View Full Version : review on marla bagetta workshop

09-28-2011, 12:02 PM
oh my, where to start. I will just try to make it brief....GO to one!!!

ok, I'll go a bit further. she had us do several exercises that at first I groaned inwardly over, and now, I have been doing them here at home. for fun. value sketches, color comps., you know, the stuff you all know you're 'suppose' to do but often times just skip. or do halfway. did some teeny things and some big full sheeters. she talked plenty but it was all very well worth listening to and I wish I could've taped that part. there was tons of techincal info in just using pastel in general, some about color/value etc. all good stuff. a couple of great demo pieces. again, more super info on how to make marks, and in general tech. info on making it look the way you want.

but for me, the biggest take-home was the mind games. the ones you play with yourself, sabbotaging your self and your time and your art, the way you can get so bogged down you don't pick up your art for too long. about worrying about the dishes before your art (shame!). she talked about this stuff, how to get around it, thru it or simply shut it off. she made art fun for me again, BIG fun!! she doled out confidence by the truckload.

I learned that a painting can be GOOD even if it didn't 'hurt' to create. in fact, its much better if it wasn't painful. and a painting can take an hour and still be good. I know, duh, right? but everyone seemed to be able to relate to all this, so I know I'm not alone in these horrible, fun killing thoughts. I feel I really can and did internalize much of this, and its impossible to explain much more from a 3 day experience in a forum post.

I really 'got' that its ok to just play. easy words to say, but sometimes hard to do. just go try doing a scene in a dark value, then try it using an ochre underpainting. or maybe just try it bigger or smaller. and by not spending a month on it, in agony, just an hour or even less! if it worked, great! if not, eh, it was an art hour anyhow and that alone is good enough.

''look for what's right" is one thing she said. very helpful--if you only can give a half hour to art today, at least you did that! if you only learned that a purple underpainting isn't your thing, super! "give yourself a break, be easy on yourself" I walked away from this weekend with an inner peace I ain't had in a long time.

and don't let your studio go cold (my words). don't walk way from it without having something to work on next time--be it a thumbnail, a sketch, an underwash started, *something* to pull you in.

and do TONS of thumbnails. she is such a great gal, and I loved how she kept saying to make it simple, make it easy on yourself--so a sketchbook and a black ball point pen. you can get all the values you need with it, its one thing, and you can get one anywhere.

but seriously, if you EVER can get to her workshop, do so. oh, and to top it off, she is the sweetest gal you'd ever wanna meet. not flowery sweet, but fun and open and so real. just a gem!!:clap:

Tracy Lang
09-28-2011, 01:29 PM
Sounds like such a great workshop, Chris! Glad you were able to take away such positive things from it...it's so great to get a little jump start when we need it :)


09-28-2011, 05:17 PM
Sounds like a wonderful workshop, Chris. I can see every one of those things being so much more engaging in a workshop environment around others doing the same.

Thank you for sharing those important observations about process. They're all strong and positive. Any one of them is an attitude change that can improve anyone's art and pleasure in life.

I can't count the number of times I was just goofing off or trying something new with no expectation of it being serious - and it turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done. It's so real a pattern that I half think I need to Goof Off all the time in order to have an art career. Forget working hard, I need to play hard, let myself go and have a good time with it.

09-28-2011, 06:05 PM
I'd love to attend a Marla Bagetta workshop, sounds even better than I thought it would be but I think she'd have to come to my area. I could talk myself in paying the workshop fee but travel expenses would more than double the expense, don't think I could talk myself into spending that much.


09-28-2011, 11:25 PM
ha david, this one was just 3 hours drive away! held in a white pine national forest. and, they have cabins for us to stay in, feed us, hot showers, and all weekend long my new pal and I would chant 'art, eat, art, eat, sleep' as that is "all" we did, it was WONDERFUL!!!

its halsey nebraska, called autumn art workshops, look it up online if anyone is close, and join in!

09-29-2011, 09:25 AM
Excellent report and review, Chris! Thank you for posting it and so candidly! :heart: I am going to be on the lookout for her workshops in the future.


09-29-2011, 10:05 AM
Thanks for sharing chris, I am impressed by the fact that someone with your expertise still takes the time to go to workshops. But it certainly sounds like the benfits are more than worth it.

09-29-2011, 04:36 PM
:) Yes Chris, just as I expected. but great that you went, and enjoyed it, and came away with so much to think about, and do!! Each day! Great mind opening experiance, so worth your time and effort. I am glad for you.

09-29-2011, 05:28 PM
Great feedback on workshop! Marla is located just a 3 or 4 hour drive south of me so I will keep her in mind when I have both the time and money to do a workshop. I think she sometimes does workshops at Dakota Arts also. They are just 45 minutes north of me. Technique is important, and sometimes inspiration is left behind in the quest for the just the right paper, brand of pastel etc.

I visited your website and you are indeed a very good artist. My first impression of your art is your mastery of composition. Hope you are able to sustain your upbeat attitude obtained from Marla's workshop.


10-03-2011, 02:21 AM
She is on my list of people I really want to take a workshop from. I read some of her blog when she was doing the 100 landscapes project and knew then that I wanted to take a workshop from her. Her work has become more abstract in the landscape and i really like that. I really think doing the 100 landscapes really made that happen. Thanks so much for reporting on what it was like. sounds like a wonderful experience! And for me that is how a workshop should be:)