Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I worked on a painting yesterday in a life modeling session, but it did not work out in the least. I tried to work from memory today to improve it, but it only went even more awry. Major disappointment.... because the model had been a really good one and the pose was inspiring. Confound it. Well...you just have to shake it off when things go poorly! Shake it off!

On a more positive note, I've made just a couple changes to the painting above and it was delivered (with 4 others) to the Lane Gallery today for the Blues show. 

I got a sneak peek of  some of the paintings that will be going up and it is sure to be a great show.
 Have you been to the Lane Gallery yet? It is gorgeous..a sparkling jewel at 27th and Clinton. There will be an artist's reception this Friday, August 2. You're invited!

I love this promotion for the show. Click to enlarge. It's clever! See you there!

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Bluescape, 8x8 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tabor Day!

We had a wonderful time at the 'block party' to benefit the Friends of Mt. Tabor today.  (Stephanie and I   both live at the base of Mt. Tabor Park---so this is our community!) Lots of our good friends turned out---thanks so much for coming! There was great music, food, dogs, kids and .........of course.......art! Thanks, Songbird Cafe! Thanks Dave Burbach for the photos! (Slideshow below..direct link to photos HERE)

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I got together with some of my art pals today and we painted a model in our host's back yard. The pretty model was in the shade ....and we were in the sun. I forgot my new (slightly broken) umbrella at home---and I was wishing I had it (even with it's busted spoke)......nevertheless,  I had a great time.  Despite the challenges, I'm confident that I captured some of the sunny/shady flavor of the scene.  It was a super afternoon!

My friend's cat Percie came out to check out how we were doing. She rolled around in the gravel and left. .........But, wait, Percie!

(Top Photo) Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Life Model in the shade, oil on 12x16 canvas


In my big Sargent book is his "Study of a bust at Lille". It was a lot of fun to draw....one more Sargent copy down (for my Sargent project)....about 40 more to go.

Yesterday I went to the art meeting at O'Connors. To see what I and all the artists brought for discussion....go HERE.

(click to enlarge)

I spent time today getting my act together for Tabor Day. Stephanie Cissna and I will be at SE Belmont and SE 69th (near Songbird Cafe) on Sunday with art on display. We'll also be painting whatever strikes our fancy from Noon to 7pm. Stephanie and I both live in Mt. Tabor and this is a Benefit for the Friends of Mt. Tabor. Come on by!

(Top Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Study of bust at Lille after Sargent, charcoal in 6x9  toned paper sketchbook.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I joined up with Dave, Char, Chris and Tim today at Sauvie Island. It was my first time using my 'Shade Buddy' umbrella. It was bright out there! The umbrella is brand new out of the box...but it has a broken spoke! Dang!  I painted a 6x6 oil study. 

Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Sauvie Island Field, oil on 6x6 canvas panel
Slide show below (or direct link to album HERE)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I swung by the Portland Art Museum today....and saw two great exhibits. Here is a sculpture by Gaston Lachaise whose muse is simply described as 'woman'. It seems he thought of the entire universe as 'woman'....which suits me just fine....because, well, yes, I am one myself.

Cyclepedia is a gorgeous exhibit of beautiful bikes, old and new...

The bikes are suspended from the ceiling ... dreamlike

One of my motivations for going to the Museum today is that I'm reading  Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman. The reader gets to 'be there' while Lydia (Cassatt's older sister) models for Mary. In an early chapter Lydia holds a teacup and Cassatt and Degas argue about the angle of Lydia's arm. In the end Mary wins and the arm stays as she wanted it. (Go, Cassatt!) Well, all that got me thinking about Cassatt's paintings--and though there are none on view at Portland Art Museum...there is this one Degas.

I started another painting in the blue theme. I'll decide what is next for it tomorrow. That's it for me...what is going on with you? :)

Painting-in-progress, Celeste Bergin, Bluescape, oil on 16x8

Monday, July 22, 2013


Have you noticed a blue theme going on here?

(from Lane Gallery's website):

Over a dozen artists share their unique takes on the BLUES this August at Lane Gallery: Bonnie Meltzer, Susan Schenk, Carol Bietsch, Jo Lundberg, Tod Steele, Gila Lane, Phyllis Meyer, Dagmar Grossman, Joanne Licardo, Joanne Kollman, Celeste Bergin, Susan Thomas, Jenn Feeney, Kyle Kraiter, Aaron van de Graeff, and Shane Brant. The exhibition opens on August 2nd with a First-Friday artists' reception and community party at 6pm. Join us for fine art, finer artists and treats from both Compote Café and Bakery and KIVA Tea Café and Spa.

You'll come, won't you?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Blue Reflections, oil on 8x8 gallery wrapped canvas

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Moored, oil on 10x8 gallery wrapped canvas

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Blue Umbrella, oil on 8x10 gallery wrapped canvas

Friday, July 19, 2013


Big Shapes! Big Shapes! (I had big shapes in mind as I painted this). Speaking of big shapes....all the best artists keep driving that home. Check out Brenda Boylan's nice interview HERE). 

