drawing sessions and one shorter one. When the session was over, a little after 5 pm, I noted that the weather was much improved over 2 weeks ago (when it was dark like midnight). I'll return for session #3 in two weeks. I learned a lot in session#2. How did you spend your day....did you do anything artful?

Photo 1: Aaron 1 (charcoal), Photo #2: Aaron 2 (pencil), Photo 3: Amy (pencil), Photo #4: Outside Hipbone Studio 5pm

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oil Sketch & lunch with George

This is an oil sketch based on Christ and His Disciples on the Bethany Road (painted in 1905) by Henry Ossawa Tanner.

Today I had the great pleasure of having lunch with my friend George Broderick in Rainier. it's always so much fun to visit his Art Studio and Gallery.

(Top Photo): Oil sketch, Celeste Bergin, On the Bethany Road, oil on paper 7 x 5, Photo 2: George's wood stove, Photo 3: Paints @ George's studio, Photo 4: George (always the jokester) waving good-bye with a white kerchief

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Gossiping on the Beach, charcoal on 9 x 6 paper
(For a lovely assembly of umbrella/parasol paintings, check HERE.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Woman with a Fan

My objective with this painting: An emphasis on the contrast between light skin and dark hair.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Woman with a Fan, oil on 36 x 36 gallery wrap canvas

(Update: SOLD!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Day..........and how was yours??

While I was sorting through my painting inventory I came across this painting that I did in Elio Camacho's still life workshop a while back. By the third day of the workshop Elio's students had grown a little weary of that turquoise bowl/platter....but now, with time and distance behind this, I'm glad that everything was the color it was. Elio is going to be in Oregon on January 31, giving a demonstration at the Kerby Building. If it is at all doable...go see Elio paint! Here is a link to find out more.

I can report that I did something artful today (even though I missed out on the regular Tuesday sketch meeting). I did a sketch of Edward Hopper's etching called "Catboat". It was fun to think of what Hopper must've been trying to emphasize and/or downplay in "Catboat".

Top Photo: Painting, Celeste Bergin, Still life exercise in Elio's workshop, oil on 16 x 20 stretched canvas
Bottom Photo: sketch, Celeste Bergin, After Edward Hooper, charcoal on 14 x 11 paper

Detail of an abstract & my good fortune

Today I will be taking my work downtown for installation at Fuller Hall. I have paintings of all sorts of the title of my show is: People, Places and Things. Most of the work is representational, but I have two pieces that are abstract with representational components.
I'll show you the whole thing once it is installed.

In "other news" I won a wonderful item on eBay. It is a beautiful, narrow, compact, lightweight metal Winsor Newton paint box, complete with never used paints (in perfect condition). Judging from the typefaces and graphics on the brochure and the paints inside, this kit is somewhere between 35-45 years old. It is a major thrill to get this and it was a bargain. Can you imagine, this lovely pristine set has been tucked away for all these years....just waiting for someone to rescue it from it's solitary confinement. Well, I will use this..You bet I will!

(Top Photo) Painting (Detail), Celeste Bergin, The Path Home, 40x30 Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Detail of in-progress painting

I've been paying attention to "close values"...and here I am attempting to make the skin and the background very similar. It was a challenge to rachet her features way down in value to make sense with such pale skin. I also signed some of my smaller paintings today..getting ready to turn in my work (next Tuesday) for my show in Fuller Hall at the First Unitarian Church downtown.

Nearly every time I sign a painting I am grateful to Kitty Wallis who taught me to sign art in an unobtrusive way. Kitty's advice, sign with a color that won't really compete with the overall colors or design. Kitty goes so far as to practically hide her signature, because, she counsels, the painting is "the thing"...far more important than the signature.

(Top photo): Oil painting (in progress), Celeste Bergin, Woman with a fan, oil on gallery wrap canvas 36 x 36

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Matthew's Galleries "CompeteArt 2011" Reception

It was great to see so many of my artist friends today at the opening reception for competeART 2011 at Matthew's Galleries.
Also, it was a lot of fun to look at the art and guess who did it (the answers were contained in a list, provided as a "catalog"). Everyone gets one vote to determine prizes. Voting continues throughout the exhibit, ending Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 5:30pm. The show will be exhibited for four weeks total and the awards will be presented Saturday, February 19, 2011, 4 pm.
Matthew's Galleries is donating a percentage of any sales to FISH during the CompeteArt 2011 exhibit.
(One of the best highlights of the reception was seeing Annie Salness!)

Matthew's Galleries
15800 Upper Boones Ferry Road Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035

(Top Photo: Me & Lora Fisher)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Strolling redhead

This is a 2nd version of a study I did awhile ago. I have to be careful how to frame this, because she looks like she is walking right out of the picture (and that's intentional). The wrong frame would make her seem as if she is walking into a roadblock.

Painting: Deep in Thought, Celeste Bergin, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A simple sketch in paint

Oil sketch, Celeste Bergin, Side light, oil on textured 6 x 8 canvas panel

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tripping the light fantastic

Each week I look forward to what has become known as "the meeting after the meeting". Some of us get together after the regular PPASP breakfast discussion meeting for sketching. We just sketch whatever is in front of us. There was a pretty heart shaped glass ornament on the table. My ornament painting quickly "got away from me" (I lost the highlights)....suddenly it looked like a little person and I went with that. "The meeting after the meeting" is never an overly serious thing. To see what the others did....go HERE.

