Thursday, May 31, 2012


Went "gallery-sitting" at OSA today with Joe Howard and Carrie Holst. The time went by so fast and afterwards we went out for a beer. I drew mine.

Special thanks to my blogging friend Hallie for the nice mention on her blog, Arting around in SOVA. I've been a SOVA fan forever and a day....and it was cool to see that I had a byline there! Hallie knows how to have fun! :)

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Beer, watercolor and pen on 6c9 paper

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I participated in a planning meeting in Hood River today at the Columbia Art Gallery today.  I'm the curator of Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2012 again this year, so that means if you have questions about submitting and/or the event, you can ask me (and I will do my best to answer)!  The deadline is June 15. (Don't wait until the last minute, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the CaFe' system in advance).  Information HERE.

I got back to Portland from Hood River in just enough time to grab my materials and get to the Wednesday session at Hipbone....and I'm glad I made it, because the model was a good usual.

Drawing: Celeste Bergin, Hipbone Model E, profile, charcoal on 18x24 paper
Drawing: Celeste Bergin, Hipbone Model E, seated, Prismacolor pencil on 18x24 paper

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This is a value study of a previous painting. My plan is to add a warm/golden glaze later...after it is completely dry. I should be able to show the results down the road.

Please have a look at the fantastic (surprise) portrait Sherry painted of my Mother: (HERE)! I really love it and I'm looking forward to putting it on a special wall in my bedroom. Thanks so much, Sherry!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Untitled, oil on 10x10 canvas panel

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday, Memorial Day

The Portland Urban Sketchers listed a noon meeting today at the Wilhelm Funeral Home. I decided that this was a perfect excuse for me to check it out. It's Memorial Day and Wilhelm provides a pageant for the public complete with bagpipes, vintage cars and access to all of their (usually inaccessible) buildings.  A great off-duty employee named Phil gave us an impromptu tour and I learned so much from him! (Men are buried on the right side of their wives).  The gorgeous statues and amazing stained glass was a big surprise...not to mention the beautiful view out some of the windows. Without a doubt, a place like Wilhelm Funeral Home has seen it's share of tears....but today, I saw only smiles.  (Slideshow below)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Portrait / warm and cool, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Sunday, May 27, 2012 the Neighborhood

I'm "warming up" to do more Urban I went to the Rain or Shine Coffee House on Division today for a cup of coffee and a quick sketch.

I'm enjoying experimenting with a variety of pens and pencils.

Almost everyone at the coffee house was engaged on their iphones and computers instead of with one another. Of course, I was just "as bad", as I paid most attention to my camera and my sketchbook.

(Click to Enlarge)
This sketch allowed me to show off my ability to write backwards with ease (see the signage in the windows). Unfortunately, I've never had many occasions calling for this skill. 
..........................................!did I...yadnuS taerg a dah uoy epoh I

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Rain or Shine Coffee House, ink & watercolor in Moleskine

Saturday, May 26, 2012


 I did a small painting earlier in the day, but it tanked. Unbloggable.  This painting (above) is one I did last year. Well, why not resurrect her?...she's pretty good. I'll paint something new, hopefully tomorrow.

(Meanwhile, Mufasa continues to be dubious about some of my blogging decisions).

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Intermission, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Friday, May 25, 2012


I painted today while listening to the radio. As "Expressway to Your Heart" played, I put in the final touches. 

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

Thursday, May 24, 2012


"Go outside and catch as many raindrops as you can. For every one you catch, it’s how much you love me and for every one you miss, that’s how much I love you." --Unknown

Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Portland Rain, oil on 10x10 stretched canvas

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Drawing: Celeste Bergin, Portrait from life, charcoal on 18 x24 paper

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This red chair painting is a bit of practice with a warm red and a cool red.

In other news, the other day I got tweeted by Elephant's Deli (below). Elephant's must have gotten an alert that Carrie and I did a sketch there (after it was blogged). ......Fun to get the mention! :)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Red Chair, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Monday, May 21, 2012


Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Puppy, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Sunday, May 20, 2012 the Neighborhood

We went for a walk in the neighborhood today.  It was around a three mile round trip. I took my REI satchel with drawing materials. We walked through Mt. Tabor park and over to the Albina Coffee Shop on Hawthorne.  I did one sketch there with the elegant writer pen. We stopped at a couple Mt. Tabor Art Walk spots.  I met Mila Raphael,  Kim Lakin and Chris Keylock Williams. It was particular fun to visit with Chris' husband Jim on his front walk (photos below). Well, that's my Sunday...about an 8 on the art-y scale. What about you...? Good day?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Mt. Tabor (from my painting archives) oil on 9x12 stretched canvas

