I make a lot of “almost” paintings: they are almost what I intended; I almost like them, if only… (insert painting problem here). I’ve learned to appreciate the learning process and the parts that work and learn from my mistakes. But I haven’t yet learned to leave “almost” paintings alone and start another one.
Instead I keep working them until I reach the point where the underlying problem (e.g. poor composition, icky colors of background or subject, bad drawing, too overworked, or just not enough skill to pull off what I was going for) becomes insurmountable. Then I make a note of what I discover and what went wrong and give myself an assignment of something to study and practice on the next one.
With Tea and Lemon, I was happy with almost everything except the background which I reworked several times. I’m tempted to mess with it some more so I’m posting it to make myself stop.