Tuesday, July 31, 2012


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

Monday, July 30, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Life Session, "K", oil on 16x20 canvas panel

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sketching at the Portland Art Museum & Brooks' Open House

I went back to the California Impressionism show at the Portland Art Museum today. I sprung for the "maximum" amount of time on the parking meter so that I could take my time and sketch from some of the paintings.  I sketched three paintings and it was pure fun to spend time considering each one. I'll likely do this a couple more times before the end of the show.

I also got to spend time visiting with Brooks Hickerson in the afternoon. Brooks is a painting buddy and he lives downtown.  His Condo is a perfect "home base" to get anywhere in the core of Portland within minutes.......Brooks is considered THE Downtown painter! (He is also known for his bright yellow slicker. He paints in the pouring rain and the slicker is his "trademark").  Slideshow below

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I had a ton of frustration today..I scraped down all my painting efforts. (The painting above is from awhile ago).  Oooo it is aggravating when things go sideways. OH WELL. When this happens I try not to lament the wasted paint and lost hours. Instead, I remember that I undoubtedly learned something (and I'm not exactly sure right at the moment what it was, but it's an optimistic viewpoint). When I have a scraper session I find something in my stack of old paintings to strengthen so that the day doesn't seem like a total loss. The painting above is from several months ago; I touched up the darks.

I made a note the other day after I visited Michael Chesley-Johnson's blog to pass along the same tip that he did. Murphy's oil soap works great for cleaning brushes! I learned about this a couple of months ago and tried it out.  I was surprised about how well it worked. No more 30 dollar quarts of Turpenoid Natural for me...this is much more economical and doesn't seem to have any downside.

(Top photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Green Pot and fruit, oil on 12x18 canvas panel

Friday, July 27, 2012


I used the palette I learned from Kenn Backhaus for this plein air study. (It's Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Raw Sienna, Permanent Rose, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue and Ivory Black).

Study: Celeste Bergin,  Sandy Delta Park, oil on 8x 10 canvas panel

Are you watching the Olympics? Can spot Greg Louganis in this video? (...and...yeah... call me maybe!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I am invited to participate (with 40+ other brilliant plein air painters) in Portland Art Museum's Invitational Plein Air Paint Out that takes place August 4 & 5. It will be held on the grounds of the Museum and in the Park blocks in front of the Museum. The event is in tandem with the Califonia Impressionism exhibit, (60 gorgeous) paintings on loan from the Irvine Museum. (For a list of the painters in the invitational click HERE). Please come out and see us...you KNOW it is going to be fantastic!

It's a fun chore for me to have to go drive my Spitfire every week (to keep it running well...it's an old car, so it needs this kind of pampering). The Spitfire is garaged across town and on the way back I was behind the silver car (pictured above) for a few blocks. I just knew that this was a special car, not only because of how sleek it looked, but also because of how it sounded. When I got home I looked up the logo...the car I took notice of is a Bentley. What a car! I bring all this up because I thought of the parallel between art and a car like that one.  Many people, even those who profess to not knowing much about visual art, can and do instinctively spot what is special...what stands out. Like the hummm of a fine machine, good art will not go unnoticed. (This is why you should not miss the California Impressionism exhibit. It's like one Bentley after another).

(Top photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sunset over the Sandy River, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


If this familiar to you it's because I posted in recently. One area felt wrong to me, so today I changed it. . I mostly like to paint in one sitting, but it is also fun to "re-visit". I had a great Wednesday, how about you?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Floral (revised), oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday is Blues-day

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday "Drawing Salon"

Meeting at Mary McClain's for the Monday Drawing Salon was fun!

Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Mary McClain in her backyard, watercolor and ink in sketchbook (I tried to channel Sadami...!)

Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Cookie the dog (from above), brown ink in sketchbook

(Lots of room at the outdoor tables for props, food and sketchbooks!)

Thanks for inviting me, Mary! :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just for fun

A small black and white sketch...sort of a self imposed exercise in shapes and values.

Oil sketch, Celeste Bergin, Strike! oil on 6x6 gessoed hardboard

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cow Sketch

This is a oil sketch, based on a previous painting.I've been hanging around with Michael Lindstrom and I thought I would try to emulate some of his impasto painting style. I succeeded in some areas....great fun and I might revisit it, after it dries some, so I can go even thicker. 

(..and here is Michael and Nila, members of the Columbia River Art Group, in a recent art discussion meeting). During the last get together we talked about how artists often form groups...but enjoy painting in solitary too. The ideal, one presumes, might be to strike that balance, so one is not doing too much of one or the other. 
I'm very grateful for my art friends!

(Top photo) Oil sketch, Celeste Bergin, Cow, oil on 8x8 gessoed hardboard
Photo 2 Michael Lindstrom and Nila Baker

Friday, July 20, 2012


Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Cabin, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Olla Podrida

 I got many things done today...but nothing at the easel. So here's a potpourri of other things...like this lapel pin that my friend Stephanie gave me. Oh, BTW, I don't think Stephanie REALLY thinks my 15 minutes are up..and interesting tidbit, I actually MET Andy Warhol in New York City in the late 70's ....at a Broadway play!.... I am not making this up! (Wait. Maybe that was my 15 minutes, when I met Warhol??) ...and is it my imagination....or does Warhol  resemble George Broderick?