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday & Saturday

Last night (Friday) our art discussion group (CRAG)  held it's monthly meeting. Highlights were a Potluck dinner, a super-good "texture" demonstration by Michael Lindstrom and a round of painting critiques. Our special guest was Eric Jacobsen, in town from Glenwood, to conduct a one day still life workshop on Saturday. The workshop began with a lecture and then a painting demonstration by Eric.  After that, we chose our own set up from several still life stations. The still life I chose did not have strong light directed onto it, however, I liked the shapes. I struggled with the painting, but in the end I was happy with it and I know I learned a lot. I try to get to all Eric's workshops ....they are well worth it!

Here is a slideshow of Friday & Saturday. (A BIG thanks to all involved, especially Michael and Victoria Lindstrom for hosting the CRAG meeting and making us all feel so welcome!)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Workshop Still Life, oil on 11x14 canvas panel

Friday, May 18, 2012


(Click to Enlarge)

Carrie and I went to the Pittock Mansion today to turn in our submissions. Since we were "in the neighborhood" we sketched and had lunch at Elephant's Deli (where we continued to sketch some more). It seems to me if you own and use a sketchbook you'll never be lonely. Carrie and I fielded questions and comments from an assortment of interested bystanders. It was my first time to Elephant's (in this location on 22nd). I liked the hustle-bustle of the place...especially contrasted with the quiet of the Mansion grounds. We rounded out the day by stopping in to the Oregon Society of Artists to see the Nautical show. (It's beautiful!)

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Elephant's Deli, ink and watercolor in Moleskine sketchbook

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Mt. Hood in the distance, ink and watercolor in sketchbook

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Pittock Mansion, ink and watercolor pencil in sketchbook

To see what Carrie sketched....go HERE.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I got some new brushes delivered today. They are Robert Simmons signet brushes from ASW.  (Hooray!) I also finalized my submission to the Pittock Mansion exhibit. (The painting above is not one that I am submitting, it is from my archives). Well, I had a really good was yours?

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I've always liked this painting because it employs both realism and abstraction.  It always makes me wonder a little about what I am looking at (which is ironic, since *I* painted it). Well, it pretty much painted itself and ......then I left it alone.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, All at once, oil on 9x12 gessoed hardboard

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ruby Tuesday~!

It's Tuesday and I am working on a painting to submit to the Pittock Mansion "Let us speak our Minds" exhibit. I can't show it to you yet, so I'm blogging this archived study (above) instead.

 I also spent the morning looking at some of my old drawings and diagnosing errors. It's alot of fun to look at what went wrong and what went right.

 Later in the day I actually went to my health club. It's been a long time since I've been there. I did a drawing in my "fitness journal" to mark this very auspicious occasion.

I was thrilled to see the same make a model car that I own highlighted on Wheeler Dealer. Mine is a 1975 Triumph Spitfire..the one they fixed is a 1980. (I own two cars, they are both fabulously and unusually old).

 I love my Spitfire and it has always been a little hard to explain to others about how and why I can't part with it.  This is a photo of the Wheeler Dealer guys driving their Spitfire after they fixed it. Yeah! That's how I feel too! (and I like the idea of the goggles).

At the end of the day, Mufusa went upside down and went into a cat-trance. He eventually snapped out of it.

In additional news, the Anonymous Art Fundraiser for Columbia Art Gallery is tomorrow (Wednesday, May 16)  5-7:30pm.  I saw many of the paintings when I turned in mine...they are wonderful!

My art pals went sketching today also..have a look at what they did HERE.

(Top photo): Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Cottage, oil on 6x8 canvas panel
2nd photo: Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Self Portrait with corrections, watercolor pencil and pen on paper
3rd photo: Sketch, Celeste Bergin, treadmill, pencil in fitness journal

Monday, May 14, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Companions,  oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

(This was originally posted in 2009, I'm re-posting it today in honor of Mother's Day. Hope yours was an especially happy one).

My Mom was born in 1919 and died in 2004. Despite the fact that she was 85, I was shocked when she passed away. I guess we tend to think our parents will always be on the planet with us. It doesn't occur to us that the day will come when they'll be gone. When my Mom died I brought some of her things back with me from Florida and over the weeks that followed, I painted her things every night in my basement studio. My Mom never had much and always wore cheap-o moccasins. I think she really liked those shoes and might have worn them even if she had other choices. Here is a painting of her shoes that I brought home with me and painted in July of 2004...likely with tears in my eyes. Happy Mothers Day in Heaven, Mom.

