Friday, August 31, 2012

Day ONE --The Gorge White House, August 31, 2012

Participating painters convened this morning at the Gorge White House for the kick off of the Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition 2012. It was SO FUN to visit with everyone and to take in the beautiful day! To see a slideshow of day one...go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Hillside, oil on 8x8 canvas panel
Painting start: Celeste Bergin, Orchard, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Thursday, August 30, 2012


This is a color sketch that I did at Tideman-Johnson a week ago. I like it alot...but I didn't finalize it. Edgar Payne would have classified this composition as a "tunnel-type"...and, as is the case with several other "tunnels" I've painted, I'm seeing a big old face in the center together with some other things that have appeared like optical illusions. It happens! Once you see raccoons and things that you didn't intend to paint, you can't NOT see them.

I'm submitting three pieces I'm more confident about to the Johnson Creek Watershed Exhibit just under the deadline. It was great fun to paint for the show (and there will be a reception at the beautiful Reed College, Vollum Hall on September 7, 2012).

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Pathway at Tideman-Johnson, oil on 6x6 gessoed paper

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Here's a very quick plein air sketch I did today. I painted it over something else that had a similar foreground...that's why it is already signed. How efficient! It's just a practice painting, so I doubt that it will find it's way to a frame...we'll see. Sometimes I change my mind.

I also re-stated a few darks and lights to the lady in the hat. Can you tell the difference? (see Tuesday post below).

Finally, I spent a couple of hours this afternoon adding paint into 125 ml jars. Yeah, yeah, I know TUBES of paint are convenient...but I have it on good authority that this is a cost-saving system and I'm willing to give it a shot. I painted the tops of the jars and put them into one storage case. (Can you name the colors? ) Big prize if you can!

(Top Photo) Plein Air Painting, Celeste Bergin, Summer Day, oil on 8x8 canvas panel
(2nd Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Woman in a hat, oil on 9x12 canvas

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Just an oil sketch from a photo reference. I used transparent red oxide, ultramarine blue and white. I might do more to it later.

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Woman in a hat, oil on 9z12 canvas

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Monday!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sandy River, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Today I changed out a plexiglas base for glass in my Easy L pochade box. I know that the glass will make the box heavier, but it will be easier to clean. Dave helped by caulking the glass into the box. (Thanks, Dave!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday .....!

 I went to the Unitarian Church downtown this morning, so that I could see Carrie Holst's solo show in the social room. It is always heartening to see the people who appreciate art! Carrie and I sketched a little before the people filled up the room. (See some of the show HERE).

Later today was girlfriend day with my friend Irene. I brought over cheeseburgers and we watched an old VHS movie from her vast movie collection. The movie was called "The Woman in White" and a (fictional character) outdoor painter/tutor named Hartright figured largely in the plot. In this scene he explains that he painted a copy of Rosetti's painting of Lizzie Siddal. Cheeseburgers! Easels! Mystery! Death! Exhumation! A great afternoon.

Saturday, August 25, 2012 Battle Ground, WA

I did this painting with the colors I had left-over from my last painting session. (I didn't have any extra paint with me...but it turned out to be a good exercise, nonetheless! I concentrated more on the big shapes than on local color).

Earlier in the day, I had the great pleasure of making a presentation to the Battle Ground Art Alliance (in the community room at the Battle Ground Library). My art friend Hilarie Couture asked me to speak about marketing art. It's a subject I like and no one threw rotten tomatoes at I'll count it as a success. I am indeed qualified to provide some counsel on the topic, since (drum roll), I did enjoy a career in communication before this foray into fine art. Hopefully I'm going to give a similar talk down the road at the Northwest Oil Painter's Guild. It was a great Saturday for me---How was yours??

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Practice with leftover paint, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Battle Ground WA Library

Friday, August 24, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sunset on Powell Butte, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just for fun

Painting: Celeste Bergin, At the Art Opening, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Painting "start" (from yesterday) Celeste Bergin, Tideman Johnson Park, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Painting from the center of the stream

Some time ago I saw a photo of a painter who set up smack dab in the middle of a stream. Someday I'll do the same, I thought, when the opportunity presents itself. Today was the day! I went to Tideman  Johnson Park (on the list of places to paint for the Johnson Creek Watershed Art Event). Verdict: painting from the center of the stream is cooool!  Results: a pretty good start of a painting, but it's too late to photograph it. Instead I'll post another painting (below) that could be submitted for the Johnson Creek exhibit  (it's from Reed Lake). I hope this post inspires another painter to get their feet wet too! Just make sure you are wearing shoes with rubber-y tread.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Reed Lake/Reed Canyon, Pastel on sanded paper, 9x12

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Monday!

