It's a funny thing with oil paint that even though I've been working with it for awhile I always seem to forget what I'm doing every once in awhile; usually after coming out of a course with brand new information which when I apply to my own work ...doesn't work. Every artist has a different technique and while I like to keep an open mind sometimes too much advice can "muddy" my own work. So I'm in de-compression mode right now. Not altogether abandoning all my new skills but trying to understand them within my own context and style.
I can think of no better way to explore my options than to return back to basics. That's right: shoes. I don't think you have to worry about an influx of shoe paintings though. I really didn't care for painting the laces and getting too caught up in detail. Kind of kills the spontaneity for me, but good practice all the same.