The Resolution Effect
(A personal objective regarding one aspect of paintings.)
I want my paintings to be visually interesting and challenging in whole and in part. Regardless of the complexity of composition or the profundity of subject matter (or the lack of either), if you look at a painting from across the room it should be coherent as a single image that strikes your eye and your mind. Yet it should also resolve into smaller elements that themselves bear scrutiny and stand on their own. And as you approach, the interplay between the overall cohesion and that of the sub elements might give rise to a sort of dynamic tension...but one that is at your command, that you can switch back and forth, comparing and considering the levels of "resolution", perhaps gaining your own insights into the process and the work. Ideally, this action of continual resolution should maintain even to the point where you are practically nose to nose with the painting, inspecting the very texture of the paint and the canvas.
Of course, the degree to which this particular objective is achieved may vary from painting to painting (OK, does vary, at least in my own stuff). When it does come to fruition, though, I believe it adds significantly to the impact of the work.
If my explanation of the "resolution effect" seems foggy, perhaps the full and detail views of some of the paintings in my current online gallery may better illustrate what I mean. One of these is titled Event On An African Horizon; to go directly to that painting, click on the thumbnail above.