Of all that has been said, written and done in the name of art, there is no doubt that it stands as one of the greatest sources of joy, happiness and fulfilment among humanity.
It is in our genes to create, which together with love, stands as one of our greatest attributes. In common with the rest of the animal world, we create habitats and nests, but we are unique in that we can create for pleasure and not just our own.
There are joys to be had in all aspects of painting and they can touch every type of artist at every level of ability, from a child's first drawing to the finishing touches of a masterpiece.
There are not many artists who haven't revelled in trawling through the offerings of an art supply shop or wondered at how time deliciously disappears when engrossed in work.
Even though we work alone, many of us enjoy these periods and are recharged mentally by them. It is also true, that painting time shared among those of like-mind is enjoyable and often nourishing. Paint is a universal language and it becomes apparent when we choose to paint outdoors with others.
But there is more! Where ever you look, painting and activities surrounding it are enjoyed by millions. It is like a social glue that brings many people together and painting for this outcome alone is extremely valid.
Also, people paint just for the personal expression of it all - there are statements to be made and most things can be said in paint. Great satisfaction is to be had by having these statements seen and understood by others, even though it is not a course taken by everyone.
Then there is the undeniable sense of achievement in any form of art once a piece is completed. For sure, the process was enjoyed and the finished piece is unique - a project that was commenced and finished brings its own rewards. On this painting journey happy accidents often materialise to help us along the way, particularly in watercolour! Sometimes, we get excited over little improvements we see in our work because it means it is possible to get better and we are heading in that direction.
Finally, I don't think I know of any artist that doesn't love a sale, no matter how much it was purchased for and the first sale is always the best. The sale is the expression of love by someone else toward what an artist has created. In the world of art, there is no greater love received or given than this!
Yes, there may be a few frustrations when it comes to painting, but thankfully they are not life threatening. The positives far outweigh any little niggles along the way and that is why so many millions of people are turning to it today. It is a great privilege of the times in which we live.
Caption: Plein-air painting with other is one of the most enjoyable aspects of being an artist.