During my teenage years I had the opportunity of designing hundreds of clothing labels (for shirts, suits, trousers etc.), this for presentation purposes to the clients of a narrow fabrics company. These labels had to be executed in the exact size they would be woven, often requiring lettering 2mm high in various colours, meaning that it had to be done with a small brush (nowadays it would be done on computer!).
This gave me my appreciation for detail, and is evident in most of my work, some of which often takes hundreds of hours to finish. This means that my output of work is limited, but for me it is immensely rewarding when the finished article lives up to and exceeds initial expectations.
Some of my fellow artists question my patience, but actually I find it very rewarding spending a lot of time in the pursuit of perfecting detail.
Every now and then I complete a more painterly picture, but find that I invariably return to detail and strive to go beyond photorealism.
Photorealism mimics the camera, and often most of the background is out of focus and the perspective inaccurate, depending on what camera or lens is used.
One of the advantages of painting is "tailoring reality", that is, finding a better solution to an aspect of light or subject matter, often difficult to obtain with the lens, and then of course there is the quirky effect of painting the impossible, which most definitely cannot be captured by the lens.
Most of the time I have an image in my mind, and then go out in search of all the ingredients, but sometimes there will be an eureka moment, an unexpected beautiful face, cloud effect, light effect or colour blast. This is the treasure that most artists rely on when "panning for gold", to be transformed into a gem on canvas, sculpture or any medium that delivers the wow factor, and encouraging conversation.