Three Palm Trees, Tucson, AZ

April 26: I went over near where Pete works in downtown Tucson and made a painting of three palm trees backed by the Tucson Mountains. It's a little city scene I've always liked; the effort was simple and direct. The trees standing amiably together seem to represent three friends -- Pete and Ann-Eve, and me nearby. I don't really do it intentionally, but I find that a lot of my landscapes turn out to have an autobiographical aspect.

Note: This painting -- along with the rest of the tour -- was the result of a wager I made with myself. The first 3000 miles of the trip had worn me down: the drives too long, the stops too short, the unfamiliarity, the adjusting. I didn't think I'd been painting well or often enough. Having friends to stay with for a full week in Tucson gave me a chance to recover. They didn't even need me to do a painting. Still, I remained discouraged enough by the first few weeks of touring to want to give up.

In the end, I came up with the wager: I'd do one painting on my last day in Tucson. I had to keep it fast and simple: a palette of just six colors, and a one-hour time limit. If I liked the result I'd keep going with the tour. If I didn't, I'd sell my car and fly home.