Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Pond, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Monday, February 25, 2013


I made some adjustments to the clouds in this painting today. 

Later during my walk I met my neighbor's new puppy. 
Her name is Heidi. 
She raced all around the yard and then she stopped to untie my shoe. 

Later I saw this van in the parking lot of Mr. Plywood. 
Those are handwritten o's (or are they zeros?) all over it. 
I thought as I photographed it ....this is bloggable!

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Farmland, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Sunday, February 24, 2013


No painting by me I thought I'd share this great photo of Andrew Wyeth, painting plein air on his jeep hood. (Photo by William Waterway Marks)
Andrew Wyeth (1977) painting en plein air in a field on his Cushing, Maine farm overlooking the ocean. Wyeth's faithful yellow lab companion usually accompanied him on such outings. In the photograph, Wyeth is painting a scene of a sailboat cruising on the ocean as seen through a vista revealed between two clusters of trees. This particular model of Willys Jeepster Convertible allowed for Wyeth to comfortably paint plein air scenes. The hood of the Jeepster oftentimes served as a mixing palette. The front bumper of the vehicle was the perfect height and protruding width to allow Wyeth to comfortably rest his feet while perched on the hood.

Nearby on the ground is the portable box within which Andrew Wyeth transported his pigments, brushes, and assorted painting tools. He used a Mason Jar to transport his water for mixing colors and always had a rag handy for cleaning and drying brushes according to his artistic needs. At times, Wyeth would use the vehicle's hood as a palette to blend his pigments. This photo was taken by William Waterway Marks, who, along with his two horses, was a guest on the Wyeth farm for ten days. At the time, Marks was reaching the end of his 7,500 coast-to-coast horseback trek across America entitled, Ride For Nature, and Wyeth offered sanctuary to Marks so he and his horses could rest. Andrew and Betsy Wyeth were introduced to Marks by mutual friend, the artist, Eric Sloane. Today this Willys Jeepster Convertible remains on Wyeth's Cushing, Maine farm, which is under the care of Wyeth's son, Nicky Wyeth. Nicky Wyeth continues to drive this Jeepster on local errands. (From Wikipedia)

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Nightfall in the Hills, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday at Studio 30

I spent the morning and afternoon at Studio 30 today. In the morning I painted Kat's green chair and in the afternoon we painted Elizabeth, our lovely model. I hope you had a great Friday...Happy Weekend!
To see what everyone else painted go HERE.

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Life Model Elizabeth, oil on 16x20 canvas panel
(Bottom Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Kat's Green Chair, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Here is another practice painting keying off of Julie Ford Oliver's Artbyte tutorial. (Great fun!) I took this painting to our art discussion meeting today. (To see what everyone else brought...go HERE).

Last night Dave and I were treated to a wonderful evening.  Gary Everest and his wife Michele Vagnerini hosted a lovely dinner party in their home (in downtown Portland). Pictured above (L to R) Michele and Gary, Margret Short, Dave Short, Pat Demartini, me and Dave.

(Gary and Pat)

Gary is a portrait artist and we got to see his most recent paintings. All met with approval, but we especially loved his portrait of Pat!
Sad to say Gary and Michelle are moving from Portland....(but happy to say they are moving to Hawaii). Gary promises to keep blogging! I got a wonderful painting from him....I'll be updating my blogpost "Art that I Own" with his painting soon. It's a treasure!)

Here are some views from Gary and Michelle's front room.
(This is the KOIN tower)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Red Roof, oil on 6x8 wood panel

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I started this painting to "fracture" it... ---but then I thought I'd just let it walk around free range for a spell beforehand.  Update: I'll let it be as is.

Painting start: Celeste Bergin, Rooster, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Monday, February 18, 2013


I revisited the red chair today and I'm satisfied that I followed Julie Ford Oliver's recommendations better.  It was fun to "try on" a new and different way of handling paint. If you try it, I suggest considering a simple subject like this. Putting on paint, taking it off and putting it back on again is kind of alien at first! Stay with's rewarding. Her Artbyte tutorial is HERE.

