"Art is a collaboration between the heart and mind in an effort to expose a piece of the artist's soul" This was written by artist--Dan McCaw, who is an oil painter, and a very good artist. Words to ponder
What is Art? This has been on my mind lately. Folks, and well known artists, too, seem to paint photos almost exactly as the photo "is" So what makes that art? People advise,, "Paint what you know" I believe this is good advise--and I find it probably works. Then the art is your own personal view of subjects that may have been painted many times---but yours is yours.
To me, what makes it art is IF IT MAKES A PERSONAL CONNECTION WITH THE VIEWER! No matter what the subject matter, if the viewer feels something when they see the artwork--then it has made it as art. Using the elements, and principals of art we can make this happen. So this is why I read and search for clues from wonderful artists before me and try to keep learning.
Edgar Alwin Payne's wonderful book on art and composition. Deru's Fine art in L.A.Ca.
John Carlson's Landscape painting.
Any thing on Hawthorne, Hensche, Caroline Jasper, Ben Konis, Ramon Kelley, Doug Dawson, Greg Biolchini, and Greg Albert. All wonderful artists.