Artists are people who are subject to irrational convictions of the sacred. Baudelaire said that an artist is a child who has acquired adult capacities and discipline. Art education should help build those capacities and that discipline without messing over the child.
An artist, in my experience, is a man or woman of unusual talent and peculiar, highly individual sensibility, with an independent and probably contrary mind, driven by mysterious passions for which another word is neurosis. In getting from point A to point B, the neurotic goes via point Q. It's in that roundabout that people are either completely crippled and hopeless in life, or highly creative.
The artist is a strange being. I think it's safe to say that a real artist is conscious of having a personal singularity that is partly a blessing and partly a curse. An artist enjoys and suffers from isolation. As solitude, isolation can nurture. It can also destroy.
The dominant problem of pictorial art since the nineteen-fifties is photography, and, by extension, film and video. The basilisk eye of the camera has withered the pride of handworked mediums. Painting survives on a case-by-case basis, its successes amounting to special exemptions from a verdict of history.
The experience of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. The artist's relation to the object of beauty, how the art makes that happen, is a whole other subject. Beauty is an event. Beauty is something that happens. There is no such thing as a beautiful object or a beautiful woman.