Club Macchia Exhibit

October 2012 Brownville Art Center, 255 Main Street

Brownsville, Oregon



"Coburg Hills" by Jerry Ross

The Concept

"Macchia" is an Italian word for "spot" or "stain" but essentially it means a quick oil sketch capturing in a few strokes the basic and accurate structure as well as impact of some scene or object. This is made possible by limiting the sketch to at most 4-values and the artist's palette to a limited number of colors organized into a color pool. The macchia paintings will have a strong (some say "extreme") chiaroscuro (light vs dark) which makes for a bold contrast between the background and the foreground. The pictoral space is reduced to at most seven basic shapes. There is an attention to the paintings surface and texture. Areas are often scraped out with a razor knife and evidence of these changes or corrections (pentimenti) are left showing to leave evidence of the artist's process. Often macchia sketches are more interesting than a finished work. They retain strong abstract qualities and when viewed close up reveal vigorous descriptive brushstrokes which are left on the surface and not blended in. The plural of macchia is macchie (pronounced mock-ee-ay). Although landscapes are the most common, macchie can represent figures, portraits, and other subject matter.

The Work

Some examples of macchie:


"Coastal Road"

"Country Walk"

In the Park"

"Amazon Park"


"Oregon Farmland"

The Exhibit

In addition to Jerry Ross, work by Victoria Biedron, Sally Schwader, Patty McNutt, and Tim Kendall will be on exhibit. This group of Eugene painters calls itself "Club Macchia" (note: the original Tuscan painters that originated this style met at Club Michelangelo and were called the I Macchiaioli). Each painter in this exhibit will show from 3 to 5 pieces. Each painting is a "macchia" sketch and it required each artist to stop working on the painting at precisely the right moment, so as not to obliterate or erase the original macchia design. Some work will, as a consequence of this, be more or less towards the finished end of the process and others will be anywhere else on the same spectrum of the process. Regardless, this exhibit will highlight recent work by the artists of "Club Macchia."

For more information:

The Brownsville Art Center: (541) 466-5782
Club Macchia: Victoria Biedron : 541-915-6424