Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wed-nes-day connections

I'm cleaning my studio (again!) and I came across this portrait that I painted a couple months ago in Za Vue's workshop. I don't think I posted this one back then... It's better on several levels than most of the portraits I did prior to her workshop.

I keep this portrait (above) of my Father's Mother Otilla (my Grandmother) in my studio on my drafting table. She died long before I was born, during a wave of tuberculous in Illinois. Her husband (my Grandfather) died too, within days of her, so my Father and his siblings were orphaned (and split up to live among people who didn't particularly care about them).  Sad!  Well, all I have of Otilla is this portrait and I wonder sometimes what she would think about all this painting business.  I've certainly had it soft in comparison to her and I've lived twice as long as her already.
Sometimes I look at her face and think....Otilla, what would you think of this painting business?

I stopped at McDonald's yesterday for a cup of coffee.  There was a woman in the next booth who was a good model for me to sketch. She kept relatively still as she tried over and over to reach someone on her cell phone. She appeared worried and I worried for her. I hope everything turned out ok, anonymous lady.

This is the lobby of the iphone doctor (Dave's speaker isn't working). I love this installation art....and look, once again, it has to do with 'connecting'.  This is how it is in Portland. There is art............everywhere. 

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Claire life model, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas



12 comments:

CrimsonLeaves said...

Otilla looks very beautiful and I do so love her hair. Your portrait is awesome and once again you create a mood or a sense in this piece with your style and color choices. Amazing!

Libby Fife said...

Wow! You do the same thing with old pictures that I do-talk to them and sort of wonder aloud with them.

It's fun to watch other people isn't it but you do absorb their emotions while doing so. I watched a man yesterday trying to work out a problem with his phone while on the phone. He looked VERY stressed:(

Lisa Graham Art said...

So many interesting things in this post, Celeste. Your painting is really expressive and lovely. And what a wonderful portrait of your grandmother. Such a tragic story. Life was so different back. We really do have easy lives these days.

I could get used to all that art in Portland.

Sheryl Anthony said...

Connections, or lack of connections, are interesting to ponder. Your painting is very lovely.

Candace X. Moore said...

Nice portrait, Celeste. It drew me in. Something about a look of determination in her eyes.

I appreciate hearing about your family past. The loss of your brother, the path your dad took, all that hardship strengthens the survivors. Life is hard, embrace the struggle.

Gillian Mowbray said...

What a great post on several levels,Celeste. Your portraits are quite ethereal and that image of your grandmother captures her beauty. Some poet should write about her tragic life. It would be very fitting somehow.
Thanks for sharing - I love real life stories, even if they are sad. x

hmuxo said...

Your Grandmother Otilla is the perfect picture for a portrait..I hope you paint her someday !!

Quin Sweetman said...

I love this story, Celeste. It is quite moving. I can relate to your feelings regarding those who came before us. It's crazy to look at old genealogical records and see how many died of something like the flu before they even had a chance to worry whether they were good or bad at something such as painting. Thanks for sharing!

hw (hallie) farber said...

I love the name Otilla; she was beautiful.

When the Celeste Bergin book of paintings is published in 2045, the readers will want to see family photos--don't throw any out! Label them and keep them all.

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

Great post, Celeste. I think about my own Grandmother Louise Marie Brunke Bachhuber often. She'd be very pleased that I became an artist and I bet Otilla would be proud of you, too. As for my Grandma, she went to "Normal School" to become a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Wisconsin, raised 4 kids, and lived to see more than 20 grandchildren. She was a fantastic cook and had a wonderful sense of humor. I miss her terribly.

Julie Ford Oliver said...

Everyone has said it all already. Sensitive portrait with an interesting and moving story.
Lucky you living in a vibrant art community.

Celeste Bergin said...

thank you Julie, Sarah, Hallie, Quin, Hilda, Gillian and Candace, Sheryl, Lisa, Libby and Sherry! Appreciative of your kind comments ! :)