What a great day to paint in the studio. I decided to do a quick copy of one of my favorite Manet paintings....Portrait of Berthe Morisot. It's not a perfect copy, by any means--but instead of a slavish reproduction, my objective was massing big shapes and .....working quickly. Here are the steps:
1. It's always gratifying to use an old panel that didn't work out. I turn it upside down...so that I don't 'see' the other image.
2. Slapping down dark paint
3. indicating some quick placements.
4. massing in the light side of the face.
5. establishing (quickly) the shadow side.
6. putting down more big shapes
7. I didn't want to labor over this (it's just a study)...but I see I need to slow down some...and take more care with the drawing.
8. I've made her face too slender and her mouth isn't centered. Luckily...this is just paint and I can wipe things out and make revisions.
9. starting over with her mouth.
10. putting in the background.
11. After the corrections...I am thinking this is a fairly good study...but then I see I have her looking down instead of how Manet had her looking at us.
12. it's only paint--! So I eradicate that downcast eye.
Ok...! This is the finish. The printed copy I used to paint from made her cooler in temperature than many of the versions I later saw on the internet. Maybe I'll do a warm version next time. I enjoyed doing this and working fast. I'll do more of these copies/studies!
The first day of Autumn--sweater weather and plenty of rain! This is a small study from Mt. Tabor.
I'm helping neighbor Randy with a project and I got to dog-sit his dog Jay-Jay for a little while. Jay-Jay likes to have his belly rubbed. I told him...."Jay-Jay, this is just the type of behavior that is sure to get you on my blog".
Painting: Celeste Bergin, From Mt. Tabor Park, oil on 7x5 canvas panel
Today I gave a talk at Muse Art + Design as part of their new artist-to-artist lecture series. My presentation had to do with motivation and reward (as it pertains to creative pursuits). I brought in a few of my paintings, including the one above.
Even though I've developed a pretty good habit of drawing and painting on a regular basis, I certainly don't profess to be any kind of expert on motivation. For this reason, I referred mostly to ideas found in Steven Pressfield's (brilliant) book The War of Art. Pressfield has solid theories of why artists have deep issues and problems staying on course....but even better, he has a super-good answer of what to do about it. The book can be found here.
A big thanks to everyone who came out and to Muse Art + Design for the opportunity to share these ideas. I had a wonderful time...(and no one threw a tomato at me!) Hooray!
(Top Photo): Painting: Celeste Bergin, Alone, but together, oil on 8x8 canvas panel, framed (SOLD)!
(Here is a slideshow from the day...(Thanks, Dave Burbach) direct link to photos HERE):
The suggested topic at our weekly art breakfast meeting was 'Art-related pet peeves'.... (I bet you have a few of your own)! The painting above is a small practice piece that I took in. I wasn't peeved about it (but come to think of it, it could have been photographed better).
To see what everyone else brought.....(and read was irks the artists).....go HERE
(It's entertaining for us to see the work brought in. Paintings get passed to everyone..so we can see the brushwork).
(Top Photo) Practice painting, Celeste Bergin, Field, oil on 6x6 canvas panel)
I've been enjoying painting out of my cigar box/pochade box. I used it when I first started painting. I was inspired to unearth it from a forgotten corner of my studio because of a recent blog post about small pochades by Thomas Kitts. I used my cigar box to paint this still life of forsythia (painted indoors --'expressively').
I live near Mt. Tabor park and there is a good spot where I've discovered I can practice painting the distant hills. I can walk here (though I'm pretty lazy when it comes to that steep grade!). I have an idea that it would be cool to paint from the same spot over and over. I just may try to find time for that in my schedule.
“ The same subject seen from a different angle offers subject for study of the most powerful interest and so varied that I think I could occupy myself for months without changing place, by turning now more to the right, now more to the left."—Paul Cézanne in a letter to his son, 1906
Recently I re-read an account of a murder that took place in a town where I had once lived (Gulfport, Fl). In the online article there was one solitary photo of the victim. I didn't paint today, so I took on the challenge of sketching this portrait as an exercise. I came close to a likeness...but I know I can do better. Maybe I'll try again --down the road.
I'm aware there are some artists who have practiced from mugshots. It seemed a little weird (and ghoulish) to practice from a victim. I wouldn't want to make a habit of it. It's too sad! (...and it's a funny by-product to want to do a perfect job....when the person you are drawing is no longer here).
Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Karen Gregory, charcoal on toned paper 6x9 sketchbook
Here is Michael Lindstrom giving us a mini-lecture to kick off his one-day workshop. It was a gray morning at Burnt Bridge in Vancouver, Wa. (Despite the big electrical transmission towers that kept reminding me of Erin Brockovich, there are scenic views in most directions).
Michael showed us two of his paintings. One was done very quickly and expressively. The other was more controlled and 'quiet'.
Michael did a great demo that had him troweling on the paint in big globs. (His painting turned out great).
The gray and fog burned off and we had sunshine for the rest of the day. My first attempt did employ plenty of paint...but I wound up just hating my effort. Piling on the paint is a bigger challenge than you would think! I'll have to make a concentrated effort to slather it on!
My 2nd little practice painting showed some promise... and I'll take Lindy's advice and paint a 2nd pass on top the paintings I started today! Lots of paint needs something to grab hold of. Michael's demonstration showed us that any tool to get the effect you are after ........is allowed. :)
It's Friday the 13th, but it is my lucky day--- Today I have acquired this fantastic Oleg Ulitskiy plein air painting. (It was painted last year in Astoria).
Oleg is one of my all-time favorite artists and I presume you can see why! (I asked him if I could paint with him one day and he said 'Mayyybee'! (Read that in a deep Russian voice). It would be so much fun to watch something like this emerge from nothing but a blank canvas and a bit of paint! (GEEEEZ).
Just for fun I glazed this small study with Cadmium Greeen.
Here is the (dry) value study.
I pushed around Cad Green in a slurry of Galkyd light....and then lightly wiped it off with a paper towel.
I liked how the old textures came through....it certainly looks altogether different from how it looked as a value study.
Today is (Grandson) Tristan's birthday (the strapping young lad on the left).These fellows on the couch have known each other since they were in third grade. I loved how they so easily shared a hug. It was such a cute scene.....I had to share it with you.
(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Green experiment, oil on 5x5 stretched canvas
Have you wondered why you are creating? Have you ever thought about quitting (or not even starting)? Theories on this subject will be advanced (and answers provided) Wednesday, Sept 9, 6:30-7:30 2412 NW Raleigh St, Portland, OR 97210
OHSU Collaborative Life Science Bldg Invitation Only, Tilikum Bridge Lighting
Art Splash City of Tualatin Tualatin Commons 8325 SW Nyberg Street Tualatin, OR Reception, July 25, 2015
PACIFIC NORTHWEST PLEIN AIR 2015 Juried Competition and Exhibition (Juror: Bryan Mark Taylor) Columbia Art Gallery August 2015 Reception August 7, 6-8pm 215 Cascade Street Hood River, Or 97031
Broderick Gallery 1318 Commerce Ave, Longview, WA 98632 Reception: Sunday, June 7 1-6pm
(To celebrate its summer special exhibition: The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden) Event Dates: 8/8/2014 - 8/10/2014 Reception: 8/9/2014 Location: Portland Art Museum (503) 226-2811 1219 SW Park Ave Portland OR 97205
Alla Prima Portland First Annual Invitational Group Show 2014