I don't know...does the chair need a cat?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Red Chair (revisited), oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I've been intrigued by Julie Ford Oliver's "fracturing" technique. I checked it out at the Daily Paintworks tutorials HERE.  I have been trying it out for a couple of days with some success here and there....but it's certainly not as easy as it looks and I've had a heck of a time not taking off too much paint whilst I "fracture". About the best result I've managed was over an old painting (above). I added and took away paint, with a palette knife and other tools she recommends.

....But the point, of course, of her video is to "fracture" a new painting, not an old one. Julie suggests you try the technique with something you are comfortable painting. So, I made up this red chair and then proceeded to wack away at it (fracturing). I left it here, even though it is not anything like her final results. I think her way of doing things is a great idea for loosening up...and maybe destroying in order to build. I'll have to practice more to get the hang of not taking off too much paint---that's a challenge.  I kind of appreciated this in the seems like it's raining tulips on my made up red chair. (Update: I revisited the chair later, see it HERE).

This weekend I got to watch Craig Srebnik's portrait-from-photo demonstration at his home studio. He talks a streak while he paints, never loses his concentration and in no time BLAM...!..behold a beautiful and interesting painting. See it HERE.

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Red Tea Pot, oil on 8x8 canvas panel
(Bottom Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Red Chair, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday at Studio 30

I got sort of a delayed start during the model session today.... This is as far as I got when time was suddenly up!  The time just flew by.  I'll just leave it here and consider it a good oil sketch.

In the morning I painted in the still life session. I worked on this painting that I started weeks ago. Someone added some new fruit to the set up, (which seemed an improvement), so I made those changes. I may work on this again next time.

To see all the paintings from today...go HERE.

Happy Weekend!

(Top Photo) Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Elizabeth, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas
(Bottom Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Still life, oil on 16x20 stretched canvas

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

The painting above is one that I showed at the art discussion breakfast meeting at O'Connors this morning (the topic today was RED). It's a plein air from a couple of summers ago in Hood River. 

I had the #3 breakfast (always great). To see what everyone brought in ....go HERE.

Thursday evening I met with Columbia River Art Group. 
Cam Morrison is taking a class with Jerry Sumpter

Nila suggested we look at the plein air frames at ASW.

I asked Lindy about what he uses for varnish. This is the one he likes.

The serious art talk often winds up like this! 

I (or should I say my signature) got a cool mention on Annie Salness' blog...swing by to read her Valentine's day post HERE.

I hope you are having a great day! Happy Valentine's Day to all my art friends, near and far! 

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Hood River Cottage, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


A painting of a Heifer...I think it is close to done....just a few more touches.

This is the beautiful People's Art Gallery in Pioneer Square downtown Portland. My painting "Coffeehouse" is there for the (invitational group) Portland Love Show.  It opens on Saturday with a reception from 5-9pm. (700 SW 5th, 3rd Floor). 

(Top Photo) Celeste Bergin, Heifer, oil on 8x8 gallery wrapped canvas

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Haybales, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Monday, February 11, 2013


A while back I sorted through my stacks of bad paintings...and I discarded some really awful ones. I kept this one, however, despite the fact it is pretty bad. The composition is bad, the painting is too thin..there is a lot about it that just doesn't make it. But I kept it. I like how the minimal sense of it seemed to describe what I intended.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Art Gallery, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Painting: Celeste Bergin, Meadow, oil on 9x12 gessoed hardboard

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I'm a collector!....(Art that I own)

No painting for me today, so it is a good time to re-post this updated "I'm a collector!" post. (Newer acquisitions at the end).


