Wednesday, April 22, 2015

216. Day is Done

'Day is Done'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

My favorite time of day. :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

215. Light Meters

'Light Meters'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Oh, dappled sun on blue and white building, you slay me. 
And, then! Then... three meters, all in a row! 
Just the sort of ugly/pretty combo that I cannot resist.
I love everything about this one!

Thanks for viewing - happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

214. Little League

'Little League'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Hey gang!
I'm trying hard to ignore the too-big number of days since I last posted a painting...ugh.
I have a zillion excuses, but let's pick something fun...I blame Little League. Ha!
Two of my three boys are learning the game of baseball, and even though our very busy calendar is testing my preferred 'homebody-make-no-plans' way of life, I really do enjoy watching them - especially the littlest ones - too stinkin' cute.

Today's painting is a sampling of some other cute little things I collect.
I have always had an affinity for these pin-on buttons - I mean, hello, 1989! 
(My sister Rita had a great collection on her stone-washed jean jacket.)
A few years back I found an old tackle box at a yard sale with a bunch of these oldies in it. Score!
I've blown them up almost three times their size here; that awesome little flag is only a half inch tall in real life.

Thanks for viewing - I missed ya guys!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

213. Indian Beach Rocks

'Indian Beach Rocks'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

*Just a little note - the blue reflections/highlights on the rocks are incredibly difficult to photograph well - in reality, they do not 'glow' nearly as much as it appears here.

Way back in '03 or '04, my guy and I went to Indian Beach, a gem among gems on the Oregon Coast. It was overcast and damp, and I was completely enthralled with the rock-covered shore. We had a great time, even taking some selfies (eons before the word existed) with my very first digital camera - 2.0 megapixels! Lol. Here's one of them --  I can't believe I'm posting it -- but anyway, you can see all those lovely rocks behind us. :) 

A couple of years later, we were newlyweds and I was pregnant-sick, so I dug out one of  my Indian Beach rock pictures and used it to help pass the days/weeks until our first son was born. Here's the result --  a little bigger than my work now. :)

'Beach Rocks' 
24" x 24"
acrylic on canvas

Like a lot of things in my life, over the years I had completely forgotten about Indian Beach. Our good friends reminded us last summer, and we finally made our way back a couple of weeks ago. It was fabulous - I have a feeling we'll be back often. 
I mean, three young boys and never-ending rocks? Perfection. :)

Today's painting is from my new Indian Beach rock pics.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Morning Welcome

'Morning Welcome'
16" x 20"
oil on gessoboard

Early morning in my town, fog and sun arriving together.

This painting is my contribution to the Spring Auction at my boys' elementary school.
The staff and volunteers do a fabulous job in the classroom and the community, - we're so thankful for them all!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

January - February in review...

I rarely know what I'm going to paint 'next', so it's fun (and helpful) for me to look back and see my patterns and themes over different seasons. I'm kind of loving this little group. :) 

I'm currently working on a much larger piece (for me) - my contribution to my sons' school auction. Hopefully, I'll have something to show you very soon!

Thanks for watching my work! You guys are the best!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

212. Sunday Fog

'Sunday Fog' 
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I got up early last Sunday to go watch the sunrise above our town.
It was a very clear day above the fog, and the views were fabulous. As pretty as it was, I couldn't wait to get back down the hill and see how the fog and sun were hanging out together - I just can't get enough of those two. :)

Click here to bid.

Here are a couple of pics from the top of the hill:

Mt. Rainier on the horizon to the right; my little town is nestled under the fog closest to me on the left.

Very faint on the horizon; Mt. Rainer on the left, then Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams all the way on the right.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

211. The Back Way

'The Back Way'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Unlike a lot of the country, we've been enjoying really terrific weather.
It's got me totally jones-ing for summer.
(Although, those of you in the throes of winter are probably jones-ing way more than me.)

