Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday .....!

Here are my friends Jodi Burton (L) and Quin Sweetman (R) posing with my oil painting "The Side Door" at the CAP Auction last night (I couldn't attend).  Janet Amundsen-Splidsboel sent me this photo and iphone updates about how my painting was doing throughout the night. (Thanks, Janet!) In the end my painting sold despite the fact it was hung at the dreaded "stomach-high").  It is an honor to be a part of a wonderful event that has helped so many people year after year.

......And we went to a baby shower to welcome Baby Burbach today.  Attendees were invited to "design a onesie".

2nd photo: Onesie, Celeste Bergin, Yellow Dog with heart tag, marker on fabric

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Today my art friend Stephanie Cissna and I attended Srebnik's Saturday demonstration. It was remarkable (as usual) and I photographed the results to submit it to the Alla Prima Portland blog soon. Stephanie and I also stopped in to see the Lake Artist's show in Lake Oswego. A perfect way to spend a Saturday.

I have a couple of shows coming up. The first one, Interpretations, is a group show at Columbia Art Gallery with a First Friday reception on May 4. The 2nd one is a solo show at The Gorge White House, with a reception on Sunday, May 6.  I'll put up a reminder as the dates approach.

It's an opportune time for me to extend a big THANK YOU to all of you who follow my blog, comment and generally support me. I sincerely appreciate all of you! When I started blogging I had no idea that it would enable me to connect with so many great people. Thanks again for paying attention to my work...I value you!

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sunflowers, oil on gessoed 11x14 card stock

Click on the image below to learn more about Interpretations:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fine Art Friday at Cathedral Park Place Studio 30

This morning I brought donuts to "Fine Art Friday"....making me instantly popular with my fellow painters.  Quin Sweetman was our "pinch-hitter" model.  She looked super-pretty in a frothy off-white dress and she did a very fine job of posing. To see what the others painters painted...go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Quin, oil on 14x18 canvas panel

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I painted earlier today, but my painting failed. No matter, there is always tomorrow! Meanwhile,  I have a big book full of old time black and white prints that I love to bastardize.**

**This practice might seem like blasphemy to book lovers but, it is not a rare book or anything and after I "destroy" the whole thing I can go to Powell's and get another book of prints for 5 dollars. Try'll like it! :)

Altered book page, Celeste Bergin, Tomorrow, pencil and highlighter on 12x10 printed page

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday--(Hipbone Studio)

I went to the Hipbone Studio drop in session for figure drawing today. As I drew the portrait above, the model kept yawning big yawns. I willed her to stop so I could get everything down in the time provided.  (She did).  Big charcoal sticks make satisfying dark marks.

(Top photo) Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Wednesday's model portrait, charcoal on 18x24 paper
2nd photo Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Wednesday's model, pencil on 18x24 paper

In 1949 Picasso was photographed using a light to draw in the air:

and in 2012 a young woman shows off her glowstick ability:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


This is a study.  I used only three colors, raw umber, manganese blue and white. The darks are all intentionally linked together in a large shape. I'm thinking about painting a larger version of this. So, that's my Tuesday....what about yours......was it art-ful?

Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Rainstorm, oil on 8 x 16 canvas panel

Monday, April 23, 2012


Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company” ---Zen Haiku

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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday .....!

'I hope some day to meet God, because I want to thank Him for the flowers'. ~Robert Brault

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Yellow Flowers, oil on 10x10 stretched canvas

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I took Eric Jacobsen's one day still life workshop at Art on the Boulevard today.  Eric did a demonstration and afterwards I tried to emulate his bold shapes and clean color in my own painting. The one day version of Eric's workshops are great because he packs plenty of information into the session and now we have the rest of the weekend to think about what we learned and to try other things (leisurely) based on what we learned today. It's more relaxed than a 2 or 3 day workshop, but there is no skimping on the information.  Eric made us think a lot about color relationship today. He is a fantastic teacher and I'm signed up for his next one.

