Thursday, January 31, 2013


Here is a plein air painting I took to Thursday Morning Art Discussion

.....and this is a photo of Michael Fisher with Tim Young's painting on a halved squash ( read all that right)..... it is simply too good not to include.  To see all the paintings that showed up for discussion.....go HERE.

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Blustery day, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Maybe a less than favorable weather day gives us a chance to practice the subtle things....Maybe grays are really beautiful and everything does not have to be described to the nth detail. Maybe I am not finished with this...or maybe I am.

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday in Portland

A taxicab just says "City" like nothing else. 

Any outing in Portland seems to turn into an Art-thing! I thought I'd share today's coffee house excursion with you. This is a favorite place: Stumptown (on Division). 

At first glance, I thought the art on display was somehow drawn directly on the walls.

But as I got closer I realized that what I was looking at was fabric, like netting...with delicate designs sewn into it. So beautiful!

The artist statement on the wall indicated that the art is "freehand embroidery" in tulle. 
Emily Katz called her show: In Dreams. Perfect, because the work is so pale and uncertain ....just like a dream.

(Top Photo) Celeste Bergin, Painting, Taxi, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Monday, January 28, 2013


I painted this quite a long time ago....I resurrected it from storage and was planning to put it into the Jane Eyre exhibit. It looked good in a bronze frame. There wasn't enough room for it in the show, however, so back to storage it went. I've always liked it, because of how mysterious it is. Who is that guy? Who is she? What are they talking about? It was painted from a photo reference.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Conversation (2009), oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday (in progress)

Kat has been teaching us to do a colorful underpainting with Damar and turpentine. "Don't overthink it" she often says. I believe that I have a good start here, though my pitcher seems like the Darth Vader of pitchers. Still, the whole thing does satisfy another of her tenets: "Put down exciting color in the beginning and key off of that, because it is much easier to tone down a painting than to try to pump up a boring painting." (Got that?)

Celeste Bergin, Phase one of painting, Still life, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Art friends

 I got to have brunch with art friends Michael Orwick, Randall David Tipton, Carol Marine, Sarah Sedwick and Annie Salness in Salem today. We each shared things we've recently been doing. 
(Photo: Michael on left, Randall on right)

Here's the irrepressible Carol Marine. She showed us a quilt that she made (beautiful!) and a recent rose painting. 

Sarah showed us a wonderful figure painting and explained she painted it quickly after painting the same model carefully during two previous sessions. 

Here Carol and Annie check out one of Randall's paintings. 

We scouted the Minto-Brown Island Park as a possible future plein air spot.   ..... It was a great Saturday! 
(l to r) Michael, Carol, Sarah, Randall & Annie

(More photos in the slideshow below):

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday (at Studio 30)

I went to two sessions at Studio 30 today. We all loved our model's glamorous look. She looked like she had stepped out of a different era. She wore a great necklace too....but I noticed many of the painters (myself included) elected to leave it out of the painting. I wonder why.

This is my still life from the morning. I didn't finish it. I got a late start and the session was over before I knew it! What about you....did you have a great day? 

To see everyone's work from today go HERE.

(Top) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Catherine, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas
(Bottom) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Still life, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Thursday, January 24, 2013


This is something like the 4th "incarnation" of this painting. I changed it again today, and it is close to what I want...but not quite! 

Today was Art Discussion Thursday and the topic was "Brushwork". Lots of interesting art turned up and plenty of ideas shared. Check it out HERE

Painting: Celeste Bergin, After the Storm, oil on 20x24 stretched canvas

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I glazed a color over this painting today..I like the subtle change it made.  I really enjoy the dark shapes linked together. 

I had some Viridian left over on my palette, so I painted this boat over my failed cows from yesterday. It's just practice. Viridian is such a nice color!

My painting friend Za Vue teaches animation at the Art Institute of Portland. She gave me a tour today of the entire school (which is a beautiful place). This was my favorite photo from my visit. Za was explaining a storyboard of an animation that her students did.... and it  has a risque ending. (More photos from my visit in the slideshow below). Thanks, Za!

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sudden Rain, oil on 6x12 canvas panel (Center Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Viridian Boat, oil on 5x7 canvas panel (Bottom Photo) Za Vue

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I had plans to paint another cow painting today....but I wound up royally screwing it up and scraping it off....(Dang! and here I had visions of cranking out successful cows left and right, but moooooo...I mean noooooo ). Though it's never fun to invest time and have nothing to show for it,  I know that this is how it is sometimes. Tomorrow is another day. I had a good time sketching in pencil Bon Teriyaki, a nice place for lunch. 

Monday, January 21, 2013


Cows are popular subjects with painters...and I've done a few before...but this is the first one I've painted onto a black support. I got this idea from Cathleen Rehfeld. (She has a great black gesso tutorial on Daily Paintworks).

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Cow, oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard

Sunday, January 20, 2013

In Progress!

This is "in-progress". I started it last Friday. It shows some promise!

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Kat's Pitchers, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday at Kat's Studio 30

I went to two sessions at Studio 30 today. I used my new/old Yarka easel. The life model was a beautiful woman named Ariel. I didn't quite finish my painting.....but maybe she'll come back to model in the future. I hope so! Happy Weekend to you! 

