Have been painting or trying to paint some studies for pictures for some time past but do not succeed and am greatly troubled about my inability to produce any thing now when every thing depends upon me. We took a ride this afternoon over the creek and called at Capt. Andersons on our return. It has been a magnificent day with fine cloud effects. The skies opposite the sun were particularly fine today. I am very fond of these effects and mean to try to paint an important picture of some thing of this kind.