I think it is very important to project what you as an artist can imagine about the world about you. To do this I have to start from a complete jumbled mess of brushstrokes and colours and then gradually work area by area of the painting to resolve it into lots of separate images. This takes a long time and a lot of working and reworking to get the images and the colours exactly right.
Real images or shapes which make us think of images are so much more powerful than completely abstract works because they are so accessible to everyone. They may well be naif but are never simplistic.
I have worked for the last 28 years as a computer programmer making learning material for the automotive trade but have painted all my life and, now that I have retired, am spending much more time on art.