Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be. ~Marsha Petrie Sue~

Color Study, Celeste Bergin, Sunset, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the Studio, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

(Happy Halloween!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Maxine the cat

Every day I drive across town to pay a visit with Maxine (I have cat-sitting duty). Some days Maxine is friendlier than others. She is an only cat and not used to many people aside from her owner, so I've had to try to convince her that I'm really on her side.  In order to have her get used to me  I sit still and sketch her and things in the room. She mostly sits pretty still too, making it easy to sketch her. Cat duty has actually been a fun and cool excuse to observe and draw without interruption.  Today I painted Maxine in oils (above)....and I think looking at her closely for days worked out well for the painting. Dave G, her owner, won't be back for another week +, so I'll definitely add to my Maxine drawing and painting collection. She is is super-cute...and she loves to get petted and roll around on the floor.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Maxine rolls around the floor, oil on 11x14 canvas panel

Here is a slideshow of some of my daily sketches:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Candlelight Model Session" at Janet's Studio

Happy Sunday!

Janet's daughter Erica was the model at the Candlelight Session tonight at Janet's Studio. (The scheduled model couldn't make it, so Erica filled in). These sessions are held at night, once a month, and they have been going on for about 4 years, I think. (I just got involved recently). The sessions used to involve candles, although they no longer do, the name still sticks.  I did a little color study first (below) and then this portrait. To see what everyone else did....go HERE.

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Erica, life Session, oil on 12x16 canvas panel

Color study, Celeste Bergin, Erica, life Session, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Serenade, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Hey! Big thanks to some of my art pals for showing up today at could have stayed in your nice cozy houses....but instead you came out in the pouring rain to visit. I had the best time talking with everyone and I sincerely appreciate our friendship! :)

It was great to see my friend Renita!

(L to R) Dave, Anton, Bill Sharp (and friend Dick in the background)

Nila! Thanks for coming out to the show:)

A big highlight of the day was meeting...... Kevin Neal!


Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Diner, oil on 9x12 canvas panel (framed)

Here is a slideshow of our Inspirations in Paint exhibit at Eastmoreland. FUN! Thank you all for coming out.....we'll be back again on Saturday, October 27 from 2-8 pm!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


This is one of the paintings that I'm putting into Inspirations in Paint  (it begins Friday). For several days I've been finalizing paintings, signing, framing...getting ready for the event........ You're coming, right?

 Daisy!...(as usual, she is a big help! Thanks, Daisy!)

And here is my wee surrogate cat Maxine (I'm catsitting). Every day I go see her at her house and I sketch her and things in the room..I try to spend time with her so that she realizes how Dr. Dolittle-y I am. I like her so well, I wish I could bring her home in my tote bag.

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, From the Garden, oil on 10x10 canvas panel, framed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Moonlight Serenade, oil on 6x12 canvas panel

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


What is it that people like about the image of an umbrella? Well, it's pretty obvious, isn't it?  I guess we like the idea that we can have a one-person shelter against a sudden storm. Umbrellas seem like a good symbol of personal strength.

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Chances of Rain, oil on 6x12 canvas panel

Monday, October 22, 2012


I put some finishing touches on the umbrella painting today, but I don't have it where I want it I left it to work on again tomorrow morning. I also touched up this painting, a colorful landscape. I'll be putting this one in a frame tomorrow also. 

This is my former husband's cat Maxine. I'm cat-sitting her for a couple of weeks. She is extremely shy and stubborn, but she finally came out from under the bed and "hung out" with me today. I did a sketch of her, she rolled around looking cute and finally let me pet her. Red letter day!

Speaking of umbrellas, I seldom have one, but I could have used one today during our walk to and from Montavilla. 

Well, this was my Monday......tell me, how was yours?

(Top Photo) Celeste Bergin, Golden Creek, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I painted this today, it is not quite done, but I thought you could get the idea because it is 90% done. I started the painting with charcoal lines on a white canvas, which I seldom do, but I just felt like putting in the dominant shapes down fast and loose. I'll refine the leg and shoe shapes tomorrow. (It's important when we are painting limbs to paint them accurately ....and that's an understatement)!

Have you heard of "fracturing" a painting? That's somewhat what I was after here. Two great painters who "fracture" are Julie Ford Oliver and CW Mundy.

