Bigass golden gate painting / by debbie rich

I’m packing up this massive hulk of a painting for awhile. Maybe forever. It’s languished on my wall and is intrinsically unfinished. I learned a lot doing it, like how to plan for a big painting, creating those waves that have since evolved, doing an impressionist dotting for the sky. 

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It got started in 2006 when I rented a painting studio, and stretched a very large canvas. It's 4 ft tall by I-don't-know-how wide. 

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I worked on the Golden Gate piece on and off over the years, whenever I had room to set it up. I’ve used entire oil bars and big tubes of oil paint. At some point I started squirting the paint on in thick blobs directly from the tube to create the foreground grass texture. Here’s a photo from July 2007. There are many layers of years and paint on this behemoth. 

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But now the holidays feel like an appropriate time to tuck it away. Most likely, it will never get finished. I simply don’t think the composition and line structure are good, largely because I’m a better artist now than when I first started this painting, and it doesn’t matter how many layers of paint you add if the underpinning isn’t solid. I learned a lot from this ol’ gal, and am eager to start a big piece when I next have the space.