I am learning two things about my art, specifically oil painting, that I need to find what I love to make (as art) and that I need to embrace some measure of irrationality. With regard to subject, it hit me that I have little interest, aside the fun of playing or the technical challenge, in painting, for example, a still life with random objects. This might sound like a strange thought, but thinking about it made me realize that I haven't taken much time to think about what I want to paint, and specifically to paint to remember. I need to care about an object before I paint it. The same applies to the people I paint, in which case, I have to at least find them psychologically interesting.
Second, with regard to irrationality, it hit me yesterday that one reason my paintings aren't very interesting so far is that they don't allow for enough disorder, such as unfinished strokes or strikingly raw colors and lines. And to create such disorder, I need to be in a mindset that encourages it, which isn't pure practicality. I think the most interesting paintings balance order with disorder or, at least, give disorder a rightful spot at the table.
And on an unrelated aside, I've gleefully rediscovered the work of Frans Hals.