Saturday, March 31, 2012


This is a re-do of an old painting* that I painted over in the open painting session offered at Srebnik's studio today.  My original photo reference was misplaced, so I had to "wing-it" and make things up. Well,  it's all just for practice and I made improvements for sure. 
*Craig encourages painters to bring paintings to the session that have been problematic, so he can offer advice.
To see the Craig's alla prima demonstration from today go HERE.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Friday is often "girlfriend day" and today I enjoyed a Cowboy Pizza with Irene and we watched a DVD. The movie was Hugo.  If you like a lot of pretty movie effects you have to see it.

When I got home I gave myself a challenge to paint something entirely with a palette knife. My reference was a previous plein air study. An interesting aspect to my assignment was a heavily textured panel. I let some of the canvas show through. Palette knives are cool. The one I used was a nice bend-y one. I'll do more of these!

Practice Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sauvie Island, oil on 6x6 textured stretched canvas

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Rain in the City, oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday--(Hipbone Studio)

I arrived late to Hipbone Studio today and all the easels were taken, but Jeff found a good spot for me and I used one of those donkey benches.  I'm glad to be back! Our model was a good one and I got to visit with Allen Schmertzler and Mary McCoy during the break.

In one pose the model used an umbrella for a prop (.....appropriate for today's weather)

I like how my indecision about where to place this long stick 
made it seem like the model was sweeping

This is the Burnside Street side of Hipbone. I took this because I enjoyed how the yellow center line, the man's coat and sign on the building are all the same yellow (cadmium yellow medium, I'd say).

A good day for me.........what about you?

(Top Photo): Celeste Bergin, 3/28/12 Life Model, pencil on 18x24 paper
(Bottom Photos): Celeste Bergin, 3/28/12 Life Model II & III, pencil & charcoal on 18x24 paper

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I applied color to the value study I did a couple of days ago. That was fun!

I also had to go downtown to retrieve my palette that I forgot in the basement classroom at the Oregon Society of Artists. After that I drove through the gray day to meet my friend Sondra for lunch. Our lunch reminded us both of our student days at Mt. Hood Community College....when we'd go through the salad bar, loading up our plates with "diet food" (and "full-fat" ranch dressing). We've always been this way.

 Gray day!


(Top Photo) Celeste Bergin: Value Study with color added, oil on 7x5 gessoed hardboard

Monday, March 26, 2012


I went to Craig Srebnik's figure class today. We worked on the same painting that we started last week.  Craig starts each session with a demonstration, pointing out key things that we need to pay attention to. Every lesson has built on the one before and when we run up against problems (and we do!) he explains how to make corrections. I especially liked painting the reflected light from the orange sheet onto the skin.
Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sleeping Nude, oil on 24x18 canvas panel

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oil Sketch

Well, this is just a sketch on gessoed paper. It breaks all kinds of compositional rules, but no need to have me arrested, it was just dashed out for practice.

Oil sketch, Celeste Bergin, Walker, oil on 6x9 gessoed paper

Saturday, March 24, 2012


A simple value sketch...I might go over it with color when it is dry.

Value Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Landscape, oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday at Kat Sowa's Studio

Craig Srebnik did a painting demonstration at Kat's today and afterwards some painters went outside to paint plein air (...the weather turned nice). A few of us stayed inside to work in the studio. Our artist friend Jodi Burton modeled for us. This portrait isn't altogether finished...but I'll make some adjustments tomorrow. To see about our day at Kat's go HERE.

Paintng: Celeste Bergin, Jodi, oil on 12x16 canvas panel

Thursday, March 22, 2012


This morning I went to an art discussion breakfast at Bread and Ink. Several of the artists brought work to show. You can see the paintings from today HERE.

This evening I attended the CAP Preview Reception in the Lincoln Building downtown. Since 1990 CAP has hosted an art auction and party to raise money to help all infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. The event has grown over the past 20 years and now encompasses 250 works of (juried) art. At the reception I was pleased to see some of my art friends who are also participating in the CAP auction. It is a big honor to be involved and we'll also be attending the big gala in April.

I started a flower study today...but I didn't finish it. I might get back to it later tonight.

