Monday, February 28, 2011

O'Connor's painting & Sketching at Noah's Bagels

Here is the painting that I did for my contribution to "eight+" at O'Connor's in Multnomah Village. I am always surprised when we change the art on the walls how much the new paintings transform the atmosphere of the entire restaurant. Today's installation made O'Connor's look sunny on a cloudy day.
After O'Connor's Carrie and I swung by Noah's Bagels in Hillsdale. We just wanted to do a little sketching before going home. My sketches are below...see what Carrie did HERE.

(Top photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Storefronts, Acrylic on 36 x 36 gallery wrap canvas
(Bottom photos) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Water Bottle, watercolor & pen on 6 x 9 paper
Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Waiting for bagels, watercolor & pen on 6 x 9 paper
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Storefronts, Acrylic on 36 x 36 gallery wrap canvas (on the wall at O'Connor's)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

O'Connor's --I'm one of the "Eight+"

Tomorrow I'll turn in my submission to the "Eight+" exhibit at O'Connor's restaurant. I'm showing just a section of the painting, so I can save the "unveiling" for tomorrow when it is actually installed. I love being able to do these large pieces... (O'Connor's is spacious, with extra tall ceilings..a perfect environment for big paintings). I had a wonderful time painting this-- breaking rules and indulging in my fondness for the printed word.

This month's artists: Kitty Wallis, Katherine van Schoonhoven, Kimberly Kent, Carrie Holst, Carolyn Rondthaler, Eileen Nelson, Michael Fisher and Mary Luzinski.

Painting (Detail): Storefronts (Detail), Celeste Bergin, 2010, oil on 36x36 gallery wrapped canvas

P.S. I just noticed that I have reached have 400 followers! THANK YOU everyone! I very much appreciate you!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hipbone Field Guide to the Figure session #4... AND I ♥ Portland

Today was the 4th session of Hipbone's Field Guide to the Figure Series. Jeff Burke's lecture was about "Hands: landmarks, structure & form". There is a reason we often see neglected hands in drawings/paintings...drawing hands is no walk in the park! It was a great workshop and 2 weeks from now I'll be going to the 5th session: "Hands: Expression".

When I left Hipbone I drove down Glisan Street. I photographed this house (below) that has a yard filled with crockery..(all manner of pots, birdbaths, concrete mushrooms and such). This is in the middle of a very conventional neighborhood. I thought I'd share it with you along with a video of "Portlandia" (that pokes good natured fun at Portland's quirkiness). If you watch it to the end you'll note that Fred Armisen has nice hands.

(Top photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Palm 1, pencil on 16 x 20 paper
Bottom photos: Photo 2, Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Hand 2, pencil on 16 x 20 paper, Photo 3, Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Hand 3, pencil on 16 x 20 paper, Photo 4, House in Laurelhurst (click to enlarge)

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Ski Trail

Sometimes what you are painting on helps to tell the story. This is painted on a gessoed wood panel. The wood texture can be discerned, and though unplanned, the grain seems to lend an added dimension.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Ski Trail, oil on 8x8 gessoed 1/2 " wood panel

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Paint over Thursday"

I really enjoy painting over paintings. The steps are simple:

1. Select an old bad painting (I have lots if you need any)
2. Sand away old paint (and wipe away sanded paint dust with a rag)
3. Rough in the simple shapes of your new painting (I used Ultramarine Blue & Alizarin Crimson)
4. Paint the darkest darks (in this case the dark green leaves)
5. Indicate the most obvious color (in this case Red)
6. Paint the lightest lights (the brightest part of the white flowers)
7. Paint the remaining middle range colors
8. Finish!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, White Flowers, oil on 9 x 12 hardboard panel

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'm super grateful to the outdoor painters I met when I first started painting..I am pretty sure I would never have understood warm and cool relationships very well without dragging all my stuff outside to continually try to "see it". The rocky coast is an unparalleled opportunity to evaluate the differences between warm and cool. I got most of it right in this study.

Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Oregon Coast, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My was yours??

Today I went to the PPASP meeting at O'Connor's and also to the "meeting after the meeting" at Carolyn's. At the "meeting after the meeting" we usually sketch things that are on Carolyn's table (& the results are HERE). After all this Carrie & I drove up to Pittock Mansion (on an errand). It is always a treat to visit the Mansion and we also stopped into the shop (to check out all the sparkly things). Once home, I coincidentally came across an old plein air painting that I did at the Mansion (a couple of years ago). The Mansion was such a daunting subject that I zoomed in on a simple dormer...and it must've been a super-sunny day!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Pittock's orange roof, 2008, oil on 12x9 canvas panel

Monday, February 21, 2011

Goodbye II

I made some changes to this oil study that I did awhile ago. It's unusual that a train station atmosphere would be red instead of blue...but the reds and oranges seem romantic. I'll try a blue version one day, just for comparison. It's all just for ideas.

Oil sketch, Celeste Bergin, Goodbye II, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

(Update: SOLD!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fantasy Landscape

A "made-up" landscape that using only Ultramarine blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Lemon and white.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Fantasy Landscape, 8 x 6 canvas panel

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Solitary walker

This is an experiment in color temperature and simple shapes. It's propped against my wall until I decide if I want to do a larger version.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Solitary walker, oil on 10x8 gallery wrap canvas

Friday, February 18, 2011

A little landscape

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sandy River, 2011, oil on 6 x 8 canvas panel

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reading and sketching, sketching and reading

While I was out today I read a good portion of two books, Color for Painters (by Al Gury) and Picasso's Picassos (by David Douglas Duncan). A solid chunk of time with good books is a pleasure! I also had the opportunity to sketch too. I always keep a sketchbook in my tote bag and there is one located wherever I sit at home. Well, what are you reading these days...and what are you sketching?

