Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nearly Christmas!

I painted this a couple of years ago. Nutcrackers always creep me out a little, but I didn't mind this one too much. Well, it's that time of year to reflect on all that we are grateful for. I am especially happy that I have made so many wonderful internet friendships over the years and I am raising a glass to all of us who keep painting! (sometimes even when we don't feel like it). Here's Mud in your Eye! Oh, I went to art discussion and also the Thursday Drawing Club last week. To see what all the artists brought and did....go HERE

(Painting) Celeste Bergin, Christmas Still Life, oil on 12x9 canvas panel

Friday, December 12, 2014


This is an underpainting. The plan is to add more paint after it dries some..and possibly a glaze. We'll see how it goes. :)
(Underpainting) Celeste Bergin, Pond, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Hi Everyone! Happy Thursday. Here is the painting I took to art discussion see what everyone else brought...go HERE. :)

(Painting) Celeste Bergin, Sandy Delta Park, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


A little portrait study...of an old-timey woman.
(Oil Study) Celeste Bergin, Lady, oil on 10x8 canvas panel

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A new week!

I turned in 10 paintings for the "Big 500" today. This is one of my favorites. I like the big shapes and contrast! 
The show will be at People's Art of Portland, located on the top floor of Pioneer Place. It is a fundraising event benefiting the Oregon Food Bank.    
Sat Dec 13th at 2pm – until 9pm
500+ Artists
5000+ Pieces of art
700 SW Fifth (3rd floor) People’s is Suite 4005
Pioneer Square Mall, downtown Portland
open Thurs-Sun 12-6pm
Bring a can of food for entry. (The food collected for entry to the opening together with a portion of proceeds from art sales benefit several Portland shelters).
The show runs Saturday, December 13 through January 11.

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Pond, oil on 8x8 birch panel

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Here is another 8x8 painting for the 500 show. It has been really fun to paint for this event. I understand that there is more like 600 artists involved, not just 500. We all got 10 panels to paint. Can you imagine..? All the information about the opening (December 13) is in my sidebar on the left. 

Dave and I went for a walk this afternoon. It rained buckets! (...but my sherbet-y green Columbia Sportswear jacket kept me mostly dry). 

Hope you are enjoying your day --wherever you are and whatever you are doing! :)

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Moonlit, oil on 8x8 birch panel

Saturday, November 22, 2014


I’m painting for the "Big 500" show this year.  
The show is a fundraising event benefiting the Oregon Food Bank.   (The food collected for entry to the opening together with a portion of proceeds from art sales benefit several Portland shelters).
The show runs Saturday, December 13 through January 11.  
Big 500
Peoples Art of Portland 
Opens Sat Dec 13th at 2pm – until 9pm
show runs through Jan 11th
500+ Artists
5000+ Pieces of art

(all art is 8x8)

Bring a can of Food for Free entry 
Peoples Art of Portland Gallery
700 SW Fifth (3rd floor) People’s is Suite 4005
Pioneer Square Mall, downtown Portland
open Thurs-Sun 12-6pm

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Red Trees, oil on 8x8 birch panel
Oh, and I missed telling you about the Thursday art discussion see what we brought go HERE.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A still life (practice) start

The weather was rough today, very cold and windy. I wanted to paint something and settled on my Winsor Newton jar with brushes. This is just 30 minutes into it and I'll do more tomorrow. Still life practice is a fine way to stay warm and dry.  

Happy Wed-nes-day!

(Top Photo) Painting on a cold day in "the Bunker"
(Bottom Photo) Practice start, Celeste Bergin, Assorted brushes, oil on 12x9 canvas panel


Technology sucks sometimes! I recently updated my operating system and now I'm having a fair amount of perplexing computer issues. Well, here is a photo of me and Quin (the other half of the two-woman show at Broderick Gallery). Our Sunday Artist Reception was great. Hooray for red dots! Thank you, Collectors and George Broderick!  Hope all is going well with you, art friends!

Photo: Quin Sweetman and Celeste Bergin at Broderick Gallery

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Catching up...on Thursday

Here is one of the paintings I took to art discussion today. It's just a value study of my cat Daisy.  To see what everyone else brought...go HERE.

