I don’t know!!
That’s the simple and mostly honest answer. I do see things that I like that inspire me to paint but I truly don’t know why. Sometimes it’s the contrast, sometimes it’s the colour, and sometimes I get a sudden image of a finished painting. Sometimes it’s a very simple thing like sun shining through a back-lit flower or grass. I was a graphic designer for many years and I got a kick out of my boss because at the beginning of a project I would simply stare at a blank screen and imagine different ideas. It drove them crazy and I loved it.
The juxtaposition of colours and textures draw me. Sunlight and shadows are interesting. How we pull reality out of jumbled complexity. This last is certainly a survival trait because our brains are trying to spot the lion in the grass. If you look at a random something long enough (clouds for example) you will start seeing shapes. Could this be what draws us to art? Could this be what art is all about?