(Top Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Figure from memory, pencil on 6 x 9 paper (Bottom) Photo 2: Gesture sketch, Photo 3: Today's books, Photo 4: Container of sketch things

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I've been a little under-the-weather so I missed my usual Wednesday life painting session today. Dang! But I felt better later on and after an errand I stopped by to visit Augen, Froelick, Charles Hartman and Blue Sky Galleries (these are all in the same block, so it's all easy). My favorite painting was a big black bird by Miles Goodwin. Once back home I painted this umbrella scene and cleaned out my credenza. I found a pretty fused glass plate that I completely forgot about (See slideshow below). I guess I put it away for "safekeeping" (?) Well, it also was a fun project to stack up all my front room art know.... I have art books in every room.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Downtown walker, oil on 6 x 12 canvas panel

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Today I unearthed this old old old painting of mine. It's very sentimental, isn't it? I must saved it because I thought it was good (which it is not). If I were to do this today I'd definitely opt for brighter yellows. And here's today's alla prima practice, Macintosh apples.

(Top photo): Celeste Bergin, Monarch Butterflies, Acrylic on canvas 5x4
(Bottom photo): Celeste Bergin, Apples, Oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Monday, February 14, 2011


I did that alternate kind of painting today...ceiling, trim & walls! I also tested out the sumi ink stick that Brooks Hickerson gave to me. (Love!) I want to try it within a painting like he does. What about you...did you have a lovable Valentine's Day?
(Top Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, So Sumi, Gesso & Sumi Ink on colored paper 8 x 10
(Bottom Photos) Sumi Ink Stick, Dining room painting project

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Last light

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Last Light, oil on 8 x 6 canvas panel
(Bottom Photo) Mosaic: Sharon Dell Adams (February 20, 1938-February 8, 2011)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hipbone Field Guide to the Figure session #3 AND City of Keizer Mayor's Gala

Today was the 3rd session of Hipbone's Field Guide to the Figure Series. Jeff Burke's lecture was about "facial expression". We had a wonderful model, an actor who had to hold deeply expressive faces for long periods of time. The most compelling pose was his "sad face".

I had to leave Hipbone a little early so that I could get to The Mayor's Invitational Gala in Keizer. Once there, I received a great surprise, the Third Place prize for my submitted painting Summer Fields. My painting (and all others accepted) are on display for one full year in the beautiful Keizer Civic Building that houses Keizer's Municipal court, City Hall and the Police Department.

All in all a good day (and decidedly "happier" than today's drawing). I hope you had an artful day too!

(Top Photo): Drawing: Celeste Bergin, Sad man, charcoal on 16x20 paper
Bottom Photos 1: Rainy night; Keizer Civic Building, 2: Me & Robert Selby, 3: Mayor Lore Christopher presenting ribbon, 4: Umbrellas in the foyer, 5: Keizer Civic Center lobby

Friday, February 11, 2011

Painting in progress

I've stepped away from this painting for a week. I wanted it to dry so that I could tone it down in places and heighten it in others. I'll get back to it, but in the meantime, I'm showing you where it's at.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, No Parking (in progress), Oil on gallery wrap canvas 38 x 48

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Painting is .......... fun

This is my submission into the Mayor's Invitational 2011 (painted with "intentional whimsey")

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Summer Fields, 40 x 30 Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas

(Charles Sovek 1937 - 2007 was wonderful at producing a painting with charm. Whenever I start taking myself too seriously, I look at his paintings).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Life painting session --"C"

We had a really good model for the Life painting session today. She was wonderful but she did have to uncross her feet at one point (due to discomfort)... so I "abandoned" what was going on beneath her knees. I always like painting two if I can, a full body and a portrait. I was mostly satisfied with my efforts, but I had contact lens struggles again today. At the end of the session I put the paintings in the trunk of my car to transport them. Somehow some big droplets of water got onto the portrait...but no harm done..... water and oil "don't mix".

(Top) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Portrait of "C", oil on 16 x 20 canvas panel
(Bottom) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Standing/sitting "C", oil on 16 x 20 canvas panel

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sketching after the PPASP meeting at Carolyn's

Today we had the "meeting after the meeting" at Carolyn's. (First we attend the PPASP breakfast meeting and then have a 2nd sketch meeting). We almost always just sketch whatever Carolyn has sitting out on her table. Today Carolyn also produced a box of pretty chocolates....(and an added benefit was getting to sample a few). To see what the others did go HERE.

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Box of chocolates, watercolor & pen on 8 x 10 paper

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jumbled Steeples

I produced this graphic-y faux European city with my end-of-session paints (from yesterday). I had more cool colors than warm, but it doesn't matter...the outcome is dependant on the colors that are "left". This month Art on the Boulevard is featuring an artist who seems to regularly paint dynamic jumbled rooftops: (Elida Fields). I love Art on the Boulevard!
I have a busy week coming up (that will include some painting!) What about you? Do you have anything on your easel?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Steeples, oil on 8x16 canvas panel