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Walking in the Rain (in progress), oil on 12x24 stretched canvas

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Today I went to two studios on the Portland Open Studios tour. I visited with Shawn Demarest and Janet Amundson-Splidsboel. Both artists and studios so great to see! Shawn and I had a great conversation about plein air painting. I meant to get to more studios, but it was super-rainy and traffic was terrible. The studios are open for the whole weekend, so I might try to take in one more tomorrow.
Here is a slideshow of some of the sights from today! (Top Photo) Celeste Bergin, In the Wings oil on 6 x 12

Friday, October 19, 2012

You are Invited!

(click to Enlarge)

Join me, David McBride, Kat Sowa, and Anton Pavlenko at Inspirations in Paint, an Art Exhibit and Event at the Eastmoreland Golf Course Clubhouse on Friday October 26 and Saturday October 27, 2012. Art will be available for purchase directly from the four of us, with donations going to CASA benefiting children in the foster care system of Multnomah and Washington Counties.

When: Friday, October 26, 5-8pm and Saturday October 27, 2-8pm
Where: Eastmoreland Golf Course Clubhouse,
2425 SE Bybee Blvd Portland, OR 97202 503-775-2900
Please visit 

and here, just for fun, check out the great video I discovered today: (Creativity spans the generations.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Painting, Celeste Bergin, From the garden, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Several weeks ago I painted a path at Johnson Creek Park. I used that painting as reference to paint another version tonight. I'm still on the green kick. I'm not 100% positive that this works, though I do like the fantasy colors. One must be careful when painting strong shapes in a square format...I keep seeing a big fish head now. Specifically, a catfish. Still, it's just another experiment and I might be able to break up those fish lips and ...well, as my Mom was so famous for saying....."we'll see". She used to also say "May as well, can't dance" which never made an ounce of sense to me.

I visited with my Art pal Mark Larsen today. It is always a treat to go to his house. Check Wendy's pumps at the front door, used to decorate the porch.

The fun continues inside. Mark tells me this has been referred to as "Pee Wee Herman's Grandmother's kitchen". Mark painted a sky on the ceiling, complete with puffy clouds.

Just yesterday I wrote about drawing/painting from sculptures or casts, and I enjoyed meeting this cool guy in Mark's painting studio. Mark told me that he found him at a bargain price at an antique store called "Stuff".

After my visit with Mark I turned my attention to my cat-sitting responsibility. I drove over to Maxine- the-cats house where I found her in her usual spot, hiding under the bed. Dave, her owner, told me that I should sit and watch tv for awhile to see if she'll come sit with me. Nope! Not yet! I watched nearly an entire episode of Dr. Phil today and Maxine was a no-show. Maybe tomorrow!

That was my was YOURS?

(Top Photo) Celeste Bergin, Pathway or maybe a big fish, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sketching at the Portland Art Museum

The Body Beautiful is a major international touring exhibition currently at the Portland Art Museum. The exhibit features treasures from the British Museum's Greek and Roman collection of sculpture. I went today to check out the works that range from abstract to realism. I took the opportunity to do some sketches. Drawing from a colossal statue under the lovely steady bright lights gave me a full appreciation for why artists have studied sculpture (in artistic training) for centuries. I'm glad I have a Portland Art Museum membership because I'll be able  to return on rainy winter days for more sketching at this fantastic show. It's up until January 6, 2013.

(Top Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Head from a Statue of Herakles, charcoal in 9x9 sketchbook

Monday, October 15, 2012

The lean to Green

You're on a exercise kick. You're on an Alan Watts kick. You're on a green kick.

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Moonscape, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I did some more studio cleaning today and I came across this pastel that I did a long time ago. I think it is from a WDE challenge on the Wet Canvas website. It's pretty fun to look at work from the past. Sometimes (like in this case) you think..hey, that's not too bad and other times you're like whaaaa? Did I think this was good? I like this one.

Pastel, Celeste Bergin, In the Bath, Pastel on 10x14 Suede Paper

Saturday, October 13, 2012


This summer I painted some people in the park. This is just meant to be a study; an idea. I am hoping to do a series soon, possibly of people "thinking"...there is something so intriguing about images that depict .......contemplation.

Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Reading, oil on 6x12 canvas panel

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I went to the Bread and Ink meeting today. It is always so much fun to talk to the other painters about their recent plans and projects. To see what was brought to the meeting go HERE.

