Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Artist's Point of View

Go HERE to see David Burbach's Artist's Point of View, his new show at the Photo Continuum. (It takes just a few seconds to load, then "Play Slideshow") Is there anyone you know in the photos?

And this is a detail of the large work I've started...(don't worry, it will make sense later.)

Detail: Celeste Bergin, Untitled, oil on 30x40 gallery wrapped canvas

Monday, January 30, 2012


I painted this today from a photo reference. I was drawn to the strong and interesting shapes and I had black and white paint out from a couple days ago. I also started a new project today, a big canvas. I can't post anything from it until it starts making sense...(and that's a ways off!)

Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Black & White Portrait Study, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I cleaned my "bunker" studio today. It took me hours and I'm not really done. I stacked tons of bad paintings, good paintings and  in-between paintings. I didn't blog the painting above when I initially did it (in Nov of 2010), because I did a 2nd version of it that I felt was better and I blogged that one instead. Since I don't have a new painting from today, I'll post this initial version....because, in retrospect, it's kind of a nice painting.
What to keep and what to throw away is a constant issue! I want to get rid of the bad paintings, and I should get rid of the in betweens too. It's a chore to make the decisions. This study will probably inch it's way into the keep pile.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, (Life session) Cowboy, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Just for Fun

Another little oil sketch in only black and white. I might paint this again, I loved interpreting the unique shapes.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Old Telephone, oil on 4x4 canvas panel (Update: SOLD)

Friday, January 27, 2012


 Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Chair, pencil on 6x9 paper


I went to Hood River this morning.. there was an unusual spot of yellow orange in the sky that I tried to capture in this photo. The camera didn't pick up what I saw...but I like the photo anyway.

 I got to see the "Trash 2 Art" exhibit at the Columbia Art Gallery
I especially enjoyed these shovels that were cut into intricate designs. 

....And this...once a mundane wheelbarrow and now a filigreed objet d'art.
Not something you see everyday!

That's my Friday...what about yours? Was there some art involved in your day?

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I meant to start on a big project today...instead I painted this oil sketch of my shoes.

Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Slingbacks, oil on 5x5 canvas panel (Update: SOLD)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better". ~Albert Einstein

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Near Corbett II, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I like painting these small floral "thumbnails". They are meant to be rough drafts...for ideas, possibly for something bigger and better, but this idea was fussy and stilted looking...until I Srebniked it. (Srebnik has taught us to drag a paper towel through the paint sometimes....to create a "dissipating light").  Breaking up the colors and shapes in this small painting relieved it instantly from looking uptight. I like it well enough now, I might even make some corrections later to see if it could fly as a little "real" painting on it's own.

Thumbnail sketch: Celeste Bergin, Sunflowers, oil on 5x5 panel

Monday, January 23, 2012


No painting today, but I sketched my shoes and organized some flower studies/paintings into one folder.
That's my Monday......how was yours??

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, My shoes, pen on  6x9 paper

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday .....!

Today I took a painting to the Cascade Aids Project (CAP) for their art auction. Donated paintings are juried, so that the caliber of the art will be high. Wish me luck! (It will be awhile before I'll find out if my painting was accepted. I'll post the painting if it gets in...but not before,  I don't want to jinx it). After I turned in my painting I asked the staff if I could photograph them and they so nicely posed for me! Thanks, CAP!

Later tonight I went to Janet's Art Studio (in a great house on NE Fremont) for a life painting session. The scheduled model didn't show up, so Janet's daughter Erica pinch hit for us. Erica was a great model and she wore a hat that made her look kind of 1940-ish. To see what everyone else did, go HERE.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Erica, oil on 16x20 canvas panel

Friday, January 20, 2012


I painted with the North Portland Painters at Kat Sowa's Studio in Cathedral Park today.  Our model had a look like Royalty. I started out painting the entire figure (she wore a fantastic dress)...but I wasn't happy with the panel sizes I had with me. I switched gears and did a portrait. To see what the other artists painted, go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, M, oil on 12x16 canvas panel

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Value Study: Celeste Bergin, Creekside, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hello... Is it me you're looking for?

Here is an interesting link (warning...nudity)....a great website for doing timed gesture drawings:
Figure Drawing
 Drawing: Celeste Bergin, Gesture, oil on 12x16 paper

And just for fun:
Lionel Ritchie's song "Hello" came out in 1984. Have a look at the original, followed by The Hello Experiment and to round out your Hello experience, be sure to watch this too:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Snowy road, oil on 5x5 canvas panel

Monday, January 16, 2012


Today in Craig Srebnik's class we watched him paint from a black and white photo. As a first step, he painted in all the darks and sent us to our easels to do the same. (We all painted monochromatically again today and used the same photo reference). After we had something representing all the darks, we watched him paint the 2nd step (mid tones and the light mid-tones). Back to our easels to do the same! The final round was highlights. Three hours went by super-fast. This is an ongoing class, but we don't reconvene again until February. I'll practice in the meantime!

(Oil Sketch) Celeste Bergin, Monochromatic workshop painting, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Sunday .....!

