I work to make life-like things on canvas. Capturing beauty, harmony, and the gratification of human acheivement are part of it too. It is important not to bring bad work into the world like so much pollution, especially if they are life-like. What is life-like?
My figures' identities are only in the paintings. They are not a depiction or a copy of a real person, they are the 'real person' and grow to inhabit their flat space the way a person inhabits their world to feel realized. Existentially, these figures are made for people to stare at, which is unnatural, as is trying to be round on a flat surface. These and other reasons make for a strange relationship between the figure and the painter and then the viewer.
Purpose and intent are most important. Squeezing an oversized figure in a rectangle with further flattened spaces provokes further a dialogue between the creator and created over the course of the inception of the painting. This situation can mirror our reality as I have discussions with my creator, and this parallel lends the finished painting maturity.
Self-criticism mixed with drive bring me to the brink of destroying works in trying to push into new territory. Those risks and determination to innovate are the keys to making good works and lend some of those qualities to the personalities of the figures I make.
My palatte is generally the same. I find a creative challenge in using the same materials, and use similar content as a device to generate new works that address different issues. Limits imposed by the rectangle, pallete and theme help me to focus creativity. It seems to me that creativity is found where there are boundaries.