Yeah--yeah, this blog is usually 'all about me' ---but every now and then I just have to crow about another special art pal. Camila Morrison just received her certificate of Fine Arts from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. It took her five years and she managed it while working at a full time job. Way to go....Congratulations, Cam!

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Start of Evening, oil on 6x6 canvas panel
(Bottom Photo): Camila Morrison, July 18, 2013 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I made a few changes to this painting and took it into our art discussion meeting today. To see what everyone brought......go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Still Life, 20x20 oil stretched canvas

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Yesterday I had another opportunity to paint a live model. Initially she wore glasses but it was decided that she would remove them, just so that we could get a good start. The idea was that we would add the glasses eventually. As time went on, however,  no one asked her to replace her glasses. She looked like a 'hot librarian' both with and without her spectacles....lots of fun to paint.

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

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Life Model, oil on 9x12 canvas


What better way to spend Saturday afternoon than at the 'Bad Art Destruction Party' hosted by Carol Marine? The idea was to bring some failed paintings to completely deface and destroy them (collectively). We had some help from the youngsters in attendance and all of our bad art is headed to the dump. Great cathartic fun! Slideshow below (direct link to photos HERE).
(photo L to R, Sarah, Carol, Joseph, Me, Annie, & Ellen)

Thursday, July 11, 2013


This painting now belongs to my fellow-artist-friend Barbara Szkutnik. It is dry, signed and varnished,  so it leaves for delivery tomorrow. (Very thick paint!) I took it today to our art discussion meeting. To see what everyone else brought....go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Roses, oil on 9x12 canvas panel (SOLD)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I put an empty frame on a chair today and Mufasa laid inside it. I took this photo and thought 'yessss, that could be bloggable". I painted today, but I didn't finish it...I'll take it up again tomorrow.

At the end of the day I went to Beaverton City Hall for Joanne Kollman's reception. The City Hall is in close proximity to the Police Department, so it was interesting to observe an officer interviewing some citizens right there in the lobby next to Joanne's paintings. Art hanging in a public building is a true contribution. It's likely that many people who don't normally set out to see art will have this positive experience ......all because someone had this savvy idea. I loved the children's art on the 3rd floor too.  To read more about it go HERE. Slideshow below (direct link to photos HERE).

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


When it happens that I don't paint I try to do a Sargent sketch for my Sargent project. It's really satisfying... drawing is just as wonderful as painting! What I have learned from doing these copies (so far) is that successful drawing absolutely shares things with successful painting. Sargent always linked the big shapes together and blocked in large areas of dark.....and Sargent did lots of copies too. This is a copy of his copy of a Velázquez.

Drawing: Celeste Bergin, 'Officer' (Sargent after Velázquez), charcoal in 6x9 toned paper sketchbook

Monday, July 8, 2013

Celeste Paints...with Mark and Steve

I met up with Mark Larsen and Steve Kleier today to do an oil sketch at Brooklyn Railroad yard on SE 22nd. I want to use my sketch for a 2nd painting. It was bright out there but we found some relief on the shady side of a semi-truck. I bet this place would look super interesting at different times of the day. Slideshow below (direct link to photos HERE).

 Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Concrete Silo, oil on 9x12 paper


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Friday (at Lavender Farm & Lane Gallery)

I met up with Za Vue, her niece Melinda and Kat Sowa at Mountainside Lavender Farm on Friday. This is my oil study. It was a great day....ending with First Friday at Lane Gallery. (Photos below in slideshow or direct link to photos HERE.

Za, Melinda and Kat (Team Blue!)

(Top Photo) Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, View from Mountainside Lavender Farm, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Come to our artist's reception at Lane Gallery Friday, July 5, beginning at 6pm! 2627 SE Clinton Street, Portland, OR 97202 (Map: HERE).

Today's topic at art discussion Thursday was color mixing tips. To see what everyone brought, go HERE.

(Top Photo) Chili pepper painting by Sue Thomas

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, View to the Columbia, oil on 8x6 canvas panel

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


No painting for me today, but I drew a copy of a Sargent painting...to continue my Sargent project. I also sketched at OHSU where I had to go for an appointment. I took the tram up to the main hospital--(first time for me) and I photographed the entire route. I  sketched the beautiful tram--a most lovely shape!    (See Slideshow below):

(Top Photo) Drawing: Celeste Bergin, after John Singer Sargent, charcoal on 6x9 sketchpad
(2nd Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Aerial Tram, pencil on 3x4 sketchbook

Monday, July 1, 2013


This painting is one of four paintings I have at the Lane Gallery for their July show entitled: Hot Stuff! The reception will be First Friday, July 5.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Red Poppy, oil on 8x16 stretched canvas (framed)