My Civilization Series paintings began around 2006. They were all primitive landscapes done in a colorful style full of whimsy. I settled on this style and focused most of my creative effort toward this series for all of that year---it was a sort of proving ground, intended to hone my artistic skills in the areas of color balance and atmospheric effect, not to mention a speediness in my painting style, among other things. This was also an attempt to solidify something, stylistically, as uniquely me. Something I could point to and say that's my style. (I figured it couldn't hurt, anyway)
Well, I did not stick to this particular style, but it did improve my painting abilities. I recommend it. In fact, anytime you have the opportunity to improve your abilities at whatever it is you do: seize the opportunity! If nothing else, you will become more efficient.
Anyway, I thought I'd paint another one. A big one. Let me know what you think!