I read somewhere that Diego Velazques, the famous Spanish painter in the court of King Philip IV, would pull down paintings that were on the walls for years and paint on them again.
I find that oddly reassuring. There are times when I've done all I could with a painting and am still not satisfied with the outcome. There are other times when I get so sick of working on one painting, that I hurry up and "finish it," because I am so bored. No surprise there when the result is lacking. But, the alternative - cranking out a work when your heart is not in it, can suck the creativity and joy out of the whole process. So now, I take a painting that is finished or almost finished and I stick it on the wall for awhile.
Over the following days, weeks, or months, I will look at it and usually come up with ideas or changes I could make to improve it. I don't pressure myself. I just hang the painting and let it kinda percolate on the wall. As far as worrying about when the creative juices will flow again? I don't. I let the deep sleep. When I'm ready, I add or take away from the piece as I see fit. Then I stick it back on the wall again to see if anything else comes to mind.
I did that with my flamingo painting. I was not satisfied with my first attempt, although I called it "finished." So, I stuck it on the wall. I just couldn't reconcile myself to the lackluster pink I had used to paint the flamingos. I started searching for coral paints and discovered one by Lefranc & Bourgeos that knocked my socks off ! Funny how a new paint or brush can be a total mood changer!
I reworked the flamingos and added a few new ones. I wanted to instill a little fun by having a flamingo staring out of the painting at the viewer. I'm much happier with this piece, but am I done? I don't know. It's going back on the wall for awhile, and I'll let you know when it's completely percolated!