An added bonus for me was meeting "the other Celeste". For years I have heard of Celeste Jones and she tells me that for years she has heard of me (because of regional art groups and events).  Finally we ran into each other in person. Celeste takes part in the live model session every Saturday at Vancouver Marketplace (in the courtyard of Art on the Boulevard). I may throw in some looks like a really good deal!

Slideshow below.....are you having a good weekend..?

(Top photo) Workshop Study, Celeste Bergin Still life with Peppers, oil on 18x12 canvas panel

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fine Art Friday at Kat Sowa's Studio 30

Fellow painter Jodi Burton was our model today. She was dressed in beautiful silk and she laid on the floor, providing a perspective challenge for everyone. The silk was certainly fun to paint, and I did not finish, but I felt I took it as far as I wanted in the time alloted. To see what everyone else did, go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Jodi in a kimono, oil on 20x16 canvas panel

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Every third Thursday evening I meet with the Columbia River Art Group.  Each of us are assigned a date to give a talk/demonstration. My date came up tonight and the topic was "turning form". Afterwards the painters shared their paintings for discussion and critique. We also talked about frames, work schedules and upcoming commitments/receptions.

Earlier in the day I had the pleasure of going on a field trip with family to the Evergreen Aviation Museum (slideshow below). Highlights were the Spruce Goose (of course), a part of the Berlin Wall, numerous gorgeous aircraft, a wonderful docent named Jack Dent, Lots of Aviation art and a 3-D film about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It was a fantastic visual day from start to finish...hoping yours was a good one too! :)

(Top Photo) Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Sample Apple, oil on 9x12 canvas paper

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Drawing is seeing

Back to Hipbone Studio today. Our model was a young woman who had the ability to stay as still as stone. She was good.

 In one pose (above) she wore a mardi gras type mask. 

short pose, pointed toe

Milton Glaser is a legendary graphic artist. It's safe to say that his brilliant career was built on his intensely clean drawing skills. Glaser says: "Drawing is seeing, I only really look at things when I draw them". 

(Top Photo) Life Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Resting on a pillow, pencil on 18x24
Photo 2, Life Drawing, Celeste Bergin, With a Mardi gras mask, pencil on 18x24
Photo 3, Life Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Standing, pencil on 18x24


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Festive Flowers IV, oil on 6x8 canvas panel


The painting above is from when I first started painting. I used to do weekly challenges on Wet Canvas, and this was painted from one of those. I've chucked most of those early efforts, but I kept this one. It's is a good example about how breaking things down into simple shapes and 3-5 values will provide a decent result.

 Stephanie Cissna and I wound up at Pastrygirl today in our Montavilla neighborhood...

.....and we celebrated Stephanie's birthday with a slice of chocolate caramel cake. 

(Top Photo) Celeste Bergin, Fishing Bear, oil on 9x12 gessoed paper

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday .....!

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Painter, oil on gessoed 11x14 cardstock paper

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I painted this "out in the field" last year. I've always liked it,  because the flowers came out looking a little like butterflies.  I made a few subtle changes to it today and propped it up on the mantle to consider it further.

Earlier in the day I watched a Craig Srebnik demonstration that he did from a photo of a garden in Paris.
I can't say enough good things about Srebnik. His lectures are full of valuable information (and some wry wit too). I'm a big fan.

 After I left the demonstration I stopped at Pam Flanders studio sale. Pam's professional organizer friend Michelle Dawson suggested a couple of years ago that Pam turn her front room into her studio/gallery. It's a remarkable and novel idea and one that makes a lot of sense. Why not use the space that you have to do what you love? (Michelle on left, Pam on right)

(Moofie wants to be an LOL cat). 

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Flowers at the Gorge White House, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday (the 13th) at Kat Sowa's Studio

Today I painted with 11 other painters at Studio 30 in Cathedral Park Place. (Good thing there wasn't 13, or we might have had bad luck!) As it was, there were no problems to speak of, and it seems that everyone had a good day. I especially liked our model's bobbed hair and the fur trim on her coat. To see what the other painters did go HERE.

Life session painting: Celeste Bergin, Costumed Model, oil on 14x18 canvas panel

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I purchased this wonderful Janovec necklace shortly after Madeline Janovec passed away last year. The necklace is a black river rock and I think of it as my "lucky" amulet.