I'm planning to submit to the Johnson Creek Watershed exhibit; the images are due for jurying this week. I'll be going to another location that is "on the list" tomorrow. 

During my afternoon walk I stopped by to photograph the Convent. Isn't funny how some buildings seem to be old friends?

Speaking of old friends, I also paid my car "Honey" a visit at her garage (where she is stored) and gave her the once-a-week drive.  You know, I'd keep her in my driveway, except she is an attractive nuisance for hooligans. She started right up and drove like a dream.

(Top Photo): Painting, Celeste Bergin, Westmoreland Park, oil on 6x6 gessoed hardboard

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday in the Park Blocks (and my painting from HR)

Today I returned to the South Park Blocks to watch some of the painters paint the surroundings for the Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery Paint out. As you might guess, I ran into some people I know.  Highlights were meeting Sarkis and seeing David McBride, Char McBride, Eileen Nelson, Stephanie Cissna, Lin Haak, Ken Klos, Joe Howard, Brooks Hickerson, Claudia Stockton, Michael Lindstrom and Victoria Lindstrom.

To see some of the art-in-progress from the day, go HERE. Also, slideshow below (if it doesn't show up for you this is the link):

Hoping you had a happy Sunday! :)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Summer (Hood River Valley), oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sellwood Park (workshop painting from last week) oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Here is a cool video I just discovered...every painting on display at the Frye Museum during August:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thomas Kitts Workshop

This past week I have been in Thomas Kitts' "Plein Air Essentials Workshop". What a week it was! It was blistering hot, but Thomas and a couple workshop participants provided shade for us with 10x10 tents.  I have often heard that Thomas is an excellent (and patient) teacher and he lived up to that reputation. He lectured, he demo-ed, he spent tons of time with each person, he worked through lunch and he answered every question. And, as if that weren't all enough, at the end of the final day he drew lots for us to have a chance to take home one of his great demos. How's this?--*I* won the demo from day one!  I totally LOVED the workshop (slideshow below). If you get a chance to work with recommendation....well, do it!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Women's Forum Overlook in Corbett, oil on 8x10

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I wanted to show you this handy's several sheets of card stock that I gessoed and cut down to fit in a cardboard box. I sometimes like to do a color sketch before I commit to a panel... so I keep this box in my backpack.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I like this painting has few elements and close values. It has a lot of drama, despite this minimal approach. Perhaps the mood is more important than the objects.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Mood Landscape, oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I have a couple Pentel brush pens...I love them!  One is sort of a sepia color and the other is black. I just made this up and painted in over some writing in my sketchbook.

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Made up profile, ink over existing sketchbook page.

Monday, August 13, 2012


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

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More Yellow!

Added more yellow to this oil study---just an experiment to see if it would improve it. I think it did! The difference is subtle. You can see the original HERE.

What about you...what did you do today??

Painting (revision) Celeste Bergin, Sandy Delta Park, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Saturday, August 11, 2012


This morning I attended Craig Srebnik's equestrian demonstration. He painted it from his photo reference. It took around two hours and came out great. Craig told us a lot of painters feel compelled to "complete" the entire object instead of suggesting and indicating light and breaking up the edges. His demonstration showed us exactly what he meant. 
He told us he will add more paint to it later. If you get a chance to watch Craig paint it!

I went for a walk today through the neighborhood. These flowers reminded me of Pam Holnback's recent painting.

Checked out a new antique store in Montavilla. It's called Ambrosia. (She doesn't have a website yet). See that fish on the front table? It's from Portugal and it has a lid. The owner thinks it has to be a dish for sauces. If it is still there when I go back, I may have to have it.

Stopped into Pastrygirl. The owner was busy making wedding cakes. I sketched while drinking some tea (yes, tea!) It was plenty hot today, but one customer wore cowboy boots ....instead of sandals. Ahh, Portland.

2-minute pencil sketch, Celeste Bergin, Cowboy Boots, in sketchbook

On the walk back this little dog said Hello. I told her I'd blog her. Her name is (appropriately) Summer!

