Wednesday, February 29, 2012


This morning when I started my Mac I was greeted by a blue screen. Nothing chills a Mac owner more than the blue screen. Well, good news, the smart people at the "hospital" believe she'll be all right and I'll get her back tomorrow. (All the machines I love are inexplicably female to me).  I am writing from a borrowed computer (one I have no particular affection for, so it is genderless).  For today's post, in honor of "blue" I'm reposting an entry from 2009 .............about a blue sketch.

It is raining today. I still had a pile of blue on my palette from the last time I painted and I had an idea for a "waiting in the rain" image--I just dashed it out as a rough idea. I didn't really intend for it to look so completely despondent...but sometimes things happen that I almost don't have any control over. In the end it reminded me of a Edward Gorey illustration...just not as whimsical. The umbrella looks like a bat and the blue with no relief (like another color) certainly looks ... lonely! I doubt that I'll take the idea any further..but there is no denying that it is interesting.... just as it is!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let me level with you

For the SE Artwalk I decided to go "frameless", using only gallery wrapped canvas or cradled wood panels.  I especially like how contemporary and dimensional the cradled panels look on the center wall.  While I worked on my walls, Gila worked on hers. It rained really hard outside while Chet Baker's music played inside. Gila's new laser level helped me keep things squared up. All that is left to do is labels. I'm ready! (We're #35 on the map)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Turning Away, oil on 6x12 cradled wood panel

It's hip to be square


I spent today assembling paintings for the SE Art Walk this weekend (March 3 & 4). The Reception is Friday March 2 6-9pm (and you are invited!). I'm showing my work with Gila Lane and Richard Fung at the Lane Gallery 2627 SE Clinton, Portland, OR, 97202.  I'll be offering an assortment of plein air paintings together with a variety of expressive studio paintings.  I might see you there... yes? (Map)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the Gorge, oil on 10x10 cradled wood panel

Lane Gallery

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Visiting Lake Quinault

I'm just home from the Lindstrom's cabin at Lake Quinault (part of the Olympic National Forest) in Washington. We hoped to do a lot of outdoor painting, but the weather didn't cooperate. We did plenty of sightseeing..even though the wind blew a gale and at "Beach 4" we even had a bit of hail.  Yesterday, just so we wouldn't have taken our paints for a 400 mile "ride",  Michael and I painted a still life in the cabin kitchen (great fun)! Today we took a gorgeous hike (in a rain forest) and the sun came out......... Lake Quinault is fantastic and Michael and Vicki are far and away the BEST hosts!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Wine, Cheese & Apples, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Solo in the city, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Friday, February 24, 2012


This is a painting from my archives. I liked it when I painted it. I used to golf and this is very much like a golf course. I enjoyed the greens and even put some green in the seemed like the right thing to do.  I put this painting in an album on Facebook, and you know, whenever one puts up a painting on Facebook there are scads of compliments like "Good job" "I like it!" "Lovely!" Well! but one guy wrote: "Man! this reminds me of a bowl of pea soup!" It was a rare bit of honesty in a sea of platitudes. I still like the painting.....but I also see his point.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Every now and then I get started on something and I notice that it looks especially unusual or interesting with very few strokes. Sometimes I have the presence of mind to stop at that early stage...(like I did this time). It means allowing the simple beginning exist as the entire thing.  It's kind of an off-the-wall idea.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Beginning, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Have you seen the movie "Midnight in Paris"? I got to see it today with my art pals. The plot was was like spending the afternoon with some of my favorite writers and artists. One of the best scenes was Adrian Brody as Dali (below). Flamboyant! (I give the movie thumbs up...see it if you can! It's a fun movie all!)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, (Limited palette) landscape, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


For at least a decade I have kept journals on ruled pads (photo below). Every day I write out about 2 or three pages in somewhat of a stream-of-consciousness way...things like "Well, THAT didn't turn out as expected", "My feet hurt" "I'm way behind schedule" or"I learned a lot!".  Keeping journals has helped me in all manner of ways. I seldom go back to read anything, it's more about just getting things off my chest and processing ideas. My painting today was also painted in a in a stream-of-consciousness way. For the most part I just "made it up" and painted it from memory and as it came to me. Tonight I'll likely write in my journal: "2/21/12: Today was a great day! (it was!) and I blogged a painting from memory"

........How was your Tuesday?

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Still life from memory, oil on 8x8 wood panel
(Bottom Photo) Journals

Monday, February 20, 2012


A small green iridescent fish is my friend and swims next to me as I wade in a pool. He gets in my hand and smiles at me. ---(From my dream journal)

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Dream, ink on 6x9 paper

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday .....!

