A counterintuitive paradox

I suppose most paradoxes are by nature counterintuitive but the two words together make me sound smart. The paradox I'm referring to is what sells versus what doesn't, specifically why it is that the paintings that are my personal favorite that I've done over the years usually, though not always, stay in my studio. Economic crisis aside, even in the salad days, my favs usually stuck around, while pieces I thought were good but not having that extra special thing would move on out the door. Paintings of boats and water are usually good sellers. That's not why I paint them, of course, I love marines, love the water and love painting boats because they are hard to paint well. Usually in a painting event I go right for the boats because it's my area of specialty but there's one (seen above) that I regard as my best marine to date. It went to one of my galleries in Vero (meghan candler, a great gallery for me) and then to a show in Oklahoma and both times came back. When I look at this painting I am satisfied that I did my best, nice compostion, good color and atmosphere, good drawing and some of my best brush work. This isn't the only case, usually if I paint anything mechanical like bridges or city scenes they don't do as well as my marines, but I keep painting them because that's what I enjoy painting. I find these kinds of scenes lend themselves to more adventurous compositions, allowing me to break up a canvas in new and different ways. My point to this little jag is that if there was ever a time to follow your heart and find your voice, this is it, if you want to stand out as an artist and separate yourself from the pack, paint what you love.