Thursday, March 31, 2011


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Near & Far, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Life painting session --Dancer

Confession: In our life painting session today I painted this entire figure, including her feet and ballet slippers, but the image is cropped to exclude the "indecisive" legs. The more I paint, the more I understand that each and every stroke requires deliberate intention. Things can not be fudged, people! (I know you know that). Well,  I consider the painting a 70% success and send up a silent thanks to the people who developed Photoshop.
 (Fortunately, I can use this painting together with the photos I took today to paint her again).
Hey, and what about did you spend your day?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Tying her Skirt, oil on 12 x 16 canvas panel

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

O'Connor's --"eight+"

Today was change-the-art day for "eight+" at O'Connor's.  It is always fun to see what the other participants came up with to show for the month...(we never know until installation day).  My goal with my painting was to create a stylized night scene with several different elements (some specific and some ambiguous). After the meeting we went to Carolyn's for the "meeting after the meeting". (A chance to have another cup of coffee and to paint the items on the table). To see what everyone did, go HERE.

(Top photo): Painting, Celeste Bergin, Flare, Oil on 36 x 48 gallery wrap canvas
(Bottom) Photo #2, O'Connor's, Photos 3 & 4, The meeting after the meeting

Monday, March 28, 2011

Closing in on it

I've shown details of this painting a few times...and tomorrow, with any luck, it will be included in "eight+" at O'Connor's in Multnomah Village. It's a painting that has been alternately compliant and willful. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

Painting: Celeste Bergin (Detail) Flare, oil on 36 x 48 gallery wrapped canvas

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My unfinished smeared painting and Randy & JJ

Last week after my life painting session I wrote about how my 2nd painting got smeared when my backpack apparently rolled over it in the back seat. (Some people wisely use wet canvas carriers just to avoid this sort of thing). I blogged that I might fix it, but I looked at it again tonight and thought "never mind. It feels like it should be left this way". And with any luck I will get to paint this model again. I thought I'd post the painting tonight, even though smeared, because that braid and the model's classic good looks show well.. despite the mishap.

 In other news, I also want to share a photo of my neighbor Randy and his "new" dog "JJ". It seems that someone in Randy's family (who lives across town) had adopted JJ, but recently elected to return him to the animal shelter. It wasn't that JJ had done anything wrong, it was just because it was realized that the time wasn't all together right to have a pet. Randy had met JJ and when he learned all this....he went directly to the shelter and brought JJ home to his OWN house! Randy hasn't had a pet in many years. Well, all that is pretty heartwarming... don't you think?

(Top photo) Unfinished Painting: Celeste Bergin, Helga lookalike, oil on 9x12 canvas panel
(Bottom photo) Randy & adopted (twice) JJ

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hipbone Field Guide to the Figure session #6... (Feet)

Today was my 6th (and final) session of Hipbone's Field Guide to the Figure Series. Feet are, of course, a major challenge (and I bet that's why Jeff "saves the best for last"). 
We started out looking at a skeleton foot, listening to Jeff's lecture and looking at Jeff's feet.  Later a model arrived and we concentrated on his feet. There was an informative slideshow in the middle of the session and then we returned to our spots for more drawing. I can't say enough good things about Hipbone's figure workshop. Here are links to my results from all the other sessions:
Session #5 Hands
Session #4 Hands
Session #3 Expressive Face
Session #2 Features
Session #1 Skull
I promise, if you like'll be happy if you take these classes when Jeff offers them in the again. I'll probably repeat some of them (you can sign up for individual sessions too). I had a great day drawing feet....!

Friday, March 25, 2011


I painted this from a previous plein air painting. The square format is so popular....with everyone. This is painted on a 1/2 inch birch panel. I used a warm ground and let it show through.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sky Memories, oil on 8 x 8 birch panel

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Light & Shadow

I spent the day with my artist friends. We did some sketching and also went to the Mutlnomah Center for the Arts. See our sketches HERE.  (It is so much fun to have artist should be illegal).

