This one actually looks fairly impressionist-ish irl. Kinda the further back you stand, the more it looks like it could be a photo. I am referencing a photo, however. Mike took the pic, and commissioned me to paint it. I charged him 1ETH. I'm considering always charging 1ETH. :)
I don't think I have a direction yet, or that I have painted enough to develop one. I'm still learning some serious basics IMO, and I think I'd be fooling myself to consider style/direction much yet. I definitely try to put feeling into it, but that's more about my process than the end product. I just want to have what it takes. I don't yet, and that's where my focus is. It doesn't take much searching to find contemporary painters that kick my ass. To improve, when I go to a museum, I'm paying attention to Bierstadt, Inness, Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, John Henry Twatchman, JMW Turner, Monet, and always Singer Sargent.
Ideally, I think what should happen, is that you put brush to canvas (wood for me), and people can't help but give time to what you've done. I feel like every painting is a step towards that, which is one reason I enjoy it so much.