Sunday, June 30, 2013


Somewhere I read about someone who practices mixing colors by trying to match paint chips. I had a booklet of colors from Powell Paint Company, so I spent about an hour mixing all the colors. I can see a few of my values are off--but I did pretty well otherwise. it was a great exercise. I recommend it!

This is one of the paintings I'll have at the US Bank at 16th and Wiedler for the month of July (beginning tomorrow).

What about you.....what does the upcoming week have in store for you?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Garden Bouquet, oil on 16x20 canvas panel (framed)

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Painting, Celeste Bergin, Creekside, (painting based on previous painting), oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Friday, June 28, 2013


I did an oil sketch today at Cannon Beach. It was so foggy the usual landmarks (like Haystack rock) were completely 'gone'.  

The Plein Air and More event is kicking off, so I thought I might run into some of my painting friends...and I did. I found Mike Rangner at Dragonfire Gallery.

I ran into Karen Lewis at Primary Elements Gallery.

Here's Dave having a look at some work by Anton Pavlenko.  A near perfect day! 

(Top Photo) Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Cannon Beach, oil on 4x7 canvas

Thursday, June 27, 2013


This is the painting that I took to Art Discussion at O'Connor's today. Rain paintings are usually done in blues and grays--but I painted this in warm colors instead. To see what everyone else brought....go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Letting up, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Life Model, oil on 12x16 canvas panel

Monday, June 24, 2013


No painting for me today, but I fit in this sketch from the Sargent book that I've taken on as a project

.....and you know, sometimes when your cat goes upside down, you just can't help but publicize it.

(Top Photo) Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Sketch of Rosina by Sargent/Sprague, charcoal on 6x9 toned paper
(2nd Photo) Mufasa (king kat)

Sunday, June 23, 2013


This is an oil study that I've done from a previous painting. I've painted it on Arches paper.

Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Sandy River/Oxbow Park, oil on 9 x 6 paper

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sandy River, oil on 12x9 canvas panel

Thursday, June 20, 2013


This painting is from my first year of painting...I came across this photo of it today and thought..hey, that's pretty good! Today was our Art Discussion meeting at O' see what everyone brought by going HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sunflower, 200?, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


No time for painting today, but I managed this sketch from my Sargent book.  I don't know that I've ever seen a dude wearing a hat like this, but I guess it was commonplace in Sargent's day. I enjoy drawing on that toned paper! Thank you, Strathmore!

Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Head of a young man, after Sargent, charcoal on 6x9 paper

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


"The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be?--it is the same the angels breathe".   ---Mark Twain

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Clouds over Sandy, oil on 8x10 linen canvas panel

Monday, June 17, 2013


The sky gave us a show of beautiful billowing clouds today. I painted this on one of those "natural linen" canvas panels. I have not had the best luck with those, but today the inherent neutral of the support helped me to place the undersides of the clouds.

I also used my half size Jullian easel (that I haven't used very often). I wanted to test it to see if I might like to paint with it and a palette laid across the drawer. It was more of a chore to put up than my pochade box and everything was heavier,  but it was a nice change and I'll use it again soon. I especially appreciated the larger mixing area.

Sorry, Mufasa, you have to stay home and hold down the fort.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Clouds over Corbett, oil on 8x10 canvas panel 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

This afternoon I painted this copy of "Study of a man in a tall hat" by John Singer Sargent. (You would think that the beard would gotten a mention in the title.. but no!) I chose to do this particular fellow today... because he looks fatherly! (I googled this style beard. It is called "The Victor").

I hope you had a great Father's Day. :)

(Top Photo) Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Study of a man in a tall hat, after John Singer Sargent, oil on 12x16 canvas panel
(Bottom Photo) Cecil J. Bergin (My Dad)

Friday, June 14, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Misty creek, oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard

Thursday, June 13, 2013


We compared notes on a couple of subjects (including plein air painting in inclement weather) during today's art discussion meeting at O'Connors.  To see what everyone brought .....go HERE.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Today's plein air was painted late in the day. It needs several adjustments...but I'm posting it anyway, the color seems pleasant!  I can make use of these color notes for another painting in the same place.

A while back Thomas Kitts counseled me: "Everything you need for plein air painting should fit into ONE backpack!" At the time I thought that didn't seem really possible, but after that conversation I have worked on paring down my equipment and I've gotten completely comfortable with the single backpack rule. Here is a list of everything I have: 
  • Assorted brushes
  • Paper towels
  • Palette knives
  • Razor blade scraper
  • Clamp
  • Tripod
  • Mineral Spirits container (Metal)
  • Mineral Spirits (2) (in plastic containers)
  • Small plastic bowl for clean mineral spirits
  • Tape
  • Wet wipes
  • Open M Pochade Box (with extensions)
  • Paint: Cad yellow light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Winsor Green & Titanium White
  • Plastic bags
  • Ray Mar panels
  • Ray Mar wet canvas carrier
  • Plastic bags

And it all fits in here! Now, it is true I also have a large tote bag that I consider my 'purse' (but there is no painting equipment in it). Shhhhh, Kitts might disapprove of that purse thing, so let's not tell him.

