I used to look at a partially done painting and be discouraged; I didn't have the confidence to be patient with the process or the experience to see the as-yet-unrevealed beauty that was developing. I was often tempted to quit on a painting, sure that it was a failure. Now, however, I'm learning to look at the potential and step back to think about how I can bring out strong points and work on ameliorating weak areas. I can picture in my mind how a painting might turn out-- usually several possible options of how it might look, depending on which path I take.
Pondering that while painting this evening, I realized that that is what my own and other people's lives are like. Works in process, developing into who God has made us to be, as yet unfinished and sometimes discouraging if we look with a limited perspective. The good news for me, though, is that God is a Master Painter, and he is guiding the process and selecting the "paints" that color my life to bring out the potential and inner beauty he has built into me. I might not find certain stages attractive, but it is all part of the process of growing me into who I am meant to be.
Here is the painting I was enjoying doing this evening. One of many painting of Jade, the Mallard Duck who used to frequent our stream every spring for a week or so.
Early stages with only a hint of where it's going.
Starting to look more like a Mallard, but still has a long way to go.
This painting isn't finished yet; it needs to "rest" at this stage so the paint can dry thoroughly, otherwise what I do next would interfere with what is here. No visible change or effort going into it doesn't mean nothing is happening, though. The washes are setting a bit as they dry and I am pondering what to do next. It's all part of the process.