Life can be divided up into real life and culture. Real life is the stuff we do everyday like getting our kids to school, going to work, Etc. Culture's how we talk about it or think about it, including: religion, politics, language, music and the Arts. At some level, art is always about cultural expression. Even when art is at its most realistic, artists are reacting against or developing upon previous generations or what they see being made around them. So art, a form of cultural expression, and life are separate from each other if intertwined.
I've been working on a series of flowers which I think nicely blend culture and real life. Flowers are real life objects, the paintings start with photos of them; but flowers have also been bred for different shapes and different colors. They have become cultural, or in this case horticultural, objects; like living sculpture, their development separate from, but parallel to real life. Formally, this series of paintings allows me to experiment with different things like scale, zooming in and out to create different arrangements of shapes, color combinations, and the effects of light, shadows and translucency. This process is also a nice metaphor for life, which is about investigation and discovery. The discoveries are the finished paintings.