Anyway, here's a little summer for you all - from one of my favorites places in this amazing state - Yamhill County, Oregon. This is the first painting in a long while that was a good 'ole time from start to finish. 
That makes it my new favorite. :) 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

210. Fruity

6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Central Washington and Oregon: high, barren hills; green, fertile valleys. 
And fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. :)

Last August, we stopped at this fruit stand in Washington on our three-day drive back from Minnesota. My boys enjoyed their free apple, and then we filled every spare inch of the car with glorious, juicy peaches. So, you know, like, eight peaches. On my lap, the rest of the way home. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

209. Morning on Poplar Street

'Morning on Poplar Street'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

There was fog, there was sun, the leaves were turning, -- it was a lovely morning on Poplar Street.
 (Also known as, 'the street above the pool'. Google told me the official name. ;)

This is another scene from my 'yellow sky morning' of last fall -the light was so crazy cool! 
I have several photos of that day that I love, and a few that I've attempted to paint, - but, yellow sky morning is not easy to recreate! I shall keep trying. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

208. Toasty

6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Hi, gang!
I finally have something to show you!
Not for lack of trying, but let's not dwell on that. :)

Vintage toaster, vintage tablecloth. 
Just chillin'.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, January 12, 2015

207. Going Green

'Going Green'
6" x 6"
oil on gessboard

Apparently, I've entered a green phase. 
I worked a little faster and looser than I normally do, which was fun, and my youngest (almost 4) helped me at the end, "It's done, Mom. You can put the sign in the corner. The sign with the 'B' and the 'N' ". 

Got it. Goodnight. :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

206. Under the Cottonwoods

'Under the Cottonwoods'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I am not a native of this cute little town, but my husband has lived here his entire life. That means, often he'll come find me after a day's work and exclaim, "Oh, you're painting so and so's house." Or, "Oh, that's so and so's work truck." Today, I was a little floored when the remark was, "Oh, you're painting dad's old service station." 

Uh, what? 
I had no idea. Well, I knew my father-in-law used to operate a service station, but, I never made the connection between that knowledge and this lovely white building that catches my eye every time I leave town. I mean, now that I think really hard, I maybe vaguely remember hearing that once upon a time, - it sounds sort of familiar... 
  Clearly, on this sunny day last summer, I was really only thinking about yellow truck...white shadows... :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

205. Green Light

'Green Light'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

After enjoying a little break from painting, it always seems to take a few (several?) days of frustration, wiping off, trying, trying again before things seem to jive. 
Those days can be long and rough. (And chocolate-filled.)

Eventually, though, the grrrs turn to grins, I don't hate everything I've ever painted, and, I start to remember what I love about this job. Today was a good day. Whew! 
(Sorry, tend toward the dramatic at times like these.)

Anyway, I found a sunny little scene from my neighborhood to finally get me out of the funk.
With a flag! You know I cannot resist. :)

Ok, here we go, 2015! Paint on!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Nov/Dec in review...

Happy New Year!

I took vacationing very seriously for the last two weeks, so we're just easing slooowly into this lovely new year. :)
Here are the paintings I did in November and December, and below that, a shot of the highlight of my year so far. (Ok, it's gonna be tough to top that - good luck, rest of 2015.)

I had the pleasure of meeting artist Carol Marine (and her delightful husband, David), and it was so great! I really appreciated the chance to chat about daily painting and random arty stuff, especially with someone so talented and experienced. An invigorating way to start the new year. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

204. Evening Blues

'Evening Blues'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Hi, all!
A snowy little scene from me to you.  
Happy Christmas, everyone!

P.S. You can still get one of my painting calendars in time for the New Year! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

203. Foggy Mirror

'Foggy Mirror'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I can't get enough of this fog!
I caught this little scene last weekend on the Columbia River Dikelands near our town. 
This lowland marsh district is full of farms, water-filled ditches and grazing livestock. In the distance, foothills and ridges stand guard. 
This time of the year, the clouds and fog in this area are ever-changing and just lovely. 

Right now, though, a winter storm is blasting through, complete with flickering lights and extremely high winds. I have three very excitable young boys bouncing off the walls and repeatedly opening the front door to get a better look. I better go get the candles and flashlights ready. :)

Oh, and in case you missed it - my 2015 calendars are available here.

Thanks for viewing!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

2015 Calendar

Paintings by Nora Bergman
2015 Wall Calendar
8.5" x 11" (17" x 11" when hanging)
Printed on premium glossy card stock and spiral bound.

$20 + $5 shipping and handling.

To purchase, click the 'Buy Now' button to be redirected to Paypal.


Friday, December 5, 2014

202. Dalena Hill

'Dalena Hill'
6" x 6"
 oil on gessoboard

I mean, what a lovely part of the country in which I get to live.