(Top Photo) Painting: Mom's moccasins, oil on 8x10 gessoed paper

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sketching at Jamison Park with Carolyn & Carrie

Today I joined up with my art pals Carrie Holst and Carolyn Rondthaler at Jamison Park in the Pearl District. The objective was to sketch the park, the people and if the opportunity presented itself, to sketch items on the Portland Urban Sketcher's Scavenger Hunt.  When we finished at the park we walked a couple of blocks to a Starbucks. What a fun way to spend the afternoon!  To see more of our sketches...go HERE.

(Top and 2nd Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Bike leaning against a tree, pentel brush, pen and pencil on paper
Bottom Photo: me and Carolyn, (Skol!)
Thanks, Dave B, for the photos :)


The painting above is a simple study, just for color. I like how uber-simple it is, the black dots represent cows.

Some weeks ago I saw the Rothko show at the Portland Art Museum, but I missed the John Frame show that is located upstairs. I went today to have a look, to see why so many people have mentioned it. When you walk in you are struck by how dark the exhibit is, both literally and figuratively. There are no descriptive tiles next to the work and each unusual piece is illuminated individually. People seem stunned by the blackness and the figures, the only sound you hear is the floor creaking beneath the people walking from glass case to glass case. 

Frame is a complete genius..he fashioned his characters largely from found objects and he animated a breathtaking film with them. He even composed the music for the film. The John Frame experience was one I'll remember. It was all somewhat disturbing, but inexplicably heartening. The message I took away  was that life is brutal.... but we keep going.

(The photos below are not from the John Frame exhibit, but elsewhere in the Museum):

A Sculpture in the 1st floor section 

"Dishwasher" (a resin sculpture) from the early 70's. I thought he looked a little like Marlon Brando

"Our" Van Gogh. I always stop to see it.

(Top Photo) Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Hood River Pasture, oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard
2nd photo: John Frame Sculpture (to see Frame's  film, go HERE)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Today was an extraordinarily sunny day, so why is there a rainy scene on my easel? I can't tell you... except I had it started and I was partially inspired by watching Craig Srebnik's monochromatic demonstration earlier today (at OSA). When you limit color you can better concentrate on strong shapes and values. I'm not finished with this. I'll work on it more later.

Srebnik is so organized and neat.  He never slops paint...still they brought out an unecessary tarp for him to stand on.

After the demo we had lunch and Loretta 'unwittingly' modeled for us. Next time we are making her bring a sketchbook too. To see Carrie's sketch, go HERE

Top photo: Celeste Bergin, Study, oil on 10x10 canvas panel
2nd photo Craig Srebnik
3rd photo: Celeste Bergin, Sketch of Loretta, ink and watercolor

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Drawing: Celeste Bergin, Life Model, charcoal on 16x20 paper

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Instead of filing properly, like your normal person, I have a tendency to put papers in a big box in the bedroom. Today I decided to find a "missing" important paper. Mufasa the cat was a great help, as you can tell.

(I painted today, but I can't show you is for the Anonymous Show at Columbia Art Gallery.....shhhhhhhhhh). You'll want to come out for it...May 16,  5-7:30pm)

Monday, May 7, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Summer-like day, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Yesterday I turned in this painting (together with one other) into The Great Nautical Show.  I saw a lot of beautiful work at the intake session. You'll want to come see it! (information in sidebar under my current events)

Today Michael and Vicki Lindstrom shared a picnic with us on the grounds of the Gorge White House..... and afterwards we went inside for my artist reception (slideshow below). Thanks to owner Camille Hukari for inviting me and doing an outstanding job of displaying my work. And to all my Portland/Vancouver art pals who made the long trip to see the're the BEST! ♥ Here is some other nice news...three of my paintings are marked SOLD. The show is up until May 31. :)

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Old Salty, oil on 9x12 stretched canvas

Friday, May 4, 2012


This is an in-progress photo of my portrait of our lovely model at Kat Sowa's studio today. I had to leave early today so I could get to the Interpretations reception at the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River (slide show below). To see the other painter's versions of the model, go HERE. (And thanks all for all the well wishes for my exhibit(s)!) 
Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Friday's Model, oil on 12x14 canvas panel

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Copy of House by the Railroad by Edward Hopper, oil on 12x12 gessoed board