For a change, I decided to try painting in watercolor. Sabrina took this picture over the week-end while it was raining and I downloaded it so I could paint it. I couldn't have chosen a more difficult subject to try out my old skills. Watercolor is something you have to keep at, and I haven't done it since I went to Rockport a year and a half ago. Even then I couldn't do it very well.
This painting looks a little better in the photo than in life because you can't see all the labored brushwork that is so disasterous in watercolor. I did manage to get the idea of the wet road, but it was far from spontaneous. I am disappointed with my effort and don't know if I want to work at regaining the skill I used to have. I have come to rely on the forgiveability of other mediums. It seems like defeat to give up, but is my former expertise worth fighting for? I think I will paint this same picture in oil and see how I feel. If I run true to form, I won't rest until I have done at least something in watercolor that proves I have not permanently lost it.
I am distracted by the sound of Beethoven's Symphonie Patetique on my CD player. It is beautiful beyond words. I have been particularly sensitive to music lately. I've been listening to The Psaltery on the tape player in the car, masochistically turning up the volume and immersing myself in words that cause me to feel nostalgic, synical, and teary. I am overcome with grief for the subjects of the songs, for the people who wrote the words, for myself, and for the human race.