Probably every week that I am around other artists, I am asked by someone who wants to paint how to get into the "business" of being an artist and selling their wares. Or. someone has done a few paintings and wants to know why they are not selling or why a gallery has turned them down or why they didn't get into such and such exhibition and if they did get into the exhibition why they didn't win an award. You can see the direction I am coming from. What blows my mind is the idea that you don't have to put in the same kind of "practice" in painting that you put to be a fine pianist (would Van Cliburn role over in his grave if someone was asking the same questions about being a concert pianist to him?), or practice to become the tennis player you want to become, or practice to become the dancer or musician?
I think you must have many years of practice under your belt to become an artist. You must have a place that is "yours" to practice in. My Treehouse Studio is cold and hot, but it is mine and always ready to receive me with open arms. You must have some idea of what medium you want to work with and they all take more effort than you originally thought. You must have an idea of how you want to work (abstract, impressionistic, realistic, fool the eye realism, cubistic, etc.). And, the most important ingredient is the element of desire or drive. Try a series of paintings in one direction-say a hundred paintings of landscapes. Then do another series of another hundred.
This little painting is in my series of plein aire paintings (from the objects either indoor or outdoor):