I don't know about you, but more often than not my paintings fall into the "eh phase." This is the stage where they are uninspiring and frankly, ugly. There are lots of middle values and it's a challenge to keep going. I even knew before I started this painting, that the "eh phase" was inevitable. It was not the best reference photo to begin with . . . nothing too exciting going on: no spectacular sunlight or shadows, and painting this in a 6" x 6" would make the details small. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because they too, are kind of boring but I knew that I'd have lots of yucky layers to put down before details would emerge.
What I did like about the reference is the quiet, holiday feel of the image and that's where I'm at now: trying to create that feeling and hone some of the details. It may or may not work, we'll soon see, but it's worth a try. However, more often than not, a decent painting will emerge from the "eh phase;" I just need to put in some more time, have a little faith and lots of patience.
Does your work ever enter the "eh phase?" How do you handle it? I'd love to hear about your experiences.