I have skipped a couple of blog I'm catching up now. Here Dave is helping me pick up my paintings from People's Art downtown. Some of my paintings were selected to be used in scenes of Portlandia (Season 5). Thanks, Chris Haberman, for the opportunity.

We celebrated my friend Dave G's 80th birthday on November 1. No one can believe that he is 80! Here he is with Anne making a wish upon his birthday pie (It's custard).

Dave B and I took in the Schnitzer Collection at the Portland Art Museum yesterday. I'm studying a Katherine Ace painting.

This week I also turned in my paintings to George Broderick at Broderick Gallery for my two woman show with Quin Sweetman...."A Year in Paint". (The paintings were all completed in the last year).

....And this is your invitation. (Click to Enlarge) I will be at the Artist's reception on Sunday, Nov 9, 1-6pm. Come if you can..I would love to see you there!

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Study of Daisy, oil on 8x6 canvas panel

Saturday, November 1, 2014


What a great week I've had...I hope all is going well for you too! Here is a painting I took to art discussion on Thursday. To see what everyone else brought....go HERE.

(Painting) Celeste Bergin, Sundown, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


For some crazy reason I decided to paint my studio floor over the weekend. (This is "der bunker", my studio in the basement). It's finally done and everything has been put back together (mostly). That old portrait on the drafting table is my Father's Mother. She's been there from the beginning. 

I could have done this in the summer and used the patio to move things to...but noooo, I waited until the rainy weather, apparently to make it harder on myself. I had to move furniture all around, paint a section, wait for the section to dry, move furniture to the dry section, paint a new section, etcetera etcetera. It was a ton of work.

I'm pretty much a saver...and these are all my old sketchbooks. 

And this is my old "stressless recliner"... a nice place to think. I'll likely add a nice neutral rug and continue sorting through all my extra things that take up room that I don't need (there is more to this room that I'm not showing you).  Ok! back to painting soon. 

What have you been doing?

Friday, October 24, 2014


This is one of my paintings that has been installed at Providence St. Vincent Hospital on the Art for the Care wall, beginning this week until January 30, 2015. All the work there is for sale and part of the proceeds from sales will be donated to charity.

On Thursday I went to the art discussion meeting. To see what everyone brought...go HERE.

.....It's Friday! Happy Weekend, Friends, I hope you have great plans afoot (or perhaps no plans, which is also often a very nice thing)!

(Painting) Celeste Bergin, The Journey, oil on 18x6 stretched canvas

Saturday, October 18, 2014


This is a painting that was inspired by reference photos and Edgar Payne's boat paintings. Those old wooden boats are made up of beautiful subtle shapes. It's not quite finished yet..but I figured I'd share it early.

How is your weekend?

(Painting): Celeste Bergin, Fishing boats (detail), oil on 20x16 stretched canvas

Monday, October 13, 2014

Portrait practice

This study was painted with the very uncomplicated Zorn palette (White, Yellow Ochre, Cad Red and Black).

Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Jennifer, oil on 16x12 canvas sheet

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I am happy with how this turned out...but the photo is not the best. I took it late, maybe I'll retake it when the light is better tomorrow.

Yesterday we went to Joanne Radmilovich Kollman's studio. She is a painting pal of mine and part of Portland Open Studios. Her son and friend were greeters and told us which way to go. 

Joanne's studio is in the Troy Laundry Building. I guess it used to be a laundry building (!)...but now it houses mostly artists.

I love her space. Lot's of wonderful light. 

As were were leaving another painting friend (Erin Cadena) showed up, so the Paparazzi did his job.
It was a great was yours?

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, October sky, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Here is one of the paintings I took to the art discussion today. To see what everyone else brought...go HERE.
(Painting) Celeste Bergin, Homestead, oil on 12x9 canvas panel

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


(Painting) Celeste Bergin, Sunflowers, oil on 12x9 canvas panel

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wee Maxine

"Wee Maxine" is sort of a dinky cat, which just adds to her appeal. I've studied her a lot and, of course, she has completely won my heart. I cat-sat her in 2012 too, and handled it in the same way...sketching each day and finalizing the experience with an oil painting. 

(Aren't animals just the best?)

Here is a slideshow of the sketches. Direct link to photos HERE.

