Ernest Meissonier (1815 - 1891)
Painter at the easel 1852.
Oil on panel, 21.8 x 16 cm.
"I notice that my style and approach have been "contaminated" with what I see everywhere around me, and the many styles I admire all want to be drawn at the same time, while my own way of drawing gets lost in the meantime...."
"I am feeling like my own work is starting to escape me. I get fewer works done and keep looking at other art all day while my to-do list grows ever longer...."
"Do you have any ideas how I can preserve my integrity? Is it abstinence from this modern-age diversity, or going back to the roots that inspired me to become an artist in the first place."
I sympathize. There's so much great artwork out there on the Internet, and so many fun videos to binge-watch. Studying the work by others can be very helpful if it blazes a trail and shows you what's possible. Your own style will inevitably be a synthesis of what you've absorbed from others, mixed with your own invention and discovery.
But too much looking at the work of others can be paralyzing. It's good that you identified the problem, and that you haven't lost touch with your own personal vision.
Whenever you feel that way, it's time to stop looking at other people's art for a while. Close the book, shut off the computer, and leave the art museum. The farther you get away from those influences, the more your own style and approach will surface. Get out your sketchbooks and reserve one for your own pure imaginings, and the other for drawing or painting things in the real world that get you excited. You don't have to show them to anybody. Your personal sketchbooks will bring you straight back to your roots.
I remember reading that when Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot first went to Italy, he didn't bother to visit the Sistine Chapel and he didn't spend much time visiting art collections, because he was too enthralled with painting Nature. Be like Corot. That's the way to overcome being contaminated by other people's styles.
Nature is, of course, is the ultimate source for all great art. If Michelangelo and Raphael and DaVinci and Velazquez could be magically revived, standing next to their paintings, I am absolutely convinced that they would have advised us to go outside and look at Nature instead of at their mortal efforts.