Sunday, September 30, 2012


Here is my art-effort for today, a sketch based loosely on a Degas Painting.

Drawing, Celeste Bergin, Female portrait sketch, charcoal in 6x9 sketchbook

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Family, past and present

I painted this in black and white several weeks ago and added a blue glaze to it, just to see what would happen. It's just one of those things that will go into a stack of "experiments".

A project on one of my endless to-do lists is to photograph all my old photographs (to share with those in my Bergin family).  This is my maternal Grandfather. I bet he never bowled, not even once. He worked and worked. I grew up without a father, so he was the only male figure in my growing up years, aside from my brother. He was a remote guy, not very demonstrative at all (he never hugged us, the dog is lucky!) ...still,  my brother and I knew that he loved us. I can't look at a photo of him and not smile.

Fast forward to is our new grandbaby Eloise with mom Cacye. We're having a family party today to welcome Eloise into the Burbach she cute or what?

Since beautiful babies abound, I'll also share this photo of another of my beautiful grandbabies...(I have five total and another on the way!) This is Olivia (do you love these old-fashioned names... I do!)

So, I am hoping you are having a great day full of happy thoughts, artful things and possibly a cherub or two too. What's on your docket!?

(Top Photo) Painting, Celeste Bergin, Strike!, oil on 6x6 gessoed hardboard

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Painting, Celeste Bergin, Near Sandy, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paint-out at Broderick Gallery

Today Carrie, Quin and I painted from Broderick's yard in Rainier. Rainier is about a one hour drive from Portland. There are so many interesting scenes there, right on the river. Once we set up, Quin and I spent a lot of time trying to decide what direction to paint in.  We eventually decided to go with "abbreviated" studies of varied views. The plan is to return to do more resolved paintings in the future. I think we all wound up with 4 or 5 different ideas. It was a great day, punctuated by the jokes and shenanigans of our host, George. At the very end of the day George surprised me by making a gift to me of one of his outstanding paintings...Caratid. (I love representational art, but I am also a genuine fan of George's "distorted hyperbolic reality"). So, YES! Hooray! Caratid goes home with me! (The perfect end to a perfect day).

(Top Photo) Painting study, Stop sign & Yellow House, oil on a quadrant of 12x16 canvas panel
(Bottom Photo) Me, Caratid & George Broderick

Slideshow of the day below and to see what the others did go HERE:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Sketching at Carolyn's house was never a serious thing, we'd talk a streak while we sketched and I often wound up drawing Carolyn's shoes. (She has some cute ones). Well, if I want to examine Carolyn's footwear in the future I'll have to travel to Washington, DC....because she is moving there. With any luck we can go see her and visa versa...the world is a much smaller place than it used to be, and there is always Skype too. Maybe we can sketch/Skype. It's a thought. I'm going to miss her! 

(sketches: Celeste Bergin, assorted shoes, pen, watercolor, gouache, acyrlic)

Monday, September 24, 2012


I'm still in the throes of the studio clean-up. I bet I can finish tomorrow! Part of my process involves looking at old pantings and deciding what to do with them. I came across this painting depicting a Portland writer. I think I remember when I first posted it that it was met with mixed reviews.  I nearly sold it once, but the potential buyer decided on something else. I'm partial to it myself, because it's oh so very......Portland.

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Writing in PDX, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I am cleaning up my basement studio once more. I guess I have a tendency to get it organized only to fall back into the terrible habit of not putting things back where they belong... Then I have to spend several days "righting" it all again.  Well, I got it about 1/2 way done today and I'll work on it again tomorrow. The photo above is crates of sketchbooks. The crate on the left is of blank sketchbooks and the crate on the right is of completed sketchbooks.

I have always liked saying "The World is Your Oyster". This may explain why I have so many blank sketchbooks...I must have no problem buying one whenever I want, because...hey, The World is My Oyster! I shouldn't have to buy another for awhile. I didn't realize I had so many of them.

This week I got to attend a talk conducted by Michael Lindstrom. The subject was "Expressing Mood in Painting." I've thought about several things that he brought up and it's given me some ideas for what to paint next. Cleaning the studio is a way of clearing the decks to get ready for something new.

When I looked through my completed sketchbooks today I found this apple that I drew in 1990. I did not draw much at all back then so it is pretty cool that I still have this. I definitely can remember where I was when I drew it. Sketchbooks are great!

Here is another page from a sketchbook that I especially like. It is a drawing of Georgia O'Keeffe. When I get my studio all back together it is going to be great for winter. I promise to put things back where they belong more consistently so that I spend less time cleaning/organizing and more time painting. (Do you think Georgia put things back properly?)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday at Heron Lakes Golf Course

Carrie & I drove over to Heron Lakes Golf Course this morning to paint with Za, Cathleen, Dave and Quin. It was a gray day, but Heron Lakes is a pretty place and we had a great time visiting with each other as well as the golfers who were making the turn from the front nine to the back nine. Paintings from the day HERE and in Slideshow below:

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Willow near the 10th hole, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Thursday, September 20, 2012


This painting is from my archives. It is from when I first started painting. Back then I took a 3 day workshop with the inimitable Robert Gamblin at the coast. On the first day, after a full day of painting, Gamblin proposed what seemed a crazy idea. He wanted all of us to paint more (in an "extracurricular" way) night! We were staying at a campground and I dutifully did as I was told, painting this at a picnic table in pitch black darkness. I'll always remember how surprised I was looking at it the next day. It seemed very true to the scene. Funny to think that maybe half the success of this was in not being able to see it!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the Moonlight, oil on 5x7 canvas panel

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


 I learned today that Columbia Art Gallery sold another one of my paintings in the Pacific NW Plein Air Exhibit. Hooray! If you get a chance, please go out and see all the fantastic plein air art that showcases our gorgeous Gorge!  The show is up until September 30.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Overlook in Corbett, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Update: the painting that was sold is called "In the Orchard"; to see it click HERE.

