When you decide to be a painter – and I mean the painterly sort who is rendering shapes and objects and emotions – I think it’s important to always remember that you aren’t merely painting a representation of the thing, you are painting THE thing. It’s not a cloud. It’s all your feelings and ideas and archetypes of clouds. It’s not a leaf, it’s how the leaf feels and where it resides in your world. A successful painting has not only the subjects arranged and objects properly rendered according to your style and taste, but most importantly it captures the feeling, the sensation those objects and subjects are intended to evoke. For me, it always comes back to ‘but how does it FEEL?’ and I work outwards from there. I think the second mark of success of an artwork is that others can feel it too, without words or explanation. Then I feel we’ve really accomplished something.