what is painting? abstract, non-figurative, 'realist' - are all the same to me as they are merely 'marks on paper', marks used to create forms, using colours and arranged in/as a composition in terms of the code of the western tradition of painting
The serious artist (like the serious composer, writer, reseatch and theoretical scientist, philosopher, etc) do not try to manufacture a 'nice' image, but his/her work is part of a series, part of a slow (or sometimes sudden jump) progression. Behind his/her work lies years of serious progression. Not all aspects of the genre of painting might be developed at the same time. Sometimes certain aspects are concentrated on and developed, while other and different aspects (eg colour, technique, form, composition,etc) can be concentrated on in other work.