Main Event Gallery will feature 3-D  Impasto oil paintings

Artist Patty Mackey, with one of her 3-D Impasto oil paintings, will be featured at this month’s Main Event Gallery exhibit.


The 3-D Impasto-style oil paintings of artist Patty Mackey will be featured for the Feb. 13- April 4 exhibit at the Main Event Gallery, 710 Main St., Red Bluff, with an opportunity to meet the artist at a reception 5-8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1. In addition, gallery members’ art will offer a variety of styles. The event is sponsored by the Tehama County Arts Council.     

“I’ve always had an interest in art and design,” said Mackey. “My mother was a professional seamstress here in Red Bluff and that’s where I learned to put colors together and designing the clothes I made.”

While still living at home as a teenager, Mackey did a lot of baking.

“After I had my first child, I started decorating cakes,” she said. “Over the past 39 years, people kept saying that my cakes were so beautiful they didn’t want to cut into them and that I should put them on canvas.” 

About four and a half years ago, Mackey enrolled in the Mendocino College Art Class in Ukiah. 

“I started painting with oil medium because it was more of the same consistency of frosting. After the first three semesters, I started using the technique called Impasto which gives my paintings a 3-D effect. It may take longer to dry, but the effect is quite different from painting flat on the canvas.”  

The Impasto technique dates back to 17th century artists such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, who often laid their paints in thick layers on their canvases to give their subjects texture, convey emotion and a dimensional impression.  

Mackey paints a wide variety of subjects ranging from western, flowers, abstracts, wildlife, sophisticated ladies, wine and cheese. 

“I do custom orders for people, bringing that special picture to life” Mackey said. “I still decorate cakes for all occasions, from weddings to baby showers and everything in between.”

Mackey’s art room is her pool table that looks out through large windows to a view of the Sacramento River.  

“That’s my inspiration,” she said. “I start two to three and sometimes four paintings at a time because by the time I get to the fourth canvas, the first painting is ready to be added to, and so on until they are all finished.”

A lot of her ideas come to me in dreams.

“Some true-life and some from the internet where I put several ideas together into one to make it my own 3-D painting. I use different textures to get the effect I want using not only a brush, but also a palette knife, paper towel, Q-tip, cardboard, sticks and rocks, or my fingers. It’s actually a lot of fun coming up with different things to get just that perfect effect. That’s what makes my paintings unique.”

Frames for her paintings are custom made by Mackey and her husband, Phil, to accentuate each painting. Some of the frames are also 3-D.  

Another interest of Mackey’s is jewelry making. These pieces are on display in the Main Event Gallery.

Mackey has exhibited her art in several venues. While at Mendocino College, her art was displayed in two different shows.  She’s also shown her works at the Art Gallery in Lakeport, the Steel Winery Harvest Festival in Kelseyville and in Lake County for the last four years. 

Main Event Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays. For information on online to

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