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. 


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. 


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. 


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.