*convincing, well-developed, complex characters
*interesting and original plot with a balance of conflict and resolution
*creative word choice and sophisticated sentence structure
*thought-provoking themes developed throughout the story
The same can be said about a compelling painting:
*convincing, technically well drawn subjects
*Interesting composition of shapes and patterns
*creative choices of subject and expression
*thought-provoking themes developed with color and relationships
I have so much respect for the writer who is willing to take the time and no small amount of effort to create a story of lasting value. A perfect sentence is a work of art! And I feel the same about a painting. Just as a perfect sentence doesn't have to be complex or sophisticated, so a painting doesn't need to be a masterpiece; it does need the same elements, though, of technical mastery, personal inspiration, and originality. It takes lots time and lots of effort to learn to produce work that hits this mark. The key is to NOT GIVE UP! I once heard Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, speak at the Southern Festival of Books, saying that her manuscript was returned to her multiple times and she rewrote the book multiple times before it was finally accepted and published. So, too, painters will find themselves repainting, starting over, doing another, on the quest for mastery. And rarely will you meet a painter who thinks she's "arrived", because there is always more growing to do.
Every painting I start is a fresh beginning and a blank canvas to apply all the lessons I have learned and am still learning in my pursuit of painting well.
Be willing to be a beginner every single morning. (Meister Johann Eckhart)