I made a living at 'just' painting from time to time and still sell an original or print and accept a commission now and then in retirement. Since success is often measured in dollars in our world, I do consider myself an 'accomplished' artist. However, I would paint if I'd never made a cent, for it is a passion.
I've painted on just about anything over the years. My favorite surface is canvas and favorite themes are still the southwest and Native Americans.
I believe a painting should make a statement of some kind no matter how small. Until it does, it is practicing.
BA - Political Science
MA - Criminal Psychology
Never had an art lesson.