the ugly phase

Monday, February 28, 2011

gone - 9 x 13 mixed media on paper - Susan Black

Week 4 - Get Your Paint On ! a fabulous e-course that has helped break me open creatively. Last night as I worked away day 2, evening 2 of this week's assignment - Composition - I remember thinking to myself well self, I'm just goin' stay up as late as it takes to finish this painting maybe I'll pull an all night-er (well I know MLou just fell off her chair) I mention this because it is a completely unheard of feeling pour moi. Usually, on any given night, by 7 - 7:30 pm I'm counting the moments til I can retreat once again to the nest of down & flannel with by current good book. This spark, this passion is new to me and I love it !

One of the things Mati & Lisa spoke about early on in this course is that making a painting usually follows an up, down & up again course and to bear with this "U" path (which stands for ugly I think). It seems many paintings, many painters experience the "U". Feeling thrilled and excited at the prospects of beginning, then plummeting at the half way point - the ugly phase when you feel sure you should pitch the piece in the garbage and start fresh - but No ! - ignore that voice, soldier on and miraculously, the path once again goes up and most often the end is something that you can at least live with and learn from.

I don't know how successful this piece is as a finished piece of art but as an exercise in exploration, experimentation, being bold & brave with art, sticking with it and learning sooooo much - this weeks painting assignment on composition was aces. I'm tempted to redo this piece for my final Week 5 painting because I learned so much in the time it took me to do this that I really feel I could make it be something I truly love.

Below - the height of my frustration and les ugly phase

OMG - the ugly green dress, the word gone, I collaged the pattern paper in desperation ... eek!


  1. I know well the terror of the ugly phase. i call it the awkward phase. I actually say to myself, out loud, "dont panic! Its gonna work out!"

    I am really happy that the e-course has been a great experience for you. how much longer will it last?

    I see some typical Etsy image memes creeping in. not a criticism; an observation.

  2. q'est que say ? Chick(ory). Etsy image meme's ?? do you mean much used, perhaps overdone, other etsy seller's meme's ??? etsyesque imagery etc ??? or my own etsy stuff - meme's.

    Please elaborate when you get a chance I need the help, and critical feedback. ps. I do see this as an exercise piece & I'm in no way suggesting that I'm crazy about this. But I feel I'm learning a lot !!

    This is the last week, no specific assignment just create something new or redo a previous piece.

  3. Oh, I love this...and the very true.


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