Being an artist begins when one isn't satisfied with the ordinary, with simply making a picture. Painters will travel the world capturing breathtaking sights and may never rise to being an artist while others won't leave their own yard yet be remembered for years.
An artist makes one aware of the world around them. Being able to bring a new perspective to a wash line is more of a challenge than making the canals of Venice look great. Some artists will accept the challenge, while others rely on the beauty and mystery of a far off land. I love paintings of Venice but a painting of an old red barn surrounded by cows waiting to be milked moves me so much more these days. We all have our places and things that move us. Beautiful women of my twenties have been replaced by mothers raising families and grand parents working gardens.
Being a painter no longer satisfies me. I want to convey to myself how I feel about the subjects I paint. If I satisfy myself then it is only frosting on the cake if someone else sees what I see and feels what I feel.