(Top Photo) Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Sauvie Island, oil on 6x8 canvas panel 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


No painting for me today, I just ran out of time! I managed to do this sketch, however..... another copy from my big book of Sargent paintings and drawings. This one may be my favorite so far...I like how Sargent elected to leave things unfinished.

(click to enlarge)

Here are the rest of my sketches so far. I'm using a Strathmore toned paper sketchbook and a variety of pencils/charcoal.  I think drawing practice really helps painting practice. :)

(Top photo) Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Copy of Sargent, page 33, charcoal on 6x9 sketchbook
(Bottom photo) Sketches, Celeste Bergin, Various copies of Sargent,  charcoal on 6x9 sketchbook

Monday, June 10, 2013


I participated in a private life painting session today. Our model was turned away from us. I enjoyed trying to describe his back in paint. 

Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Life Model, oil on 12x16 canvas panel

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday (reception at Broderick Gallery)

This is one of my paintings in 'Kristina Sellers & Friends' at Broderick Gallery. Thanks so much to all for coming to the "deck party" reception---it was great fun! Slideshow below.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Painter, oil on 12x12 canvas panel

(Direct Link to the photo album HERE).

Saturday, June 8, 2013


One of my best blogging pals is 'PAMO'.  Some time ago PAMO asked me and some of her other blogging friends to do a cartoon and send it to her.  I made a contribution, but I didn't fully realize that she would put all the toons together into a book. Today I received my copy in the mail.

Cartooning is a major challenge and I won't pretend that my toon was very good...I won't quit my day job...but I really loved the left-hand page that PAMO so thoughtfully quoted from my blog profile.  It was great fun to see how all the others handled the assignment. I'll treasure my book and keep it on my coffee table. (Thanks for publishing me, PAMO!) 

In other news, I am one of the 'friends' exhibiting with Kristina Sellers' show at Broderick. (Click image to Enlarge) The reception is Sunday, June 9..... 1-6pm. Will I see you there? 

Friday at Studio 30

I painted in two sessions today at Studio 30. I have plans to make changes to the portrait I did...but I'll post what I have so far. Studio 30 is in recess for awhile --so we'll all get outside for more plein air painting. To see what everyone else did today......go HERE.

Also, tonight was our artist reception at Lane Gallery for 'By the Sea', Slideshow below (or direct link to photos HERE).
(Top Painting) Celeste Bergin, Still Life, oil on 11x14 canvas panel
(2nd Painting)Celeste Bergin, Life Model, oil on 12x16 stretched canvas

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I've been on that Sargent-kick..sketching from a great book I have. Today I found myself in front of my Yarka easel in the living room..doing a couple sketches in oil. As my art friend Jim King always says.."painting is drawing and drawing is painting". 

I love how Sargent used such strong design in his portraits. This is just a sketch... I know it is nowhere near as beautiful as a Sargent! I am concentrating on putting down marks that stand for something, but are more suggested than "complete". I also tried to simply get down the big shapes...(I managed that!) I'll likely do a more finished version of this someday....for practice. 

I had a great time at today's art discussion see what everyone brought...go HERE.

Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, After Sargent, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


This landscape painting is a color experiment....I like how it came out!

I have been enjoying sketching from Sargent's paintings out of a big book that I own. I was doing it in my lap up until today when I realized that it would be cool to use my small drafting table for this practice. I set up a "station" of sorts....maybe I'll make it though the whole book. (I've been doing one a day and I have 8 so far). 

I'm using toned paper and a variety of pencils/charcoal. I love how Sargent loves darks! Me too!
Well, that's me---what about you...what are you up to?

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Day's End, oil on 8x8 canvas panel
(Bottom Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, After Sargent #7, charcoal in 6x8 sketchbook

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


This is one of 5 paintings I have at the Lane Gallery this month in a show entitled: By the Sea. SE 26th and SE Clinton Street. Reception, Friday, June 7, 2013 6-8pm. See you there!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, To the Sea, through the trees, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Monday, June 3, 2013


I had the pleasure of participating in a private life painting session today.  Our model was a real pro. She wore a shawl that seemed like a cape .....and she definitely had a regal bearing. I got a photo of her, so I may continue and finish this. (It's a good "start").

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Life Model, oil on 12x16 canvas panel

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Here's my painting for today..! It's an oil study for a larger painting. 

This afternoon I went to the Troy Laundry Building Open Studios. My friend Joanne Kollman has a studio there and I visited with her as well as other artists who have studios under the same roof. It's a beautiful building...perfect for artist workspaces. Lots of sunlight!

Luckily for me, Joanne's Open Studio was a retrospective of her work, past and present. I was reunited with this image of a sleeping dog and cat.....(I owned it many years ago when I didn't know Joanne).

Looking back/looking forward is pretty much the theme in the wonderful video below. This just one more example of how "everything old is new again". (Thanks to Ronni Bennett).  

Direct link to video: HERE.
(Top Photo) Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Cloud Bank, oil on 6x6 canvas panel