It’s a weird feeling to drive down the streets of your hometown after a long time away. Routes I used to take every day are both familiar and odd at the same time. It’s as if I can feel the space of time, as if it’s palpable. Being here made me think of the things I used to do here. When I was upset or frustrated, I cherished my alone time in my car. I didn’t have to deal with crowds or lines or traffic or anything, it would just be me and my CD player and my sketchbook. I used to drive out to Ohlone, the community college in Fremont, and park in front of a eucalyptus tree for hours. I’d draw and write and sip coffee. I always wanted to do a nice watercolor of the trees, the way the bark falls away in strips and leaves unexpected colors in lines wrapping around the trunk like brushstrokes.
But watercolor and I have a rocky relationship. We go through phases. Sometimes it’s all movies-and-dinner and fabulous conversation, and other times it’s walking on eggshells and constant arguments that end in walking away from each other.
Yesterday’s painting took so long that I wanted to do something faster today. I drove out to some of the giant eucalyptus trees near the sushi place at 5:30 with about 25 minutes of light left.
I did a quick charcoal sketch, then came home and picked a palette of the secondaries and abstracted it a little. I feel “meh” about it, but they can’t all be winners.