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

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Today I got to take Michael Lindstrom's one-day workshop in Vancouver. I had a great time, and learned a lot. "Lindy" had us thinking about describing things boldly with plenty of paint (something he is very well-known for). I wound up painting this big barkdust pile next to some sort of utility house. It is something I might not generally think about painting, but Lindy pointed it out and I thought "Yeah"!

I feel so lucky that I can get in on these workshops that are crammed with great information. Lindy's a super-good instructor. The day went by whoosh! so fast! (We were at Burnt Bridge Creek Trail.  A nice place for a workshop).

(Painting) Celeste Bergin, Barkdust pile and Utility house, oil on 16x12 canvas panel

Here is a slideshow from today...(Photos by David Burbach) direct link to photos HERE

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Here is a plein air painting I did last week from Panorama Point. 

I am loving my new/old Soltek easel. (I bought it used and even though it gave me fits at first.. we're finally good friends now!)

Today Dave and I went over to visit our art pal, Jim King. He broke his foot (very badly) last month and he is confined to his house for several more weeks. Jim paints or draws every day! We miss him at our art discussion meetings, because he always says something meaningful. (Get better, Jim!)

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Mt. Hood from Panorama Point, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back to Normal!

Finally...I have Photoshop again (thanks to Dave who figured out how to get it on my new computer). Last night I attended a life model session. We had a pretty redhead who looked very elegant holding a red scarf to her chest. I am so happy to be able to post photos again. Yay! How have you been? I've missed you! (Over the weekend I got to be Kathryn Stats "helper" at her workshop in Hood River. To see photos go HERE). 

(Oil Study) Celeste Bergin, Monday Model, oil on 16x20 canvas sheet

Saturday, September 6, 2014


My computer crashed last week and I haven't had much time to straighten things out.

....No time to address pesky problems because I've been having the MOST FUN EVER this week at the 2014 Pacific NW Plein Air Competition and Exhibit in Hood River. It's the 10th anniversary and I've participated in all 10 years! 

Here I am sitting with my painting pals Bonnie Rieser and Bill Stanton. I facebooked this picture and Bill came back with "Who is that blind person?" (Really made me laugh). 

To see the week-long plein air event go HERE
and...last Thursday discussion is HERE

(Photo) Bonnie, me and  Bill "Who is that" Stanton (taking a break on the library grounds)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


It was so windy at Dallas Mountain Ranch today, I opted to forgo the tripod and paint from the passenger side of the truck. A great adventure. To see all of the photos from today (Day one of Pacific NW Plein Air 2014) go HERE.

(My computer crashed, and I have no access to photoshop--so my colors will be a little off until I get some image software). 
(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Mt Hood from Dallas Mtn Ranch, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Monday, September 1, 2014


I held this canvas in my hand to jot down some color notes during a sunset last week. (I had packed my pochade box and tripod away when I decided to paint this like "shorthand"). Fun. I took it to art discussion. To see what all the other artists brought...go HERE.

(Oil Study) Celeste Bergin, Sunset, oil on 8x6 canvas panel