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Rick Rotante

Marla Baggetta

After moving to Oregon in 1993, Marla Baggetta was taken by the beauty of Oregon’s rural landscapes and began working in pastel. In doing so, she joined a long-standing tradition of Northwest painters. Her compositions are unique and overcome the clichés of genre. Color, composition and passages of light are orchestrated to produce a cohesive whole. The results are fine jewel-like pieces that allude to her illustrative background.

Baggetta was born in Buffalo, New York and spent much of her early childhood in upstate New York. Her artistic inclinations were evident from early on. She was educated at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and received her BFA with honors in 1983. Baggetta has had a distinguished career as a commercial illustrator before turning to landscape painting, working for clients such as Walt Disney, Nissan Motors and Houghton Mifflin Publishing, to name a few.

“Landscape painting is a very playful and active process for me; working with shape, form, light, and texture to achieve a connection with my subject. I’m trying to capture a moment in which all these elements come together to a point of balance and harmony. Each one of my original pastels is done on museum grade sanded pastel paper that I tone with acrylic paint. I use a variety of brands of soft pastel each with different characteristics which I use to accomplish a variety of effects within a piece. The final painting is lightly sprayed with a fine fixative before framing. Each piece depicts an image that is based on my sketches, my photography or done plein air. My painting process is a very active one where my first marks and impressions are usually quiet and deliberate strokes.”

Baggetta has exhibited extensively in the Northwest and has received numerous awards for her landscape painting including Best of Show, Oregon Pastel Society 2003; Best in Show two-dimensional, Art in the Pearl 2000; Arts for the Parks Top 100, 1999; and has been included in numerous regional and national pastel society exhibitions. She was featured in the February 2004 issue of Pastel Journal and she has a book out entitled Pastel Step by Step published by Walter Foster Publishing.

Marla finds teaching rewarding work and says, “Teaching is very satisfying because you have to verbalize all the things you’ve learned to do intuitively. It makes you walk you talk and forces a certain formal basis for what is mostly right brained. I love to see students that are tentative, start to delve in!” She has taught at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Creative Arts Community – Menucha as well as in various workshop settings.

Searching Sky 21" x 32"

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