 (L to R) Janet's Husband, Janet, me and Jodi

 Bill Sharp, me and Mrs. Sharp

(Top Photo) Unfinished Painting, Celeste Bergin, Floral, oil on 8x10 stretched canvas

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Recently I saw an amazing commercial, "L'Odyssée de Cartier." It's a full three minutes long and rumored ot have cost over 5 million dollars. It may be wrong of me (especially when I realize how the cost of it could feed a small country), but I love the ad. It is, shall we say, visually magnificent (video below). What confuses me is that Cartier's symbol is the panther, but isn't that animal in the ad a leopard?

I didn't have time to paint today, but I always do something art-related every day. Sometimes, like today, it is just a pen sketch.
Someone asked me a while back what type pens I use. I like Staedtler Mars fineliners. I've learned from my friend Carrie Holst, it is important to double check all your pens to make sure that the cap is snapped on super-securely, or they will dry out fast! Some pen brands even seem to require a double snap.

In other news from today, I got to ride-along to pick up a friend from the airport. We made the hour and 1/2 trip to Sheridan where Annie met up with her son who is becoming a firefighter. We got to visit the Sheridan Fire Department and got a tour of the facility:

(from L to R) Trevor, Dave, Billy & Annie

I learned a lot about what types of vehicles are used for what sort of emergency. Not really any sort of a L'Odyssée, but certainly a super interesting field trip.

(Top Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, "Shopping!" ink on 6x9 paper

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


This block-in is from Monday's figure class. We all had our work cut out for us, because the pose was challenging.....there was a lot of unusual shapes to consider. Next week we're supposed to continue on the same painting.

Block-in, Celeste Bergin, Figure, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Monday, March 19, 2012


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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday .....!

Just a little practice, trying to get those flowers down in 2-3 values.
Painting, Celeste Bergin, Practice flowers, oil on 8x10 canvas

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The painting above is one that is on display at the Lane Gallery until the end of the month. (If you are in the neighborhood, please stop in!)
Painting: Celeste Bergin, After Work, oil on 5x7 gessoes hardboard

Friday, March 16, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Westmoreland, Oil on 8x8 gessoed hardboard

Art Talk

Tonight I went to a meeting of The Columbia River Art Group (it's an art discussion/critique group of oil painters). The painting above is the one I brought for evaluation. A suggestion was made that cropping out the pale sky would strengthen the painting. I dismissed the idea because cropping it would be a chore (it's painted on a canvas panel). I also wasn't totally convinced that a crop would help the painting. However! when I got home I cropped it in photoshop and now I think I agree, the crop is an improvement (?) (is it?)  Let me know what you think. :)

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Oregon Coast, oil on 8x8 canvas panel (Bottom photo) revised to 8x6 canvas panel)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I had lunch with a friend today after visiting the Lane Gallery. We went next door to the Press Club. Afterwards, it was raining and we leisurely walked to the corner. A red Lotus car zoomed into a parking spot in front of us. Smoooooth! A James Bondy type got out and started across the intersection. "Hey!" my friend called out, "You're going the wrong way"! He looked over briefly with a look on his face like this is the zillionth time someone has called out to me.  "I have questions," she continued...but he acted like he did not hear her and he kept walking. Now, I do not know what she had in mind to ask him, but I think she may have thought of it as nothing ventured, nothing gained. I was proud of her.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Limited palette landscape, oil on 7x5 gessoed hardboard

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I've finally run out of things to say. Oh, just kidding.  I'll show you this photo of Daisy (above). She is the reason I own about 10 lint rollers.

A sketch of a dude in Starbucks...and I do mean dude, because he wore a dramatically long coat. I think they call them dusters.  Just as I started to get to the coat .......he got up and left.

Happy Tuesday!

(Top Photo) Daisy
Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Dude in a duster, ink on 6x9 paper

Monday, March 12, 2012


Our assignment in Craig Srebnik's figure class today was to paint from a photo reference of Da Vinci's Leda and the Swan (sans Swan). We used only burnt sienna, yellow, black and white. Before we set brush to canvas we were reminded about highlights, midtones, transitional tone, core shadow, reflected light and cast shadow by a super-helpful printed handout that Craig authored (and had us work on). Great lesson! 