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Light & Shadow, oil on 6 x 9 birch panel

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life painting session --"S"

An hour ago I wasn't able to upload a photo to this blog. I Googled the problem and discovered the reason was likely because I was using the old Blogger editor. Now that I switched to the new blogger editor all is right with the world again.
I loved our model today. She had wonderful long braids and she held as still as a stone. I did a 2nd portrait painting and it was 85% good. On the way home my big knapsack slid across the whole thing. It's alright because I might be able to fix it and the big smear actually helped it. Seriously, it did.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, "S" oil on 9 x 12 stretched canvas

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


...and what about you dear reader......what's in your sketchbook today?

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Today's sketches in my sketchbook 3.22.11, pencil on 8x8 paper

Monday, March 21, 2011

Analogous colors

Painters know that analogous colors (colors adjacent to one another on the color wheel) will produce a "harmonious"'s a "sure thing"!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Golden Hour, oil on 10 x 8 canvas panel

Beware of Sharon who writes in poor English and needs an "urgent" reply

From my sent folder (click to enlarge):
(It's never recommended that you reply to a spammer. I violated the do not reply rule). Learn more about Art Scams HERE.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Painting over an old painting

Here I go again..."repurposing" an old panel*. I've painted over an old failed cityscape.
These are the steps. (See photos below left to right)
1. I placed the old painting upside down on my easel.
2. Some darkest darks are "scrubbed in"
3. I Located and placed the brightest spots of color
4. The container and background were then developed by more spots/areas of mid-tones
5. More "chunks" of color were added (with an awareness of color temperatures)
6. Finally, smaller details were added and the painting is done!
* When I paint over the old panels it's because it is fun and easy to see values on a panel that already has a lot of tone on it. You should try'll be surprised!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, To Cheer You, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The most important flower

The most important flower is the one that implores you...forget about the others, I'm the one that matters.

Color Study: Celeste Bergin, Flowers from my yard, oil on 6 x 12 canvas panel

Friday, March 18, 2011

Colorful landscape

"Paint outdoors....and while you are at it, paint expressively"---Elio Camacho

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Day's end, oil on 8 x 6 canvas panel

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Life Session

This is an oil from Wednesday's life painting session.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Ballerina adjusts laces, oil on 20x16 canvas panel (Update: SOLD)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Pear, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Work-in-progress & Field Trip to Salem

Today we went to Salem to see the Henk Pander Solo show at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.
I can't even begin to tell you how wowed I was. It's impossible, really. I am making plans to return on March 27th, because Henk will be there to talk about the art. I wasn't supposed to take photos, but I took a few before I realized that. (Scroll down for slideshow) I bought the catalog as we left.... of course!

After seeing the Pander exhibit we stopped at the Mission Mill Museum. We meant to run through really quickly, but instead a docent took us around (for a private tour). She explained the entire woolen mill to us and it was fascinating! We even got to visit with some women who meet every week to make things in the "loom room".

The painting above is one I've been working on off and on for weeks. I'm putting it up in this blog post, because, though it is no Henk Pander painting, it reminds me a little of his work. It started out in one direction, but it is winding up sort of dark and strange. It is the dark "intense" and strange that is so heartstoppingly beautiful in Henk Pander's work.....(and...... remind me to tell you an "inside story" about him sometime).

Top Photo: (Detail) Celeste Bergin, No Parking, oil on 36x48 gallery wrapped canvas

Monday, March 14, 2011

Color Hand Sketch

To supplement my recent figure practice I watched a DVD by Howard Sanden today. Sanden uses a complex system of premixed paints (that he sells). I dislike the idea of premixed paint and don't own any, but there is no question that Sanden paints great hands. I sketched this after watching his DVD. I may watch it again someday, with the sound turned off...Sanden keeps telling us things like he is mixing "Neutral 7 with a bit of Venetian red"...(not all that helpful when you don't own any "Neutral 7" and you have no clue whatever which paints combine to be "Neutral 7"). On and on he goes: "I use a bit of Neutral 5 here" (Whatevs!) I stopped short of restating and detail. This was a taxing exercise. Maybe I'll look at it again in a day or so.
(Well, I do recommend the DVD, in retrospect, it has more positive than negative going on).

