Thursday, July 16, 2015


I did this painting from life a few years ago. She was lit from above, sort of like with an interrogation light bulb. I resurrected it because our art discussion group had a topic about old paintings. To see what everyone else brought go HERE

Thanks to everyone for coming to the Lane Gallery Reception. It was great to see you.. So much fun (red dots too)! Photos below, direct link HERE  (Thanks, David for the photos)!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Artist Reception...this coming Wednesday, July 15 6-8pm, Lane Gallery

Hey Friends! I've got a show reception coming up this coming Wednesday July 15th (6-8pm) at the new Lane Gallery (2412 NW Raleigh). (Lane moved to the Pearl ---it's a beautiful space). I'm showing with the lovely and talented Jennifer Feeney, Gila Lane and others (and it's all about SUMMER, a plein air painter's favorite time of the year)! Please come, I'd love to see you there!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Thursday ---(and Reception next week)

The topic was "color mixing tips" at art discussion yesterday. I showed this painting of an alley. I like this painting for it's simplicity and all the atmosphere. To see what everyone else brought...go HERE.

There is a reception for me, Jenn Feeney, Kyle Kraiter and Gila Lane next Wednesday, July 15, 6-8pm at the (newly located) Lane Gallery in the Pearl. ("Summer's End" is the name of the show...and even though right now we're right in the middle of a hot-hot summer the show is up until September). Lane Gallery is a beautiful gallery and I am so honored to be in this show. Please come if you can I would love to see you there!  2412 NW Raleigh Street.

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Rain in the Alley, oil on 5x7 canvas panel

Monday, July 6, 2015


Are you ready for a new week? This is a painting that I had at art discussion. To see what everyone else brought....go HERE.
(Painting) Celeste Bergin, After the Rain, oil on 18x24 canvas panel

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Painting on sketchbook covers

This is one of my favorite sketchbook cover paintings that I've done recently. So simple and I love how the background and her skin tone are so similar. It is from a photo reference and an experiment in using Alizarin Crimson for flesh. 

For a couple of months I've been painting my sketchbook covers. I got this idea from a sketching friend of mine (Tim Young) and he got the idea from James Gurney. Here (above) you can see I have a lot of old sketchbooks. I have saved them mostly for sentimental reasons. Most of the drawings inside aren't very good at all. I have learned (and have come to accept) that sketchbooks are a just the perfect place to make all kinds of mistakes.

I'm reasonably certain that when Gurney advanced this idea of painting directly onto your sketchbook cover he meant that you would personalize your sketchbooks as-you-go...but I decided to do mine retroactively.
The sketchbooks in the photo show that I gessoed the books in advance of painting them. I textured the gesso also (with a paper towel). I used oil for these paintings and Tim used acrylic. Almost all of these books are Aquabee Deluxe sketchbooks, but I know this will work on any hard cover.

You may wonder what is to be gained from doing this. Well, for one, it is just plain fun. Tim and I both have noticed that sometimes these efforts can come out great*. I've been trying to paint them energetically (for the "brushspeed"). *(There may be less onus to painting on an unconventional surface). Below are what I have done so far: 

I'm glad I tried this and if you're looking to do something really different, you might try it too. The only downside to it is that you can't stack the books until they are really super-dry...and that people might be disappointed when they open a book with a pretty painting on the front... only to find  mediocre crappy drawings inside. Oh so what.. haha! ("The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." --Elbert Hubbard)

(Sketchbook covers): Celeste Bergin: Red truck from photo reference, Profile from photo reference, Man & dog from memory (I have to re-take that photo), Portrait of John Singer Sargent, Landscape from memory, Profile from photo reference, Hoodie from photo reference, Figure inspired by Manet, Flowers from life, Cup and saucer from life, "Lonely" trees from memory