And you could probably add a dozen more questions.
I "finished" this painting and signed it.
The next morning, the thin background tree was bothering me. So, I took it out. The more I looked at the piece, the more the background bothered me. I made the mountain more purple-y from its brighter blue and painted in a lot of trees. Finished. Hmm. Still not right.
OK, time for some drastic modification. I grabbed my palette knife (which I only use to mix paint) and scraped off a large section of background. I thought moving the horizon line down would add focus to the cat. Painting in more sky, I also softened the mountain/sky intersection.
Now to the rest of the background. I had originally painted in some light greens which while pretty, did nothing for my new plan. Out they came. A lot of dabbling in the background, trying various colors. Every few minutes I would step back to look at the piece. My mind was starting to fill in background objects from slight hints of shapes. Yes, this is the right direction. I continued to play with colors and textures until I was "finished."
It can be a little scary to scrape off a thoughtfully painted section, but I have learned to not fall in love with my own brushstrokes. The end result is what I am after and if that means altering my carefully developed plan and working by intuition, the palette knife is there to help.