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Ariel, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas

(The Yarka Field Easel is made in Russia and folds down into a lightweight box)

To see what the other painters did....go HERE .

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I brought this painting to today's art discussion meeting. The suggested table-topic today was "color temperature". 

Many of the paintings that showed up served as good examples for our discussion of "warm and cool"**.

After the meeting Carolyn and I went to Butter's Gallery. The paintings have plenty of room to exist in this big open space. 

Here Carolyn is admiring a painting that was painted in reverse on plexiglass.

After going to the Augen, the Froelick and The Contemporary Craft Museum we had lunch at the Davis Street Tavern. Great food in a beautiful space ....and this painting looked exactly right on the main wall. I rounded off the outing by swinging by Dick Blick for some paint and canvases. That was my day.....(pretty good, right?) how was yours??

** To see everyone's paintings from today's meeting, go HERE.

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, At the Easel, oil on 12x12 gessoed paper 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Winding Creek, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


No painting today. This was painted last Friday at Studio 30. I painted it in a huge hurry, making up for lost time because I had arrived late. Despite the fact it is dashed out, it has some redeeming qualities. It's not resolved, however, so I wind up calling these "studies" and that's that. (It's like oil and it's still definitely still time well spent).

This afternoon, just for a lark, (and because the weather is chilly) I ordered a fancy drink at Albina Press. It is amazing how the barista fills the cup up to the tip-top of the rim. I had to walk like a bomb squad-er to get it to the table safely.

(Top Photo) Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Paint tube and bowl, oil on 6x6 canvas panel
(Bottom Photos) Mocha at Albina Press

Monday, January 14, 2013


I worked on this still life today. It's my third session with it. I may adjust a couple of things, but for the most part I think I will call it done. It's been really interesting to paint in stages. I liked it!

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sunflowers and fruit, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Our Reception

Today we had a reception at the West Linn Library for the Jane Eyre Painters Exhibit. One of the "Jane Eyres" couldn't be there..but here are the rest of us! (L to R): Jodi Burton, me, Za Vue and Quin Sweetman. (Not pictured, Kat Sowa...she'll be there next time!)

Thanks so much to everyone who made the trip to see us today and help us celebrate a year of painting together! (Raising my glass): And here's to many more painting junkets, sessions at studio 30, more art discussion meetings and more shows and receptions! We deeply appreciate all our painting friends and everyone, near and far, who encourage and support us!  (Slideshow below):

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I attended all three sessions today at Studio 30...though I was late to the morning still life session, because of freezing fog....(yes, that is the correct term for it). We had great models see what all the artists painted, go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Trish, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas

Thursday, January 10, 2013


In today's art discussion group we talked about direct painting and painting done in layers with glazing.  The art that people brought in served as great examples, showing the differences between the two. The painting above was originally done as a direct painting,  but I added transparent color today in a "mini-demonstration" about glazing. To see all the art from the meeting.....go HERE.

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Floral, oil on 4x4 cradled wood panel

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In Progress

In Kat Sowa's studio series today,  we returned to the underpaintings we started last week. I painted a long time and still have lots more to do. Here is a side-by-side of last week's start and today's progress:

We meet again next week, so there will be another stage or two after this one. Don't worry, it will make sense eventually!

Phase two of Painting, Celeste Bergin, Workshop Still life, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sauvie Island, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Monday, January 7, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Columbia River, oil on 5x7 canvas panel

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The weekend...Saturday and Sunday!

I'm taking Kat Sowa's Studio Painting Series. She is teaching twice a week. Her method includes painting a colorful underpainting, providing a "foil" for colors she puts on top. It's an adjustment to think of other colors (aside from the local color) while looking at objects. 

During today's session our objective was to cover the entire canvas in loose darker-than-what-you-see-color. This is altogether different than I normally paint...but I think I get what she is getting at ....and next session I will begin to make sense of it. I hope. Right now I see a really wacky face. See it? I'll have to fix that. (This will be sunflowers). Stay tuned. You'll see. 

I did not post yesterday....(I just got behind schedule)...but I had plenty to report. 

Dave wanted to test a camera that he might purchase. We stopped at the Lone Fir Cemetery and he took photos while I sketched. 

The name over the door on the Mausoleum is supposed to read Macleay*..but it is broken off at MACL. *I know this from their website. Scores of  birds and squirrels were playing nearby while I drew this. They were so happy and chirpy it reminded me of the scene in Cinderella when they all band together to make her a dress. Nice to feel such cheerfulness in a cemetery. 

I stopped by to see Gila Lane at Lane Gallery. Here she is pointing to where the Lane Gallery is located in a painting of Clinton Street by Mitch Freifeld. (I have work in this show too... go by and see the exhibit, it's all beautiful!)

During our outing we happened into a beautiful interiors/antique shop (E Essence Antiques). We met the owner, Lynn Mesher. She's super-friendly and we talked about lots of things....and  I bought some wonderful French soap too. 

Finally, we met Dave's friend Patrick Kolb and had coffee in the Ford Building at Ford Food + Drink (nice place!). Pat is trying to decide about that same camera. 

So that is my Saturday/Sunday...What about you...good weekend??

(Top Photo) Underpainting: Celeste Bergin, Sunflowers, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas