I have asked myself too when did all these started? Why consume time and exert extreme effort without any material gains?
There are basic urges within us, I believe on a personal basis that needed to be filled. It is not just the mere joy of painting brings but far more spiritual than that. We are partly by nature spiritual aside from our physical needs therefore we also had to fill that essential. It is why we sing and listen to music. Singing has nothing directly to do with our physical well-being, we can survive for years without singing or even for our entire life. I am not discounting here the health benefits of music in our life BUT what I am trying to point out here is that we can live normally even without music or the Arts for that matter. So why do we need arts? Why at times we feel certain emptiness without expressing ourselves through arts?
The answer lies from something beyond the tangible. It is not a hunger we can feel on an empty stomach BUT we can sense it. So it really amazed me to hear an atheist painter or a musician. When you are an atheist you do not believe in what soever spiritual form...anything beyond the senses is not real. But the reality of those things Not seen are obviously a craving we all do feel.
Now back to our first question, why the need to express myself using visual arts? Perhaps, there would be no more need to explain my position.
Since everything has a reason for something, like we drink to satisfy thirst...I paint to fulfill a spiritual need. Painting is like praying, it is like touching the divine dimension. Further evaluation of that principle...I came to a point when this "Need" has to serve a deeper purpose. To "bless" others with this core gifts. Then I have already reach the point of "Realizationism" within my Art.