Art is a continuing search for a concept, for subject matter, for composition, for color, for mood, for that certain je ne sais quoi that takes it beyond the ordinary.
I like to challenge myself be it new subject matter, a difficult format, new colors, or a new medium just to force myself out of any complacent rut I might have gotten into. The process should be as important as the product.
I have always looked at my subject matter in terms of its abstract design seeing shapes, line and color. I am currently focusing more on the abstract design of the scene that I am painting than on the specific objects, even though the final result is usually representational.
Occasionally doing purely abstract paintings helps to reinforce my abilities with composition and color. It also liberates me to explore in directions that I might not otherwise have tried in my representational work.