Is OK Good Enough?

Hi Friends,

I wanted a new painting to hang over the bed in my bedroom — something to go with the bright and bold Marimekko bedding.

I decided to try a poured piece, because they’re fun to do. But it can be difficult to do these paintings well, especially if they’re large.

I chose colors to complements the sheets — black, red, pink, and coral — and prepped a large 20 x 60-inch canvas with an underpainting.

Here’s how the piece turned out.

Cassandra Tondro painting

Cassandra Tondro painting

It’s OK, but it’s not great. Most of the pink disappeared, and the coral took over. I was hoping for more black with the other brighter colors showing through underneath.

There are parts of it that I like, and other parts that are not so good. I wasn’t expecting the gray and I thought the colors would be brighter.

Here are two detail shots to give you a better idea of how it looks.

Cassandra Tondro painting

Cassandra Tondro painting

Now I’m trying to decide what to do with it. I could leave it as is, figuring that it’s good enough. Or I could dive in and make big changes using sanding and overpainting.

If it was a painting I was planning to sell, OK would not be good enough. But since it’s just a piece for me, I’m tempted to leave it as is. At least for now. It’s likely that I’ll work on it some more in the future, though. It’s rare that I can leave something that’s just OK alone forever.

Where do you draw the line between good enough and not good enough? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. Dear Cassandra ,

    I am surprised that you are settling for good enough. I am thinking that every time you look at this painting it will remind you that it could be better and it may be a small ( or larger) reminder that you could have done more.
    Maybe add some bold contrasting color(s) or colllage elements.
    I hope my comments have not been presumptuous , but your newsletters are always thought provoking . This is the first time I felt compelled to share my opinion

  2. Hi Cassandra!

    I’m drinking tea in a red/pink flowered Marimekko cup right now… same as your sheets! Why don’t you go back in and touch up the painting with more pink? I’m going to do that today with a pour painting that I think is too dark. Fingers crossed!

    -Louise in Pittsburgh, PA

    1. I love those Marimekko sheets! I don’t know, Louise. Whenever I do touch-up it looks forced and not spontaneous. I don’t have the touch for that. I’d be interested in seeing how you do it!

  3. I love this painting, and you deserve the best so no good enough is not an option. What I see when I look at is that it’s seems busy with the lines on the bedding and the headboard kinda competing with your beautiful work. I would try it somewhere else before sanding it down either way it will be beautiful

    1. Thanks, Shelley. I like the size for above the bed, but I could try it elsewhere. It is kind of busy. I thought sanding it down might simplify things, and an overpainting or glaze could certainly take it down a bit. We’ll see!

  4. I agree that you should let it stand for now. You can always do a “remix” later if you tire of it. Love your work; just don’t tell you enough!

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