|Value study charcoal on newsprint|
We all know Vincent Price was an amazing actor but you may not know he was very involved in the art world. He actually held a degree in art history and was a collector. He also sold paintings for Sears & Roebuck. WHAT!? Evidently Sears sold prints of famous paintings and Price's job was to choose which paintings were to be used. They also sold paintings by lesser known artists at the time, something about making sure art is made more public. You can read more about it here.
When Vincent was asked, what makes a good painting he replied with, "A good painting is one that pleases you". Sounds like a ridiculously easy answer and one that can be argued a million times over. What pleases one person can greatly displease someone else, so how does that work? It must work very similarly to food. I hate tuna salad sandwiches, there's no such thing, to me, as a good tuna salad sandwich. That doesn't mean someone else can't claim to have eaten the best tuna salad sandwich. If you like tuna salad sandwiches by all means eat them, if not don't. If you like abstract paintings then paint them. If you only like realism then paint that way. The only rules here are that you keep an open mind and mind your own business. If you are only into realism then paint that and don't worry about what the abstract guy is doing, it has nothing to do with what you're doing. Keep an open mind because everything is an opportunity to learn something.