Most artists work really hard at developing a recognizable style and then spend the rest of their careers confined to the little niche they've carved out for themselves.
That's not the future I want for myself. Painting is where I find myself laying the most fresh tracks in the snow. I love variety, so my work falls only into fairly broad categories. I've been told that people need to know what to expect from me. I think that excitement is found in the unexpected.
Portraiture is fascinating to me because it allows the artist to place emphasis on people they've encounter who might otherwise avoid being the center of attention. Incorporating meaningful actions & material choices into my process elevates the finished piece into something greater than just a facsimile of a person's outward appearance. The viewer should always get the impression that there is more to the story than what is readily understood at a glance. People are so inundated with random images on a daily basis that having an element of mystery will allow the painting to resonate and linger with the viewer for a long time afterwards.
Abstract works find their way into the backgrounds of figurative works more often than they exist as stand alone pieces. I do enjoy making them and find the work more satisfying on a subconscious level. Often times if I do an abstract work it's between two other more intense pieces that required a lot of planning and thought. Doing something more intuitive offers a mental break and keeps the the process feeling fresh and new. Regardless of the technique or style that I paint in I want to always keep the viewer guessing as to what will come next.