 This is a simple little oil sketch. I'll likely resolve some shapes to turn it into a painting for the SE Artwalk. I'm going to be at the Lane Gallery with Gila Lane and Photographer Richard Fung on March 4 & 5. I hope you'll come out and see us...(we're #35 on the printable map).

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Rainwalk, oil on 12x16 cradled panel

I am very much in love with the new paints that I got from RGH and Classic Oil Paints. RGH makes paint available in jars. During the recent workshop I took Kat Sowa showed me how to tamp the paint down and then "float" some linseed oil on top to help prevent dry-out. The colors are beautiful and the prices were good from both companies.

Speaking of my workshop, here is the blue still life that I painted with some additions/revisions. I am going to call it done, even though I  know it should be taken further. I'll do more still life in my's such a great opportunity to work shapes and color temperature.

 I had a great week..... and I'm hard pressed to figure out which day was best! What about you, art friend...did you have a great week too?

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Did you have a great Saturday? I did! In the late afternoon I went downtown to the Utrecht store for a couple of things...and then I went to the Love of Portland show at Pioneer Place. I was on the early side...but I got to see some art friends, (Like Chris Haberman, Jodi Burton, Rodica Tichindelean and Janet Amundson-Splidsboel). The People's Art of Portland Gallery in Pioneer Place is a beautiful place for art! The show is up until March 9.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Water's Edge, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Friday, February 17, 2012

You are Invited!

Saturday, February 18, 5-9 pm is the opening reception in the People's Art Gallery at the beautiful Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th, Portland (Third floor) For the Love of Portland Show. Come out and check out Portlanders and their love for the city. (Artists share their connections to the City of Portland, its flair, bridges, bikes and people - anything that means "Portland" to them). Curators: Jason Brown and Chris Haberman.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Portland Downpour, 9x12 oil (framed)

View Larger Map

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Waterway, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I went to "Open Studio" today at Kat Sowa's. This was an opportunity (after the workshop) to revisit some of the still lifes that are still set up and available to paint. I suffered today, because I wanted to get the color of that dominate rose really right....but, alas! I did not achieve it. It felt like a battle to this stage, and it's no where near finished. I'll look at it tomorrow with a fresh eye. 

 My paint order finally arrived, so I was able to prepare my palette the way it was supposed to be. This is a ton of paint! (The palette is 18x24).

 Here is my art friend Mark Larsen. It was fun to see him again today.

And this is Mark Larsen's dog, Bessie. She goes everywhere with Mark, so she is sure to live a more interesting life than your average little furry companion).

(Top photo): Painting: Celeste Bergin, Detail Still Life (in progress), oil on 20x20 stretched canvas

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day off---!

This photo seems a perfect visual for describing a day off.  I did do art related things today...I purchased items I needed and stopped at Tap Plastic for a new cut-to-size plexiglass palette, but no painting. I'll be back........tomorrow!

Monday, February 13, 2012


I found out yesterday that I was awarded a prize for this painting in the Mayor's Invitational. It's a large painting (36x36) and it was it ever fun to paint! I remember hearing Charles Sovek say in an interview that he loved to paint in Acrylics (in addition to oil) because he liked the idea of being aligned with "materials of his own time". Acrylics were first made available (mostly) in the early 1960's and, of course, they handle very differently from oils. I think I agree with Sovek....that it is great to paint with both oils and acrylics. (Well, Sovek could paint in everything, including watercolor).
This painting is now on display in the Keizer Civic Center for one year and I also have another painting in the Keizer Chamber of Commerce.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Way Home, Acrylic on 36x36 gallery wrap canvas (Winner Third Place)

P.S. I went for a walk this evening and loved how the Monastery looked in twilight..isn't it impressive? :)

Sunday--(Workshop, Day 3, final day)

Participating in a painting workshop without all the paints on the supply list is a drag! (My paint order did not arrive prior to the workshop as expected and I had to make up for the deficit with my spotty inventory.....pretty frustrating). Despite this significant handicap the workshop was absolutely great and I learned a lot. I feel fortunate to have participated.

Today I worked on yesterday's painting, but it I didn't get it photographed and now it is too dark to get a decent photo of it. During the critique session the instructor compared my painting to another student's and he said "You must learn from one another, you know...that's how they do at the Academie".

 I learned tonight that I won a prize at the Mayor's Invitational that I submitted to last week. (Hooray! Thank you, Judges!) Tomorrow I'm going to practice what I learned over the weekend and catch up on visiting your blogs! :)

RIP Whitney

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday--(Workshop, Day 2)

On our 2nd day we all moved to a different still life set-up. It seemed like I painted this forever.  After a whole day of steady work I had to finally say goodnight to it. I'm happy with a lot of areas ...but there is plenty yet to resolve (the tablecloth, for example). I've taken some photos, so if I don't get back to it "in life" maybe I can finish it from the reference. In the afternoon some of us broke away for a good lunch at a Thai Restaurant. One more day to go...(.....we don't want it to end!)

