Every now and again, something pops into my inbox that just sets me a-glow. The other day, I received this from a student and friend, Carol Hall:

Hey Marla,

I wanted to share my awesome news with you! I received the PSA award at the TBPS annual show! I was super surprised and really didn’t even think I would get an honorable mention! I did a larger version of my momma cow with her baby heading to the woods. The one I sent you was an 11×14 and the larger one was a 16×20. Just wanted to let you know your teaching skills are paying off for your students!

love you!

Now how cool is that? Her piece “Headed to the Woods” won the PSA award at the annual show of the Tampa Bay Pastel Society. Carol is a hard worker who puts together serious study and plain hard work. She is determined, she has perseverance and a good sense of humor thrown in for good measure. I won’t talk about the “talent” thing as it’s another discussion!

Of course, I like to think I might have been of some help, but honestly, I’m more of a cheerleader and guidance counselor than anything else. Most of what I have to say, you guys already know. Most of what I do, you’ve already seen. It’s a matter of putting those things into practice in your own work OVER TIME and sticking with it. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t make it into a show or win awards. Use those moments as opportunities to grow and improve. I know it’s easier said than done, but rather than compare yourself to other artists, look to find ways you can make better paintings.

Here is a video on 5 things you can do right away to quickly improve your paintings.


If you are trying to get into juried shows, here are some tips!

With Warmest Regards,

Painting Minilessons
with Marla Baggetta

These “mini-lessons” grew out of my blog. I love sharing my experience behind the easel, so these are free. I write a new one every two or three weeks, so please feel free to share with artist friends.

​These lessons are mostly written text with graphics…short but useful tidbits from the foundations of painting that touch on subjects such as aerial perspective, simultaneous contrast or using negative spaces. I guide you through different aspects of painting and art that will get you comfortable with using pastels. You’ll gain confidence to attempt work that you might have otherwise been timid about.

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