On a clear day, a few more seconds of travel will reveal Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams, peeking (peaking? ;)  ) over from Washington state.
I never tire of this view.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

201. The Normal Tree

'The Normal Tree'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I must credit my three-year-old for the title, - he was very disappointed that I was painting just a 'normal tree', as opposed to a much more festive Christmas tree. :)

This normal tree is seasonally appropriate to me; we had many 'brown Christmases' when I was a kid. I didn't like them then, but I can appreciate their subtle beauty now. Several years in the perma-green environment of the Pacific Northwest (which I completely love), has made me all the more aware of the lovely sepia tones of midwest winters, especially on those overcast, frigid, snowless days. 
(This photo is from a Minnesota November.)

And also, making that collage of my 200 paintings had me overwhelmed with color. Too much color!
 Lol. Don't worry, I'll get over it - you know I can't stay in one spot too long. ;)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

200 paintings...

200 paintings - so fun to see them like this!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!









Friday, November 21, 2014

200. Two Hundred!

'Two Hundred'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

My two hundredth small painting! 

Happy weekend, everyone - thanks so much for following my work. 
I literally could not do this without you. 
Love you guys! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

199. Fake Snow

'Fake Snow'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard 

There's wintry weather in our region today, but the elusive flakes didn't materialize in our neighborhood. Well, there were a few itty, bitty ones outside, but inside; - huge flurries of flakes! 
Or just a lot of white paper bits all over. :)

Also, I'm designing my 2015 calendar, and December has me stumped, - so, I painted myself another option. We'll see if this one makes the cut. ;)

Friday, November 7, 2014

198. Old Junk

'Old Junk'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I just felt like painting some of the old junky stuff that I have hanging around. I do love junk, especially good metal junk.

The little canister on the lower right is interesting - I think I paid a quarter for it at a yard sale, and inside are a set of goggles. (Glasses?)
I've never really determined their exact purpose, but I find them (and their well-used metal case) very intriguing. Here's a pic of the eyewear - maybe one of you knows more about them. friends tell me the goggles are for welding or similar activity.
 Thanks, friends!

Anyway, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

197. Downtown Fog

'Downtown Fog'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

One morning last week, the light peeking past my blackout curtains had a peculiar warmth. Looking out, this is what I saw. A yellow sky, and a thick ribbon of fog through the heart of our small town.
It was fabulous. 

Nothing gets me out of bed faster than a yellow sky. :)

October in review...

October in review, ...and hey, are you on Instagram?

I love it!

A feast for the eyes - art, photography, crafters - so many things to look at! 
I'm 'norabergman' - follow me to see my art in progress, and plenty of silly and random photos of whatever me and my boys are up to. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

196. Toasts Well

'Toasts Well'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I didn't plan on painting the little guy so soon, but he was the only cooperative fella around here. 
Maybe he just wanted someone to untwist his cord. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2014

195. Toast, swell!

'Toast, swell!'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Ok, I stole the title from the toaster itself; it's a vintage GE, model name 'Toastswell'. (I know, 'toasts well' , -- I like mine better. ;) 

Fun fact, - in my first collegiate drawing class, a few of my classmates referred to me as 'toaster girl' because my very first project was a pencil drawing of my roommate's vintage toaster. 
Or 'toaster chick'? Yeah, probably that. Ha ha! 
Either way - I took it as a compliment. :)

Anyway, I've wanted to paint one forever, and I was very happy to find this bubbly little thing at a shop just around the corner. 
I'm sure you'll see it again. :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

194. Picked Cherries

'Picked Cherries'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I mentioned these cherries last week in my blog - they had me beaten.
Well, I gave them another shot today, and I think we got somewhere. 
Take that, cherries. ;)

Also, thanks to my eldest son, Jack (8), for the title. 
--- It's Monday, I need all the help I can get. :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

193. Let it Rain

'Let it Rain'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I absolutely love the sunny days of summer, but, after many bright days in row, I long for the clouds and the rain. 
To me, gray skies are a soft, warm blanket.
It's raining today, and I am happy.

This is one of my favorite buildings in our town, and this little scene is my 'why I love the rain'. I've passed it hundreds of times, and only once have I ever seen it lit from within. It was all I could do to not bang on the door and beg to be allowed inside. I'm sure it would be warm, and smell like dirt and grease and oil, and there would be work tables and scads of tools with worn wooden handles, and shop stools scattered about. And snacks. :)
Let me in!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop!