(Top Photo) Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Madeline, oil on 9x12 printed paper.

In other news I went to Quin Sweetman's reception in Cathedral Park tonight. Great to see Quin's plein air paintings in such a nice atmosphere and to visit with friends, new and old.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday--(Hipbone Studio)

Just like last week, I experienced some problems with supplies again today at Hipbone.  My fault again. It seems I always have one thing that is not working properly or I discover that I don't have all my tools. (This time I had "warp-y" paper issues, among other things).  Just the same, I fought through the warp, the model was very good and I liked my spot. I'll get this preparedness thing down. Yes, I will.

(Top and Middle photos): Life session drawings, Celeste Bergin, Model "V", pencil on 18x24 paper.
Bottom photo: Hipbone Studio, during the break

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I know I have some paintings that I vowed to finish, but instead I started yet another one. This is the first pass. It may wind up in the pile of things to finish....or I might actually finish it! was your Tuesday?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Ballerina (in progress), oil on 12x 6 canvas panel

Monday, April 9, 2012


Today I delivered two oil paintings for the May 5, 2012  Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon benefit/auction. All the attendees of the gala benefit will have the opportunity to bid on (and win) the paintings. The "Furball" is a popular event hosted by Meterologist Matt Zaffino. To learn more, go HERE.

About Donating to Fundraisers (reprinted from FidelisArt; click to enlarge):

(Top Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Daisy on my lap, ink and watercolor on 6x9 paper

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday!

Happy Easter!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Easter Sunflower, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Saturday, April 7, 2012


(Sketch of antique frame corner)

Today Dave G and I paid a visit to the Sovereign Gallery in downtown Portland. The objective was to find out more about Dave's painting of his great-great grandmother, Mary Hooke Barton. We met with Robert Joki and his assistant Sue. Dave told them everything he knew about his heirloom painting. He has had the painting for 40+ years and never knew that it was signed on the front. The signature is very subtle across the top of a shoulder, but Curator Robert Joki found it within minutes.

Robert discovered that the signature reads Wm (William) and the last name is _(first letter indiscernible), followed by a-l-e (year 1906). We already knew that an artist named Darius Cobb repainted part of the face and hair (because this was information is on the back of the painting).

 Here (in photo above) is where the signature of the first artist is.

Mary Hooke Barton probably enjoyed getting out of the house, being driven downtown and becoming the center of attention at the lovely Sovereign Gallery.  Robert read from a big book about Cobb and who Cobb had worked with (but the original artist is still a mystery).

(L to R): Dave, Robert and Sue)

Robert gave Dave advice about where to have the painting restored and also where to have the frame restored to it's original dark gold. We had wondered if Mary Hooke B could be reframed into something more modern, but Robert said bad idea! The frame and painting simply go together like scotch and soda, Tango and Cash and Cobb and _ale!

 I saw some Eric Jacobsen paintings at the Sovereign 

And this cool painting by Leon Bonnat.

It was my first visit to the Sovereign and I'll be back. I purchased a book about Manet and then we loaded Mary Hooke B back into the car and she was driven home. A great adventure for all of us.

(Top Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Ornate frame, ink on 9x12 paper

Friday, April 6, 2012


I went to Kat Sowa's Studio 30 for Fine Art Friday today. I slogged away at a sunflower painting for a long time and in the end I completely abandoned it.  I returned to this start from a couple of sessions ago. This one has a chance! It was great fun to visit with all the other painters and to talk shop with them. To see what everyone painted....go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Still life in progress, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Thursday, April 5, 2012


This is a painting from last year, I revised it some by messing around with it today. ("messing around" is a highly technical painting term, as you know).  I darkened some things and lightened some things. Originally, the reference for this painting was a black and white photo.  For some inexplicable reason I elected to make the umbrella pink. I think I liked the incongruence of a business man with a pink umbrella.  In reality, umbrellas are not as prevalent in Portland as you would think. Most people just walk around, umbrella-less, with pouring rain just sheeting off of them...(like the guy in the foreground).

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Downpour II, oil on 9x12 canvas panel