(Painting) Celeste Bergin, Maxine 2014, oil on 16x12 canvas panel

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Our art discussion topic was about canvases and supports today. I brought in this oil study (that was done on a sheet of Centurion linen). To see what everyone else brought...go HERE.

Dave G is back from his trip, so my cat-sitting duty is over. It was a lot of fun to draw and paint Maxine every day.  She seemed to sense that I was making her my model, so she would stay in one spot for long stretches! I've got an oil painting of her started (from a photo).

Drawing a cat is more of a challenge than you would think. They have such subtle shapes...if you aren't careful they come out looking like a dog. (And I have a lot of "dogs" to prove it)!

(Top photo) Oil Study, Celeste Bergin, Boy in 1930's school uniform (from photo reference), oil on 16x12 canvas sheet

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Did you have a great weekend? I did! This is a small painting from Sauvie Island.

On Saturday afternoon we went to a book launch reading/signing. The author and illustrator (artist) are our friends Victoria and Michael Lindstrom. The book is The Scandinavian Santa. Super proud of them and this wonderful collaboration. 

Every day I visit with my cat-sitting charge, Maxine. Some days she likes me better than others. Today she liked me ok, but she really preferred a sunbath. I'm painting a watercolor or gouache of her most every day. I'll share the whole collection at the end of my cat-sitting stint. 

(Top Photo) Celeste Bergin, Sauvie Island, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Friday, September 26, 2014


I've been reading the Edgar Payne composition book. There are a number of old sailboats/fishing boats in the thumbnails he shows for examples. This is a detail of a painting that I am working on that incorporates some Payne ideas.  It's just for practice. (You seldom get to see boats like this just sitting in the sand---but it makes for a great visual). 

Maxine the cat and I had a nice visit today (the cat I am cat-sitting). While she and I sat and listened to some afternoon television* ...I also took the time to paint the big leather recliner in gouache. *Afternoon television is terrible!

Yesterday I went to art see what everyone brought, go HERE.

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Old Fishing Boats, oil on 20x16 stretched canvas
(2nd Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, DG's chair, black and white gouache on paper

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday! (Oil Study and Maxine the Cat)

I painted this oil study from a previous plein air. I might add more to it tomorrow, or I might leave it as a study. To be continued!

This week (and next) I continue cat-sitting Maxine. I go to her house every day to visit with her and I also use the time to draw/sketch her. An all black cat is a wonderful subject. She is a real one-person cat, so she has snubbed me a lot.

Today, however,  she warmed up to me. She came out and accepted some pets!  I read somewhere that black cats are considered lucky in Japan. I know I feel "lucky" that she modeled for me.

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sauvie Island, oil on 8x8 canvas panel
(Bottom Photos) Drawings, Celeste Bergin, Maxine the Cat, Ink on paper

Saturday, September 20, 2014


My painting friend Za Vue is always recommending that we paint with big masses. (This is a practice painting with big blocks of paint).

Last Thursday I went to the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River. I ran into my painting pal, Rowena Sanford. 

I also saw Cathleen Rehfeld, Sally Reichmuth and Daryl Lloyd. I got to see the Plein Air show again. It looks great!

Do you have one of these paint wringers? It works really well. This afternoon I wrung a slew of my paint. It was a nice project. I sat at the picnic table in the back yard. 

.....What are you doing? :)

(Top Photo) Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Model K, oil on 12x16 canvas panel

Friday, September 19, 2014


On Thursday our art discussion group talked about heightening drama in a painting. There seemed to be a consensus that contrast is a good strategy. To see what everyone brought, go HERE.

(Painting) Celeste Bergin, To the East II, oil on 12x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Here is one of the plein air paintings I have at the Columbia Art Gallery this month in the Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition and Exhibition 2014. The show is up until September 28.

Yesterday I took Dave Gallup to the airport for his trip back to North Carolina. He is going back to visit with his very first girlfriend from the 1950's! Well, she's going to approve, don't you think? I take care of Maxine the cat, while he is gone.

As you can see, it is time to clean up der Bunker studio AGAIN. This time, however, I am really buckling down and getting rid of everything that is not really necessary. Ok, except for the paper lanterns. They can stay.


(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, To the East, oil on 8x10 canvas panel, available at Columbia Art Gallery