Friday, January 31, 2014


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Into the light, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Thursday, January 30, 2014


The topic in our art discussion today was ........ sketchbooks! I drew this box of chocolates into my favorite Aquabee sketchbook a few years ago. It remains one of my all-time favorite sketches!
To see what everyone brought to the meeting......go HERE.

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Chocolates at Carolyn's, gouache, watercolor and ink in 12x9 sketchbook

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Gouache!

I am enjoying my foray into gouache. What is especially fun about it...(because it is a water media)....I don't mind one whit screwing up. It's just gouache! It's only paper! That laissez-faire attitude translates itself into some interesting effects.

(Now, if you want to see how gouache is handled expertly...check out Bill Sharp. Whether he paints with watercolor, gouache or oil ....he has no fear and beautiful results!)

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Night-Cityscape, Gouache on 6x8 toned/gessoed paper

Monday, January 27, 2014


Sketch: Celeste Bergin, View from Mt. Tabor, Gouache on gessoed/toned 6x8 paper

Sunday, January 26, 2014


I bought some tubes of gouache a couple of days ago. I tried them out today to sketch Sargent's "Neapolitan Boy". I've never used gouache much ...but each time I do I really like it. Isn't it unusual how Sargent had most of the face in shadow...and just a bit of light in front of the ear? I'll do this again for practice. 

Here we are out for a walk today. A favorite destination is McDonalds on 82nd for a cup of coffee ...and to sketch something in my sketchbook. It's about 3 miles round trip. 

(Click to Enlarge)

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Neapolitan Boy after Sargent, Gouache on 8x10 gessoed cardboard

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Friday Flowers, oil on 8x6 canvas panel

Friday, January 24, 2014


In my Sargent book there is this lovely interior that I sketched today. After I finished the sketch I discovered that this wasn't painted by Sargent, but by a man named James Sleator (it was the painting behind the chrysanthemums that was done by Sargent). Well, maybe it still qualifies for my Sargent project.

We found ourselves on Hawthorne street for a walk again today. This sculpture is famous here because it is next to the yard of Linus Pauling's childhood home. The sculpture represents an "Alpha Helix". If it weren't so chilly today I would have sketched it. I love the shapes and color. 

Bonus! It turns out that the house where the sculpture is has been converted into a bookstore (Anthology Booksellers)...and they have a great art section!

Here's the sculpture from the porch of the bookstore. I think it is really beautiful....don't you?!

How is your day going??

(top photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, value sketch after James Sleator, 9x6 sketchbook toned paper 

Thursday, January 23, 2014


This is a painting I started and did not complete. It's funny...I like it exactly where it is and I'm comfortable leaving it here. Maybe I like the contrast between the colorful area and the blank area...or maybe I like the resolved area next to the unresolved area. I'm just happy leaving it as is. 

I went to art discussion see what everyone brought....go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Unfinished, oil on 10x8 stretched canvas 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


This is a painting from last year...I touched it up some today.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Commute, oil on 12x9 canvas panel

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I did paint a painting today, but I didn't like how it turned out. It had some good qualities....but I just decided to put it away and look at it again tomorrow. Right at the moment, I don't know if it will ever see the light of day.

But! in keeping with my post anything artful anyway credo...I sketched the above earlier in the day when I stopped into Common Grounds coffee house.  It was fun to observe this fellow who was obviously meeting a lady for the first time...he was on his best behavior. (Watch out, lady!)

I couldn't spend much time on the sketch, because I had an appointment I had to keep....but I'll go back to Common Grounds for more sketching. It is a very comfortable place (with good coffee, of course)!

Common Grounds is on Hawthorne. I like how their awning reads: Bakers Baristas Artists

Monday, January 20, 2014


Here's a sketch I did today with transparent red oxide, cad red, yellow ochre, black and white on a gessoed/textured canvas panel.

I found myself in the Hawthorne neighborhood today for my walk and went to Powell's bookstore. For once I didn't buy something! That's a first. It was fun to browse anyway.

It was sunny but super cold today. The Hawthorne pretty! 

(Oil Sketch) Celeste Bergin, Portrait sketch, oil on 12x9 gessoed panel

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I painted this over an old painting today. woo was fun!

Later in the day I sketched from the fat Sargent book in the front room. What lovely compositions Sargent employed! One right after another. (I'll add this to my Sargent project).

After that surgery business my doctors advised me that it is important to walk every day...(even if you don't feel like it). I packed my sketch kit and set out to walk to Rain or Shine Coffehouse on Division. It's an easy walk..flat all the way.

The paparazzi was there! No..No, paparazzi, please, pictures! (haha) 

After getting to my destination and drinking coffee...  I did this contour drawing in my small sketchbook of the paparazzi. (Contour drawing is looking at the subject instead of the paper...) When I looked back at the paper I saw that I made his camera lens into a cinnamon bun. Very fitting! it was a sweeeeet outing. 

How's your weekend so far?

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Solitary flower, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Thursday, January 16, 2014


It's not raining today....but I re-vamped this painting from awhile back. I'm thinking I might add yet more paint to it after this layer dries. I also went to Art Discussion today--to see all the paintings that showed up...go HERE.

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Downpour, oil on 12x24 stretched canvas

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I settled on painting a painting "out of my head" today...(no reference, but it is based loosely on a previous painting in my memory). It is fun to just push the paint see what happens. 

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Day's End, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Monday, January 13, 2014


I spent part of today watching disc one of of a 3 set dvd, Picasso: Magic, Sex and Death. Part one covered Picasso's women. Later in the day I looked up one of Picasso's paintings of Olga. I love how simple it is and how he apparently used charcoal to describe the I painted this version of it.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Portrait of Olga, after Picasso, oil on 9x12 canvas panel.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


One of the benefits of having to convalesce is that you get to spend quality time with whatever books or  movies you want...without really feeling guilty. I mean, what else can you do? You're sidelined, you may as well make the most of it.

So...for the past couple of months I've been getting caught up with some of my heros. Before my own surgery I watched the video (A Model for Matisse) and it was there I learned that the surgery that sidelined Matisse was similar to mine! I felt comforted by that..maybe because Matisse is so famous for never giving up and for working from his bed and his wheelchair. He didn't let a little harrowing ordeal like colon surgery stop him from creating.

Of course, no misunderstanding, I am not trying to 'align' myself with Matisse!  Matisse was a genius, he had much worse problems than I do and faced a much more difficult recovery.  Still, don't we feel a kinship with people because we have shared similar challenges? Yeah, Matisse..I get you even more now.

Today as I contemplated what to do I settled on something different. Something just for fun...(something I really have no idea how to do!)...a scratchboard of my 'pal'....Matisse.

P.S....thanks to all of you for the outpouring of well-wishes---I appreciate every one. You are THE BEST!

Scratchboard, Celeste Bergin 5x7, Matisse, scratched out ink on gessoboard

Friday, January 10, 2014

I'm baaaaaaaack

Where have I been? 
This photo was taken today right before my discharge from the hospital. Here is my wonderful surgeon, Dr. Mark Whiteford. He removed a section of my colon (on Tuesday) and fixed me! Yay! 

THANKS to all of you for wondering where I have been and worrying about me! As you can see..everything is copasetic :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014


This is the painting I took to the art discussion meeting today...the subject was GREEN. To see what the others brought....go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, At the Pond, oil on 8x8 canvas panel