I think most artists admire other artists..I'm no exception. For many years I didn't have anything much on my walls except for my own work, but recently I realized that now I have a good start on a great art collection. Some things I have purchased, some things have been trades..I love all these treasures (yes, even this questionable and "ugly" Dali). Welcome to my my collection, (scroll down, it's in random order):

This is a signed lithograph by Salvador Dali. it was purchased in 1978 in the Bahamas. It is from the "Pergatory" panels of Dante's Inferno. I have a certificate of authentication, however, Dali is the most forged artist of all time.  In order to be confirmed that it is attributed to Dali I would have to have it appraised by a firm that is accredited to authenticate Dali. It's spendy and I don't know if I want to make the investment in knowing. This is the first "real art" (if it is) that I ever owned. I realize that it is very er...novel but the strangeness of it thoroughly impresses me,  along with the fact that it may be an actual Dali.

I bought this painting on eBay a couple of years ago. Thanks to my blogging friend hwfarber, I learned this was painted by Arturs Upelniek/Upelnieks (born 1911). Here is a link to a post about one of my favorite acquisitions. (An interesting thing that I later learned about Mr. Upelniek was that he was once lost at sea, and many of his paintings depict a relentlessly dark and foreboding ocean). Upelniek immigrated from Latvia and became a member of the Ashcan school.

A beautiful piece of pottery by Kurtis Piltz (no website). I traded a  painting for it.
I use it as an umbrella stand or to hold huge arrangements.
(The Kitty cat, Daisy is also a "prized possession").

Life casting, by Peny Wallace (I bought this in 2009, it is of Peny's daughter)

Another of my most favorite paintings, by Eric Jacobsen
I acquired it very close to this event.

A classic Eric Jacobsen landscape (isn't it beautiful!?) Acquired in 2009

Small painting by Eric Jacobsen purchased at Eric's studio sale

Small painting II by Eric Jacobsen purchased at Eric's studio sale

Brenda Boylan pastel (I traded a small painting for this)

Eric Bowman Acquired 2010 (I feel so lucky to own this!)

A study by Crawfurd Adamson (Gift from Crawfurd and Broderick Gallery)

Bonnie White, Gorge artist (purchased at Gorge White House)

Hanging vase by Margaret Synan-Russell

Painting purchased during Cathleen Rehfeld's Studio Sale

Cathleen Rehfeld (artist trading card, I still have to do mine)

Mosaic purchased at Bread and Ink Emilie Machon (no website)
The artist told me that when that cup accidently broke she announced,
"No problem, I will just use it in my next mosaic!"

Painting purchased during Portland Open Studios, Virginia Leonnig
... see the WPA influence?

Mark Larsen (trade for a painting of mine)

Kimberly Kent, purchase of one of her plein air encaustics (during her studio sale)

Kimberly Kent, (Gift) Abstract Expressionist Oil Painting

Mike Rangner, purchased at the Gorge White House

Scott L. Hendrie, Watercolor and ink portrait of "me" (gift)

Todd Smith Oil painting purchased at Todd's solo show at Gorge White House...(it's TOO good!)

Elizabeth See, Purchased at Columbia Art Gallery 10/10

Carolyn Rondthaler, (Watercolor), purchase from her show at First Unitarian Church, summer 2011

Eric Bowman, purchased in his "Collector's show" December 2011 (I ♥ this painting! )

Michael Lindstrom (Oil painting trade) ---Plein air, so thrillingly "fresh"

(MORE additions to my collection):

Anton Pavlenko (from the Inspirations in Paint exhibit)

Eric Bowman (My 3rd Bowman; this is The Scenic Highway)

Eric Jacobsen (little mouse immortalized) 

Thomas Kitts (his demo in a workshop..2011, I won the drawing for this)

Sarah Kaempf Matkowski (metal on photography)

Quin Sweetman (trade!)

Za Vue (purchase at her studio sale)

Watercolor portrait of my Mom by blogger "Crimson Leaves" (Priceless Gift! 2011)

This isn't quite everything...there are some more that need to be photographed...AND I have plans to add more to my collection very soon. 

Well, and how about you own art that someone else did?