 I did this sketch at Emily's Teriyaki a week ago. I'm a life-long soy sauce fan.

 Here Mufasa is laying claim to the Utrecht CATalog. Save up to 75%, Mufasa!

Finally...this is the contents of my SAM bag dumped out. How many items can you identify?  (Click photo to enlarge) Put your answers into the comment section and the winner of the most correct answers will win a fabulous prize. I haven't determined yet what the prize is---but I am sure that it *will* be art-related and fabulous and no, you can not have the Andy Warhol pin.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday--(Hipbone Studio)

I'm back to Hipbone Studio today after a couple of weeks. The 5 minute drawing above was my favorite from the session. I know that I often write: "this may be the best model we've ever had"! But, really.....this may be the best model we've ever had! The artist next to me remarked, "she's a goddess" and indeed she is. She had exquisite features and she was super-graceful.

Life drawings 1-5: Celeste Bergin, Model K, pencil and charcoal on 18x24 paper

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


.....A plein air block-in that shows some promise.

Painting start: Celeste Bergin, Johnson Creek, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Monday!

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
                                            ----Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pastel, Celeste Bergin, Armchair, Pastel on 9x12 paper

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday .....!

Today I went to Broderick Gallery's "Deck Party" Reception in Rainier. I have five paintings in the show. It's always fun to visit with the artists, the art appreciators and, of course, the inimitable George Broderick. (Slideshow below)

(Top Photo): Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Sundown Farm, oil on 6x8 gessoed hardboard

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Today I met with art friends Nila Baker, Michael Lindstrom and Cam Morrison. Nila arranged for us to go the Hilderbrand Garden in Oregon City. I painted this study at the entrance. To see what the others painted...go HERE.

Oil study: Celeste Bergin, At the Hilderbrand Entrance, oil on 5x7 gessoed board

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pittock Mansion Reception

Here is one of 3 of my paintings in the Pittock Mansion for the show about the 100 year anniversary of the Women's right to vote ("Let us speak our minds"). Thanks, Pittock Mansion, for reminding us all that there was a time when women had to fight tooth and nail for what we now consider a very basic right.

(Thanks, in particular to Patti Larkin and Marta Bones and all involved at the Mansion)

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

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We've been to three different veterinarians in the past three days with Daisy-the-cat. 2 out of 3 of these appointments have been after-hours ...(........and that's been most disruptive, Miss Daisy!) Tonight we had to take her to Tualatin for treatment and we waited at a McDonalds where I drank coffee and got some people-sketching in.

Earlier today I went to the Bread and Ink Art meeting. (To see the art that showed up...go HERE).

P.S. Daisy seems to be doing much better....but guess what? The doctor told us that we have to bring her in again tomorrow! What a pain...but, what can you do.....it's Daisy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


 (This is a detail of one of my paintings currently available at Wilder Artscapes).

Today I visited the Portland Art Museum with Carrie Holst and Carolyn Rondthaler. We met in the coffee shop and noted how Carrie's handbag seemed to be the same color as the chairs.

We took the little elevator to the 2nd floor (to see the California Impressionism exhibit). The elevator door is a work of art in and of itself.

 Downstairs we went to the Amanda Snyder exhibit. Great fun to discuss the rich body of work she generated over several decades.

After visiting the 5 Monets we were pretty taken with this...a sculpture by the late Mike Kelley. It depicts "Kandor", the birthplace of Superman on the planet Krypton.

Finally here is a photo of Daisy (and the paparazzi) at the vet's later this afternoon. Daisy is extremely irked here...(do you see that? Click to enlarge). She got xrayed for a big limp and we have to administer pills. (Have you ever given a cat a pill? Wish me luck!)

(Top Photo): Painting Detail, Celeste Bergin, Summer, oil on 20x20 gallery wrapped canvas

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Just a little oil sketch on a textured board.

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Green Chair, oil on 5x7 gessoed board

Monday, July 9, 2012

Life painting session: "Anne"

I got to paint at a life session today. The model did a great job.... and I felt I achieved a good resemblance. :)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Life painting; Anne, oil on  9x12 canvas panel

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday .....!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Flowers from the market, oil on 8x8 gessoed hardboard

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Some "color notes" from above ...in Corbett

Oil study: Celeste Bergin, Corbett overlook, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Friday, July 6, 2012


 Today Carrie and I delivered our paintings to the Pittock Mansion for an upcoming show.

 Then we found an ideal parking spot right in front of where we were going, the Nob Hill Bar & Grill on NW 23rd (this is a sculpture out front).

 George Broderick joined us for some levity and lunch 

 Then Carrie and I went to the Eastside Esplanade for some sketching. There is a lot of activity on the river, because of the Blues Festival.

We had a great time sitting in the grass under a tree taking in the scenery. To see our sketches ....go HERE. It was a great day! ....How was yours? 

(Top Photo): Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Sailboat and dingy, ink and watercolor on 6x9 paper