Friday, August 10, 2012


Sometimes I have a full realization about how fortunate I am! I appreciate my family and my friends, my teachers and mentors, all the art appreciators...and you, my blogging pals. It's a good day to say thanks ....for being so good to me.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Reading in the Park, oil on 8x10 canvas panel, Framed, SOLD

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I went to the Breakfast meeting at Bread & Ink today. Lots of positive energy!  It was fun to catch up with everyone about what they are currently doing. To have a look at the art that showed up go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Summer Afternoon, oil on 9x12 Framed, SOLD

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


This Truck is from my archives. I simply like it. Sometimes a painting just comes together like it painted itself. It was one of those times.

Coffee shops are such a great opportunity to be observant. At times I feel concerned about intruding on someone else's space as I sketch them, but this man was caught up in his worries and certainly wasn't aware of me.   I overheard his conversation and I wondered......just what was his loss? Did he lose a big bet? a wife? did he lose his cleaning deposit? I wished I could ask him. He hung up and stared out the window.

(Top) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Truck from Archives, oil on 9x12 canvas panel
Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Coffee Shop Guy, ink in sketchbook

Monday, August 6, 2012


 My usually dependable MacBook Pro crashed today (for probably the 5th time in the last 60 days). What a drag...and geeez, just when I had so much to blog about. Right now I'm writing from Dave's PC and it is a challenge to understand all the weird differences between Mac and PC, but I finally got a slideshow of the weekend uploaded (below).  Hooray! My own machine is in the hospital and I don't know when I'll get it back.

I had a fantastic time at the Portland Art Museum Plein Air Paint Out!  It was exceptional on all fronts...from beginning to end, it was non-stop fun! Spending time with the other painters, struggling with the heat, talking to the scores of people who turned out, fighting for right values, going to the fantastic Gamblin-hosted BBQ, installing my work at break neck speed on Sunday, visiting some more with the public, tons of friends and then selling five paintings (!) well, what's not to like...right?

Because I can't work from my own machine I am not able to color correct photos of my paintings, so I can't blog them all yet. The painting above isn't quite right color-wise, but I'll break my rule and put it up anyway. I hope I get my own machine back soon!

THANKS to all my friends who came out, to my new collectors...(and ESPECIALLY to my favorite Portland blogging pal Gary Everest who gave me and the whole event a fabulous write up HERE).  Thanks so much to all involved in bringing plein air and the Portland art Mueum together. Wow!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, At the Festival, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Sunday, August 5, 2012 the Park Blocks

What a great day. This photo was sent to me by my painting friend, Janet Amundson Splidsboel. (Thanks, Janet!) I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it was at Portland Art Museum's Oregon Invitational Plein Air Event. Wow! I saw so many fabulous paintings and tomorrow everyone returns to the Museum Courtyard to put their paintings up on display (for sale). There were so many happy spectators today, it was a pure joy to talk with everyone. The artists all went To Gamblin's for a party afterwards. How cool is that!  Hooray for plein air painting and the Portland Art Museum and a huge thanks to everyone who came out to see me!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Life is like a box of chocolates

This is a color sketch I did awhile back (at a "meeting after the meeting"). I've brought it out from my archives, because I don't have anything new for today. Well, life truly is a box of chocolates...because "you never know what you're going to get". I just discovered that I got a fabulous "toon" dedicated to me over at Pamo's World. Please go check it out HERE. If I may make a chocolate-box analogy, in the blogosphere Pamo is a rich salted chocolate covered caramel (definitely sweet and tangy)! Thanks for the special post, made my day!

I'm ready for the weekend event at the Portland Art Museum (see previous post). All my supplies are stacked up in the front room. Come out and see me!

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Chocolates, watercolor and ink on gessoed paper 6x9

Thursday, August 2, 2012

You are Invited! Oregon Invitational Plein Air Paint Out, Portland Art Museum

I'm one of 40 plein air artists participating in the first ever Oregon Invitational Plein Air Paint out that is being held in tandem with the California Impressional exhibition at the Portland Art Museum. The event begins at 7 am and goes all day on Saturday, August 4. We'll be painting in the South Park Blocks in front of the Museum.

Everyone involved is so pleased that the Portland Art Museum is recognizing plein air painting ....and It is an honor to be selected!

On Sunday, August 5 the participating artists will exhibit and sell their work in the Museum Courtyard from 12-5pm

Come out to see us...if you can! :)

Full details HERE.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012


A quick drawing...less than five minutes. I often like the drawings that take the least time.

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