Presentation at the NW Oil Painter's Guild

I gave a presentation tonight to NWOPG in Vancouver. The topic was Amateur vs. Professional painting. At the end of my talk we did a collaborative non-representational painting. Each person added strong bold marks to a single canvas (just for fun)! The painting was won in a drawing (and the winner was Marianne Stokes).
Big Thanks to all involved! 
You can see the painting come together in the slideshow below.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Monday!

I don't remember where I got the reference for this sketch. It was in my sketchbook from a long time ago as a black and white and now I've added some color.

It's a matter of a sketcher sketching a sketcher.

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Sketcher, oil on gessoed paper 6x9

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Life painting session --Jeff

Tonight I attended a "Candlelight" modeling session at Janet Amundson-Splidsboel's Studio. (It's a misnomer..... candles aren't involved, but the sessions do take place in the evening, in Janet's basement). We had a great movie-star looking model and the time just flew by.

To see what everyone else did go HERE.

Painting, Celeste Bergin, Life modeling session: Jeff, oil on 11x14 canvas panel

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Today I was at Randall Tipton's Studio for brunch, art conversation and most expressly to welcome Carol Marine to Oregon. How cool is that?! (We're glad she's here!)

L to R (back) Randall David Tipton, me L to R (front) Jo Reimer, Cathleen Rehfeld, Annie Salness and Carol Marine.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Oil Sketch

....Stopped near Dodson today to do a color sketch. I finished it, but it's too late in the day to photograph it. I'll deal with it tomorrow* Dodson is part of the historic Columbia River Highway. It was very quiet here and plenty hot weather-wise. The only real problem I had was......a wasp stung me.

How was YOUR day?

(Top Photo) Painting in Dodson, OR

*(Updated): Oil sketch, Celeste Bergin, Dodson, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Today I met up with some of my art pals at Bread & Ink for the "sometimes/impromptu" Breakfast meeting. In the photo above I am shooting a picture of Eunice's color swatches that she shared from her color theory class. 

To catch up on the meeting....go HERE.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Today I joined some other painters at Sauvie was a perfect day!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Near the River, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Pansy, oil on 5x7 canvas panel

September 11

John Bergin 11/10/61--9-/11/01

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.”  David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday .....!

This is one of three of my paintings that is currently on display as part of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council Art Exhibit at Reed College. The show is up until the end of the October 12. 

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sunshine Creek, oil on 10x10 cradled panel

Saturday, September 8, 2012


A couple of my paintings in the Columbia Art Gallery Pacific NW Plein Air Competition.

(Top) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Nocturne, oil on 8x10 canvas panel (Framed) SOLD
(Bottom) Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the Orchard, oil on 9x12 canvas panel (Framed) SOLD


There has been a wildfire burning for a couple of days in White Salmon, Wa. I'm certain that's why the sky looked like this tonight as we drove back from the Artist Reception in Hood River. Isn't it strange that something that we consider negative (fire) is so beautiful? Nature makes no judgement about what is good or bad!

This week has been wonderful for me--I got to spend so much time in gorgeous surroundings with wonderful friends and it all cumulated with tonight's Artist Reception. I'm happy to report that painting "Marina Nocturne" SOLD

It's a good time to once again say THANKS to you for following along with me about what I've been doing. I'm grateful for the cheering on. Seriously..... It motivates me in a big way to know people are interested in all this. :)  I appreciate you! 

There is a slideshow about the reception HERE

What have YOU been doing art-wise?....tell me!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday with Randall Sexton (and are invited!)

I got to attend Randall Sexton's one-day workshop today. What a spectacular painter/teacher he is....He lived up to his fine reputation and I feel super-lucky to have been able to watch him paint and to participate.
Randall did a morning demonstration and afterwards we painted our own scene. I chose the big old oak at Rasmussen Farm for my subject matter (photo above). I always stand while I paint, but today I could see the tree better from a seated position. (Sitting is pretty cool!) 

When I saw that Randall was getting closer to my location I elevated my tripod/pochade box back into the standing position because I anticipated that he would make corrections/revisions onto my painting. I had what I considered a semi-decent beginning and I should have photographed how my painting looked before Randall dropped by. Suffice it to say, with just a few extremely deft strokes, he improved it a thousand percent. At-the-easel instruction is amazing!

(To see more about the entire day.....go HERE).

Here is your invitation to see all the fantastic plein air painting in the competition... find out who won and celebrate with the artists! I have five paintings in the show.
Artist's reception, Friday September 7, Public Reception 6-8pm.

(Click to Enlarge)

Also, the beautiful Johnson Creek Council show is opening the same evening in the Vollum Lounge of Reed College. (I have three pieces in the show). Friday September 7, 6-8pm.  Here is the information:

(Click to Enlarge)

See you soon!:)

(Top Photo) Workshop painting start, Big Oak Tree at Rasmussen Farm, oil on 8x8 canvas panel. Note--It's not a very good photo of the painting, the painting is lighter-I'll re-photograph it eventually.