I am often surprised when a painting actually turns out well.  I usually start out with something that looks fairly messy.  I often go through doubts as to whether the painting will end up being successful.  I go through moods, sometimes despair, sometimes hope.  Sometimes somewhere in between.  Sometimes the painting goes backwards instead of forward.  I have learned to persist.  Some people can paint something successful in a few hours or a day.  My paintings will often take about 3 days before I feel there is hope, and then several days or often weeks to finish.  They often take me places I didn’t expect to go.  And at some point I end up with a real painting!  A painting I can feel good about.  I marvel at the process and know that in the end art is a gift.