Warning: many words ahead...

My sweet friend Kara invited me to participate in an 'Around the World Blog Hop', so today's post will be a little different than my norm. First, I'll answer a few questions about my work and then I'll pass the baton to two other artists that have graciously accepted my invitation. What a great way to learn a little more about each other - thanks for the invite, Kara!

By the way, besides being an invaluable friend and resource for all my arty angst, Kara is an incredible watercolor painter and I adore her work. Be sure to hop back along the blogging trail to check hers out as well - you won't be disappointed. :)

Ok, here we go...

1. What am I working on? 

Well, I have a nearly finished painting of cherries in a box that I did last Friday. The cherries just didn't come out as 'juicy' as I wanted, so I'm really debating whether it's worth trying to improve, or if I should just ditch it and start something completely new. I get a little stubborn about these things, and then Kenny Rogers starts on a loop in my head - 'know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em'... and I go a little crazy. :)

2. How does my work differ from others of my genre?

Hmm..., that's tough. I'm not good at defining 'style' (mine or anyone else's), so the main distinction is my 'voice', whatever that exactly means. After happily painting the ideas of others for years, I feel like I'm finally starting to figure out what I like and what I want to say through my work. I'm sure life experience has as much to do with that as anything - whatever it is, it's rewarding to experience and refine.

I also know that my creative style has never naturally been 'loosy-goosy'. I clearly remember a print-making critique from a fellow student in my college years, - I'm pretty sure she wasn't a fan of my subject matter - but she said my work was always 'crisp and clean'. :) I keep trying to loosen up, to use bigger brushes, but my default is definitely neat and tidy. I really did love my eighth grade drafting class. :)

3. How does my creating process work? 

I paint from my own photos, so the creating starts long before I settle into my painting corner. I bring a camera everywhere, and am always grabbing little moments of light, interesting shadows, snapshots of our daily life. The more I do this, the more I see things I wouldn't have seen before, the better I can tell in advance if an 'amazing' scene will or won't translate onto a little 6" x 6" panel. I'll move around, up and down, to change the perspective, horizon line, etc., and just get as many options as I can. I literally have thousands of photos on my computer, and still, most days I feel like I don't have anything to paint. :) 

Once I finally make a selection, I use a simple photo-editor (I use Picasa) to crop and edit my pick. Composition is like, so, so, key, -- sometimes it feels like I spend more time cropping to find just the right composition than I do actually painting! More than once, I've nearly completed a piece before admitting the composition was lacking - I really want them to be interesting and unique. 

There are other challenges to painting from photos - the camera distorts lines, and of course, colors can be all wonky. This is where my design background comes in handy. Most often, I will print a fast gray-scale copy of my composition, and then draw right on it to make it work for me. I'll fix distorted lines, make sure the perspective is right, move things around, add a tree here, take out that telephone pole that is just one too many, etc. Did I mention that composition is key? :) 

I rely very heavily on my photo reference for composition and values, but everything else is more intuitive. The camera doesn't always capture the color of sky that I remember, or the warmth of the sunlight or the lusciousness of the cherries in their box, so I try hard to ignore the photo at some point and just make the piece 'mine'. Y'know, just wing it. Not that anyone would be able to tell besides me - haha! Yup, not very loosy-goosy. :)

Ok, after all that, I'm gonna pass you on to two very talented artists, both of whom (as far as I can tell) work very differently than me. I can't wait to learn more about them!

Sunny Avocado paints in several different styles and media. Her portfolio includes beautiful portraits, whimsical puppets, mouth-watering pb & j's, and energetic abstracts. I'm especially a fan of her birds series - works that combine a wonderfully moving abstract background with realistic little birds. 'Beaks' and 'Beaks II' are my faves - love 'em! Thanks, Sunny for accepting my invite! Now go visit her blog, Sunny Avocado Art!

I literally grew up down the road from Kayleen Horsma, and thanks to art, we've recently become friends. Kayleen is an oil painter, I find her work so expressive, so moving, so beautiful. She recently completed a show entitled, 'Expressions of a Sami Heritage', and I just loved it. She has been so encouraging to me, and I totally look up to her. Go check out her blog, Painting Color Within - she's super talented! Thanks, Kayleen!