I didn't paint today, but I sorted through some of my old work. About 85% of my old paintings need to be discarded! The painting above, however, won't meet that fate...it is one of  my favorite early paintings. I painted it out of my cigar box pochade while sitting on my bed. There's my orange nylon jacket and my red sweater. 

Say, did you know author Henry Miller was a watercolorist? I like the paintings in this video (below). Looks to me like he thoroughly enjoyed painting...... his work was colorful and playful. 

"Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself".----Henry Miller

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Bedroom Closet, 2008, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Saturday, January 14, 2012


A thumbnail sketch has an inherent charm. I like how this one is like a little painting in and of itself. "I'm just a sketchy idea...or wait. Perhaps I'm more?"

Thumbnail oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Flowers, oil on 3x3 wood panel

Friday, January 13, 2012

Life painting session --Eric

I painted with the North Portland Painters at Kat Sowa's Studio in Cathedral Park today.  Our model looked like he could be a composer.... or a "squire" from yesteryear. I opted to use just raw umber and white, like I did last Monday. To see what the others did, go HERE.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Eric, oil on 16x20 canvas panel

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I had lunch with my art friend Meredith today. We went kind of late, so we had the place to almost to ourselves. Next to our table there was a decorative plate with some glass stones in it. We both noticed how super-pretty it was. I pulled out my camera...."I'm going to blog this", I said. "ooooooookay", she said.

(Top Photo) Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Sandy, Oregon, oil on 5x7 cradled panel

(....And there were golfers outside the restaurant on the 18th hole, golfing in the cold-cold weather)

The glass stones looked like soap bubbles

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Colwood, oil on 4x4 cradled panel

Monday, January 9, 2012


Today in Craig Srebnik's class we watched him paint a demonstration using the same black and white photo he used for class last week. This time he painted monochromatically using just Raw Umber and Titanium White. When it was time for us to paint we were given our choice of painting like he did or with color. I used Raw Umber and Titanium White. Srebnik told us that landscape and figure painting are "really the same thing"......both require correct values and shapes.

(Oil Sketch) Celeste Bergin, Monochromatic workshop painting, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, The End of the Day, oil on 8x8 stretched canvas

Here is a slide show of First Friday Receptions I attended last night for Jodi Burton, Patrick Kolb (at Lane Gallery) & Stephanie Cissna (Montavilla):

Friday, January 6, 2012


Today I met up with some PPASP & North Portland Painters and we painted in Kat Sowa's studio in Cathedral Park Place. Kat had two floral set ups for us to choose from. To see what others painted go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Still life floral, oil on 12x16 canvas panel

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Did you know that you really need very little in the way of supplies to paint outdoors? At first I didn't, in the beginning I dragged a veritable studio outside, two giant bags, an easel, and pounds and pounds of stuff! Then I got wise and looked at the endeavor as more of a simple sketching situation.  This is one of the systems I use, a cigar box that I bought at a thrift shop. I squeeze paint directly into it ......and I've painted many paintings from it.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Hillside, oil on 6x8canvas panel

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This is a plein air painting that I will have in a "solo" exhibit at the US Bank in Lloyd Center beginning next Monday. The bank is located at the corner of 16th and Weidler and the show will be up until February 2, 2012.

Today I visited with George Broderick in Rainier. We went to lunch at a Mexican Restaurant, next to the river. After lunch we went back to the Gallery where we had coffee, I got to see George's new work and a very cool book about Cuba. It was a visual extravaganza sort of day....

Perusing a photography book about Cuba

Frida Kahlo chair at the Restaurant

 (And when you leave George always "walks you out".... He's a classy guy)!  
See you next time, George :)

Top Photo: Painting: Celeste Bergin, Blustery Day on the River, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Yesterday in Craig Srebnik's class we got to watch him paint a demonstration from a black and white photo and then we were to take to our own easels (and paint from the same photo he did). Tall order! You should have seen his version of this (perfection!). I did not achieve near the strong lights and darks he did in his painting...but all and all I know I learned some important things and I give myself points for getting this far after just one hour. I think we'll work from the same photo again next week. 

(Oil Sketch) Celeste Bergin, workshop painting start, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Also yesterday, after five years, I "left" my volunteer position of communicator for PPASP. Five years is a long time and I really thought people HAD to be very tired of me...but! a great surprise was that today I got scads of emails from PPASP-ers who gave me glowing "reviews" and thanked me. That was BIG.  In many ways I often understood and accepted the "thankless" aspects of the job I had undertaken, but the truth is....it definitely meant a lot to me to be thanked. oxoxoxoxoxo!!

Now, just for fun, here is an unusal video below. In 1941 Salvador Dali designed and hosted a party held in the Bali Room of the Hotel Del Monte, Monterey, California. The event was titled Night in a Surrealist Forest and it was a fund raiser to help European artists displaced by the war:

Monday, January 2, 2012


I've done some cat-sitting for a friend for a couple of weeks. Maxine the cat would not let me pet her until just a couple of days ago. It's such a nice thing to finally become friends with Maxine!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Cat, oil on 9x12 canvas panel