(Top Photo) Color Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Sanden Hand Exercise, oil on 12x9 canvas panel
(Bottom Photos) Sanden instructs: #1 Sketch out in pencil, #2, place darkest darks, #3 place halftones, #4 finish

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Painting from another painting

I've had the good fortune to paint several times from the Women's Forum State Park in Corbett. I painted this today using another smaller painting that I did last summer for reference.
Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Gorge, oil on 12x12 canvas panel

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hipbone Field Guide to the Figure session #5... Hands (Expression)

I went to my 5th session of Hipbone's Field Guide to the Figure today. Jeff refreshed our memories about hands from last time and this week our mission was to include both hands and faces in our drawings. Our model did a great job ....and adding hands instantly added "emotional content" to our drawings. In two weeks I'll go to my final session..."Feet" (Structure and Expression).

(Top photo): Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Aaron #1, Charcoal on 18 x 24 paper
(Bottom photos): Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Aaron #2, Pencil on 18 x 24 paper, Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Aaron #3, Charcoal on 18 x 24 toned paper

Friday, March 11, 2011


I relaxed today while Daisy and Mufasa worked on the laundry. They have to earn their keep. (See below) (Top photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Shoes, pen on 6 x 9 paper
(Bottom photo) unmatched socks!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Untitled, oil on 8 x 10 gessoed hardboard (SOLD)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Life painting session --"K"

Our model posed with an umbrella & a red robe during today's life painting session. I was pleased with this color sketch and I should have taken it further. I always like painting two paintings during the 3 hour session...but, today my 2nd version turned out very so-so...(and it's been left on the "cutting room floor").

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, K in red robe, oil on 16 x 20 canvas panel

P.S. In other news....oh my artist friend Annie (who suffered a severe stroke just months ago) painted a new painting today for her blog...check it out...she paints brilliantly with her non-dominant hand! Whoa! Talent! Go Annie Salness!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Minimal Person

Today I went to our PPASP meeting and met with my art pals in the "meeting after the meeting". We just sketch things that are on Carolyn's table (and/or things in our heads). To see what everyone else did....go HERE.

(Top Photo): Celeste Bergin, Minimal Person, watercolor & ink on 9 x 12 paper

(Bottom Photo): I went to one more meeting in Hood River in the afternoon, and on the way back I was treated to this sunset:

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Path Home

I'm a representational painter, but recently I've enjoyed exploring the quasi-abstract....(and I know I'll be "traveling" down more of these paths in the future).

Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Path Home, Acrylic on 40 x 30 gallery wrapped canvas (Sold)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ahhhhh Green

I enjoyed very deliberately going after some grayed down greens in this oil study. Green is wonderful!

Study: Celeste Bergin, Riverbank tree, Oil on 6 x 9 canvas panel

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Today I swung by to see my art friends Marcia Vander Schaaf and Stephanie Cissna who are participating in the SE Art Walk. It was great fun to visit with them before heading off to the Janovec Gallery. Sadly, I learned yesterday that Madeline Janovec passed away. The March show at her Gallery was meant to be a benefit to help with her medical expenses. Proceeds from purchases will now also go toward a book about Maddie's art and life. I did my part (with pleasure) by purchasing a wonderful black stone necklace (crafted by Madeline herself). I will very much treasure it! Even though Madeline was ill, her passing was somewhat unexpected....and despite this, her friends made the gallery feel very happy today instead of sad. You can see photos of my day in the slide show below.

Hey about you...did you have a good Saturday?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Saturday's Flowers, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Friday, March 4, 2011


Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Madeline, oil on printed paper 6 x 12