Marla Baggetta has been a self-employed, professional artist since 1983, when she received her BFA with honors from Art Center College of Design. Baggetta has had a distinguished career as a commercial illustrator before turning to landscape painting, working for clients such as Walt Disney, Nissan Motors, Houghton Mifflin Publishing, to name just a few. After moving to Oregon in 1993, Baggetta began painting the landscape. Baggetta has quickly established herself as one of the wests' leading representational painters with her compelling and sophisticated imagery. She is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of Oregon. She has won numerous awards for her paintings including Arts for the Parks top 100 in 1999, Best in Show, Oregon Pastel Society 2003 and Bronze Award for the International Association of Pastel Societies Exhibition, 2000. She has been featured in the premiere publication for pastel painters; Pastel Journal. She is included in Pure Color; The Best in Pastel and is the author of Step by Step Pastel published by Walter Foster Publishing.
Baggetta's approach to painting reflects the formal art education she received at Art Center College of Design and her experiance as a landscape painter; "I am a great believer in the fundamentals of painting; drawing, composition, color theory and the thought that paintings communicate an idea through this vocabulary. The process of bringing a concept to a complete image is deeply compelling and satisfying. My painting process is a very active one where my first marks and impressions are usually bold and gestural. Then I settle in and make assessments and refinements. The last marks are usually slow, quiet ones, as I am making small moves to find my way towards the finished piece. I'm hoping to capture the "aha!" that originally attracted me to my subject. Each one of my original pastels is done on museum grade sanded pastel paper. I use a variety of brands of soft pastel such as Schmincke, Unison, Terry Ludwig, and Diane Townsend, just to name a few. Each brand of pastel has different characteristics that I use to accomplish a variety of strokes and washes within a piece. The final painting is lightly sprayed with a fine fixative before framing."
Baggetta teaches painting workshops in the Portland area. "Teaching is very challenging because it requires having to verbalize all the things you've learned to do intuitively. It makes you walk your talk and forces a formal basis for the creative process. I love to see students that are tentative, start to delve in." Baggetta has taught at Art Center College of Design, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Creative Arts Community-Menucha and West Linn/Wilsonville Community Education as well as in various workshop settings.