Oil sketch,  Celeste Bergin, Manet's flowers, oil on 10x10 gessoed paper

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Today I met up with Quin, Brenda and Dave McBride to "paint urban" at the corner of 34th and Belmont. We painted directly in front of Stumptown Coffee. The yellow sign in my scene read Belmont Inn. I had a car in front of the building, but I scraped it out (because it left before I really got it down). It was fun painting in my spot...although it was chilly standing in the shade. As usual, I see things that need correction and re-stating, I'll leave it and look at it again tomorrow.

We had a steady stream of onlookers and visitors (among them David Burbach and Thomas Kitts). The comment we heard most often today..... "Is this an art class?"

To see what the others painted go HERE.

Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Belmont Inn, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I had this old reference in my scrap file and got around to painting it tonight. I really enjoy the gigantic hat and the composition. It is always crazy-fun to paint with a lot of black. 

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Beacon Hill Woman, oil on 11x14 canvas panel

Monday, October 8, 2012


At the last minute I threw a figure into this landscape just for fun (click to enlarge). There are some adjustments yet to make, but I like the strong contrast and all the green!

 Painting, Celeste Bergin, Pathway, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Green green, it's green they say on the far side of the hill*

As an experiment I painted a routine scene, but I changed the natural colors into one predominant color.  Palette: pthalo green, sap green, ultramarine blue, lemon yellow, just a touch of alizarin and white. I like how it came out! It was a great week, and I hope yours was a good one too---(here's a slide show: Some highlights of the week in review):

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Predominately green, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

 *"Green green" click HERE

Saturday, October 6, 2012


My art friend Stephanie and I spent the morning at Craig Srebnik's figure demonstration today. He did a wonderful painting and as a bonus we got to see many of his plein air paintings from his recent trip to Paris.
Figures have always been as captivating as landscape to me. The more painting I do, the more that I realize that figure, landscape and still life seem to have many commonalities. To see Craig's demo click HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Floral, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Friday, October 5, 2012


Here I've done a quick oil study of a field. I "subtracted" some of the paint to indicate plants in the foreground. I may consider using this for a larger painting.

Study, Celeste Bergin, In the Field, oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Lunch and a sketching session with Loretta today! We went to the Stockpot Lounge on the Redtail golf course.
I sketched some diners. I won't be writing home to Mother about this...but it was fun nonetheless. 

Here is a relatively new acquisition, a basket that I am using for sketching supplies. I got this idea from Aimee Erickson. It is great how it sits upright and it can hold lotsa stuff. I got mine at Kruger's Farm.

After lunch I got a tour of Loretta's studio. She also showed me this great painting that was done of her when she was just a tyke. Her parents commissioned the painting in the 1940's and Loretta remembers sitting for the portrait artist for long stretches. We both love the painting and it is remarkable how it is definitely recognizable as Loretta.

The painting is signed M. Burke. Google turned up nothing, but one can easily see that this artist knew what he was doing.

I'm adding this Hallelujah photo at the end of my post, because I thought for sure that my old Toyota car was completely done for today....but no...after I "limped" home from my travels (it wouldn't go over 40 mph)....DAVE fixed it! (sparkplug issue). Thanks, Dave! Hallelujah!

That was my day-----how was yours?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here."    --Alan Watts

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

P.S. Here's another great view.... check out Gary Everest's enviable home studio HERE.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I visited with Artist friend Jack VanNess this morning. When I asked him what he has been painting lately he answered..."colored wood blocks". Jack is a devotee of Henry Hensche. People who love Hensche do love those colored blocks...and there can be no denying that paintings done in the Hensche method are mondo-sun-drenched.  The painting above is my solitary Hensche-esque attempt...(the concepts don't come easily). For Ed Terpening's great synopsis of a workshop with John Ebersberger, click HERE.

Practice painting: Celeste Bergin, Hensche exercise, oil on 8x8 gessoed wood panel

Monday, October 1, 2012


I like practice painting on magazine pages...nothing to it, lighthearted fun, no stress...I recommend it!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Practice Flowers, oil on magazine page

Earlier today I ran into some talented artists at Columbia Art Gallery. The "Paparazzi" was there to mark the occasion. (L to R Sally O'Neill, Amanda Houston, me and Karen E. Lewis)