Watercolor & pen sketches: Celeste Bergin, 1. Ornament 2. Red bottles, 3. Fresh Pineapple, 4. Landscape (from watercolor book) all on 6 x 9 paper

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Come to the Reception..This Saturday, January 22, 2011, 2-6pm

(Click images to enlarge)

YOU are cordially invited!

The opening reception for competeART 2011 is this coming Saturday, January 22, 2011, 2-6pm!

The public will vote to determine our prizes. A ballot box will be provided in the exhibition gallery. Voting ends Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 5:30pm.
The show will be exhibited for four weeks and the awards will be presented Saturday, February 19, 2011, 4 pm.

CompeteArt 2011 will benefit FISH Emergency Service of Portland.
Everyone is encouraged to bring canned or non-perishable food donations (or a cash donation). In Addition, Matthew's Galleries is donating a percentage of any sales to FISH during the CompeteArt 2011 exhibit.

15800 Upper Boones Ferry Road Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035

Monday, January 17, 2011

Something....completely different

Dave & I & Susan Day were invited to Mark & Wendy's house Sunday evening for dinner. Dinner was fantastic and when the table was cleared, stacks of art magazines and a gallon (!) of "Mod-Podge" glue party! Susan découpaged a picture frame and Dave & I made cards. Wendy & Mark worked on gluing images onto a was a visual extravaganza.....(and, let's face it, it's relatively easy to make anything look outstanding when you are getting your imagery from Smithsonian and American Art Review!)
Today on my walk past the Monastery I took a photo that shows how the sky was stormy in the East while the sun shined onto the bell tower (scroll down).... How did you spend Martin Luther King Day?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Linking" objects

I've been reading about John Singer Sargent. Sargent had lots of opposition from all sorts of critics. The impressionists weren't crazy about him and the non-impressionists (for lack of a better word) weren't always happy with him either. Well, *I* love everything about him (and most everyone else eventually came around too). This is an oil sketch of a detail of one of Sargent's paintings called "A Street in Venice". Sargent favored dark clothing in his paintings and sometimes he "linked" the darks into one shape.

Practice oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, After Sargent, oil on 9 x 12

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hipbone Field Guide to the Figure #1

Today was the first session of Hipbone's Field Guide to the Figure Series. I've been to a couple of these individual sessions in the past...this time I'm enrolled in the whole series of 6. I like how thorough Jeff Burke is..he doesn't waste any time and we get plenty of time to practice (draw) the specifics that he lectures about. Today's lecture was largely about the gender differences often seen in the skull. We started with a drawing of Jeff and then compared him to the female model.
I always seem to have trouble with my monovision contacts in the beginning of any figure session, but as time goes on I usually "acclimate". When the session was over, a little after 5 pm, I couldn't believe how dramatically dark and rainy it was outside (scroll down for the photo)! I'll return for session #2 in two weeks. I learned a lot in session#1. How did you spend your day....did you do anything artful?

Photos: 1 (Top): Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Jeff Burke, pencil on 12 x 16 paper
2. Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Female model, pencil on 12 x 16 paper
3. Inside Hipbone Studio
4. Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Female model II, pen on 12 x 16 paper
5. Outside Hipbone Studio (side entrance) 5pm

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brush and knife

The results from using a palette knife are not completely predictable. I am new to using a palette knife, but I can sense that "happy accidents" can and do provide a painting with a desired variety.

Color Study: Celeste Bergin, Pawn Shop, oil on 9 x 12 stretched canvas

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Landscape color study

Color study: Celeste Bergin, One patch of sunshine, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Painting a floral over an old floral

Here is a new painting ...painted over an old painting. I failed to photograph the old painting. (Suffice it to say it was no good, relegated long ago to the paint over pile). I sanded the old painting first, but there was still plenty of texture left from the old effort. Sometimes the old painting texture enhances the new painting...I believe that is the case with this one!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Lillies, 2011, oil on 9 x 12 stretched canvas

Monday, January 10, 2011


Der Bunker is a much less cozy place to be when it gets extra cold. Brrr! Still, I did manage to get in some art time today with a quick sketch of this profile. She's originally from the front cover of an Art Collector Magazine. Currently I am also working on some ideas where I "merge" graphics and paint. I had a catastrophe with a version I worked on today..but I photographed it before it imploded...and yeah, yeah there are "archival" questions..but I am just thinking. I have a giant sketchbook where I rough out ideas. It's my bunker sketchbook..kind of a headquarters sketchbook. I often tape things inside if I think they have merit. All right, I have chatted long enough. Don't unsubscribe. I promise I won't always do this. I threw photos of Daisy and me into my Monday slideshow because, as my sister in law recently told me...Daisy & I "have the same color hair". Yes. Oh and one more thing...Go Ducks.
(Top)Sketch: Celeste Bergin, woman from a magazine, graphite & mineral spirits on 6 x 9
(Below) Mixed Media: Celeste Bergin, Man & the elements, printed page, paint & Vellum 6 x 9

don't F*** with the Ducks