Monday, October 31, 2011

Detail of large painting

Tomorrow new art is due from eight+ at O'Connor's in Multnomah Village. I painted something new and this is a detail from it.

(The eight+ are Kitty Wallis, Carrie Holst, Carolyn Rondthaler, Anton Pavlenko, David McBride, Katherine van Schoonhoven, Eileen Nelson and me)!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, After the Rain II, oil on 36x36 stretched gallery

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday .....!

Here I am yesterday (in my "outdoor studio") with my gesso-ing project.  I gessoed a 36"x36" canvas for my newest project along with a stack of smaller canvas panels. It took me hours, but I like doing tasks like this almost as well as painting paintings (especially when it is not raining...and I said almost).

This is a painting I touched up today. I made some corrections to the window and the lamp. I like this painting because it reminds me of an English Mystery (Colonel the Library....with the lead pipe). It didn't start out to be that way, but it took on that life of it's own somehow.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Library, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I gessoed boards today, and with my leftover gesso I did this 3 value sketch.......just for practice.

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Black & White, white gesso on black gessoed 11x14 paper.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Every now and then my art pal Carrie Holst says......... "Paint like a child"........(and I say: Yeah, why not!?)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Follow the road, oil on 10x10 stretched canvas

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Pond, oil on 8 x 6 canvas panel

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Life painting session --"K"

It's been awhile since life painting sessions and today was the first day back!  Our model was a super-good one who modeled for us last year. The session is three hours and I managed to do two paintings. The side light was made the model's face look "drenched in sunlight".

Painting: Celeste Bergin, K in a big hat, oil on 18 x 12 canvas panel

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Seated K, oil on 12 x 18 canvas panel

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sketching after the PPASP meeting

After today's PPASP breakfast meeting I went to Carolyn's house for what we call "the meeting after the meeting". I enjoyed sketching her cut glass salt & pepper shakers. Check out the meeting HERE and the sketching HERE.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dark portrait on paper

I painted this with three paints I had left over from several days ago (Ultramarine blue, Alizarin Crimson and white). It's painted on black gesso.

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Dark portrait, oil on 9x12 gessoed paper

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday .....!

I went to the Broderick Gallery "Verticals" reception today. It was enjoyable to talk with artist Martha Mason. Her paintings are abstract, but with the occasional "recognizable" item thrown in.  "I like to draw", she said...and that was clear in all her work. Even when the work was completely abstract, one could see the quality of her sure and beautiful line. I'm with Martha...I like to draw. When I got home I painted this quick value study from a photo reference.
Visit Martha & George's reception HERE

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Value Study, oil on 9 x 12 canvas paper.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


This morning I got to see a demonstration by Craig Srebnik. What an excellent painter he is! The emphasis of his talk/demonstration was about linking darks and generating "unity" in a number of different ways. I incorporated some of what he showed us today into this figure.
Craig is giving another demonstration next Wednesday.  Contact Craig via phone or email in advance to sign up....find out about it HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, At the Club, oil on 16x20 canvas panel

Craig Srebnik

Friday, October 21, 2011

Charcoal ....on Wallis Paper

I discovered Wallis Paper when I first started painting.  I met Kitty Wallis back then and she generously gave me some samples. Wallis paper is unique, it is "sandpaper" (a very high grade) designed to "grab" your dry or wet media. I have used it for both pastels and oils. Every now and then I like to do a sketch on Wallis...because of the unusual sensation of that "grab". It seems the contrast can be much greater on Wallis paper than on any other artist paper.

I sketched this image and then dampened an old brush with mineral spirits, dragging it through the drawing to create some blur. If you use a brush on Wallis paper you just have to make sure it is an old brush you don't care about. (The sandpaper damages your brush).

Sketch (an idea for a painting): Celeste Bergin, Waiting in the rain, Charcoal on Wallis Belgium Mist, cropped to 6 x 12

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Today I got to take a little road trip to Goose Lake in Washington. It's about 140 miles round trip from Portland. The lake was beautiful....but the changing trees caught my eye. I did some watercolor sketches and this quick oil too.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, October Drive, oil on 9x12

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oil sketch

This is an oil sketch...I may or may not give it another pass. We'll see!

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Female portrait, oil on 16x20 canvas panel

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Today I went to the PPASP meeting and to the "meeting after the meeting" for sketching. I also revisted this cafe still life a little, to heighten the red. Tuesdays...... are good days!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Cafe, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Monday, October 17, 2011


Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, End-of-the-season flowers, oil on 11 x 14 gessoed paper

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday .....!

I consider the week a success if I painted (or did some drawing) every day. Recently I started keeping a log that shows what I did on a daily basis. (Of course, I can always scroll through my blog to see what I did......but the log is more specific). It's motivating to see at a glance that I've been productive. My aim is to fill this book! Do you have a system for tracking your work?

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Moonlight, oil on 6x6  canvas panel
(Bottom Photo) Daily painting log

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I painted this impression of the ocean & sky with an extra long-handled brush. I'll probably add a little more detail (but not much).

Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Sea, oil on 8x8 stretched canvas

Friday, October 14, 2011

"In the Park" (Mt Tabor)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Mt Tabor Park, oil on 20x20 stretched canvas

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Yesterday, while I was in a waiting room. I sketched some people. I used the "Elegant Writer" pen.  I've told you before how much fun it is to add water to the the Elegant Writer because the ink "bleeds" really easily. Well, in the waiting room I didn't have any water with me, I spit into a tissue and used it for my sketch. (I know. right?)

All of this reminded me of an artist I met when I was a graphic designer in the early 80's. He was a super talented artist who was known as "The Frog". He was a celebrity of sorts because he was often involved in high end projects and he had been featured in CA magazine. The Frog was always drawing with a beautiful fountain pen into a handmade sketchbook.  He would be talking to you, sketching away..then suddenly (without warning) he would spit: "pfft pfft!" directly on the page and smear it all around with his finger. I know, this sounds revolting, but his drawings were divine. Here, these many years later, I find myself spitting in my book too (not in quite the same way, but still).

When I went to research the Frog (Errol Etienne) for this blog post...I was saddened to learn he died this year. He was a bigger than life talented eccentric who lived and breathed ART. He called me "Betty" because he couldn't remember my name and he thought Betty was close enough. RIP: Frog.

Top Photo: Sketch, Celeste Bergin, woman in waiting room, ink on 6 x 9 paper

Errol H.R. Etienne, "The Frog" (1941-2011)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


This is the beginning of a painting I'm working out...I envision it expressed simply with strong shapes and just a few colors.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the park, oil on 20x20 stretched canvas

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The day began with the PPASP meeting and afterwards I got to spend the afternoon at the "Plum"! It was a great day....(and how was yours, art friend?)

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Untitled, charcoal on 16x20 paper

(Public Service Announcement)

Monday, October 10, 2011


For my daily painting I thought I might practice some flesh-tones...This is an oil sketch from a photo reference.

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Dude, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday .....!

I found an extra black gessoed canvas today, so I thought I might try a "think in reverse" thing again. I doubt that I will make a habit of painting on black, but once again, I enjoyed working in this unique way. I might paint this scene again in a larger version.

(P.S. Whenever I paint a "mudhead" with black hair..I can't help but think of Gene Simmons).

Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Rain at the Market, oil on 8x8 stretched canvas.

Here are the steps involved:

1. General placements indicated

2. Lightest lights established, (Darkest darks "already there")

3. Color notes and shapes placed

4. Completed study

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Green Pot

I just acquired five new pieces of pottery from the Columbia Art Gallery 2nds sale. (I can't find any imperfections in the 2nds and they are beautiful shapes to consider)! This studio still life is about 3/4's of the way finished.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Still life, oil on 24x18 canvas panel

Friday, October 7, 2011


Just a little fast and loose (and I do mean loose!) "practice"...a sketch of a violinist in rehearsal.

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, rehearsal, oil on 11x14 gessoed paper

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Cat blanket"

My daily painting tanked so badly today..I scraped it down...but don't feel sorry for me...I've got a cat blanket and a cup of coffee. I'll be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


This is an oil sketch (from a photo reference) painted on black gessoed paper. About half way through it I was thinking--man, this is an uphill battle...(the black gesso sucked up the paint, making it a different painting experience)...In the end I've decided to chalk it up to as a valuable experiment. It was kind of fun to think some of this out "in reverse".

(Here's how it started out):
(Top photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Street thug, oil on gessoed paper 11 x 14

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I enjoy getting to put a painting between these cool sconces on the wall...but is burnt out...dang! Well, I bet they'll fix it and I'll get a better photo next week. We had a super breakfast meeting today. You can find out about it HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, After the rain, oil on 36x36 stretched canvas

Monday, October 3, 2011

Detail of a large painting

Tomorrow new art is due from eight+ at O'Connor's in Multnomah Village. I painted something new and this is a detail from it.

(The eight+ are Kitty Wallis, Carrie Holst, Carolyn Rondthaler, Anton Pavlenko, David McBride, Katherine van Schoonhoven and Eileen Nelson).

Painting: Celeste Bergin, After the rain, oil on 36x36 stretched gallery

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stage two

Here is stage two of my creek painting. I like where it is headed ......I'll let it dry some before stage three.

In-progress painting: Celeste Bergin, Creek, oil on 20x22 stretched canvas

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Do you remember the skewed buildings painting I started awhile back? I wrote that it might fly or might not. It did I am painting something new over the top of it. My plan is to paint this new painting in 2 or 3 sessions, so I am showing just a detail of it today. If it doesn't work out, I'll sand it down and paint it  over it yet again! (I've learned that a painter requires this resilient attitude).

Google/Blogger has a new template called "Dynamic Views" is BEAUTIFUL! Google/Blogger lets you can apply the design to your existing blog to see if you like it. Wow--I liked it all right, but ALAS, it makes you do away with the sidebar, all your links, your email subscription box, your profile (well, all your widgets). I went straight back to my old blog template (which I am a little tired of), but if you don't care about your sidebar, you might like the change.

Here is how my blog looked in "magazine" view, one of the 7 views available in "Dynamic Views". ooooooo, nice design.
(click to enlarge):

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