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The ugly stage in paintings and in life

I often discuss the ugly stage of paintings in my classes, it's somewhere in the middle of the painting creation process and it's uncomfortable and awkward. You've started the painting with some excitement and you'd like to get it to a completed state you're happy with but what you have now is not looking promising. You want to throw in the towel because it is not a pleasant feeling - a no man's land of doubt. And yet, if you resist the temptation to quit, push aside the doubt and fear and keep going, it's almost always rewarding. It comes down to your tolerance for discomfort honestly. After a while, you learn through experience that the ugly stage is simply part of the process, it's supposed to happen and so it doesn't derail you. This comment from Leslie, one of my students, prompted this newsletter topic as I realized the parallels to life regarding the ugly stage: "Y'all want to know what the mos