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Figure assignment Leda and the Swan, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday .....!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Happy Sunday! oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard


I had the opportunity to attend an open painting session with Craig Srebnik and some of his painting students today. We were urged to bring a painting that was not finished so we could finish it.  I brought in a figure I'd painted in his class from a reference photo. Craig showed us how to apply a thin layer of safflower oil over the dry painting, so that it accepts new paint easily.  I painted over my original painting, paying attention to the principles of turning form and giving it better color and light. It's still not completely done....but it's getting there.

before (L) and after (R)

(Top photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Seated figure, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday at Kat Sowa's-- March 9, 2012

I met up with the North Portland Painters today at Kat Sowa's studio for a life painting session. Our model was fellow painter Za Vue's nephew (I forgot to get his name). He did a perfect job, staying still as a rock. To see what everyone else did, go HERE.

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

Thursday, March 8, 2012 right around the corner

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Almost Summer, oil on 8x8 gessoed wood panel

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Visiting the Portland Art Museum, Rothko exhibit

(My landscape painting above is divided into horizontal thirds, sort of in a Rothko way)

Today I had the great pleasure of visiting the Rothko exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. Dave and I had arranged to meet Jim King there and by happy happenstance we also ran into art friend Marty Tassoni:

 Jim, Marty and me

 It was a surprise to find out that photographs are now allowed at the Portland Art Museum! Hooray!

Rothko, of course, is famous for his color bands. I thought I saw a face in this painting. Do you see it? (And isn't it typical for a representational artist to see something recognizable where they should not?) I must stop that. Seriously, it is a beautiful exhibit, every painting is exquisite. 

The Sculpture Court at the Museum...the weather was nice!

We had lunch at "South Park" right down the street from the Museum. I love how that fish is "swimming" through the bricks in the building. I recommend you see the Rothko exhibit! It is there until May 27, 2012. (This is a link to some of the Rothko paintings: KATU)

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, In Thirds, oil on 6x6 gessoed wood panel

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I took Craig Srebnik's figure class recently. He had us thinking about depicting the body carefully. In the class we often referred to Bridgman's Guide to Drawing from Life. (It turns out the book is available in several places online in pdf form). I liked when Srebnik discussed the "distribution of masses" with us. Bridgman's round-square-round-square system helps to make sense of many shapes within the figure.

In other news, I took a walk today and as usual I wound up at the Monastery. The sky was especially pretty. One of these days I vow to sketch or paint at least a portion of this beautiful building.

(Top Photo) Practice sketch: Celeste Bergin, Distribution of Masses, pencil on gessoed paper

Monday, March 5, 2012


Just a little oil sketch.......I painted it while referring to a previous oil sketch, which is a fun thing to do.  I think I was able to maintain the "festive" sense of the original. (Of course, it could be argued that flowers are always festive, by their very nature, and that I can not expect any credit for that.) is your Monday going? Tell me, I'm interested.

Oil sketch, Celeste Bergin, Festive Flowers IV, oil on 4x4 gessoed wood panel

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday .....!

I'm happy to report that I met my sales goals for the SE Area Artwalk! Thanks so much to all the people who purchased and to everyone who came out to see me....the artwalk was so much fun!  It was great to see my art pals Sylvia Tucker and Pam Flanders today and a couple subscribers to my blog introduced themselves to me for the first time too (that's you, Sheryl and Sherry!) I couldn't be more pleased that I was selected to be a featured artist (along with Gila Lane and Richard Fung) for the Artwalk in the beautiful new Lane Gallery.  My art will remain up for the entire month of March, so please go visit the gallery if you missed the weekend artwalk (2627 SE Clinton, Portland 97202), Wednesday-Saturday 11 to 5. Slide show below :)

(Top Photo): Painting: Celeste Bergin, Rain walker, oil on 6x12 cradled wood panel SOLD

Saturday, March 3, 2012


The SE Area Artwalk is going great. More art appreciators and friends showed up today....sales are brisk! I'm resting up to return tomorrow. The SE Area Artwalk continues Sunday 10-5pm.

(I'm #35 at the Lane Gallery, 2627 SE Clinton, Portland, OR
Down load a free walking tour map below):

Here's Patti and Richard Fung (Richard is showing his Photography)

Thanks for coming out, Suzanne McKay!

Thanks for visiting...Brooks Hickerson!

Quin Sweetman paid a visit also..(thanks, Quin!) :)

(Top Photo): Painting: Celeste Bergin, Ballerina, oil on 10x10 gallery wrapped canvas (one of the paintings SOLD today)