I looked at Mondrian when I first started painting the woods nearly a year ago (post here). His method of working still inspires my practice.
He spent his life working on abstract paintings and also painting trees. There was no linear transition from trees to abstraction, but a constant relationship between the two parts of his practices.
Having two types of work moving in parallel makes sense to me, there is the possibility that one practice informs the other, or that having the space to step away from either practice is important.