Workshop painting: Celeste Bergin, Still life II in progress, oil on 20x20 stretched canvas

(Beginning at left): Quin, Mike, Jim, me, Carol, Stephanie, Thomas & Jodi (with the pretty orange drink!)

Friday (Workshop, Day 1)

Today was Day one of my workshop. I got there at 8am, left around 5pm, returned at 8pm and left again around midnight. You might wonder what in the world would account for such a long day. (Our instructor painted a demonstration in the evening). It was a fantastic day, and you'll never believe this, but 14 or 15 hours went by zzzzip! really fast! My painting (above) is about 3/4's of the way finished.

Workshop painting: Celeste Bergin, Still life, oil on 20x20 stretched canvas

(And here is how it looked as I left..It was foggy!) I'm looking forward to tomorrow, I'll be back bright and early.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Motley things ....from the past week

I found a good quote!

 I met a dog named Bo at Broderick's Gallery

George's furnace is so visually appealing well as functional

 Monday I went to figure class with Craig Srebnik

 I turned in my painting to the Mayor's invitational in Keizer..(and I later learned it was accepted)

 On the way home from Keizer I photographed the full moon

I'm in a workshop starting tomorrow and going through the weekend..It is sure to be a good one! Tonight I had to tone some canvases according to written instruction. I don't know if I did it right or not! Well, you know, this calls for yet another quote:
Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.
                                                                        —Virgil Garnett Thomson
(I won't really know if I "like it" or not, until I find out if I did it right!) Hoping you have a great weekend. Will you do something artful?


Had lunch with my friend Meredith today---we talked about art-art-art! Afterwards, I went to the new Dick Blick store in the Pearl District. I liked it!

Painting: Celeste Bergin,  Skyward, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This is a small painting that I did as preparation for a large painting. (The graphic look is intentional). .......Happy Tuesday! Was yours a good day?

Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Graphic Landscape, oil on 4x4 canvas panel

Monday, February 6, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Rain in the Distance, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday .....Visiting with George

 I made the trip to Rainier see the "International Show" at Broderick Gallery today. I got to meet the esteemed Erik Sandgren, visited witb photographer Gary Stallsworth, sampled some delicious goat cheese and met a Golden Retriever named "Bo"...all this and I got to visit with George and see a lot of gorgeous art too. (Slideshow below) A fine day!

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Dream Landscape, Oil on 6x6 canvas panel

The blank canvas

I painted's a large painting. I can't show it to you (because I am submitting it in on Monday and I have this thing where I don't show the work unless/until it is accepted. (I don't want to jinx it) So...I'll blog a blank canvas...don't you think there is something lovely about a blank canvas? It seems like a good metaphor ........for what can be.

(......After my painting session I was rewarded with a "cat blanket").

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Life Painting at Kat Sowa's and First Friday Receptions

What a great day! We had two models at Kat Sowa's life painting session. The models seemed like a couple on the verge of a relationship split. Funny how facial expressions and "body language" visually relay a story. (The models aren't a real couple, they just seemed like one). To see what the other painters did, go HERE.

I also went to 3 receptions tonight! 1. Lane Gallery, "Heart to Heart" (Fundraiser for Abernethy School) 2. Multnomah Village, Gary Stallsworth, Photography 3. Art on the Boulevard, Oleg Ulitskiy and Michael Lindstrom
A slideshow of the evening!:

Thursday, February 2, 2012


 My Wonderful friend Irene turned 81 today.
As is our yearly tradition, we went to Gustav's Restaurant for lunch
and then we came back to my house for birthday banana cream pie!

 Irene's Birthday calls for a photo together!

Later, Gila Lane & I both attended the SE Artwalk business meeting.  (I'll be showing my work at the beautiful Lane Gallery for the SE Art Walk during the first weekend in March).

 After the meeting Marcia Vander Schaaf and I went to the Portland Center for Performing Arts Downtown to check out the Reception for the Come to your Senses Encaustic show. We ran into our Artist Friend Linda Womack.

 A highlight of the evening was also visiting with the incomparable Chris Haberman. I'm participating in his show The Love of Portland beginning Feb 18th. (Here's a great article about Chris).

..The Portland Center for the Performing Arts is very sparkly and beautiful location for an art exhibit. I thought the lights within the countertop of the bar were especially ................nice!

Back to painting tomorrow!