My work space is super important to me. I want to use my space, not just have it sit there dormant. It’s got to be an active, dynamic place of creative incubation as Joseph Campbell so beautifully refers to a “sacred space” in the following quote:



“This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you might find that nothing happen there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen…Your sacred space is where you find yourself again and again.” -Joseph Campbell



I spend a good amount of effort making sure that my space has these three things in mind:


1. Functional

2. Comfortable

3. Inviting


My pastel palette is arranged in my home studio, the same as my travel/plein air set, so that wherever I’m working, I’m comfortable and don’t have to struggle finding what I need. It’s arranged by hue, value and saturation. My studio palette is a tray that I built which rests on a sturdy folding table. It has a lid, so that when I’m working in oils or acrylic, I can use that space and protect the pastels.

I use a Sante Fe II easel and find it very adequate for what I do. My easel has a large “trap” that I made with pieces of foam core and duct tape and then lined with aluminum foil. This catches the dust and the foil can simply be folded up and thrown away every so often.


Lighting is pretty important. Everyone always asks me about it. I have a track with directional LED lights and three florescent fixtures that light my main easels. In my new space I have a good bit of natural light which is new for me and I’m enjoying it. It’s not north light, but still infuses the space on a nice day. I like tons of light, but that is just me!


If I’m not comfortable, I won’t work. For me, that primarily means WARMTH!! I will avoid work if I’m not warm. When I moved into my new space that was my primary focus; get heat in there. So I recommend, whatever it is that you personally need to be comfortable enough to sustain your focus on painting, try to get that to happen in your space!


I’m a pretty experienced procrastinator, so when it comes to my studio, I have to literally lure myself in there! Funny, ugh? It’s true. So, I make my space an oasis that I look forward to being in. I’m still working on my new space, making it mine, making it sing!

Here are a couple of photos that students have shared. Everybody does it a bit differently, but having a creative space is a tremendous gift that I hope you can give yourself. It doesn’t have to be grand or permanent even; a corner of the dining room might be perfect for you! A place is better than no place at all. Try to carve it out. I promise, it will be worth rustling some feathers over.

If you have any other questions, send ’em on over. I’m happy to share!

With Warmest Regards,


Painting Minilessons
with Marla Baggetta

My free online minilessons in art are a fantastic way to learn more about your craft, regardless of your skill level. There are lessons available on everything from basic drawing techniques to complex painting methods, and no matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you. Whether you’re a beginner who’s just starting out, or a seasoned artist who wants to brush up on your skills, these minilessons are a great resource. These lessons are available anytime, anywhere. So whether you’re looking for a quick refresher or want to explore something new, be sure to check out some of my minilessons at Painting Lessons with Marla.

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