I've been having some great realizations recently in regards to my path as an artist. I'm going to share them because it may be of interest to other artists who feel this internal struggle.
I'll start with a point of interest with many artists, color selection. Selecting a palette is no easy feat and takes many days to find what works for you. I'm back to my old palette, which is as follows:
-Chrome Yellow Light
-Chrome Yellow Deep
-Cad. Yellow Deep Hue
-Cad. Red Light
-Brun Rouge (Older color, Basically an earth red, similar to Pompeii Red)
-Van Dyke Brown
I've taken away all colors which I believe are not useful for me. Keep in mind that my palette is laid out in order of value because of my colorblindness. This is an ever evolving process which I'm sure will change in time. The only reason that I know that I like these colors, is that I've used them and tried out tons of colors.
I'm at the point where I want to make my own mark. The best work I've done, which I consider to be "The Butterfly" (2015), encapsulates much of what I am looking to accomplish. It's narrative and began with an idea. The idea followed a process which I have laid out in this post.
The point to all this is to explore what makes you happy in painting and drawing. Don't fall into a trap where you over analyze and never produce, which is what happens on many discussion forums. Too much information can sometimes be worse than too little. Find your own way to paint, but always continue learning.